diy tassels {weather-proof!}

DIY TASSELS

 i know tassels are all the rage, and i’m super late to the game, but i have a fun little (ok i lied, super long) tutorial so you can make your own!  and i have found a trick to make them last much longer than fragile tissue paper tassels…

 so here’s the story morning glory: we were just a few days away from our spring stitch market and i wanted some quick, cheap decorations for our checkout table and our outdoor walkway.  i was walking through every aisle of target, of course, and i stumbled upon the most beautifully colored plastic table cloth in all the land.  first off, i don’t like plastic table cloths unless they are absolutely necessary.  otherwise, they tend to look as cheap as they are.  but this one was so pretty, and as it turned out, nice and thick.  after a couple days of staring at the table cloth, it hit me: tassels!  the best part:  the plastic doesn’t tear and these are weather-proof!

have you ever read one of my tutorials before?  if not, you’re in for a treat.  and by treat i mean a really long, detailed post with lots of pictures.  because when i’m doing something for the first time, i like to have every question answered before i can even ask it.  so thats what i set out to do!

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when you first open the package, the tablecloth is folded into a nice small rectangle.  the fold lines are super helpful for this project, so work with them.  see each of those lines?  cut along them.  yes, you’ll be cutting several layers of tablecloth at once.  it really cuts like butter – so easily!

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the cuts don’t have to be perfect at all (yay).  just slowly unroll the folded up tablecloth and keep cutting until you have a big stack of these rectangles. do not open them!

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next you cut the strips that will be used at the very end to tie the tassel knot.  its inevitable that one or 2 of the rectangles you’ve cut are going to be odd-sized.  usually the first and last rectangles are the smallest.

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first i fold the rectangle in half, top to bottom…

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then in half again top to bottom so its now in quarters.

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then cut it into small strips, maybe 1/2″ wide.

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just keep cutting :)

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and then you’re left with a pile of folded strips.

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line up all those strips with the factory folds together (not the quartered folds you just made).

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then chop the fold off!

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once you’ve chopped off the folds on both ends you’re left with a pile of strips.  be sure to separate them all.  they tend to be a bit sticky to each other due to the static electricity.

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now to start on the tassels!  take one of the original rectangles you cut.  it should have about 4 layers to it (may vary by manufacturer).  cut open the folds one one end…

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and then the other end.

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you’ll be left with a nice, neat stack of rectangles.  even though they are no longer attached to each other, don;t separate them yet.  it will make things much harder.

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fold in half lengthwise.

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then in half widthwise.  in this picture, the fold is on the left and the bottom.

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now cut your tassel “legs”.  i go up to about 1 1/2″ from the top fold.

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keep cutting legs until the whole piece is cut.  they width of the legs is up to you – 1/2″, 1/4″, whatever.

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now open up the cut tassel and it looks like this!  this is 4 layers of tassels all stacked together.

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separate the layers now.

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because this tablecloth (different from the mint target version) was so thin, i doubled up the layers of tassels.  the picture above is of 2 layers of tassels.

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now scrunch the uncut center section all together.

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so quick and easy, all scrunched!

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now start twisting.  i do this with 2 hands (hard to show with one hand needing to take pictures!).

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it helps to rest the twist against a table, or i like to do it on my thigh.  it doesn’t make sense in words, but when you’re twisting you’ll see what i mean.

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once you have the entire uncut section twisted nice and tight, it starts to make a loop on it own when you fold the twist in half.

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next grab one of those strips you made earlier and hold it in the middle against the base of the loop.

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holding the strip with one hand, take one leg of the strip and wrap it around and around until you have a couple inches left.

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then do the same with the other leg of the strip.

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you’ll be left with 2 short legs.  tie them in a couple knots to secure.

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and your tassel is done!  honestly, it probably took you longer to read this tutorial than it does to actually make one.  once they are cut (which doesn’t take long at all), the actual twisting and wrapping probably takes maybe 30 seconds.

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 i strung mine on yarn, but any sort of string will work.  sometimes i had to tie the yarn around the loop if the tassel was too “slippy”.

best part of these?  you can leave them up outside on your porch, in your yard, wherever and they won’t get ruined!  and when its time to put them away, you can just shove them in a bag or a box and the wrinkles don’t ruin these tassels.

have fun!

 

Comments

  1. 1
  2. 2

    THOSE are soooo fun. Totally trying this for my daughters second bday!

  3. 3

    Oh my goodness:) these are super fun..perfect touch for any themed party/occasion. Thanks so much for sharing. (I have kitchen hand towels that match your tablecloth-Target)

  4. 4

    Brilliant.
    And just in time. Making a bunch for a BBQ and for my sister’s baby shower next month.
    I think you should make some gold ones. Hint, hint.

  5. 5

    Thank you SO MUCH! I was just about to order a super expensive option on Etsy for my daughter’s first birthday party. Thanks to your tutorial, I can totally handle this myself! Squee! I’ll make sure to link back to this post when I do my party recap post. Thanks again~ LOVE all the pics + the thorough step-by-step directions!

  6. 6

    How many tassels do you get from each table cloth?

  7. 8

    Thank you! Ill be making these for our “Glamping” party this weekend!

  8. 9

    SO fun!! Thank you so much for the tutorial!

  9. 10

    Will there be a Winter 2014 Stitch Market? I look forward to this event and discovering local crafters/artists. Waiting with anticipation,

    • 11

      hi barbie –

      we are actually taking a hiatus from the market this winter, but we will announce our next market on Facebook when we plan one!

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