If you’re in the mood for a great piece of visual interest on the wall that can also double as Halloween décor, you’ve come to the right place. This is a full-photo tutorial for how to create a simple tassel hanging out of very basic materials that you likely have on-hand already. It’s a quick DIY, to be sure, yet the finished product looks chic and on-trend. Ready to begin? Let’s do it.
DIY Level: Beginner
- ½” diameter wooden dowel
- Seven (7) 1” wooden beads
- Black yarn
- Black spray paint
- Wide-eyed needle, scissors, and a hardback book 4”-6” wide
- Fishing line (optional)
Before you begin, you’ll want to make sure your wooden beads are actually beads. If they are actually wooden balls, as is the case in this example, that is a situation easily and quickly remedied.
Simply place your wooden ball on an upside down plastic container, preferably with an inverted circle mold but not necessary.
Select a drill bit that is just wide enough for your yarn to pass through with your wide-eyed needle. Carefully hold the wooden ball in place, and drill straight through the center of the ball.
Clean off the entry and exit points of the drill bit. Viola! A wooden bead. Repeat for seven balls/beads.
Ensure that your wide-eyed needle is large enough to fit your choice of black yarn as well as the wooden bead holes.
Mark and cut your ½” diameter wooden dowel to a 17” length.
Next you’ll want to spray paint the dowel and wooden beads. I found the easiest way to do this cleanly was to string some fishing line across the widest steps on a ladder with the beads strung on it. Keep the fishing line taut. Lean the dowel up against the fishing line as well.
Shake up your black spray paint can. This example uses flat/matte spray paint, because the yarn itself is not shiny. I wanted all the parts to look similar. You can use satin or gloss paint if you want.
Working in light strokes, paint the wooden beads and dowel. Spin beads as needed to equally paint all sides/top/bottom.
When the wooden components are completely and satisfactorily saturated with paint, let them dry completely.
With your wooden beads and dowel dry, it’s time to create the tassels, which are the star of this project, really. Grab a small to medium-sized hardback book and some fabric scissors. Cut about an 8”-10” length of yarn.
Lay the length of yarn across the dimple in the book’s spine.
Wrap other yarn around and around the book, over top of the length of yarn. Keep it taut but don’t pull too hard, or the yarn will spring back and be much shorter when you go to cut the tassel.
Note: This example uses fairly thick yarn and is wrapped around the book 25 times for each tassel. You can see the size of the tassels in the finished product. Feel free to modify this method based upon (a) your yarn’s thickness, and (b) your desired tassel size.
When you’ve wrapped the yarn sufficiently to create the thickness you’re after, stop wrapping. The two ends of the original length of yarn should extend out either side of the wrapped yarn.
Cut the wrapped yarn at the bottom of the wrapping. Don’t worry about keeping it even at this point; you’ll trim things up later.
Tie the two ends of the original cut length, very tightly, around the wrapped yarn.
Your knot should be tight enough to pull the wrapped yarn pieces closely together.
Carefully pull the wrapped yarn off the end of your book.
It’s time to create the shape of the tassel.
Pinch about an inch of the top of the wrapped yarn (where the knot is). This size can be varied; however, a good rule of thumb is to pinch about as much yarn as creates a tassel “head” about the size of the wooden beads used.
Take another cut length of black yarn, about 10”-12” long, and lay it flat on your work surface. Place the wrapped yarn on top of the cut length at the level of where you want your tassel “head.” Pull the original knot ends downward so they lie with the wrapped yarn.
Tie a very tight knot to create the tassel’s head.
Pull the ends of this cut yarn down along the tassel yarn as well. It’s time to trim the bottom of the wrapped yarn to create the tassel.
Take your sharp fabric scissors and cut the loops of the wrapped yarn at the bottom of the tassel.
Smooth out the tassel yarn, then trim the entire tassel ends to be smooth and even, at your desired length.
There you have it! Your first tassel. Simple, right? Repeat this process for a total of ten identical tassels.
With your tassels created, it’s time to put the tassel hanging all together. Tightly tie one end of a piece of yarn to the end of your dowel, about ½” in from the end.
Thread your wide-eyed needle onto the open end of your tied yarn piece.
Thread the needle through a wooden bead. Pull the bead up the yarn piece toward the dowel.
Lay the dowel flat on your work surface, and determine where you want the first wooden bead to be positioned. Tie a triple knot directly under the wooden bead to hold it in place (for when the tassel hanging is on the wall).
Make sure your knot is big enough to keep the wooden bead in place when the tassel hanging is vertical. If it is big enough, move on. If it’s not, knot it once or twice more to make it bigger.
Thread your needle through the top/original knot on your tassel.
Position your tassel as far down from the wooden bead as you want it. Tie the yarn to keep the tassel in place here.
After a placement knot is tied through the original tassel knot, thread your needle through the very center of your tassel (from the top down through the “head” and second-knot yarn) until it comes out the bottom.
Trim this yarn piece to be even with the ends of your tassel.
Hold up the dowel to make sure of your positioning. If you like it, continue this process with each of the seven strands. Work on mirror images (one end, the other end; one strand in from the end, the other strand in from the other end, etc.) to ensure the accuracy of strand lengths.
The only variance you’ll make in this process is on the middle three strands, where you will hang two tassels (if you want) on each strand. You can check out the finished product’s photos to see where these tassels are hung in relation to each other; modify as suits your needs and preferences.
Hang your tassel hanging on the wall, and stand back to admire it.
It makes a great addition to tasteful Halloween décor, or it makes a beautiful modern wall hanging at any time of year.
If you love tassels and you love symmetry, you’re going to love this quick and simple DIY project.
Pat yourself on your talented DIY back, and enjoy your new creation!