Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Easy Yarn Tassel Garland

Let me preface this with a simple truth: crafting is far from my forte.  It's kind of up there with cooking as a skill that with practice I'm passable at, but show no innate talent.  That's why I'm so excited to share this little project -- literally your five year old niece could do it, heck maybe even your husband.  Here's all you need:
  • yarn  (thicker yarn will give you fuller tassels or even pom poms, but skinny yarn works too)
  • scissors
  • a yarn needle or large safety pin to thread your tassels onto string
Step 1: Wrap yarn around your hand
Your hand is a really easy way to wrap your yarn, but you can also use a piece of cardboard or anything of about a 5 inch or larger width.  The bigger your wrap, the bigger your tassels.  

I wrapped about 3 layers to get a nice, full tassel.  If you wrap towards your fingers for a layer, then back towards your palm, then back towards your fingers once more, you'll have plenty of yarn.  With a thicker yarn you might not need quite so many layers, but with standard thin yarn it's essential to a fuller tassel.

That's about right.
Step 2: The Hard Part
Now you have to slide your hand out from the yarn, but keep your nice loops intact.  Don't wrap too tight at the beginning knowing you have to wiggle out of this thing eventually.  The hard part comes in when you need to tie off your tassel.  Keep your pointer finger in the top of the loops and then use another piece of yarn to tie off the area right under your pointer finger, making the top of the tassel. With a little dexterity, you can use only your own two hands to do this, but you could also use something around the house (like a chopstick or a wooden spoon handle for example) to hold the top loop structure while you tie the knot.

Step 3:
If you are making a tassel, work your knot so that you have a smaller tassel head and a larger portion of your yarn loops on the bottom.  Then cut the bottom loop ends so that you have straight yarn ends on this side.  You can conversely make a pom pom at this step by keeping the knot centered and cutting both ends of the yarn loops, but you need pretty thick yarn to make a good pom pom.  Check out this tutorial for great pom poms.

Step 4: String
Now you just need to put your little tassels on a string to hang.  I used my same yarn and tied one end to a large safety pin, then threaded through the top tassel loop.  You can alternatively use a yarn needle, or even securely tie or tape your yarn end to a pencil or something that would be easy to thread with.  I placed my tassels about 4 inches apart and needed 12 to make a full draped garland for my mantle just to give you an idea of how many tassels you may need.

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