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flapper tassel necklace

the love child of a 1920s flapper and a 1980s camp counselor.

ever since the friendship bracelets, i've waited impatiently for the arrival of cording that was purchased on etsy. it came today, and i knew immediately what i wanted to do: make a tassel, and braid it. why not combine the two?

if you're just making a tassel you need:

  • cording
  • scissors
  • cardboard
  • glue

if you're also making the necklace, you need:

  • a wood bead
  • macrame board
  • t pins
  • tapestry needle


  • use a piece of cardboard that is the length of your tassel. cut a notch in it at the top
  • start with the center cord color, and tape the end to the bottom of the board
  • wrap cord around board 10 times. tape the end to the board at the bottom
  • repeat with the 2nd and 3rd colors

  • tie a new piece of cord around the front strands.
  • add a drop of glue to the knot. when it's dry, turn to the inside of strands
  • wrap cord around all the strands, and finish by tucking in behind itself at the back. add a drop of glue to the end and tuck it into the tassel

  • tie another cord around the top strands of the tassel
  • cut the bottom strands from the card
  • trim strands so they're all even


because the cord is so long, it helps to wrap it around small cards. the board should be very sturdy, mine were not and they were really difficult to work with.

this is the basic stripe pattern with 3 colors. leave a long tail to add the tassel later.

2 problems arose quickly: the piece itself was twisting as i was knotting it, and the cords were twisting and getting tangled repeatedly. my solution for the piece twisting was to move the pin down every 2" as i was knotting it. i also pressed it with a medium iron on the reverse side every 6" or so. i never got a solution to the cords twisting- if anyone knows how to prevent this, i'm all ears.

adding the tassel

6 hours and much swearing later...

  • finish the braid by tying together both ends in a single knot. slip all ends through a large wooden bead
  • using a toothpick to hold the loops in place, remove the old top knot. using a tapestry needle, thread 3 cords through the center loops on each side
  • remove the toothpick, and add glue to the cords on both sides
  • pull the cords tight, so the tassel is as close to the bead as possible. this should cause the glue to be on the interior of the tassel. wait a moment for it to dry
  • using the tapestry needle again, take the end of each strand down through the tassel
  • trim all long ends from the tassel

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