How to Make Tassels out of Yarn for Winter

DIY craft tutorial on making yarn tassels for garlands, clothing and more

Yarn tassels make really gorgeous decorative elements for garlands, banners, cushions, throws, clothes and more. They look especially good during the winter season and when used in conjunction with crocheted items such as the granny triangles that you can see in the photo above.

These tassels were made using a combination of cool, ice blues and a wool yarn with strands of glitter nestled among a snow white shade. These are my favorite shades for the winter and even Christmas Holiday season. You can think up your own cool color combos, maybe even a whole rainbow or just stick to the same shade for something simple. Come see how to make these in the craft tutorial by reading on.

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Making tassels is luckily not complicated and you don't need a lot of equipment either. You need a piece of sturdy card to wrap around, some yarn and some scissors. I also use a crochet hook for neatening things off at the end but this is not essential.

Three strands of yarn over a card

Step 1: you can use one color of acrylic, cotton or wool yarn or you can use several different colors to make a multicolor tassel. The upside of making multicolor versions is that they not only look pretty but are quicker to make as well because it saves on wrapping time. I'm going to show you a three stranded version but you use exactly the same process whether it is one strand or many.

You need a piece of sturdy card to wrap around (I used a spare greeting card) and the wrapping section (measured top to bottom) should be approx however big or small you want your finished tassel to be. Take the ends from three balls of yarn (or however many you want to wind into a tassel) and lay them over the top of your piece of card, so their ends hang just over the bottom as shown in the photo above.  

Purple, lilac and white yarn with yarn wrapped around a card

Step 2: hold the end(s) and start wrapping the strand(s) of yarn around the piece of card. If you have more than one strand then you need to grasp them all in your hand and wrap them at the same time, The wrapping process is quicker with more strands. I needed to wrap mine around 10 times around the card using 3 strands. You may have to experiment with more or less wraps depending how many strands you are winding round and how thick or thin you want each completed tassel to be.

Tying a knot to secure yarn strands

Step 3: once you have finished all the wrapping you want, snip off the strand ends attached still to the balls of yarn - if you're neat, you will cut these so they come down to the bottom of the piece of card. If you've wound tightly enough it shouldn't just unravel. Keep the card piece down on a flat surface in front of you as in the photo. 

Choose a color of yarn (one of the colors used for winding) and cut off a longish length - around 10 inches or 25 cm should be enough. Slip one end under the top of the wound yarn, once underneath pull it along a little way until it is roughly central and then tie into a tight knot. A normal double knot is great and will hold everything together. 

Using scissors to cut the yarn strands

Step 4: now you've secured it all at the top with a knot, you can now cut across the bottom. Slide the back blade of the scissors only at the front of the card but behind all the yarn strands as shown in the photo. A decent pair of fabric scissors should be able to snip all the way through with no problems. Now you can remove the piece of card. 

Tying around the pieces of gathered yarn

Step 5: you can see that the ends here don't look all that neat however, it is best to tidy these up once your tassel is made. The strand of yarn that you used to tie the top with should be pulled upwards and kept separate from the rest of the strands - you can see these at the very top of the photo. I use these to tie the finished tassels onto other projects with.

The next step is to form the rounded or oval shaped head of the tassel. You need to cut off another long strand in a color matching up with the project. Eyeball approximately the top third of the yarn strands and tie a knot tightly around. I like to smooth all the strands into place before tying the knot.

Step 6: I then smooth down the excess yarns in the middle which tied off the head area, sometimes I use a use a crochet hook to pull them through the middle knot which has tied off the head area of the tassel. The ends then become part of the actual tassel. Use a big pair of scissors to snip all the ends at the bottom straight across so they look neat and tidy. Now you've made a tassel from yarn, you should be able to see how easy it is to make and use it for all kinds of crafty projects. Let me know what you use it for in the comments below.