Making beaded tassels can be considered an easy project. You can offer beaded tassels as unique, one of a kind gifts to friends and family who you know will appreciate your creativity. A beaded tassel can be hung over any door (or hutch door) handle, sometimes they are hung over a corner bed post. Whatever, there is something especially attractive about a beaded tassel wrapped up in tissue and offered as a gift. Try making some and surprise someone special.
* Materials required for this tassel:
Wooden tassel-head: approx 4 inch (10 cm.)
Fringing: 20 inch (50 cm) length x 6.5 inch (16cm)
Lace: 5 inch x 1.5 inch (12.5 cm x 4 cm). Look for a lace with suitable decorative edges to attach the lengths of beads from.
Braid: 5 inch (12.5 cm)
Cord for hanging: 11 inch (28 cm)
Seed beads and Bugle beads. There are four strands on this tassel, each holding 43 beads (total 72 beads)
P.V.A. or similar craft glue
Skewer or knitting needle
Straw needle: Size 8 or Collapsible-eye needle for beading
Beading thread, quilters cotton or similar
Acrylic paints: this project used a cream color tone, sponged with gold
Suitable full, soft-hair brush
Sand-paper: Very fine grade
1. Painting the wooden tassel-head form:
Lightly sand the tassel-head and wipe clean. Apply the first coat of acrylic paint following instructions for that particular brand. Most will need a small amount of water added to aid application.
When first coat is dry, sand very lightly and wipe clean. Apply a second coat.
Mottled Gold Effect: Place a small quantity of gold paint on palette with no water added. With a damp sponge, dab it onto the gold paint and then press the sponge lightly onto a sheet of paper or onto the palette. This will eliminate excess paint. Now press the golden-laden sponge lightly and randomly over the painted form for a wonderful vintage, antique effect.
If you aren't pleased with your results, you can always let the surface dry completely, and sand back, start again.
Finally finish off the tassel head with two (2) coats of satin-gloss varnish. Jo-Sonja's Polyurethane Water Based Satin Finishing Varnish is one I like to use).
2. Adding the fringing:
Lay the fringing flat (underside facing you). Apply a zigzag line of glue along the top edge band. Attach it now to the lower "collar" of your tassel-head form by pressing one end down firm, and slowing moving the tassel-head around and continuing to press the remainder of the fringing in place. Allow to dry.
3. Beading the lace:
Application of beads to the lace is done before being added to the tassel.
This tassel has a bead stitched into the centers of four flower motifs around the top.
For the four (4) long beaded strands, using a strong thread, slip your first bead on and leave in middle of the length of thread. Take the thread out of your needle and now place *both* ends of the thread through the needle. Your first bead will now support all beads threaded on top.
Continue to thread a sequence of beads to your liking. Be sure to check by holding the lace over the fringing as to the ideal finish length of the beaded strand. Stitch the four (4) beaded strands to the appropriate sections (floral motif or peak perhaps), at the edge of the lace.
In this sample I've used a combination of two different colored larger round beads (an amber, with dull gold either side), next three are tiny green/mustard seed beads and next two are silver bugle beads, and then started the sequence over again.
4. Attaching lace and braid to the tassel:
Place glue onto the top underside of your lace as you did the fringing, and also at the point where your fringing ends meet. Now press the lace in place to hang over your fringing. Apply glue to the underside of the braid and press in place at the top edge of the lace.
* Adding the hanging cord:
At each end of the cord wrap a short length of sticky tape to prevent fraying. Squirt glue down the hole inside the top of the tassel-head. With a skewer (or knitting needle), press one cord end into the hole and then the other end.
Wipe away any excess glue and allow to completely dry before hanging.
Many variations can be made to a beaded tassel. Use tiny silk ribbon flowers around the base of the tassel-head perhaps. You can also have lots of fun with dyeing your own fringes; dipping the ends into tea-dyes for a vintage look, or richly colored dyes. Find your own wonderful glitzy beads to match the fabulous fringes you've made up. Every one you make can be exclusively different from another by the colors you choose to create with.