Yarn tassels are a fun accent for hats, shawls, and mittens, and add a sweet handmade touch to gifts. Learn to make twisted-cord tassels with just a few simple household tools!

Written Steps

Step 1  – Prepare Tassel: Cut two cardboard squares, each measuring approximately 4” x 4”/10 cm x 10 cm. Place a pencil between the two pieces of cardboard to create a gap, then wrap your working yarn around both pieces of cardboard about 36 times. The more wraps, the puffier the tassel will be. Set aside.

Step 2 – Prepare Twisted Cord: Cut 2 lengths of yarn approximately 10”/25.5 cm each. Thread both yarns through a large tapestry needle, then fold in half lengthwise with tapestry needle at mid-point; knot the loose ends together. If you wish to make a longer twisted cord, cut longer lengths of yarn; the end result will be about a quarter of your yarn’s original length.

Step 3 – Add Twist: Loop knitted end of yarn “ring” over the corner of a chair or door knob with tapestry needle at bottom. With yarn taut, begin twisting tapestry needle clockwise — you will be adding tension/twist to your cord. When cord is tightly twisted (and begins curling back on itself when given slack), take hold of both ends, keeping yarn taut, and lift the entire cord off from the chair corner/door knob.

Step 4 – Join Cord & Tassel: Thread the tapestry needle (with cord attached) through the gap between both pieces of cardboard, and also between the wraps of yarn. Position the mid-point of the cord directly within the wrapped cardboard and release the cord, allowing it to twist back on itself. Straighten any kinks in twisted cord, making it uniform from start to finish.

Step 5 – Secure Tassel: Carefully cut the wraps at the bottom of the wrapped cardboard (opposite the twisted cord), removing the pencil and cardboard pieces. Take a new length of yarn approximately 30”/76 cm long and wrap it around the tassel several times, just below the top. Wrap until the tassel strands are secure. Tie a few knots in the yarn to keep it in place, then cut the ends to measure the same length as tassel.

Step 6 – Finishing: Cut the knot from the other end of your twisted cord. Thread the ends through the tapestry needle (where the other half of the twisted cord is still attached) and draw through the corner of the shawl. Cut the yarn from the tapestry needle and knot the ends together. Using your fingers or a crochet hook, create a gap in the middle of the twisted cord between the final knot and the shawl. Draw the tassel through the gap to secure the tassel to the corner of the shawl and let the cord retwist on itself.

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