Making Basic Tassels


  • 1 skein stranded embroidery cotton
  • 1 foot thin cord or embroidery cotton (See Monk’s Cord to make your own)
  • Cardboard – 2″ by 6-8″

This creates a full-skirted, 1 1/2″ tassel – a good size for 1/4 sheet books or cards.


  • Skirt – the fringe at the bottom of the tassel
  • Head – the knob at the top where the hanging cord attaches
  • Neck – the part of the tassel wound to hold it together. Larger tassels sometimes do not have this, but they are made very differently.
    1. Wind embroidery floss around the card 40 times. Try to keep the top edge of the card relatively neat, as it will affect the head of your tassel. Trim the end to the edge of the card. The floss may overlap.  tassel1.jpeg
    2. Thread string or cord for hanging through the floss. Tie in a single knot at the top, holding the loops together. tassel2.jpeg
    3. Slip loops off the cardboard.
    4. Hold hanging cord and smooth loops tightly.
    5. Lay the 18″ piece of floss over the tassel. Let the bottom end extend about 1 ” below the loops. Fold top down over it, allowing the loop to extend above the head of the tassel. The thread position is as in the second Figure, but over the tassel. Holding this loop in place, from the bottom of the tassel toward the head, wrap the floss tightly around the tassel.
      tassel3.jpeg tassel3a.jpeg
    6. When you have wound the neck as far as you want (I usually go about 8-10 times around), thread the end of it through the loop. tassel4.jpeg
    7. Tug at the loop until any looseness at the bottom of the neck disappears. tassel5.jpeg
    8. Pull the bottom end of the floss until the loop pulls the end down into the neck binding. Pull on both ends of the strip of floss to bury them tightly and completely. tassel6.jpeg
    9. Clip the top end of the floss close to the tassel neck. Clip the bottom end so it is the same length as the fringe. You may either clip the loops at the bottom now or leave them uncut. tassel7.jpeg
    10. To finish the hanging cord, untie the loose knot at the head and tie the ends together with an overhand knot. Trim the loose end close to the knot.
    11. Bury the knot in the head of the tassel and tie another overhand knot close to the top of the head to secure it. You will now have a continuous loop from which to hang your tassel.