Drop the tinsel and try this natural alternative: a simple DIY tassel garland made with raffia!
I realize as I look at this garland that, even though I created it for Christmas, it would still look great once spring rolls around! I didn’t pick the most Christmas-y colors to be fair but I couldn’t resist once I started sorting through my jumble of embroidery threads.
If you’re looking for more traditional colors, try all-white or a mix of cream and ivory tints. That would be pretty darn adorable. And adorable is not a word I use lightly, it’s usually reserved for puppies and baby goats.
I made this DIY tassel garland with both raffia and paper yarn and they look virtually identical. So use whatever you have available. The only difference is in color, with paper twine being a slightly darker brown while raffia is more on the pale yellow side. If I had to choose, I’d probably go with raffia as a prime material since it’s less refined (it’s basically dried palm leaves).
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MATERIALS & TOOLS
- Raffia or paper twine
- Embroidery thread
- Large eye embroidery needle
- Kindle, notebook or a small book to wrap the yarn
HOW TO MAKE A DIY TASSEL GARLAND
Step 1: Create the raffia tassels
To start, wrap some paper twine or raffia around a book (or a kindle…). The size of the book and the number of wraps will influence how big the tassel is. I did 8 wraps around my kindle for each tassel to get a consistent size.
Next, push the twine off the book. Use a new length of twine to tie a knot in the middle and bend all the loops of twine toward one side to start shaping the tassel.
In order to make enough tassels for a full garland without spending the whole day on it, I chained all the tasks. I wrapped twine around the book a few dozen times, each time pushing the twine off the book and holding it together with a bulldog clip before I started wrapping again. I then removed the bulldog clips and tied each bundle in a row. This made it go so much faster, economy of scale is a thing!
Step 2: Wrap the tassels with embroidery floss
When you have enough naked tassels, start wrapping about 1/2″ (1 to 1.5cm) at the top of the tassels with embroidery thread.
Pick 4 or 5 colors you like. It’s pretty failproof, any color goes. Bright and cheery, neutrals, soft pastels or even black and white would work!
Choose a dominant color and wrap about a third of all tassels with it. Spread the other colors amongst the remaining tassels.
Once you’ve wrapped your tassels, trim the end with a pair of scissors, making sure they’re all roughly the same length.
Step 3: Thread the tassels
Finally, thread a large embroidery needle with paper twine. Make sure the twine is long enough to hold all the tassels. Start threading the tassels one by one onto the twine. When you’re done, space them out evenly. If some of them are loose, you can add a dot of glue to hold them in place. And voila!
Pin this DIY Tassel Garland to save this idea for later!
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