DIY Leather Tassels

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Ever since my mom taught me how to make tassels (see here for the first adventure in tassel making), I have been taking note of all the different areas of my life that need tassels. Tassels on the trim of Sailor's dress, tassels hanging on a doorknob, tassels on a keychain, tassels on sandals... you name it! They're easy to make, fun to modify to suit your style, and can be used to add a unique touch to just about anything! For my next tassel project, of course my mind first went to leather. I love this soft blush hide we found at Mood and how it mixes with the rose gold thread to make a feminine and soft bag charm or keychain. Of course you can go in a lot of directions with this, and I'm plotting to do a black and gold version for fall. Here's how to make them...

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You'll need:

Leather (or any fabric of your choice) -  Mood in LA (and online) has a ton of different colors. The hides can be pricey but you'll have extra and can make a whole bunch of tassels for gifts or do another DIY! I actually used the rough side of the hide on the outer side, and the smooth finished side facing the inside for these because I wanted a more natural effect.


Metallic thread

Lobster clasps (I got mine at Michaels)

Jump rings

Rotary cutter / Ruler / Cutting mat - optional but ideal to get the straightest cut on the strips. If not, you can just use sharp scissors to cut (but even then you'll need fabric scissors)

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1. Lay the hide down flat on the cutting mat start cutting the strips. I did mine about 1/4 inch wide but you could definitely go thicker or thinner if you want. You can run the cutter along the entire length of the hide, so you have long strips.

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2. Pick the length you want your tassel to be and multiply it by two. I wanted about 6" tassels so my strips were 12".  Cut the first strip into as many pieces that length as you can get, and discard the scraps or save for another project. Don't worry about being perfect because you can always trim at the end.

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3. Measure your other strips against that first strip, making about 8-10 strips per tassel.

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4. Gather the strips into a cluster, and fold in half. Leave two strips out for now.

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5. Attach your jump ring to the lobster clip, if the ones you got don't have them already.

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6. Thread the two extra strips through the jump ring, then lay them over the rest of the strips, folded in half.

7. Take two pieces of the thread (doubling them just cuts down the time you spend wrapping the thread around the tassel). I used two spools, but if you only have one, you can just cut two really long pieces from the same spool to double them.

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7. Once you have the desired amount of thread wrapped around (both for function and for looks), simply tie the threads together and trim off the ends.

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8. Now you can trim any of the ends off the strips to tweak them - I like a tad bit of unevenness but I don't want any really long pieces. And you're DONE.

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These look so cute attached to bag straps. I currently have one on Sailor's backpack and one my keys! Let me know if you guys try this out, what colors you use, and where you put them! They make such cute bridesmaids or hostess gifts too.

Photography by Ashley Burns