Wednesday, April 3, 2013
DIY Trendsetting: Leather Tassels
by Barbara Bechtel
Tassels are all around these days in jewelry trends.....Around last fall, I began making my leather tassels and today, I'm going to show you how!
My tassels are made of reclaimed leather, but after you try this easy technique, you'll see it's easily applicable to fabric or a vegan option like pleather or ultrasuede!
Product note: While you can purchase leather sheet from craft stores, I encourage you to source your local upholstery shop for leather scraps or purchase some leather that is reclaimed. My leather comes from Modern Fabrics, where I buy my leather. It is reclaimed leather from the furniture industry and this company purchases and resells it as it would otherwise end up in a landfill. For $20, you can get a whole box full that will last you for years making tassels and other things! Please note, you want the remnants...the other leather listed on their site is for full hides so that link is the one you want.
* Pieces of leather (about 2-3" x 3-4" pieces) They will be different sizes but depending on the thickness of your leather and the size/length of your finished piece, you'll want to gather a bunch of rectangles to play around! Start larger and work your way smaller as you gain confidence.
*extra tiny leather rectangles (about 3/8" x 1 1/2") for embellishing and making a loop.
* strong glue. (I use E6000) Make sure your glue is labeled to glue leather. This is a great reference for glue. I would not use a tacky or fabric glue as it will not hold.
*Sharp Shears (use a dedicated pair of long, sharp fabric shears) They will make nice, long straight cuts that will give you the nice fringe you're looking for here!
*sharpie or marking pen
*wooden clothespins or clips (to hold your tassel while it dries)
*optional: waxed thread or linen and beads for embellishing.
I made this really high-tech diagram for you to see how you'll be cutting your fringe ;0)....You can mark all these lines with a marking pen if you're nervous. NOTE: The heavy black line above the dotted lines is for reference. You're not cutting this line. Normally, the dotted lines I freehand cut and the solid line I mark as a guide to make sure the fringe is even....but once you get the hang of it, you won't need to mark much.....
If you don't like to use leather, consider trying this with fabric, faux leather, or ultrasuede!
Let me know if you have any questions in the comments below! Enjoy!