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Making a Basic Tassel

Project Summary: Learn to cut unique leather tassels for your projects with a few basic leathercraft tools. Tassels can be made from a wide variety of leathers in 2/3 oz. or 3/4 oz.

Approximate Time to Complete: 10 minutes including drying time

What You Need:

  • 2/3 oz. Natural Kipskin Leather approximately 8" x 2" (09-1050S-2/3) or a leather of your choice in 2/3 oz. or 3/4 oz.
  • Utility Knife (65-2860)
  • Steel Square (3608)
  • Poly Cutting Board (65-2916)
  • S-18 Contact Cement (50-2125-8)
  • Hand Stitching Thread, Brown (50-1554-BR)
  • Wax Paper or Tracing Film

Step-by-Step Instructions (with pictures):

  1. For this tutorial we will be making a tassel with a 1" spine and 3/16" fringe.
  2. Place your piece of Leather on top of your Poly Cutting Board and line the top of your Steel Square along the top edge of the Leather. The 1" arm of the Steel Square will work perfect for our 1" spine on the tassel. Slide the square in 3/16" for your first strand of fringe.step2
  3. Make your first cut, running the Utility Knife along the edge of the Steel Square.step3
  4. Slide your Steel Square over another 3/16" and make your second cut. Continue this process until you are near the end of your Leather.step4
  5. Go ahead and trim off any excess Leather so all the fringe pieces are equally wide.step5
  6. If the bottom of your tassel shows any knife cuts kicking to the left, simply trim off the bottom ⅛" using the Steel Square and Utility Knife.step6
  7. To glue the tassel, flip your fringe over so the suede side is facing up. Take your first strand of fringe and pull it towards you. Apply Contact Cement to the spine of the fringe and 1" down on the first strand of fringe. Skip a ½" spot and apply a little more Contact Cement. The spot with no Contact Cement will be used as a loop later in the tutorial.step7
  8. Take your piece of Wax Paper and flip the fringe over so the top grain side is facing up and the Contact Cement side is lying on the Wax Paper. Find your first tassel that has Contact Cement on the suede side and apply Contact Cement on the spine only, going only halfway across this time.step8
  9. Let the Contact Cement dry for a minute or 2.
  10. Flip the fringe over so the suede side is facing up and grab your first strand of fringe (that has the Contact Cement applied) and bring it up, leaving the small portion of unglued strand out to form a loop.step10
  11. Slowly start rolling up the piece of fringe, being careful to not get the glue on your fingers.step11
  12. You should have a tassel with a loop coming out the top.step12
  13. Take your Thread, make a loop and lay it down on the spine of the tassel. Hold it down with your thumb and bring the longer piece up to cross over the shorter piece. Start winding the longer piece of thread around the top of the spine and keep going until you get to the top of the tassel.step13
  14. Once you get to top, take the end of your Thread and run it through the thread loop at the top, pulling it tight. Now take the Thread coming out of the bottom and pull on it, this will pull the loop at the top down behind your wrapped Thread and hold it in place.step14step14a
  15. This will completely hide the knot and hold the Thread in place.
  16. To trim the Thread, lay your Utility Knife on top of the Thread and pull it across the blade. That way, you won’t cut into the leather of the wrapped Thread.step16
  17. Your tassel is now complete!step17

P r o c e s s i n g . . .