Updated May 7, 2019
Fancy Tassels are very popular these days, just look at any home decorating store. One possibility for making a wonderful unique tassel is to use plastic canvas to make a needlepoint tassel top. This Love plastic canvas tassel ornament uses ready-made fringe to make an elegant and easy Christmas ornament.
To make your tassel top and tassel you will need:
- 14 mesh plastic canvas in white, cream or clear, 1 sheet
- thread for your design
- thick thread to put the top together (I used Silk & Ivory)
- 1 yard fringe (I used 6″ long rayon fringe)
You can substitute other kinds of fringes, but be sure they will not be too bulky at the top for your needlepoint. In choosing a fringe be sure to get one which is long and thin (like the fringe on a flapper’s dress). The best fringe is 6″ long, but it also comes in 5″ and 4″ lengths. Color choices in fringe are smaller than in thread, so I would buy the fringe first.
Stitch the Tassel
The tassel top is a box without a bottom. It’s easiest if the box is a square. Mine is 1.5 inches (or 21 mesh) on each side.
Begin by stitching all four sides and the top of the topper. You can use the chart, above, or any other design you like as long as it is no bigger than 21 stitches square. For the pictured topped I used Silk & Ivory in white and raspberry, and Pebbly Perle in P22 (no longer made). Stitch all fives pieces together on one piece of plastic canvas, leaving at least one set of open holes between each side.
The chart for the top side is not pictured. You can stitch a pattern (I used a three stitch checkerboard), tent stitch, or a decorative stitch. Be sure to leave the center unstitched.
Assembling the Tassel Top
Cut out the plastic canvas pieces. Cut through the row of holes just outside the stitched area. Trim the edges so they are smooth.
Put two pieces together (wrong sides together) and stitch them to each other. Use your assembly thread for this and overcast the edges by going into the last row of holes in one piece and out through the last holes on the other piece. Start at the top and stitch to the bottom. This method is used for putting all the pieces together.
You will need to overcast all the bottom edges so they are finished, so repeat the same over cast process with the bottom edge of one piece. Finish off your thread and stop.
If you think you have enough thread to finish the other bottom edge, do it now.
Began to sew the top onto the box. Stitch it on in exactly the same method of overcasting as you used before. Begin from the corner where the two pieces were joined and stitch along one side.
Take another side piece and repeat the process of sewing it together with the two sides which are already joined. Now overcast the bottom of this piece.
Next join the top to one of the other sides.
Now add the fourth piece to the sides by stitching it to one side of the box (but not to the final side).
Finish the top of the tassel topper by stitching the final two edges. Keeping one side open makes it easier to get in here for starting and finishing the threads.
Join the final side up and finish overcasting the bottom edge.
Making the Tassel
Because the top of the tassel is hidden by the needlepoint, you can make a simple tassel which is less bulky at the top than traditional tassels. All that is required is a yard of rayon fringe.
Begin by taking a 24 inch length of your binding thread. Double it and knot it in several places.
Your fringe has a flat area at the top (which is used to sew it onto the fabric). You will glue this top and wind it around your binding thread to make the tassel.
It’s easiest to use those adhesives that you roll on. You can find them in office supply stores, craft stores or scrapbooking stores. Look for one which is no more than 1/4 inch wide, and acid free.
Roll the adhesive onto about half the fringe and start rolling it around the binding thread, leave about an inch of loop at the top. Roll it until you only have about 1 inch left with adhesive on it. Put the adhesive on the rest of the fringe and continue to roll. Try to keep the top even, but it doesn’t have to be perfect. Your finished tassel will be a bit more than 1″ in diameter.
Putting it All Together
Take a length of binding thread and plunge it into the open area at the top of the needlepoint, leaving a long tail. Bring it through the top of the loop in the center of the tassel, and bring it back up through the center area again.
Pull tight so the tassel comes up completely into the topper. Tie the two threads together at their base.
Even up the ends and tie them into a double knot about 3 inches above the needlepoint, making a loop. You could tie a bow here if you like. Put on a drop of clear nail polish to seal the knot. Trim the ends close.
This Love plastic canvas tassel ornament makes a lovely Christmas ornament or decoration for a cabinet or doorknob.