I absolutely love tassel garlands. They can be made of paper, fabric or even yarn. The problem with these garlands is that if you try to buy one, they will cost you about $30+ a pop. I have been meaning to purchase one for awhile now, but I couldn't decide: Did I want one for the nursery? Would I rather have one for a holiday?
Then last week I decided there was no way I was going to pay $38 for a garland I had my eye on...I could definitely make this...
And the majority of garlands for sale are made out of tissue paper. I don't see that holding up well through our impending move. So I set out to figure out how I could make my own, inexpensive garland that would last longer and be more durable than tissue paper.
Yarn. Perfect. It comes in a thousand colors, it won't crinkle or rip like tissue paper, and it comes in various widths. I headed to Hobby Lobby in search of the perfect shades of yarn for the nursery.
All of these were in the clearance bins except for one. For that one, I used a 40% off coupon. That meant I only spent around $2.50 per yarn.
I was especially excited about the gold yarn. I figured it would give the same "sparkle" that mylar does to a paper garland. I also used similar yarn in the Christmas trees I made last December.
So I chose 5 colors total. You can choose as many or as few as you like. From researching different garlands, a minimum of 18-20 tassels seems to be the norm. I also knew that I didn't want short tassels. I think it is cute to make chubby, short tassels if you want to highlight your mantle or something for a special occasion, but for a wall decoration, I knew I wanted them longer.
First, find a book that matches the length you want for your tassels. You can also cut a pice of cardboard to match the length, but why make things more difficult? After I compared a few books, I settled on my beloved Domino book. It measures about 9 1/2 inches tall, so if you add in the length of the top and bottom of the book, you get 10 inch tassels.
Next, choose a yarn to start with. Wrap the yarn around the book a set amount of times. I started with 20 wraps, but when I pulled it off the book, the tassel was smaller than I wanted. I ended up going with 30 wraps around the book per tassel.
Carefully slide the yarn off of the book. Clip a small piece of yarn in the coordinating color.
Tie the yarn piece around "the middle" of your yarn circle. Make sure where you tie it is opposite of the loose thread end from where you started wrapping. I highly recommend tying the knot a minimum of 4 times. I tried just double knotting it and it ended up slipping and untying a few steps later. This really depends on how slippery your yarn is, but after tying each knot 4 times, I didn't have another one slip out for the remainder of the project.
Take a pair of scissors and cut the yarn opposite of where you tied. This will give you your basic tassel. Trim the extra yarn "legs" at the top where you tied. (Don't cut them too short though, or else your knot will slip out.)
Fold the yarn halves backwards, so that you cover the knot you tied. The top of your tassel should look like the above picture. Then take another yarn piece and tie around the whole tassel...
...and it will look like this. Again, I tied the knot 4 times. Then trim the yarn "legs" so they are shorter, like above. They don't peek out from behind the garland when it is hung up. Making the tassels like this gives them a nice and finished look.
And one of your tassels is done! You then repeat the same steps to create as many tassels as you want. I chose to do 4 tassels of each color, making a total of 20 tassels. I cut 6 ft of the gold yarn and strung it through the top of each tassel. I did this freehanded, but looking back, it would have been much easier and quicker if I had attached the yarn to a needle to thread it through the tops.
I absolutely love how it turned out! The colors are perfect and go nicely in the nursery. The best part is that I have over half of the yarn left! I spent about $15 on the yarn, so considering I only used half of it, this project cost me $7.50.
I am so glad I used the gold yarn. It's hard to tell in photos, but it really does shimmer and sparkle when light hits it. I suggest using a sparkly yarn if you want to capture the look that mylar gives to paper tassel garlands.