How To Make Yarn Tassels For a Cozy Fall Throw

September 18, 2020

 basket filled with pillows and throws in front of fireplace

I'm a sucker for tassels. The more the merrier, I say. I think they add just the right amount of visual interest and whimsy to all types of home decor projects.  But I really love them most when they're attached to cozy fall and winter throws. Not that I'm a napper or anything . . . . . lol . . . . . but I do think it's important to have some comfy cozy blankets around the house just in case someone feels the need to nap. I recently picked up the most perfect fall throw, although it didn't have any tassels! So what else is a girl to do about it? I made my own! Follow along and see how I made my own DIY yarn tassels and how I attached them to my cozy throw.

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neutral colored chunky blanket and knit throw with tassels

My favorite throws of all time are neutral in color and have awesome tassels. Totally French farmhouse, no? I have three of them total -- two of them are draped over my thrifted vintage French Bergere chairs in the living room. The other is draped over a wing chair in our bedroom. How can you not love those tassels? (By the way I got all three throws on clearance for less than $10 each.)  Nautica chenille Benchley throw blanket

Once I became spoiled by tassels I figured any blanket that didn't have them was missing something. So when I got this navy blue (my new favorite decorating color) plaid Nautica chenille throw last week a light bulb went off: why not make tassels for it? So I got to work.

CONFESSION: I need to lead here with these cold, hard facts: I don't sew and I don't knit. But take heart -- I was still able to make DIY tassels and attach them to my cozy chenille throw! So I'm sure you'll be able to as well.    

Comfy cotton blend blue yarn with scissors 

Materials List For Making DIY Tassels 

1. blanket
2. yarn
3. scissors
4. book or some other stable object to wrap the yarn around
5. embroidery needle (with a wide enough eye for your yarn to fit through)
6. crochet hook (optional) Mine was J-10/6.00 mm

Lion Brand Comfy Comfort Color yarn

The size of the yarn you use should be commensurate with the size of the tassel you want to make. For a stubby, more "full" tassel you'll want to use a thicker yarn. For a longer, thinner tassel you'll probably want to use a thinner yarn. I knew I wanted to make long tassels for this blanket, so I was happy when I found this "Comfy Cotton Blend" yarn on clearance at Joann's! The fact that it was cotton and a near match in color were two huge pluses.

Whatever yarn you buy will have a size (from 1 through 7) listed on the label. Mine was listed as a 3, or "light." And if you choose to use an embroidery hook (optional) the yarn's label should tell you what size hook is best for your sized yarn. My embroidery hook is J-10/6.00 mm.

skein of blue cotton yarn


 I have to admit that as a knitting novice I didn't really know where to find the beginning of the skein without making a tangled mess. Have you ever had that happen? So I did what anyone else would do --  I watched a Youtube video to figure it out. Apparently, it can usually be found in one of two places: either under the label/wrapper or within the middle of the skein. Luckily, mine was just under the wrapper so I found it pretty easily.


NOTE: Before we start, it might help you to think about a tassel this way -- there are four parts to a tassel:

1.  hanging cord

2.  mold or body (the very top section above your neck)

3. the neck or ruff (the spot beneath the mold where you've wrapped your yarn x-number of times)

4. the skirt, or fringe (essentially all the yarn that hangs beneath the neck -- in other words, the fluffy part of your tassel).


How To Make Yarn Tassels For A Cozy Fall Throw

 piece of yarn taped onto the spine of a leather notebook

1. Once you find the end of the skein it's time to begin the tassel-making process. Cut a length of yarn that you can stretch across the spine of your book, or whatever form you're using (I'll call it a "tassel form"). Make sure the piece of yarn you use for this is long enough to serve as the hanging cord. 

Above, you can see the strip of yarn I stretched across the spine of the book. I also taped that strip of yarn down to the spine to ensure that it would stay out of the way once I began wrapping the main yarn from my skein around the middle of the book. 

 starter yarn set up for tassel making

I then proceeded to wrap the yarn from the skein around the book 125 times. The longer string you see hanging down in the middle is where I cut off the skein when I was done wrapping.

The number of times you'll wrap the yarn around your tassel form will depend on the thickness of your yarn and the size of the tassel you're going for. Be sure to keep your yarn in and around the same area of your book, or form. In other words, don't wrap the yarn from one side of your form to the other. You want to wrap over and over in the same area.

tight yarn knot on top of DIY tassel

2. Once you complete wrapping the yarn around the book and cutting it off from the skein, remove the tape from the individual piece of yarn along the spine and use it to tie a tight knot at the top of the wrapped yarn (creating your hanging yarn). Then tie another tight knot on top of that.

I think it's really important to make that top knot super tight, so if you need someone else to help you by holding down the strip of yarn so that you can tie a tight knot, then so be it. (I do that with Christmas presents!) I believe the tighter the knot, the nicer your tassel will look.

3. Now carefully slide the whole thing off the book (or your tassel form), doing your best to keep it all pretty much intact, without getting tangled, as seen above. 

tassel yarn being cut with orange scissors

4. Now hold the wrapped "circle" of yarn in one hand as taut as you can with the knotted section at the bottom and use your scissors to cut straight across the top of it. Don't worry if it's not perfectly straight across, you will trim it all later. 

You'll be left with this.

5. Fold the whole thing back together. You'll end up with what I like to call a messy ghost. Do your best to fold it over in half, and don't worry if it seems a bit messy -- you'll be trimming the stray pieces of yarn at the end.

6. Next, wrap a new length of yarn (2-3 yards is probably enough) once around at the the top and tie a tight knot. Then take each piece of yarn (one on the right, one on the left) and put them behind the neck and then bring them back around to the front. Do this as many times as you want and then tie the whole thing off fairly tightly, essentially creating the "neck" portion to your tassel which will create the "body" at the top.

The number of times you wrap the yarn around it will depend on how thick you want the neck to be. And the location of the neck will depend on where you want it to be -- either higher or lower, it's up to you based on how you want your tassels to look. 

Here's one of my tassels after I wrapped the yarn around a number of times (probably around 5-6 times) to create the neck. You can see that it looks a bit messy with the final knot visible. If the knot bothers you I share a secret for making it disappear below.


7. (Optional) To make the knot "disappear", you have to slide the crochet hook upwards and under the "neck" you just created. Take the double strand you've been left with after tying off your knot and wrap it around the hook from behind, then continue to wrap it around the front, grabbing it with the hook. Gently pull the hook under the neck and straight down (making the knot disappear) and you'll be left with your double strand hanging down the front and you can then trim it to match the length of all your other tassel strands.

Above you can see the neck I created on the left looks a bit unkempt, while the one on the right (where I got rid of the knot) looks a bit more "finished." 

two blue yarn tassels

8. Trim your tassels to make them as even as possible. Mine aren't perfect, but once they're hanging on the blanket it's not really noticeable.

plastic embroidery needle threaded with blue yarn

9. Now it's time to sew the tassels onto the blanket. Thread your embroidery needle with the two strands that make up your hanging cord.

blue paid chenille blanket with embroidery needle pushed into it

10. Insert the needle into a corner of the blanket, pushing it through from the front side of the blanket to the back. This will ensure that your tassel will look like it's hanging from the front of the blanket, as it should. 

NOTE: Depending on the material your blanket is made out of (chenille, actual knit like an afghan, cotton, polyester, wool, etc.) it might be difficult for you to use an embroidery needle. I knew when I got this Nautica blanket that the chenille was going to be forgiving and would allow me to push an embroidery needle through it to attach my tassels. So be aware of this issue before you choose a blanket. It would seem that actual knitted throws would be the easiest type since they would have looser stitches that you could easily push your needle through.

11. After pushing the needle threaded with the hanging cords through the corner of the blanket, remove the needle and tie the two ends off like you would any other knot. I actually knotted mine five times to be safe, knowing that sometimes tassels can take a beating depending on who is using the blanket! These knots will most likely be small enough that no one will notice them after you cut off any excess yarn.

And now you have achieved tassels!

French bergere chair with pumpkin pillow and navy blue throw

 I started out styling the blanket in the living room.

two navy blue yarn tassels

 salvaged mantel fall decor vintage laundry basket throw blanket pillows

Then I moved it upstairs to the master bedroom. And yes, that's a salvaged fireplace mantel! My sweet husband surprised me with it quite a while ago and I'm finally getting around to styling it and sharing it! A full post on how we restored it and set it up is in the works.  I can tell it's going to become a great spot to showcase some of my favorite things.

three blue yarn tassels hanging over side of basket and blue striped pillow

Like this tassled blanket!

faux white brick fireplace mantel fall decor

I'm also in love with this vintage laundry basket I picked up at an estate sale. It's proven great for storing pillows and throw blankets. If you like that idea you don't need to wait to find a vintage laundry basket like I did -- you can always buy a rope wicker laundry basket with a removable liner instead. 

blue throw and blue pillows in basket

wing chair tassel throw salvaged mantel fall decor

As you can see, I've been having fun decorating my new mantel for fall in the master bedroom.

white birch logs in basket mantel lanterns pumpkins  French mirror

I'm super happy with my newly-tasseled throw and know at least one person in the house who will be using it for naps! (Don't ask me how I know.)

Well, that's it until next time, friends!

 I hope you enjoyed reading
How To Make Yarn Tassels
For A Cozy Fall Throw
 and that I've inspired you in some way. 
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blue DIY tassels baskets pillows with buttons
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Leave a Comment!

Artsy VaVa said...

Great tutorial. I've been making tassels using twine & I need a little more practice. Your instructions are going to help!

My thrift store addiction said...

These are perfect Kathleen, and they elevate your throw to the ultimate coziness!

Junkchiccottage said...

Hello sweet friend. This is such a great idea. Makes the simple throws look a little cuter and cozier. Happy New Week. xoxo

Kathy said...

Great tutorial! I have been making tassels your way for years, but I never knew the trick of winding the yarn multiple times around the neck! I usually did it once and fingecombed the ends into the body (I love slinging those new terms around; thanx!). Picked up a homemade table runner with 3 pointed ends on each end this week and I want to make embrodiery floss tassels to jazz it up. I cut the floss in half, use 1 string for the cord, another for the neck; if you leave the 2 labels on, it is slick!

mjmaterazo said...

I love all of it Kathleen! The tassels are perfect for the blanket and the tutorial is super. I am thinking of a project to make some tassels. You've inspired me. And that mantel! Swoon. Your hubby did good. Can't wait to see the post.

XO- Maryjo

Theresa @ Shoestring Elegance said...

Thank you for joining us at the Everything Fall 2020 party. I am featuring your post today in my post 15 of the Best Fall Decorating Ideas to Turn Your Home Into an Autumn Escape at Shoestring Elegance.

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