If you've been visiting me here for a while now, you know this is not my first leather tassel rodeo. I made these earrings last winter and this triple-decker fringe necklace in the spring and learned a thing or two while doing so.
No. 1: Don't try to make your own leather lacing by cutting strips of leather freehand when you can just buy yards and yards of pre-cut leather lace for cheap at Michaels. No. 2: Don't leave your tassels just hanging in the wind, so to speak. I did that with that last necklace I made instead of drawing the strands of each tassel all together with a bit of embroidery floss. They look much more neat this way.
My inspiration for this necklace came from this clipping I pulled out of a Free People catalog a long time ago. I can't find the necklace online anywhere so here's my scanned picture. (Speaking of Free People, I am so stoked that I won this Free People dress today from my favorite fashion blogger Folake Huntoon!!! I never win anything. This is miraculous. Also, I'm not saying Folake is my favorite just because I won. See. She is legitimately my real-life style icon.)
Here's what I used:
- small pliers
- a couple yards of embroidery floss in the color of your choice
1) Cut 10" strips of leather lace. You'll need three of these strips to make one tassel. My necklace has seven tassels on it, so that means I cut twenty-one 10" pieces. To create a tassel, fold three pieces in half and wrap one end of your headpin around the fold, using your pliers to secure the headpin and clamp it to the leather.
2) Add your beads to an end of the headpin that you've left sticking out. Then loop your headpin so that you can use it to secure the tassel to your necklace. Repeat until you've created as many tassels as you want to be on your necklace. Then use a small piece of embroidery floss to gather all the strands together and knot tightly.
3) Repeat until you've made as many tassels as you want.
4) Begin winding a length of leather lace around your embroidery hoop. You can just throw away the inner ring that comes with your hoop. We just need the big outer ring with the hardware on it. Wrap lace tightly until you come to the end. Secure with a knot. The wooden hoop is naturally nice and stretchy and fits easily and comfortably around the neck without needing to be secured with a screw (or anything) to stay put.
5) Then double-knot each tassel to your 'collar' with some more embroidery floss. Clip all loose threads of embroidery floss, and you're done!