Spice Up Your Mantel With a Plaid Tassel Garland

Lead Image
What You'll Need
Large or extra large plaid shirt
Twine or string
8.5x11 printer paper
You don’t have to spend a fortune to decorate your home this Christmas. Repurpose those old plaid pants or an outgrown shirt into home decor in a few simple steps. You’ll be amazed how frumpy clothes can transform into a conversation piece with a little effort. When you have your guests over for the holidays, these tassels are sure to be the center of attention.

Step 1 - Measure Tassel Material

Paper on a plaid shirt with scissors.

Cut out sections of material from your plaid shirt, using your printer paper for size reference. It shouldn’t be difficult to cut straight once you get started because plaid has lines you can follow with your scissors. Using a large or extra large shirt, you should be able to make 7 or 8 tassels. If you would like more tassels, use a second, alternate plaid shirt for a more varied look. When you finish this step, you should have several rectangles the size of your printer paper. These will later become your tassels.

Step 2 - Cut the Tassel

The beginnings of a plaid tassel.

Take one of the sections of material and fold it in half, lengthwise, to produce the longest possible tassels. Cut half-inch strips all the way down both sides of the material, leaving an inch in the middle that connects them. The easiest way to do this step is by keeping the material folded and cutting through both layers. If you use this technique, don’t forget to leave one inch uncut at the fold. Don’t be worried if the cuts are not consistently a half-inch because they will be intertwined in a later step and mistakes will be difficult to notice. This step is likely the one that will take up the bulk of your time. With sharper scissors, this step goes by much faster.

Step 3 - Roll the Tassel

The beginning of a rolled tassel.

Unfold your material and lay it flat with the connecting fabric strip in the middle, and the cut strips out to the sides. Roll the fabric tightly with your fingers down the middle section. Make sure to straighten the strips on each side as you go to keep them from tangling while you roll them. If they tangle, they tend to fray excessively when you fix them.

Step 4 - Tie the Tassel

A tied tassel.

Fold the rolled tassel in half. You can hold the fold using your knees to keep the fabric in place. Make a loop by tying a knot with twine about an inch down from the fabric fold. Cut the excess string away with scissors. This completes one tassel.

Step 5 - Create Additional Tassels

Repeat steps 2-4 to create your remaining tassels.

Step 6 - Add Finishing Touches

A tassel garland laying on a wood floor.

String all the tassels on one longer piece of twine. The length of this twine will depend on where you plan to hang your garland. If the twine is difficult to push through with your fingers, use a pencil to thread it through the loop. Tie circular loops at each end of the twine so you can hang it up.

Step 7 - Display Your Masterpiece

Hang the completed tassel garland on your wall or mantel using your hammer and nails. Place two nails in the area of your choice, at the same height. Then, place one of the twine loops on each nail. Space out the tassels evenly along the twine so they aren’t so bunched up. Your masterpiece is complete.