Making a Leather Cord Tassel

I thought I’d share a small idea, and my first attempt, at making a leather tassel. Hopefully, you’ll significantly improve on it!

The purpose for this tassel is a durable, and decorative hanger for a clothes brush I keep in my hallway, for coats & everyday clothes. It’s handy to brush something in the moments between seasonal (or needed) cleanings.

I have a similar brush for suits, that has a silk tassel. So I was looking to mimic this - but with more durable material. I’ll briefly describe the process below with step-by-step photos. Then discuss ways I’d improve it. Here’s how it ended up:

MATERIALS

I choose leather cord from this etsy shop:

There are a wide diversity of colors, textures and diameters of leather cord available.

I used the diameters:

0.5 mm for the wrapping (~1 yard)
1 mm for the tassels (~ 2 yards)
2 mm for the main cord (~16")

Silk buttonhole thread & thick saddle maker’s linen thread

METHODS

I’ll briefly describe each photo, below.

I judged the overall length of the main loop from the silk version. Sewed through one cord, keeping the knot on the inside, then wrapped it and knotted it through an end of the wrap.

I added a 2nd section of 2mm cord to reinforce the main stress point when hanging. This 2nd section, in the end, stands off of the tassel protecting it from abrasion when hanging on a hook.

I pre cut the tassels from 1mm cord, folded each in half and gently mashed them in place with a leather mallet.

I was unsure how to arrange the tassels. Hanging them directly inside the loop resulted in awkward bunching. I settled on making a loop knot out of linen thread (shown above).

Then suspended the end of the 2mm main loop (awkwardly, but effectively with a small clamp and stack of books), arranged the tassels evenly inside the linen loop, raised this into the main loop, and tightened the linen.

I secured the tassels with blue painters tape, and removed the linen loop.

I then wrapped and secured the tassels with linen thread, sewing through the 2mm sections inside.

The 0.5mm cord was threaded through a blunt yarn needle, knotted and secured on the inside of the tassels, wrapped around the outside, then drawn inside the tassel and knotted.

Here’s the finished tassel.

Lastly, here’s the tassel in place next to the original silk version.

FUTURE IMPROVEMENTS

  • Use linen instead of silk thread (I just didn’t have any on hand).
  • Use another yard of 1mm cord for a thicker tassel
  • Use thicker 2.5 or 3mm cord for the main loop.
  • Explore different ways to make the tassel. One way would be making the tassel as a barrel, with the main loop drawn up through and secured by knotting it to stick in the barrel. This is a method used with drapery, and other large tassels. Then secure the tassel to the loop with hidden stitching. I’m certain you can devise a more clever, and artful way of arranging the tassel strands (please comment to show me how!).
  • Devise a more clever way to protect the tassel when hung on a hook.
  • Consider different widths, or subtly similar colors in the tassel strands for visual effect.