Recently I’ve been doing some speaking (in real life) to groups (of real people) about Upcycling, Refashioning and Re-imagining old stuff into new stuff. It’s been a great experience to share examples of my work and inspire others to give old objects new uses. The feedback was overwhelmingly positive and it was very encouraging to meet enthusiastic people wanting to consume less and improvise more.
In one of the workshops I taught attendees how to make these decorative tassels from old unwanted t-shirts, they take about 15 minutes and you only need a pair of sharp scissors. Read on for instructions
You will need:
Old, heading for the bin t-shirt (holes are ok, I’ve chosen an old hi-vis work shirt to take advantage of neon fabric)
-Cut bottom of t-shirt (below sleeves) into strips of about 1-2cm wide.
-Cut away any seams.
-Separate 3 strips and braid into a rope. If you want a longer tie make 2 ropes.
-Keep 2-3 strips aside for binding.
-Lay remaining strips out neatly.
-Tie rope with a firm knot in center of strips then fold strips down.
-For longer tie, knot 2 ropes together and position knot in center of strips then tie off. (strips will wrap around and hide knot)
-To bind, take a strip and pull it gently, the jersey fabric will curl and form a cord.
-Tie a knot with cord around body of tassel and wrap tightly hiding end.
-Continue wrapping then tuck end in with tip of scissors. To create a larger bound area, repeat with another cord strip.
-Tie ends of rope ties together.
-Trim to neaten.
-Use any remaining part of t-shirt for cleaning rags.
So easy, fun and look pretty trendy too!
One of the workshop attendees was a teacher and pointed out how great the project was for kids to make to help develop fine motor skills, as well as opening up conversation about upcycling and fast fashion.
Here are some more tassel project ideas:
-Make several in bright colours and string them together to make a decorative garland for a party.
-Need a tween party activity idea? Get the kids to each bring an old t-shirt, they get to take a tassel home as a party favour!
-Mix and match coloured t-shirts or, include ribbon or yarn for extra texture.
-Use them as curtain tie backs, hang on a door knob or anywhere that needs a bit more tassely fun.
-Make several to give as Christmas gifts.
So liberate those t-shirts from the rag pile and get tassel making. Where will you hang your tassel?