Basic Leather Tassel Tutorial

November 02, 2016, 15:03 pm  Posted by Ardi Alspach

CreativeLeatherJewelry_ccvrLuxurious leather never goes out of fashion, and now Christina Anton, owner of Boo and Boo Factory in Chicago, shows how to use leather to create bold, unique jewelry with a modern, architectural touch in her new book, Creative Leather Jewelry (Get your copy here: B&N, Amazon, IndieBound). The book has 21 projects, including layered fringe earrings, a dangling chain triangle necklace, and a geometric cuff bracelet, that are perfect for beginners and any crafter looking to spark their creativity!

Below, Christina has kindly provided our readers with a free basic tutorial on how to make leather tassels that you can use to dress up any of your projects. If you’re looking for jewelry projects that make use of this tassel, check out the dangle tassel earrings, the geometric tassel necklace, or the leather tassel bracelet all included in the book!



  • 1 cutting knife
  • Cutting blades
  • 1 cutting mat
  • 1 disappearing fabric marker
  • 1 ruler
  • Cyanoacrylate glue
  • Leather bond glue


1. Gather all of the materials and tools listed.

Tassel12. Copy shapes A and B from the template on a separate sheet of paper. Then cut out the shapes using a cutting blade or scissors. Note the pink dotted lines that can be used as a guide when measuring tassel cuts.

3. Place shapes A and B on top of the leather and cut around. Shape A is the leather tassel, and shape B is the loop you can use to attach the finished tassel to your project.



tassel34. Using a disappearing fabric marker and a ruler, or the pink dashed lines on the template, make small marks along the bottom edge of the back side of the leather at each 1⁄16 inch (1.5 mm). Marking on the back side prevents the marks from showing on the finished side. The 1⁄16-inch (1.5 mm) marks determine the width of each strand of the tassel. Feel free to make the cuts wider or narrower depending on preference.

5. Again working on the back side of the leather, measure down from the top edge 1⁄4 inch (6 mm), and draw a very light line with the disappearing marker. Along this line make 1⁄16-inch (1.5 mm) marks corresponding to the marks made along the bottom edge.

tassel46. With the ruler, cut parallel, straight lines from the top marks to the bottom marks and through the bottom edge. Make sure not to cut all the way to the top.

7. Repeat to create two or more tassels depending on your need. If the guide marks made from steps 4 and 5 are visible, use a cutting blade to scrape them off.



tassel58. Working on the back side of the leather, align one short end of shape B on the top left edge of the tassel cutout, and use cyanoacrylate glue to adhere. Fold shape B in half to create a loop and glue again. The loop is used to connect the jump ring and ear wire to the tassel. Repeat for the second tassel.




tassel69. On the back side of the leather, spread a narrow band of leather bond glue along the top edge of the tassel cutout stopping 1⁄4 inch (6 mm) from the end. This helps to strengthen the tassel. Hold the top of the loop, and roll tightly to create the tassel. Keep rolling until 1⁄4 inch (6 mm) is left. Add cyanoacrylate glue to the end, and finish rolling. The glue will help keep the tassel from unrolling. Repeat for the second tassel.




Free Project from Marcia DeCoster’s Beads in Motion

August 29, 2013, 15:44 pm  Posted by Lark

You didn’t think we’d leave you hanging without giving away a project from this book, did you?!

Today’s post features instructions for the Swing Dance Earrings from the just-released book Marcia DeCoster’s Beads in Motion.

This sparkly design has a cascade of chains that slide freely within the band connecting them to the ring above, so you can make one side longer if you want.

At the slightest movement, the chains bob around like they're doing a Lindy Hop below your lobes.

Click here for a free PDF of instructions for making these earrings.

And visit Marcia DeCoster’s website to see more images of her work, buy kits, link to her blog, view her workshop calendar and more.


Remember the giveaway I announced on May 15? Well, I’ve drawn names at random and these three happy contestants each won a copy of Soutache: Annabelle Besnard, Elena Mary Siff and Tamara Allison. And the super-lucky person who receives both a book AND the Zenith Bracelet  is…drumroll…Anna Beal. Congratulations! (And thanks to author Anneta Valious for so generously donating this project.)

If you’re feeling blue because you weren’t one of our winners, here’s a little something as consolation: a PDF of free instructions for making the Zenith Bracelet. Hope you have fun! And keep checking back—we’ll have more giveaways.


Celebrate Spring with these Free Flower Projects!

April 15, 2013, 13:23 pm  Posted by Lark

Spring has sprung, friends! Whether you’re planning to learn a new craft this new season or looking to use all the craft supplies you hoarded over the long winter (guilty!!!), celebrate with this bounty of free projects…and a spring sale! Right now (until April 26), all of these featured books are on sale at 50% off their list price at BN.com.

Pretty Stamped Stone from Making an Impression

Blooming Flowers Bracelet from Shrink! Shrank! Shrunk!

Crocheted Leaves & Berries (a bonus project from Crochet Garden)

Easy Paper Marigolds from Paper Blooms

Mushroom Terrarium from Stash Happy: Felt

Lavender Sachets from Heart-Felt Holidays

Here’s a link for more info…and the full list of books in the sale!




The Dragonfly Brooch and Pendant by Christina Orlikowsky, a project in Kristal Wick's book Foxy Epoxy

Saint Valentine’s Day is fast approaching, and the dragonfly has lessons to teach us about love: Live in the moment. See clearly what’s important — what really matters most. Be able to change directions to serve the truest needs of both those you love and yourself in order to have happy, fulfilled, and complete lives.

The dragonfly is an unusual but powerful symbol of love, and Christina Orlikowsky‘s Dragonfly Brooch and Pendant — a project design from Kristal Wick‘s soon-to-be-released book Foxy Epoxy: 44 Great Epoxy Clay Projects with Serious Bling — is the perfect project to make for a loved one, whether a partner, friend, child, or parent.

To download the Dragonfly Brooch and Pendant project as a PDF from the book, click here.

Kristal herself designed many of the projects in Foxy Epoxy, and all rest were created by an all-star lineup of jewelry crafters who have incredible fun working with epoxy clay.

The designers include Christina Orlikowski, Katie Hacker, June Beach, Stephanie Dixon, Jean Campbell, Candie Cooper, Margot Potter, Andrew Thornton, Debbi Simon, Brenda Schweder, Katerina Ilieva, and Debra Saucier!

You can preorder the book on Amazon or BN.com. And please be sure to join Lark Jewelry & Beading on Facebook for pics of great jewelry, notifications about free projects and giveaways, and community news.

And, in case you’re having trouble reading that quote about the book on the thumbnail front cover, it’s from Marcia DeCoster: “Kristal has put together a definitive sourcebook for using epoxy clay with an extensive and diverse collection of projects and a talented group of designers.”

It receives similar praise on the back cover:

From Mark Montano: “This is a gem of a book! If you’re in need of inspiration and ideas for your epoxy clay creations, look no more. Foxy Epoxy features work by today’s top designers and is filled from cover to cover with ideas that will keep you creating until all hours. I promise!”

From Sherry Serafini: “I ADORE this book! I couldn’t put it down! Cover to cover I loved the projects, and the inspiration popped off the pages. I applaud Kristal and all the fabulous designers for taking this medium and making it classy, funky, and so much fun.”

We hope you’ll love Foxy Epoxy, too!








Ray of Light Bangle from Jill Wiseman's Beautiful Beaded Ropes

Often, to give you a sense of a book, we give you a “taste” of it by posting project PDFs from the book. We uploaded a wide assortment of such PDFs for your enjoyment throughout 2012.

Here, all in one place, is an assortment of them that have received the most enthusiastic response of one kind or another. Enjoy them. Share them. And please join Lark Jewelry & Beading on Facebook — and, just as importantly, add us to your Interest Lists so our posts show up in your Newsfeed. We wish you all good things in 2013!

From Janice Berkebile and Tracy Stanley’s Making Wire & Bead Jewelry:
Cascading Spirals Bracelet designed by Tracy Stanley
Wire Pod Pendant designed by Janice Berkebile

Orion Necklace from Necklaceology by Candie Cooper

From Mabeline Gidez’s I Can Right Angle Weave: A Comprehensive Workbook for Beaders:
Lotus Flower Necklace and Earrings
Egyptian Queen Collar 

From Melissa Grakowsky’s I Can Herringbone: A Comprehensive Workbook for Beaders:
Braided Bracelet
Athena Necklace

From Jill Wiseman’s Beautiful Beaded Ropes:
Ray of Light Bangle
French Quarter Lariat
Flirtation Bracelet
Bohemian Earrings 

From Kathy Sheldon’s Shrink! Shrank! Shrunk! Make Stylish Shrink Plastic Jewelry:
Not Your Grandmother’s Cameos designed by Tamara Berg
Blooming Flowers Bracelet designed by Cathe Holden
Origami Plane Earrings designed by Tonia Mo
Cat and Milk Brooch designed by Kathy Sheldon
Paper Plane Ride Necklace designed by Stasia Burrington

Etched Copper Neckpiece from Heat, Color, Set & Fire by Mary Hettmansperger

From Diane Fitzgerald’s Favorite Beading Projects:
Diamond Chain Bracelet
Fortune Teller Beads Necklace
Midnight Snowflakes Necklace 

From Candie Cooper’s Necklaceology: How to Make Chokers, Lariats, Ropes & More:
Orion Necklace
Safe Keeping Necklace
Peace Dreams Necklace

From Sabine Lippert’s Beaded Fantasies:
Purple Rope Necklace
Les Fleurs Necklace

From Japanese Beadwork with Sonoko Nozue:
Sonoko Wave Necklace
Crystal Rose Necklace

Sonoko Wave Necklace from Japanese Beadwork with Sonoko Nozue

From Mary Hettmansperger’s Heat, Color, Set & Fire:
Etched Copper Neckpiece
Liquid Enamel Necklace



Cathe Holden's Blooming Flowers Bracelet in the book Shrink! Shrank! Shrunk!

Shrink! Shrank! Shrunk! Make Stylish Shrink Plastic Jewelry has been among best-selling books in crafts and jewelry for a few months now, and for good reason: The book is packed with 30 bright, fun projects that get the creative juices flowing, along with plenty of clear and easy-to-follow instructions from best-selling author Kathy Sheldon.

We’re pleased to present Cathe Holden’s Blooming Flowers Bracelet project as a PDF: download it by clicking here. (Please be sure to visit designer’s Cathe Holden’s blog Just Something I Made, too!) This project demonstrates yet another aspect of shrink plastic’s creative versatility: how to form the plastic while it’s still hot from the oven into different shapes and dimensions.

Intrigued? Then you’ll want to visit these earlier blog posts and peruse an assortment of project images from the book, as well as grab up these four downloadable projects:


Please join us by “Liking” the Lark Jewelry & Beading Facebook page right now for images of exciting contemporary jewelry and beadwork, giveaways of books and jewelry, and of course plenty more free projects from fantastic designers!


[I originally posted these four downloadable project PDFs on September 19, but these two books are doing so well now that they have released that I thought it'd be a nice idea to bring the post back today for everyone's attention. ~ Ray]

Books in the beautiful, brand new I Can series from Lark Jewelry & Beading offer comprehensive, illustration-rich courses in beadweaving stitches. These books (with the first two releasing officially in November 2012) are accessible for beginners but equally designed for experienced beaders looking for either a refresher class or simply a range of exquisite, inspiring projects from exquisite, inspiring teachers.

Mabeline Gidez

Melissa Grakowsky

We’ve started the series off with two of the best in the business: Mabeline Gidez authored I Can Right Angle Weave, and Melissa Grakowsky wrote I Can Herringbone. The authors made all the projects in the books — more than two dozen each — and the books include galleries of invited artists’ beadwork using the stitch.

As usual, I think the best way to give you a taste of the books is to give you part of the books! So here we go: Right here we’re making available from each book two downloadable project PDFs:

Braided Bracelet from Melissa Grakowsky's I Can Herringbone


Lotus Flower Necklace and Earrings from Mabeline Gidez's I Can Right Angle Weave


Athena Necklace from Melissa Grakowsky's I Can Herringbone



Egyptian Queen Collar from Mabeline Gidez's I Can Right Angle Weave


Please join Lark Jewelry & Beading on Facebook by clicking here. Thank you! You also can find many downloadable beading and jewelry projects (as well as projects in other disciplines) on the Lark blog right here.


Cat and Milk Brooch by Kathy Sheldon in Shrink! Shrank! Shrunk!

Cat and Milk Brooch by Kathy Sheldon in Shrink! Shrank! Shrunk!

What’s more delightful than working — or should I say playing? — with shrink plastic, the iconic crafty material so popular in the ’70s and ’80s that’s enjoying a major resurgence today? Well, cotton candy. Elmo. Seahorses. Mary Tyler Moore.

But I digress. Kathy Sheldon’s Shrink! Shrank! Shrunk!, our brand new shrink-plastic jewelry book (and just how often do I get to say that?), is receiving a wildly enthusiastic early reception, and for good reason: the detailed yet playful instruction and, especially, the 30 great projects from 17 designers make for outstanding creative fun for you by yourself … or to share with your kids!

We previously posted the Origami Plane Earrings project by Tonia Mo from the book on this blog and to extraordinarily positive response: the post has received more than 6,000 StumbleUpon “stumbles.” And here we’re posting three more great project-preview PDFs from Shrink! Shrank! Shrunk! for you to get a good sense of the book and the sometimes whimsical, always beautiful and magical projects it has in store for you:


Not-Your-Grandmother's Cameos by Tamara Berg in Shrink! Shrank! Shrunk!


Paper Plane Ride Necklace by Stasia Burrington in Shrink! Shrank! Shrunk!


You can buy Shrink! Shrank! Shrunk! at your local craft store or on Amazon or BN.com. Have a blast! And please don’t forget to “Like” Lark Jewelry & Beading on Facebook to be informed about many free projects, see pics of fabulous jewelry and beading work being done today, and be alerted to great giveaways of books and sometimes even jewelry. Thank you very much for being a part of our community!


Jill Wiseman’s Beautiful Beaded Ropes is, as I’m writing this blog post, the No. 1 book in Jewelry and in Beading on Amazon.com. Which is pretty awesome, as well as deserved: Jill, it’s a fantastic book.

This earlier post (click here to go there), featuring Jill’s Flirtation Bracelet and Bohemian Earrings as downloadable projects, has so far generated more than 400 Facebook “Likes” and nearly 3,000 StumbleUpon, um, “Stumbles.” (You may think I’m just making that term up, but trust me: I’m an editor.) Which also is awesome, and demands a follow-up: hence this post.

I’m pleased to share with you two more downloadable PDFs from Jill Wiseman’s Beautiful Beaded Ropes. I hope you love them, and that they give you a nice preview of Jill’s beautiful, inspirational, and creative work that’s so well captured in the projects in her new book. Download these PDFs right now:

French Quarter Lariat from Jill Wiseman's Beautiful Beaded Ropes



Ray of Light Bangle from Jill Wiseman's Beautiful Beaded Ropes


Ray of Light Bangle variation from Jill Wiseman's Beautiful Beaded Ropes

Jill Wiseman

Ask for the book at your local bead store or bookstore, or order it online on Amazon or BN.com. Please “Like” the Lark Jewelry & Beading page on Facebook right now to be alerted to more free projects and giveaways and to see digital pics of many fabulous jewelry and beading creations. And be sure to visit Jill Wiseman’s website and blog to learn more about her.

Also, don’t miss our October giveaway of a complete set of signed books in the Beadweaving Master Class series: Click here to learn how to enter. It’s easy! (Honest — after all, I’m an editor. Honesty is in the job description.)