Luxurious 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!
- Tassel Template
- 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.
2. 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.
4. 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.
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.
8. 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.
9. 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.