Stretch bracelets, the starting point for many novice jewelry makers, are simple and versatile. It can be easy to forget about the technique or push it aside in favor of more complicated designs but they are a quick, easy project suitable for all skill levels. Don’t be put off by their simple assembly because the possibilities are limitless.
In this blog post, I have paired a simple stretch bracelet with tassels made with the brand new Tassel Maker Tool from Beadalon. By using fun beads and quality accents, it’s really easy to glam up it up. I used a bead bail (a bead with an attached loop) from TierraCast to be able to add some charms to the design.
Tassel Maker Tool by Beadalon
Assorted Beads (8mm fire polished Czech Glass from Preciosa)
Small Silver Beads (TierraCast Spacers, TC0421-AS and TC0425-AS)
Bead Bail by TierraCast (TC5509-AS)
1mm Stretch Cord (1CH212-5)
Jump Rings (TC0020-RP and TC0018-RP)
G-S Hypo Cement
Cotton Tassel Cord – Assorted Colors
TierraCast Bead Cones – Optional
TierraCast Charms – Optional
24ga Wire – Optional
First up, I am going to give you a brief run down on the Tassel Maker Tool. Tassels are pretty easy to make the “old school” way aka wrapping the cord around your fingers but can be hard to make in uniform sizes and lengths. The tool is completely adjustable making tassels from about 1-3 inches. My favorite feature of the tool are the little suction cups on the bottom that will attach to any flat, smooth surface. The tool comes with fully photographed instructions (four pages of them!) but I wanted to detail them here as well. I have only demonstrated one way of finishing the tassel, but you can also use a bead cone to finish them up as well. As you can see in the picture above, I did make a couple using the cone method but did not photograph them here. Not to worry, Beadlon shows you how in their instruction booklet.
1) Start by securing your Tassel Maker Tool to a flat surface. (Image 1)
2) Position the posts to the size of your choice and secure the end of the cotton tassel cord around the back side of the post. Hold it in place by tightening the wing nut. (Image 2)
3) Crank the handle until you are satisfied with the fullness of your tassel. If you are making a matched pair, be sure to count the number of rotations. (Images 3-4)
4) Cut the cord from the spool leaving several inches and then loosen the wing nut and release the other end of the cord. Note: my version differs slightly from the instructional booklet. Tie the two ends of the cord together around one half of the tassel. Remove from the tool.(Images 5-6)
5) Add a jump ring to the looped cord. (Image 8)
6) With a piece of cord, wrap several around the tassel just under the jump ring and tie a double knot. Secure with G-S Hypo Cement. Trim ends and set aside. (Images 9-12)
Stretch Bracelet Steps:
1) String beads and spacers onto stretch cord in your desired pattern, adding the bail bead last. When using 8mm beads, as shown, you will need approximately 24-26 beads. (Images 1-2)
2) Tie a surgeon’s knot into the cord pulling very taught. I like to use a thicker stretch cord and it can be a little more difficult to knot securely. (Images 3-5)
3) Add glue to the knot and slip the knot into the bail bead. Allow to dry before trimming the excess cord. (Images 6-8)
4) Using a jump ring, attached the finished tassel (see above) to the loop of the bail bead. (Images 9-11)
5) Leave as is or add additional charms and/or beads (see examples below) if desired. (Image 12)
Supplies to make the Mint Sorbet Stretch Bracelet shown in the tutorial above can be found HERE.
I love the ease and consistency that the tool allows to create perfect tassels every time. I love using tassels in my designs and have featured tassels them blog before (Leather Tassel Necklaces, Seed Bead Tassel Earrings, T-Shirt Bangle Bracelet, and Pearl Tassel Necklace). Tassels are super trendy and it looks like they will be sticking around for a while. They make the perfect accent when you need a pop of color or to add a little bit of texture to your design. Let me know what you think of tassels in the comments below. Will you be purchasing the new Tassel Maker Tool from Beadalon?