Creating Ornamental Tassels


Simple Himmeli Mobiles


Lesson Info

Creating Ornamental Tassels

So is one optional way to ornament you're heavily mobile. I want to show you how to do basic tassel construction we want to end up with some yarn tassels something along this line to suspend from the lower elements on the mobile it's actually a really simple process and you're going to want to start by picking out some yarn to use you honestly can use any type of yarn you'd like be it wool cotton polyester I happen to really like this very thin three ply mexican yarn and the tassel that I'm going to demonstrate I'm going to do in a little bit of an ombre hughes, so I've selected three different colors of pink to create the tassel from now. One of the tools that I use in creating the tassels is a many clipboard you can find this at any office supply store. It just makes construction really easy if you don't have one of these not a problem, cut yourself a piece of cardboard that is the length of the tassel you want to create so I can create longer tassels by wrapping them, wrapping the y...

arn lengthwise on my clipboard. Or I can create a shorter tassel by turning it to the side and wrapping the yarn along the wif I'm actually going to create one of the longer tassels for the demonstration, so I'm going to begin with one of my colors of thread and I'm going to clip the end of that yarn underneath the clip on the clipboard and then I'm going to be in wrapping it around the length of my board now I had mentioned before it's sometimes nice toe have your yarn in one of ah small bowl just to kind of keep it stationary otherwise it tends to jump around your work surface and end up running away across the room so you can make your tassel as large or as small as you'd like for the size tassel I'm going to do today I'm going to rap about fifteen times in each of these three colors so wrapping it around that's one rotation so one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven, twelve, thirteen, fourteen, fifteen down to the end gonna take my scissors and just clip that off I'm going to make sure that all of my ends are at the base um of course I'm holding the clipboard upside down so what? The base is actually the top where the clip end of your clipboard is going to make sure that each time I cut the threat it's down at the bottom because what we're going to be doing is tying all of the threads together at the top and that's going to be the top of the tassel the point at which we add a hanging loot to suspend it from the mobile so now I'm going to set that color of yarn aside and I'm going to move on to the next one you'll note I only really clicked that first tale of the yarn into the clipboard it's not necessarily not necessary for the subsequent ones so I'm going to take it I'm going to make sure that I start at the same end I'm going to wrap it just adjacent and fifteen times again so that's one, two, three, four what she see it jumped right out of my bowl five six seven eight nine ten eleven twelve, thirteen, fourteen and fifteen again ending at the clip end of the clipboard is where I'm going to sniff it gonna set that one aside and then grabbed my third color of course doing the tassels and an hombre who was completely optional these look great and solid colors you could mix many different kinds of yarn together this is really a good opportunity to play so now I'm wrapping the third color of the yarn adjacent that's two three four find six seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven, thirteen, fourteen and fifteen and then we're gonna go ahead set that off and set my arm to the side now I've got all this lovely arms wrapped around my clipboard I'm going to slowly start to slide it off to the edge one of the reasons I love doing this on a clipboard is the clipboard edges air around it makes it a little bit easier. It gives a little less resistance if you kind of slide the yarn off to the side, so I punched it up together. Now I'm going to take one of my yarns, and I'm going tio, I'm going to cut a piece. Uh oh, this looks like it's about two, two and a half feet long, I'm going to slip it underneath the fibers and again, remember, this is going to be our top end, so I'm going to tie it in a very loose not this is really just to keep all the strands together at this point, then I'm going to unclip it from the base, and we're going to slide everything off of clipboard and set that aside. So now I'm going to go back to this two hanging ties, and I'm going to tighten that up at the top, and then I'm going to double knot it, it's now you've got this lovely loop of yarn hanging from a top suspension piece. I'm now going to take my scissors, and I'm going to cut along this bottom portion don't worry about it being even a tw this point, because we're going to go back and give it a little hair cut, give it a trim um, you can see you've got a pretty nice base for your tassel at this point I do find that in order to keep the fibers in the strands relatively even it's nice to have a comb on hand and what I'll do is I'll just lay it down on my work surface and really sort of gently run it through you might find a few loose strands you might find a few loops at the bottom of your tassel thatyou hadn't separated that gives you an opportunity to do that, so if straightened it out in a smooth it down with my hand now I'm going to re employ my clipboard again and I'm going to take my hanging end and I'm going to clip it under the clip so I've given myself about an inch here you don't want a clipper right up to the point because what that does is it causes the tassel to sort of extend out at an odd angle and our next step will not go correctly. So what we want to do now is create the neck of the tassel and that's the portion sort of binds all of those strands together and creates the head of the tassel I'm going to do that in my hottest pink shade and what I'm going to do is I'm going take my bowl next to my tassel I'm going to create a piece that's at least as long as the length of my tassel and then I'm going to double that sniff that off, and then I'm going to slide it underneath my tassel and here's what you want to dio you want to make sure that on for me, it's my left hand, you could do it either your left to your right! You want to make sure you've got a tail that extends at least to the bottom of your tassel, and then you're going to take it and I'm going toe you can create the head of your tassel at any length. I usually go for about an inch inch and a half, and then we're just going to tie a simple knot around the side and then I'm going to double knot that nice and tight. Now what I'm left with is one tale that's long enough that I can just allow it to hang down and it's going to disguise itself and become part of the base of the tassel. I'm not going to unclip it from my clipboard and take the remaining tale, and I'm going to really tightly wind it around my initial tie, and this is just going to help sort of define the neck a little bit better uh, and it gives it a nice finishing look, so the way I do is I hold in my hand. So I've got my my string that I'm going to suspend the tassel within one end the base of the tassel on my other hand and I'm just really tightly going to wrap this around the neck side by side you can do this as many times as you'd like I usually rapid anywhere from like five to eight times until you get a nice sort of neck that's maybe my would say that's about a quarter to a half inch that I've wrapped around you can see it just took a second to do that and now to finish it off I'm just going to tie another little not slipped that through tie it nice and tight then this piece is gonna hang down again my second tale is gonna hang down and disguise itself in the body of shi tassel now I did a pretty short tie on that neck um but it gives you a general idea of how that's constructed you can wrap it more and get it along a little longer and I will show you some samples that I've done that are like that now to finish it off I kind of want to trim the base of the tassels so it's even and there are a couple of ways you can do this you can depending on the type of yarn you have, you can kind of group it put a piece of scotch tape around it toe hold it, sort of in a tube, take your pair of scissors and snip right through it. You're going to get a pretty clean cut that way because I'm often working on a cutting. Matt is my work surface. What I'm just going to do is I'm going to lay this down, I'm going to take a ruler, extend it! I don't know about a half inch above my fringe end of the tassel just so that every piece of yarn is going to be underneath my ruler, and then I'm going to take my rotary cutter these air often used in cutting fabric, but I have found that for trimming the tassels that actually works really nicely. It's called a rotary cutter because the cutting blade is a wheel shape and it extends out so I can just press firmly down with the ruler on top of the tassel and then run this simply across, and it gives it a really nice and even trim on the bottom. So I have worked ahead, and I've created some additional ones, and we're now going to tie these onto the base of our mobile, so I've gone ahead and spent some additional time creating a few more tassels toe hang off the base of the mobile that we constructed I have done. One that is a little bit longer, like the sample we showed just a moment ago, I took a little more time on this one, and I created a little bit of a longer neck. You can see, I wrapped it a little bit more heavily it's, probably three quarters of an inch of wrapping their I'm going to use the longest one to suspend from the center of the mobile. When you're using those many clipboards, the longest tassel, you can probably get us somewhere between seven and eight inches. When you are wrapping it widthwise around the clipboard, you end up with the tassel that's a little bit closer to five inches in length. We left the er, the tale ends of the arm that we used to tie the tassel together at the top and he's going to be perfect now for stringing them onto our mobile elements. So I'm going to go ahead and start on one of the triangle's, one of the diamonds rather tie that on there and again, you wanted to be snug, but not incredibly tight. You're not going to get a cz much movement on the tassel, so it's not as much of a concern, it's really just you want to make sure that it's secure and not going to come loose, and then I'm just going to go ahead and trim those off really tightly, and then I'm going to move to the opposite side, and I'm going to tie I on our second tassel. Now, if you're working with a really thick yarn to create your tassels, you may need to rather than tie it on with the yarn that you used to create the tassel, you may want to return to that button and craft thread that we used, string it through the head of the tassel and use that to tie it on to the elements. If you use a yarn that is a little bit too chunky, you might end up with a little bit too much of a visible, not at the top of the tassel. Once it's tied on again, just kind of trimming off those threads, telling on a third one, coming off his tales and onto our fourth short tassel. I think they really add something nice, especially when you do them in a coordinating color um, like we discussed before, there is really something beautiful and minimal about the heavily mobiles. Um, depending on your personal taste, they may end up being a little too stark for you, and this is kind of a way to sort of warm them up by adding a fiber element to them, so now I've got these guys on the base and kind of shake out the bottom is a little bit once they're suspended, too. You can often see if there are some uneven bits on the bottom of the tassel that need to be trimmed. This is an opportunity to do that, and then we're going to take our final large tassel, and I'm going to suspend it from that center elements. Now, if you were creating himal ee out of the longer length of the straws, you might want to make a proportionately larger tassel to suspend from them, in which case you could probably employ the use of an actual regular size clipboard in order to wrap around and create them. So I think that looks pretty good. I'm pretty happy with that. I really like the way that the the color combination goes together. If I had done this where the pink straws were at the base, I might consider doing the mom or the the tassels in an orange shade, just a sort of compliment, so I didn't have the same color side by side, but that is how you then it here, your tassels to the base of your family mobile.

Class Description

Himmeli mobiles are fashionable, versatile, and surprisingly easy to make! Learn how to assemble these on-trend accent pieces in Simple Himmeli Mobiles with Robert Mahar.

Robert Mahar is an arts and crafts professional who breaks imaginative do-it-yourself projects into easy-to-follow steps. In this class you’ll learn how to: 

  • Build the basic cube form
  • Fashion variations on the cube form
  • Construct the hanging structure
  • Assemble the mobile elements
  • Create ornamental embellishments 

Robert will share this history behind the himmeli mobile and offer tips on the variety of materials you can use to assemble one. 

Learn how to make a traditional mobiles that can be styled into elegant focal points in Simple Himmeli Mobiles with Robert Mahar.



I'm not a crafter but watched this out of curiosity and did not even know what a Himmell mobile was. I have to say I've become a Robert Mahar fan. He explains some of the history behind the Himmell mobiles and makes things simple yet goes into details and gives tips that make for a very neat and lovely and fun art piece. Love the idea of making one of these to hang plants! I will keep an eye out for more of Robert Mahar classes as I love his instruction.