How to Make a Washi Tape Tassel Necklace Design

I’m fascinated with using traditional elements in my jewelry but trying to create them from non-traditional materials. When Beadwork announced tassels as the August/September 2018 Fast & Fabulous category, I went to my local hobby store and looked in every aisle for inspiration for unique tassel materials. I fell in love with the many colors and patterns of washi tape and decided to see if I could create a washi tape tassel for a necklace design.

Creating the Design

I already had a non-traditional fastener in mind: tiny key chain carabiner closures from Home Depot. I had five of them, in different colors. When I opened my box of ceramic beads from Suzie Q Beads, I discovered that two of my flower connector beads perfectly matched two of the carabiner colors. I also thought the flower connectors would look great with tassels made from matching washi tape.

washi tape tassel
I’d never done a collection before, but when I saw how well the ceramic flowers matched two of the clasps, I decided to use the other three clasps in matching necklaces as well. I wrote to Susie and included a photo of the flowers I had and the other clasps. I crossed my fingers that she would take on my custom color order.

Susie is amazing! She agreed right away and soon replied with photos showing the flowers she had created. When the flower connectors arrived, I was even more in awe of how perfectly they matched the clasps.

Next, I needed to find coordinating gemstones. I chose smoky quartz ovals for the black flower, star-cut garnets for the purple flower, faceted ruby jade rounds for the maroon flower, star-cut labradorite for the light blue flower, and carnelian coins for the peach flower.

washi tape tassel

I used eye pins to make gemstone beaded chain sections for each necklace. I used a jump ring to attach each flower connector to a length of chain. I then attached the clasps to the chain with jump rings. Each necklace measures about 19 ½”.

Making the necklaces was easy. Finding matching washi tape to create the tassels was a bit more challenging. At first I drove myself crazy trying to match the ceramic flowers to the washi tape I found online. Back to my local hobby stores, where I found all the washi tape I needed.

washi tape tassels

Making the Tassels

To create the tassels, I measured 10″ of each of the tapes and folded them in half, completely covering the sticky side. (Alternatively, you could cut two 5″ strips of washi tape and stick them to each other to create a finished 5″ strip.) The width of each tape was slightly different, but I used scissors to cut narrow strips until I had 10 strips of each color. I folded the strips in half and used a length of wire to create a wrapped loop. I fed the free end of the wire through a small bead cap and created another wrapped loop to attach the tassel to the flower connector.

washi tape tassels

The more detailed the tape, the more interesting the tassel was. However, I felt that the washi tape tassels needed a little bit more to complete the look. I attached the tassels to the flower connectors with etched jump rings. I then wired matching silk strands to the etched jump rings, next to the washi tape tassels. I also used leftover bits of chains to attach a coordinating bead dangle next to each tassel.

washi tape tassel

A Finished Tassel Garden

I created non-traditional tassels from colorful washi tape to match some beautiful artisan ceramic flowers. The end result was a lovely tassel garden. And it all started with a handful of colorful carabiner clasps, an artist who was willing to work with me in creating matching flowers, and having fun playing with matching washi tape. The world is full of unique materials just waiting to be turned into jewelry!

Found objects are another non-traditional material that’s easy to incorporate into jewelry. To learn about using found objects in your jewelry creations, see the following articles:

—Rejetta Sellers

Find more tassel necklace designs in the Interweave Store, as well as more washi tape projects!


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