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Scarlet Calliope Tassel Tutorial 1

Ever since I learned how to solder from Sally Jean Alexander, I’ve experienced a world of whimsical ideas revolving around hot metal.

I’d like to share with you how to make a soldered tassel using Lovebug Creations Rumple Ribbon. Even if you don’t solder, the first couple of steps can be used to make a tassel and I’ll explain how to finish it.

Tassel Making Supplies

  • Lovebug Creations Rumple Ribbon
  • Wire – 28 gauge works well for this
  • Jump ring
  • Lineman Pliers
  • Copper Foil Tape
  • Soldering Iron and your soldering supplies
  • Solder – If the tassel will be used for jewelry, use a lead-free solder
  • Lobster claw jewelry clasp

Ready? Begin.

I pledge allegiance, to the crafting gods….

Scarlet Calliope Tassel Tutorial 2

1. Gather your favorite Lovebug Creations Rumple Ribbons together and cut them twice as long as you want your tassel to be.

Scarlet Calliope Tassel Tutorial 3

2. Cut another piece of ribbon about half as long as the others and tuck it underneath the first group, in a perpendicular fashion. (I like big words and I cannot lie!)

Scarlet Calliope Tassel Tutorial 4

3. Tie a simple overhand knot.*  After I tied the first knot, I took both ends around to the other side and did another overhand knot so that it would hold firmly and the knot wouldn’t show on the outside.

*  Even though I was on the sailing team in high school, that doesn’t necessarily mean I was paying attention to how to tie knots. If you were goofing off like me, and don’t know an overhand knot from a granny knot, check out this knot reference.

Scarlet Calliope Tassel Tutorial 5

4. Are you ready to play with wire?  Take a piece of wire, about 4 inches long, and bend it in half. Add a jump ring to the wire and allow it to fall to the middle/crimped part. Hold the crimp and jump ring in your hand near the “head” of the tassel and begin wrapping the wire around the ribbon about a half inch from the top of the tassel “head”. Keep wrapping until you run out of wire. Use your pliers to flatten the wire against the ribbon, you don’t want it sticking out in the next step.

Scarlet Calliope Tassel Tutorial 6

5. Soldered: Now you’re ready to begin wrapping the tassel with Copper Foil Tape. Begin by covering the wire. Once you have that covered, add a piece of tape to cover the very top part. The tape needs to go from one side of the tassel to the other. Then, wrap another piece of tape over any exposed ribbon on the “head” of the tassel. Now you’re ready to solder. Hold the tassel either in a pair of pliers or in a towel so that your fingers are protected from hot solder and your soldering iron! Solder away!

Not Soldered: If you are not going to solder, you can cover the wire with a piece of ribbon. Cut a piece that is slightly larger than what you need to go all the way around twice. Use a small dot of glue from your hot glue gun to hold the end of the ribbon in place. You can alternatively use a drop of Fast Grab Tacky Glue and hold it until it stays in place by itself. If you’re using hot glue, please do not hold it in place with your fingers! I’ve seen products out there to protect your fingers, but I just use the eraser end of a pencil to hold things in place until the hot glue cools.

Scarlet Calliope Tassel Tutorial 1

6. Attach a lobster claw jewelry clasp to your jumpring. Now you can attach it to the bottom of a pendant, or anything else that needs a pretty tassel!

Pretty Little Things by Sally Jean Alexander

If you have questions about how to solder, check out Sally Jean Alexander’s online “Soldering for Virgins” class or her book, Pretty Little Things: Collage Jewelry, Trinkets and Keepsakes. Sally Jean is the original artist who started the soldered jewelry trend so if you want to learn, have fun and make beautiful, artistically-inspired soldered jewelry and projects, you’ll want to learn from the best!

Thank you for visiting today and please let me know what you think about this tutorial in the comments!


Christine Barker