How to Make a Tassel: An Easy Bag Making Tutorial

7/14/2016 05:10:00 PM

Let's make some gorgeous & professional looking hanging tassels to match all of your handmade bags and purses! They are quick and easy, and a very trendy fresh look for your next project, or even some older bags that need a little charm. Can't get enough of these!

So let's get our stuff and get started! 

We've got the hardware, tassel cap hooks, in either a nickel or gold finish, and you've got the perfect leather or vinyl and the necessary supplies. Well… maybe you need an excuse to go shopping. Ahem, you need to go buy supplies.

You'll need to make a decision, do you want your tassel cap to have matching trim on the cap, or keep the cap the way it is and let the metal shine? Don't worry, you can decide later. I think the tassels look fantastic with OR without the extra trim on the cap. Here's a look:


  • 1 piece of leather or vinyl 3 1/2" wide (wider for very thin leather) x 3" high (or longer for a longer tassel)
  • 1 strip of leather or vinyl 3/8" wide x 2 1/8" long for the trim on the cap
  • 1 mini screw driver
  • 1 AWL to puncture fabric (found in any sewing store)
  • glue: Rubber Cement or Contact Cement (Elmer's Rubber cement, Barge's Contact or Rubber, or your hardware store Contact Cement)
  • hardware: 1 tassel cap with screw from
  • scissors to cut leather or vinyl 

Cut the fringe by cutting slits about 1/8" apart, leaving 1/2" across the top uncut.  That's kind of important or you will just have about 22 little strips of leather. I just did them freehand, but if you feel better drawing them, go ahead. Those little strips break off easily, so be careful!

BEFORE gluing, roll up the tassel, pinching the uncut end very tightly, and try it for fit in the tassel cap. If it is too big, you can trim off a tassel or 2 until it fits. Once you are happy that it's going to fit, you can apply some glue, sparingly, to the back side of the leather. I usually go overboard with glue and it all squishes out everywhere and makes a mess. So, don't use as much as I did. NOTE: For this glue on the inside, I didn't use the contact cement or rubber cement because this just needs to be held in place tightly and there is no worry of it coming undone, so I used my E6000 (similar to Quick Grip, Guttermans, or Beacon 3-in-1), which is a clear, high tack glue, and you can roll it up immediately. With rubber cement or contact cement you need to wait for it to dry for 10 minutes before you roll it up - and my time is precious. I am impatient. So glue it and roll it up tight. 

I put some glue inside the cap too, and pushed the tassel straight into place.

Now it's time to put the screw in, and I do have a couple important things to mention:

1) Use an awl to puncture the fabric/leather/vinyl through the screw hole. Push it in as far as you can. 

2) Press gently when you are screwing in and DON'T let the driver spin or skip in the screw head or you will strip the top of the screw. Ask me how I know. Make sure the screw is going in perfectly straight. Press firmly, but not too hard,  because you are screwing into leather or vinyl and it takes a bit of muscle!  If you press too hard, you may strip your threads, so steady even pressure is the key.

3) Third tip, you don't need to screw it all of the way in. Leave it out just a hair, because if you screw it all the way in, it could go right through and into the cap, it won't be as secure, and your tassel will come out.

4) If you choose to not use the screw, or you lose it… that is okay!  With the right glue, that tassel won't come out anyway. 

Now you could leave it just as it is if you don't want the trim on the cap, but if you do, follow the next step.

Try the leather strip for fit. It should overlap the end by about 1/4". Leather doesn't stick well to metal, but you can have more success sticking leather to leather, so that is why you need the overlap. Follow the directions on the contact cement or rubber cement packaging, and glue the overlapping bit down. When they say let it dry before you stick, they really mean it.

I hope you like your hanging tassels as much as I do, but maybe not as much as my husband does. It took him about 1 minute to figure out that it's quite fun to clip 2 to the front of his T-shirt and try to make them swing around in circles, if you know what I mean. And yes, I got it on video!

Thanks for reading!


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  1. Wow, I love these! I've been meaning to make some tassels but couldn't find the right hardware. Problem solved, thanks Janelle!

  2. How big is the inner diameter of your caps? It doesn't say anywhere.

    1. You are so right! I will update the listing! The caps are 3/8" (1 cm) diameter x 1/2" (12 mm) deep. Thank you!

    2. I love these. Can't wait to make some.
      My husband would do just what your's did (or try to get me to) :) .
      Mary A

  3. Awesome tutorial! Took me all of 5 minutes to make this with no prior experience. I used double sided tape which I was using for leather bag. Do you see any issues with that holding up over time?

    1. HI Constance! If it's the permanent adhesive and not the washable kind, it should be good. Great idea!


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The contents of this blog, including text, original photos and ideas are the sole property of the author. If you intend to use my text or images, please link back to this blog and give credit to Emmaline Bags & Patterns. A notification email would be greatly appreciated too! Please do not ever republish an entire post, any tutorials, or post photos of my family. Thank you, Janelle