Tassel garland; wedding tassel garland; tassel balloons; step by step guide; how to make tassel garlands; how to make tassel balloons
Image: McKinley Rodgers

Tassel garlands look amazing hung across your venue or used for tassel balloons. They’re expensive to buy ready made as they’re quite time consuming, but they’re easy to make if you’ve got a bit of patience and a few helpers! I made hundreds for my wedding, using them for our giant tassel balloons and to hang across our barn venue. They take a lot of time but you don’t need to be particularly crafty to get a great result – here’s how…

What you need:

  • 50×70 sheets of coloured tissue paper
    I bought mine from Country Baskets
  • Cutting board
  • Metal ruler
  • Craft knife
  • Pen or pencil
  • Thin ribbon or baker’s twine
  • Coloured thread (optional)
  • Big glass of red wine (advisable!)

Tassel garland; wedding tassel garland; tassel balloons; step by step guide; how to make tassel garlands; how to make tassel balloons

1) Cut your tissue paper in half lengthways so you have a long, narrow piece (25x70cm). Fold this in half and position with the folded edge at the top of your cutting mat.

Tassel making-043-4

2) Using a cutting board, metal ruler and craft knife, cut strips along the tissue paper, leaving around 3cm uncut along the folded edge. The width of your strips depends on how you want your finished tassel to look; I found around 0.75cm was about right.

Tassel garland; wedding tassel garland; tassel balloons; step by step guide; how to make tassel garlands; how to make tassel balloons

3) Continue to cut strips until you reach the end of the tissue paper. Don’t worry too much about your strips all being the same width or if you snag the tissue paper – you can disguise a lot when you fold up your tassel.

Tassel garland; wedding tassel garland; tassel balloons; step by step guide; how to make tassel garlands; how to make tassel balloons

4) Open out your tassel to reveal the uncut central area. Start to fold up the tissue paper, making your folds roughly the same width as your strips. Your folds and strips don’t need to line up, but gently detangle the strips as you go along.

Tassel garland; wedding tassel garland; tassel balloons; step by step guide; how to make tassel garlands; how to make tassel balloons

5) Once you’ve folded the tissue paper completely, fold the paper in half so all the cut strips are pointing in the same direction. Insert a pen or pencil at the top of the tassel, and gently twist your tassel around it. Avoid using anything narrower than a pencil, as it will make it a lot harder to thread your finished tassels onto ribbon or twine.

Tassel garland; wedding tassel garland; tassel balloons; step by step guide; how to make tassel garlands; how to make tassel balloons

6) You can leave your tassel at this stage, but if you’re a bit of a perfectionist, tightly wrap coloured thread around the top of your tassel to stop it unwinding (I’ve used a contrasting colour here to show what I’m doing, but would normally use a matching shade). I did this for my wedding as it meant the balloon tassel garlands, which were at guests’ eye level on the tables, looked a lot neater. Plus, if you’re making your tassels a long way in advance, it’ll stop them from unravelling.

Tassel garland; wedding tassel garland; tassel balloons; step by step guide; how to make tassel garlands; how to make tassel balloons

7) To finish, thread your tassels onto thin ribbon or baker’s twine, tying them in place so they’re evenly spaced. I used around 6-8 tassels for each balloon garland, positioning them around 8cm apart so they fell over one another when held upright.

Tassel garland; wedding tassel garland; tassel balloons; step by step guide; how to make tassel garlands; how to make tassel balloons

I got our balloons from Just So Occasions in Bristol, who were great! One of the challenges was working out how to weigh them down. We used coloured sand inside glitter-dipped jam jars (another epic DIY project!), which worked a treat.

Here’s the finished result (photos courtesy of our lovely wedding photographers Pen & Cam McKinley Rodgers) – give it a try and let us know how you get on!

Tassel garland; wedding tassel garland; tassel balloons; step by step guide; how to make tassel garlands; how to make tassel balloons
Image: McKinley Rodgers

PS Thanks to my husband, Chris Dean, for shooting the step-by-step guide!

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