Forbidden [shower curtain] Love, or Why I Tied 100 Tassels (and how you can do it too)

Two weeks ago I found myself inspired by Mera’s cheerful bathroom update, and I set out to do a little bathroom makeover of my own. The first thing I did was buy a gallon of paint. The second thing I did was fall in desperate, blind love with a shower curtain (I had no idea it was possible either) that I couldn’t afford.

Look how pretty it is! Those colors! Those tassels! I wanted it so badly I called both Mera and my mom from the Anthropologie store (they have really comfortable chairs and the salespeople loved me sitting there talking on my phone) asking them to talk me out of buying it. That I chose to call them is telling – I actually wanted them to convince me to buy it of course; to say that if I loved it, it was worth it. If I had truly not wanted to buy it I would have called Cameron, the frugal pragmatist, who would have asked whether – with a price tag of more than a hundred dollars – the tassels had a utilitarian function, like reducing shower steam or deploying as little tub scrubbers.

Alas, the tassels' only function is looking really really really good.

Close up view of the Anthropologie shower curtain. Alas, the tassels’ only function is looking really really really good.

Ultimately my own frugal pragmatism prevailed, and I came home determined to make a tassel-bedecked shower curtain I could afford. I took advantage of a family trip (and my nimble-fingered family) to get everyone on board with making tassels. Once I worked out some of the production kinks, tassel tying became addictive. It’s the perfect mindless busywork, similar to knitting or crocheting but requiring less skill. Best of all you can do it while watching crappy television and at the end you have a pile of shiny little darlings to show for the hours you spent, instead of just self-loathing.

It's an addiction

I am unstoppable. I’m considering an art installation in which I cover my entire house in tassels, just so I can keep tying them.

I’ve put together a tutorial for tying a two-tone tassel like the ones I made for the tulip chair pillow last week. Remember those?

A coy little tassel playing peekaboo

A coy little tassel playing peekaboo

Let’s get started:

Tools of the tassel tying trade

Tools of the tassel tying trade


Embroidery thread or yarn

A chopstick (a bamboo skewer or knitting needle would work well too)

An embroidery needle (with a big eye)

An index card

A fine tooth comb (optional)

wrapping string

Step One:

Fold the index card in half. The length of the folded card will be the length of your finished tassel. Put the loose ends of your threads at the folded end of the index card and continue wrapping (I used about half a skein of thread per tassel)

inserting chopstick

Step Two:

Turn the card so the open end is at the top and gently insert the chopstick so it is under the thread

tying and wrapping

Step Three:

Gently slide the looped thread off of the card (but not off the chopstick) and tie a knot right under the chopstick and then give the thread a few more tight wraps

tying the knot

Step Four:

Cut the thread and use an embroidery needle to push the thread up through the neck of the tassel, then tie a knot and bring the needle back down through the neck to become part of the tassel

Does everybody's thumb bend back like mine??

Everyone’s thumb bends like mine, right?

Step Five:

Use scissors to cut the looped ends at the bottom

combing the tassel

Step Six:

Use your comb to separate the threads (combing the tassel hair was my favorite part). If you don’t have a comb you can use the needle to separate threads, but it’s neither as effective nor as fun.

tassel trimming

Step Seven:

Trim tassel to desired length



I’ve used tassels on a pillow, a shower curtain (which I’ll show you next week, along with the updated bathroom) and on my cat. What else should I be-tassel? Are you planning to do any projects with tassels soon? Let us know in the comments!

14 responses on “Forbidden [shower curtain] Love, or Why I Tied 100 Tassels (and how you can do it too)

  1. Katy Gilmore

    Aah so cheerful Katie, the thought of your newly be-tasseled shower curtain – be colorless no more shower curtain! I am looking forward to the photos of the bathroom updo. And thank you for the tutorial, you make it look very easy. No one need live in a tassel-free zone!

  2. Carol Crump Bryner

    You are probably too young to remember or to have worn loafers with tassels. Have you thought about footwear spiffed up with tassels? I can see how this process could become addictive. There’s just something so appealing about those little bursts of color. Nice tutorial!

    1. k80bennett

      Carol! I love that idea! I’m going to go stick a couple of tassels on a pair of plain black flats I have. I’ll let you know if I start a fashion revolution.

  3. Kori Wanner

    Tassels laying on top of Dean the cat are all fine and dandy, but I think a row of tassels hanging from his tail would show your true crafting genius.

    1. Katie Post author

      I sewed them on and tied the knots in the back. They’re not visible though, because the knots are sandwiched between the curtain and the curtain liner. Hope this helps!

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