While I was organizing the fish room (I still need to show you a tour of the finished room!), I came across so many craft supplies that I had forgotten about. Having everything in one lovely space, in beautifully organized Ikea cabinets no less, has really sparked my creativity and I decided to challenge myself to use up some of these sidelined supplies. I have been quite the prolific crafter lately, and I can’t wait to show you everything I’ve made!
Today I’m sharing this sweet and simple DIY tassel key chain.
This project is using up a supply that will really date me: embroidery thread. I found a big bag of it, but it’s not from my abandoned embroidery project. Nope, it’s from those ubiquitous knotted friendship bracelets – when they were trendy the first time around. I’ve been really loving the tassel trend, but couldn’t think of where I wanted a tassel (pillows? throw blanket? nope – can’t be anywhere the puppers can reach). Then I came across my collection of vintage skeleton keys (they used to be framed) and it suddenly dawned on me: make some cute tassel key chains or purse fobs! As luck would have it, I also happened to have two large bead caps that I had purchased about 15 years ago for another project and these caps made the finished tassels look very polished.
When I was done, I had re-purposed a lot of pretty bits and bobs, which were all collecting dust, into two pretty key chains – one for my Mom and one for me.
If you want to add some flair to your keys or purse, here’s what you’ll need to make a large embroidery thread tassel.
- Embroidery thread (I used three skeins per tassel)
- Large bead cap (mine is approx. 1″ L x 3/4″ W)
- Small bead (optional)
- Eye pin
- Small jump rings
- Key ring
- Vintage skeleton key (optional – you can add any charm, or no charm)
- Needle nose pliers
- Sharp scissors
Although you can make a tassel by simply folding a skein in half, I wanted to really mix the different colored threads together. My Mom offered up a second set of hands and I wound the thread into a loop, working the coppery hue evenly in with my bright aqua.
Then I folded the loop we formed in half and tied it tightly with a length of embroidery floss. I wrapped it a few times, tied it, then kept wrapping and tied it again so the knot was secure. Then I just let the ends of the knot blend into the rest of the threads.
Before moving on to the next step, I grabbed the sharpest scissors in my arsenal and trimmed the edges. Five or six times. There’s always that one that thread skips a trim! Luckily I am a pro at this, because it seems like I always need to re-trim my hair when I come home from the hair salon.
I opened up the loop on my eye pin and slipped on the thread before closing the loop with needle nosed pliers:
Then I added my bead cap and a turquoise bead at the end (optional), before cutting the end of the eye pin shorter and forming a loop with my needle nose pliers. I have a great how-to for creating eye pin loops in my tutorial for beaded Christmas spiders, linked here.
I added a jump ring, which I connected to a slightly larger jump ring, which was then attached to my vintage skeleton key. Easy peasy! I added a key ring and was happy to add a splash of aqua to my truck keys (which were worryingly devoid of my favorite hue).
For my Mom’s blue ombre embroidery thread tassel, I used a ball chain instead of a key ring:
I love the embroidery thread tassel on its own, but the addition of a vintage skeleton key is fun – and I get to use pieces of my collection! Skeleton keys have always fascinated me, but my framed collection didn’t really jibe with the beachy look I’m cultivating in the lakehouse so I had packed them away. It’s nice to be able to enjoy them again.
Plus there’s something really soothing about smoothing out the strands of the embroidery floss – it’s kind of like a stress ball. When I hold my keys, I started to calmly fiddle with the strands and it’s interestingly meditative; it makes me feel very chill.
If I can find some more bead caps, I’d love to use up the rest of the embroidery floss and vintage keys to make these key chains as gifts – I already have a couple of friends dropping heavy hints…