How to: Thai Herbal Massage Ball (Valentine’s Day Fun!)

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We love anything romantic and Valentine’s Day is really just an excuse for pure, unadulterated romance.  Over the years we have shared our tutorials for sexy ribbon panties and our heart garland.  But this year we are sharing perhaps our favourite tutorial ever.

These Herbal Balls are a dream and a wonderful surprise for your lover on Valentine’s Day…. I spent five days in Kuala Lumpur having time out by myself a few years ago and had a two hour massage with these balls each day. Bliss. I still dream of that holiday.

I finally decided to make some and share the love with you. These balls take massage to a whole new level.  They are surprisingly easy to make.  When I made this batch I made four with the ingredients I had, used one and froze the rest.   You can use each ball three to four times.    What a romantic treat for V-Day!  A massage with one of these is bound to please!

Ingredients

IMG_8649 1 handful Kaffir Lime Leaves

4 Lemongrass stalks

1 large root of Galangal (Thai ginger)

1 large root of Ginger 1 large root of Turmeric root

1 handful Mint Rind of 3 Limes Rind of 1 Lemon

Materials

A good knife A food processor (use a knife to finely chop if you don’t own one) Unbleached

Calico Elastic hair tie or rubber bands

Scissors

1. Chop the roots and lemongrass into small chunks.  Rinse the kaffir lime leaves and mint in water.

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2. Cut the rind from the limes and lemons (keep the fruit in a bag in the fridge for cooking)

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3. Place all ingredients into a food processor on high for two minutes or until all the ingredients are finely chopped and mixed together. (Ahhhh the amazing aroma….. take a moment to enjoy).

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4. Rip or cut a 30cm square of unbleached calico and place a 3/4 cup of the ingredients into the middle.

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5. Gather all four corners of calico together and wrap the calico tightly over the herbs.

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6. Tie an elastic hair tie or band around the fabric, wrapping the herbs as tightly as you can into a ball.

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7. Rip a one inch strip of calico and secure it on top of the ball with a knot.  Wrap the stalk with it tightly and secure with another knot.  The stalk needs to be firm enough to get a good grip.

IMG_8692  Now you are finished your Thai Herbal Ball.  There are two things left to do.  Before you use it go and watch a video on Youtube about how to massage using one.

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Then, when you want to use it, microwave until it is warm and the oils and aromas fill the room.  This is amazing,  it is the most relaxing massage I could imagine.

If you like this, Pin it and if you like us, then Like Us on Facebook and spread the Valentine’s Day love…..

Inspiration: Magnificent Wales (Part 1)

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There is nothing more inspiring to the creative life than travel. Colours, textures, sounds, sights, people all different and all jolt the senses and open your eyes to the new. Our recent stay of nine days in Wales was a visual feast, so opposite in colour and sights to Western Australia. The vibrant, jewel colours, the muted light, often against a grey sky, the cold, the mountains covered in green, stone walls, green fields with sheep greyed by mud, water, rain so much rain and the small winding roads leading to quaint little towns. Nothing could be more different to the flat, sun-drenched oceans and dirt, the massive blue skies and the heat that I am used to.

Beautiful Wales, captured my imagination with her vastness, deserted roads, and ancient ruins of castles, spattering the landscape.  A language impossible to pronounce, that sounds like a song being sung and seems that it would be difficult to sound bitter or even bored.  The people so friendly I made acquaintances and had good, long conversations in many towns.  Wales has inspired revivals, poems and music, and it’s not difficult to see why.

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If you like this, Pin It and if you like us Like Us on Facebook. We will be back in the next few days with some delicious inspiration from Wales and some Valentine’s Day loveliness.

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How To: Celebrate Australia Day

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We are jetlagged and happy to be back home from an incredible three weeks spent in Europe.  Before we give you some European inspiration, we need to get straight to the point…

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26th January, Australia Day, is our favourite day of the year.  It is BIG in Australia, a much bigger celebration than New Year’s Eve.  Why?  Because we love our country.  Sun, surf, sand, and hardworking, laid-back, friendly people with great attitudes and lots of smiles……What’s not to love?  And our country is so beautiful it takes your breath away…  So much diversity, so big.

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So, how to celebrate Australia Day?  Here are some of the things that we do to celebrate:

  • Have an Australia Day party with mates and family.  It can go all day, starting all in the morning and finishing early the next morning.  That is no worries.  Make sure that there is plenty of food and drinks for everyone.
  • Drink Beer.  Australian beers are great to try.  On this day it’s ok to drink a little more than you would otherwise because… it’s what we do.
  • Remember the original owners of this land.  Remembering Aboriginals as the original owners of this land is important to us, recognising that they looked after this land for many tens of thousands of years before we arrived — just over 200 years ago.
  • Have a barbie in the backyard with all your mates.  This is what we all do.  But please don’t put shrimps on the barbie.  We call them prawns….. and we don’t cook them on the barbie.  We cook lamb (Australia is full of sheep) and sausages.  A typical Aussie barbie goes for hours and everyone brings their own meat and a salad to share.  The men cook the meat and the women fuss over the salads and bread.  When it’s time to eat, all the salads are put onto  a table and the meat is piled up on a platter, and everyone fills their plates.  There is a lot of food as there would be nothing worse than not having enough.  I’m not sure why, but at an Aussie barbie, usually the women and men socialise separately.  Probably because the men talk about the cricket and footy while the women talk about other things.  When I’ve taken people from overseas to Aussie barbies they usually find this really weird, but to us it’s so normal that we barely notice it.  Beers are a must at an Aussie barbie.  Men stand around the barbie drinking.  Women might drink wine instead of beer.  But the beer never runs out.

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  • Go for a swim at the beach.  We all do.  The weather over here has been as hot as hell (we were lucky to have missed 47 degrees celcius in Perth by being in London).  Because we have so much sun and a massive hole over the Ozone layer, we go for a swim and a boogey board in the early morning for an hour or so and then again in the evening.  Australians (particularly those on the West Coast) don’t go to the beach for the whole day.  It’s too hot and you just get burnt and dehydrated.  While you’re at the beach.  Don’t forget to make a sandcastle.
  • Eat lamingtons.  Lamingtons are gorgeous little squares of vanilla sponge cake, dipped in chocolate and coated in coconut flakes.  We grew up on lamingtons, our grandmas had a plate of them waiting for us when we visited.  They are delicious and melt in your mouth.  Usually it is so hot that the chocolate melts all over your fingers making a big mess.  Yes, they are a must for Australia Day.
  • Eat pavlova.  Pavlova is a meringue pie, covered with cream and usually topped with fruit.  Once again this is a very sweet and sugary dessert.  It is so good.   We often put strawberries on top because the tartness of the berries counteracts the sickly sweetness of the meringue and it is delicious.  We eat pavlova at a lot of our celebrations and the person who makes the pav is pretty popular with everyone.
  • Listen to Australian music.  Some radio stations play 24 hours of the best Aussie music of all time.  We listen iconic musicians like Jimmy Barnes, Cold Chisel, INXS, Crowded House and even Kylie.

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  • Watch fireworks.   In Perth we have a huge fireworks display over the Swan River, and a few hundred thousand people line up along the river to watch them as the sun goes down.  It’s spectacular.  We bring picnics, drinks.  We tend to go together in big groups and make a whole day of it.  You will find people setting themselves up on the banks of the Swan River from the early morning until late at night.  Many people bring cricket bats and have a game of cricket with their mates.  We bring big eskies full of food and drinks, sunscreen, blankets to sit on and fold up chairs.  In Perth, many people now catch the train to the event or even ride bikes.  It’s one very hot day so if you are going remember to wear a hat, sunscreen up like nothing else and drink water, then some more.

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Have a wonderful Australia Day! If you are not in Australia, feel free to celebrate still. If you have Aussie friends, they are sure to be homesick on this day. Why not take them beers, mates and have a barbie, while listening to loud music and getting rowdy? Enjoy! We will be back with more European inspiration in the next few days.

If you like it Pin It (hover over the images) and if you like us, then Like Us on Facebook and let your mates know.
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DIY: Fabulous Fringe

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This fringing is the easiest thing to do but it looks so awesome and can make a plain jumper (Aussie for sweater) look a million dollars. It is good for both summer and winter weight sweaters. This fringing took more than an hour but not much longer. It was relaxing to do and we love the finished product. The jumper is a very inexpensive cotton jumper from Target. You can use the same technique to add a fringe around the bottom hem of a jumper or on a pillow, a cushion, a tablecloth. It is very versatile.

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Materials

1 jumper

Scissors

Cotton or acrylic yarn for the fringe

Large upholstery needle

Method

1. Cut about twenty pieces of yarn to begin with.  Ours are about 20cm long to begin with.
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2. Thread a piece of yarn onto the needle by doubling it over. Do it this way so you can remove the needle easily.

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3. Starting right near the armpit of the jumper, push the needle through from the back to the front, just above the bottom seam of the jumper arm.  Obviously this jumper is easy to do because of the large holes it has.

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4. Once the needle is through, remove it.

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5. Open the thread into a larger loop, then push the ends of the yarn through the it.

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6. Pull the threads down and tight. This secures them onto the jumper.

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7. Repeat these steps along the bottom of both jumper sleeves.

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8. When the yarn has been attached down the both sleeves, you are ready to start knotting, To knot start with the second thread. Tie the second thread and the third thread with a knot, a few centimetres under the sleeve. Continue knotting down the whole sleeve, the threads which are side by side until you reach the end. Repeat this step for the next sleeve.

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9. To complete the second row of knotting take the first piece of yarn and tie it to the second. Continue this until you have done a second line of knots along both arms.

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We hope you like the completed jumper. We love it and are envisaging evenings at the beach wearing it, maybe with a glass of wine, after a swim watching the sun disappear over the Indian Ocean. If you like, Please Pin It and if you like us then Like Us on Facebook and tell your mates. Join us for a few last minute NYE cocktails recipes and fun in the next few days.

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How To: Sparkly Baubles Christmas Cards

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We made the Reindeer Antler Cards earlier in the season. But we ran out. We love giving out and sending handmade cards. Now, we need at least 20 more cards and have very little time left and a million things to do… What to do? We decided to just use what we had at home. Then in less than an hour and a half we made over twenty more cards that are ready to send this afternoon — well not quite, they still need to be written on.

These cards look great and are really easy and quick to make. Each card takes about five minutes or less… And they look like they would take a lot longer which is great.

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Materials

A4 Watercolour paper (we used a whole book, guillotined every page in half)

Ecoline Inks in Blue/Green, Moss Green, Yellow Green and Gold

4 paintbrushes in different sizes (very small for the glue)

Mod Podge or Craft Glue

Multicoloured round acrylic rhinestones

Method

1. Paint three dots on the card where you want the three points of the tree to be.  Paint these in the yellow green colour, using a pointed brush.

cc32. Roughly paint the Christmas tree shape between the three dots you have painted.

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3. Using the larger brush, paint the darker green roughly onto the tree, leaving the yellow-green as an outline.

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4. Take the big round brush and put a few splotches of blue-green onto the the tree.  This will really spread so do it sparingly and don’t put it too close to the edge of the tree.

5. Watch the Ink spread and the colours to gorgeously blend.  Wait for it to dry.

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6. Place a dab of glue onto the rhinestones and stick them randomly onto each card.  It looks better if it’s not too uniform.  Place a rhinestone at the top of each card.

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7. Use the gold ink, to paint a star at the top of each tree, if you like.

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We hope you enjoy making beautiful Christmas cards. I know that friends and family love to receive them. I love receiving cards from people too. If you like this, then Pin It. In the next few days we will have more Christmas tutorials coming, mainly for food and drinks.

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How To: Wrap Small Awkward Presents

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This post is the second in our gift wrapping series. The first post to learn to wrap a perfect present is here.  That is a great way to wrap books and easy to wrap things.  But what about awkward things?  We don’t like wrapping gifts that are odd-shaped, far too time-consuming.  So for these items we repurpose different packages to use as gift wrapping.  For this tutorial we used Chinese Takeaway containers, bought at an Asian supermarket for 20cents each, which makes this an inexpensive way to wrap.  We used scraps of fabric from making our gorgeous Colour Burst Necklaces (the tutorial is here). Here’s how we did it…

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Materials

Chinese gift boxes or any other box available
Mail tags
Marker
Ornamental Tape (we used this gorgeous lacey tape but washi tape would look great too)
Fabric scraps – from gift making, you could easily use bits of lace, twine, string…

The photos really tell the story for this tutorial. If you like this, please Pin it and if you like us, then Like Us on Facebook. Join us for more Christmas goodness, food, drinks and more gift wrapping in the next few days.

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Colour Burst Necklace – More Ideas…

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Our Colour Burst necklaces are now complete, along with embellishments and we love them. If you missed our tutorial to make these necklaces it is here. So excited to give these as Christmas presents. We wanted them to be colourful and happy and gorgeous but also be casual enough to wear to the beach with a pair of bikinis or to the shops to do the groceries. Basically, to fit in with our beach, outdoor lifestyle they had to be perfect for a BBQ. And they are.

We embellished them with crystals, leather tassels, shells, curtain tassels that we pulled apart and altered and these really cute little charms. We just hung them onto the necklace using a large silver split ring.

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If you like this please Pin It and Tweet it. We hope you enjoy making them. Let us know how you went…..on Facebook or Twitter.

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How To: Colour Burst Necklace

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We are busily making Christmas presents at ohc headquarters. This is a great little tutorial and these necklaces are so easy to make. We are making about ten of these little beauties. The inspiration for these came from my love of Camilla caftans that I love so much with their unapologetic bold colours and almost Bollywood sense of extravagance. They are really quick when you do them all at the same time as it is easy to get into the swing of it. These necklaces can be decorated with jewels, feathers, tassels, beads or anything. We have yet to adorn the rest of ours.

This tutorial also contains a very neat little trick my mama taught me years ago for turning tubes of material to the right side out with no fuss at all.

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Materials

10cm/4″ Cotton Voile (other cottons may be too thick and are not as easy to tie)
Piece of cord same length as fabric
Safety pin
Wooden beads
Scissors
Sewing machine & Thread

Method

1. Cut a 10cm/4″ strip of fabric

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2. Put strip of fabric, right sides facing. Use safety pin to secure the cord inside the strip of fabric, to one end.

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3. Sew a seam down the open edge of the fabric, encasing the cord inside it.

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4. Begin to pull the cord through the open end, making sure that the safety pin is tucked inside.

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5. Pull the cord the whole way through, and watch the fabric turn in on itself and turn right side out. Magic! and a serious time-saving little trick. Remove the safety pin and pull out the cord.

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6. Place a bead inside the tube of fabric at the centre point and tie two knots on either side of it.

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7. Continue placing the beads one after another inside the material, separating them each with a single knot.

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8. When you have finished, leave a space at both end of the beaded fabric. Tie the ends into a simple knot to complete.
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Adorn these necklaces with anything you like. Little fabric flowers could look fantastic also. We adorned one of our with crystals, a gemstone and a tassel.

If you like this, Pin It and if you like us, then Like Us on Facebook. Join us in the next few days for more last minute gift and wrapping ideas for a gorgeous homemade Christmas.

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How To: Skincare Routine for Your Face (Chemical-Free, Organic, Good Enough to Eat)

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Having beautiful, soft glowing skin on your face makes you feel wonderful.  One of the best gifts to yourself during the silly season is the gift of beautiful skin.  It makes you feel confident and helps you to look wonderful during photos and at functions.

Our motto is “If you can’t eat it, don’t put it on your skin”.  Your skin is your biggest organ and needs to remain healthy.  My skincare routine has changed dramatically in the past few years as I have stopped using chemicals.  And my skin looks much better and feels much softer.  It is easy to be seduced by fancy products that claim to offer the world and have big price tags.  But really all your skin wants is good, healthy products and a little bit of love.

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Natural Skincare Routine

Skincare Routine for the Face

  • Oil Cleaning.  Use either organic Olive oil, Coconut Oil or Sweet Almond Oil to clean the skin.  Put some oil onto a cotton pad and wipe it onto your face, then leave it for a few seconds to soak up the dirt and start to break down your makeup.  Wipe away the oil and the grime with it.  Use different oils at different times of the year.  Olive Oil is good in winter when skin tends to become really dry, coconut oil is lovely and light for summer.
  • Face Scrub.  Scrub your face using a natural organic scrub such as our Cinnamon and Brown Sugar Scrub.  This smells delicious, wipes away dead skin cells and keeps your facing feel soft.  If you would like to mix it up you can also just use a mild lotion and mix sea salt into it as a face scrub.
  • Toning.  A very good toner for your face is Raw Apple Cider Vinegar.  After Cleansing you can mix a small amount of ACV with water and pat it onto your face.  I only do this occasionally.
  • Moisturise.  Moisturising your skin is really important.  Living in a very hot, dry climate means that skin tends to become really dry.  By far the best moisturiser I have used is our All Natural Moisturising Bars.  They smell chocolatey and lovely.
  • Peel.  Instead of a chemical peel I use the trusted Bicarbonate Soda.  Just mix a small amount of Bicarb with water and cover your face with it.  Leave it for a few minutes then rinse it off with water.  If it stings too much I wouldn’t leave it on for long.  You can also mix freshly squeezed lemon juice with water and apply this to your face and then rinse after a few minutes.
  • Turmeric Mask.  I do this every now and then.  Mix  some turmeric powder with some honey and place it onto the skin.  Leave it on for a few minutes and then use some sort of flour and your fingers to scrub it off.  It is sticky but your skin will glow.
  • Under-eye.  Use a little extra coconut oil for the delicate skin under your eyes.
  • The Clarisonic Mia.  This is a lovely tool to use daily.  It helps to scrub away the dead skin cells and leaves your skin glowing.  It has transformed my skin.

More tips for looking after your Face:

  • Keep your face out of the sun.  This is a necessity in Australia where we have sun for most of the year and people end up with very leathery skin.  I find the easiest way to do this is to wear a hat and big sunglasses.  You will not find me out in summer without these two things.  It also means that you will not get skin cancer which is a major concern.
  • Use a good sunscreen that has few chemicals in it.  I use a sunscreen for sensitive skin.  I use it sparingly and I prefer to use a hat to protect my face.
  • Stay hydrated.  Drinking lots of water is one of the best ways to get rid of toxins and to keep your skin looking moist and gorgeous.
  • Fish Oil.  Taking a high quality fish oil or krill oil daily will do wonders for your skin.  But by far the most environmentally friendly way to go is to eat fish like salmon three times a week (make sure it is ethically sourced).
  • Eat a rainbow.  Eat as many colourful vegetables as fruit as possible.  The goodness of fruits and vegetables is contained in the colour, so make colourful salads, roast vegies, soups anything to eat a rainbow.
  • Turmeric.  Use Turmeric as much as you can in your cooking.  It is an incredibly powerful antioxidant and will make a huge impact on your skin also.  I eat turmeric every day.  If I haven’t added it to my cooking, I take a teaspoon of turmeric with a glass of orange juice.
  • Don’t eat junk food or processed sugar.  It will leave your skin looking sallow and yuck.
  • Quit Smoking.
  • Drink alcohol moderately.

Wishing you glowing, healthy skin.  If you like this Pin it, and Tweet tweet tweet.  Keep coming back this week for loads more Christmas tutorials….

 

How To: A Simple Tassel (for necklaces, presents, clothing, anything)

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This is a really simple tutorial but is a useful little trick to keep coming back to. Tassels can be made from wool, cotton, leather, anything. They are a very inexpensive way to decorate and can be used to make stunning bracelets, necklaces, wreaths and more. A simple tassel like this takes about five minutes to whip up! Seems that we are into tassels for this Christmas with our tassel necklace, tassel garland, Christmas wreaths and Advent Calendar.

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Materials

Dressmaking scissors

Wool, thick embroidery thread, cotton

1 small piece of card (a piece of a cereal box would be perfect)

Method

1. Cut a piece of card to the length you’d like. The tassel will end up about 1″/2.5cm shorter than this. Drape a piece of string over the card to begin.

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2. Wrap a piece of string around the card until the tassel is as thick as you would like.

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3. Cut another piece of string. Wrap it through and around the top of the tassel while it is still on the card, tie a secure knot and leave two pieces at the end for tying your tassel to something.

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4. Remove the tassel from the card.

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5. Tie another piece of string onto the tassel and wrap it several ties to secure the tassel. Secure this with a simple knot.

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6. Cut the tassel at the bottom to the length your desire. Snip off the stray threads.

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If you like this, Pin It and come back for a lot more good stuff in the next few days.

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