My house tends to look like a jewelry shop, art supply store and science experiment all rolled into one, kind of like this Instructable. Part of what I do is turn items that are no longer wanted as what they were made for and give them a new existence as something lovely.
Teachers! Did you use this instructable in your classroom?
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.
Step 1: What We Need....
Tassels - suede is better. Acrylic fibers don't dye well with this method
Styrofoam or plastic cups
Coffee, tea or food coloring
Needle nose pliers
A jump ring and some ribbon for the finished product.
Step 2: I Did Some Experimenting....
The making process is a great way to learn. You can learn how different material react. For this project, I did three different amounts of coffee. A small cup which is the espresso setting on my coffee maker to grande which is more than a standard cup of coffee. I also experimented with two different types of materials. I also did some of the tassels in food coloring. There was a large about of counter space taken up for this project.
It was a great deal of fun to see what went wrong as well as what went right.
It would be a fantastic project for science classes or art classes needing a jewelry project.
Step 3: Brewing Your Coffee...
I used my Keurig coffee maker to brew my coffee. I did the different settings that I labeled small, medium and large. I also did one additional large cup to test how an acrylic tassel would dye so, all together I brewed 4 cups of coffee.
Step 4: Picking Your Tassels...
I tried the two different types of tassels just for the learning experience. These were picked up pretty cheaply at a second hand store. It was worth what I spent for the chance to learn something.
I learned really quickly that one type would work and the other would not, at all. It was a mess. It looked more like I had spilled coffee on it more than I had soaked it in the coffee. So if you try this, remember suede good, acrylic not so good (for this project).
Step 5: Let the Tassels Soak...
I wanted to give the tassels ample time to soak so I let them soak for 48 hours. I checked them randomly and noticed that after about 24 hours their appearance didn't change that much, so my conclusion is that 24 hours would be sufficient.
Step 6: Letting Them Dry
Once the tassels came out, I laid them on a plate to let them dry. It took approximately one day for them to dry completely. I just let them air dry, it could be faster if you gave them a shot with a hair dryer. Here is another thing I learned the hard way, make sure they are laid out flat. Fan them out a little bit and let the air get into the inner layers. Once they dry if they are not flat, you will have wrinkled tassels. You could even hang them to let them dry if they have hooks on them as mine did.
Step 7: Once They Are Dried...
One the tassels have dried, you can remove the hook pretty easily with needle nosed pliers. Just open it enough to slip the hook out of the crevice.
Step 8: Finishing Up...
All you have to do to turn your dyed tassel into a necklace is add a jump ring and some ribbon or a chain. Voilà you have made your very own tassel necklace.
Click on this link to see finished products in different colors:
Step 9: Variations...
As I stated before, you can use food coloring for more colorful choices or tea for a richer brown. It is just a matter of taste for what you want to wear.
The main thing is just to learn and have fun.
Hope you enjoyed this instructable and hope you try it for yourself.