Miniature Millinery: Graduation Caps-Cords and Tassels

Welcome to part three in our Miniature Millinery series on the Mortarboard Cap. We finished the cap itself in the last video, but a Mortarboard cap is simply incomplete without a tassel.

Did you know graduation tassels date back to the 14th century and were used by European universities to represent different levels of academic achievements? This symbolism has now been moved over to the honor cords and the tassels now simply represent a graduate completing a high school or college degree. The tassel flip started about fifty years ago in American universities. Tassels are worn on the right side of the graduation cap at the beginning of the graduation ceremony and are “flipped” to the left at the end of the ceremony to complete the transition from students to graduates.

Tassels are actually very easy to make, and I will be showing you how to make two versions of them for your graduation outfit. The tassel for the cap will be a simple basic tassel, but as long as we are on the topic of tassels, I will also show you how to make a self-capped tassel to add to the ends of honor cords – in fact, I will also show you a fun and easy method to make the cords to attach the tassels to!

Follow along to create your own tassel and cords.

Materials Needed:

  • 3-1/2” x 4 ½ “ piece of cardboard
  • Three skeins perle cotton for both tassel projects, only one skein for the
    cap tassel (embroidery floss, silk thread, or other preferred string can be used instead)
  • Scissors
  • Thread
  • Needle
  • Tapestry needle
  • Tape measure

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