Art-Making Activity: Decorative Tassels

Dig into the textures and colors of your home to create a decorative tassel inspired by Brindaban Pink by Louisiana sculptor Lynda Benglis.

Lynda Benglis (American, b. 1941), Brindaban Pink, 1979, Aluminum wire, copper, plastic, glass, enamel, 60 x 70 x 8 in., Museum purchase, George S. Frierson, Jr. Fund, 2018.83

Adults, this one’s for you! All-ages art-making activity

Sculptor Lynda Benglis is best known for her pioneering abstract works that capture materials in action like poured latex or dripped wax, pulled and shaped by gravity. Her work Brindaban Pink, inspired by her travels to Brindaban (also known as Vrindavan), India, also celebrates materials and textures: small decorative elements are beaded, twisted, woven and tied on a fan-like structure. The work is adorned and embellished, vibrant and celebratory!

In this activity, dig your fingers into fibers and strands of string, fabric, or plastic in your home to create a charming, decorative pouf of bound strands known as a tassel! Seen in different variations around the globe & typically abundant atop graduates’ caps in the spring, tassels have embellished and distinguished furniture pieces, costumes, and uniforms for centuries.



  • Yarn, string, ribbon
  • Other flexible materials like plastic bags or fabric from old clothes (cut into long strips)
  • Scissors
  • A book or box for wrapping


Use an object like a book or a macaroni box as a base for creating your tassel. Wrap your strands of material around many times (this loop is how long your tassel will be).

Wrap with different kinds of yarn, ribbon, fabric or plastic strands to create variety in texture, color, and pattern.

Cut a piece of yarn (6 inches or longer) for tying your tassel together: slide it under the wrapped loops of material & tie tightly at the top.

Cut the loops of wrapped material at the bottom, freeing the ends of your tassel & remove from your book or base.

Using another strand of yarn, tie strands together to form the top pouf of your tassel. Wrap around and tuck the extra string & shape the pouf however you like.

Cut the ragged strands from the bottom of your tassel.

Create a few tassels to string into a garland, embellish a costume, or incorporate into a weaving or fiber-based artwork.