My sister Irene was on the search for tiebacks for her new curtains. I realized that I’ve never given too much thought to tiebacks. I usually have a piece of the curtain fabric cut and sewn into a large strip and that seems to be just good enough. And for some window treatments, I don’t use any at all. But since my sister needed some, I had to look into the matter more seriously! Of course, I’ve seen the classic tiebacks with the rich silk tassels that have been around forever, but how about something new, more casual and stylish? After a little search on Pinterest I found plenty and shared them all with my sister: simple ribbons and ropes, more sophisticated ones with some kind of adornment, tassels of all kinds with yarn, ribbons or pearls, I even found antler tie-backs! All kinds of styles, all kinds of materials, all amazing, but none like the ones I ended up making!
Mine are nice and generous in size; I would almost say that they have an exotic style, more of an Indonesian flair, made with natural fibers and earthy colors and still stylish enough to fit into the most casual rooms. They’re made of natural bristles that form a bountiful tassel, which is attached to a rope (nicely wrapped with cording for a less rough look) and with bohemian-like beads on both ends.
Here is how I made a set in just one afternoon, with all-ready-to use materials and (of course) a little spay paint. For each one, I used:
Start with a broom. A short handle broom is less expensive and just the right size. Mine is 11 inches high and 7 inches wide.
With scissors, remove the strings that hold the bristles together. It seems like an easy job (and it is) but it does require some strength and attention – I almost hurt myself pulling these strings off.
Cover the lower part of the broom with aluminum foil and spray paint the metallic top part as well as one metal ring. I used a metallic paint with primer in a rustic mist shade.
After removing the strings that were holding the broom together, you might find that some bristles start falling off. To prevent the tassel from breaking apart, open up the bristles and add some hot glue in the center, right below the metallic handle. While doing that, try to bend the bristles inwards to eliminate the mark left from the thread. That, will also give the tassel a fuller, fluffier and roundish look.
Wrap some cording around the lower metallic part of the handle to cover the wire. A few flat drops of hot glue will keep the cord where you want it.
I was considering making the tieback rope myself but I found this set of two beautiful hand bag handles at the sewing supplies store that were ready to use.
All I had to do was to put together the tassel with the handbag handle by connecting them with the metal ring.
Here is the detail that shows how the three parts connect. The metal ring opens up and ties around the curtain and easily closes back.
The tassels are generous in size making them very impressive.
Here in the master bedroom, on the curtains right behind the new bedside tables.
I have to note, here, that the handbag handles have specific dimensions and will not fit well around all size curtains. In that case, custom made ropes decorated with beads shouldn’t be too difficult to make.
These tassels can also be used on their own, without the tieback part, hanging from a door handle or a cabinet pull. They make a wonderful addition and that just gives more ideas…
After all the research and this diy little project, I came to the conclusion that tiebacks do make a difference on curtains!
Guess who I’m shipping them to?
Materials for a set:
- 7-inch whisk broom – The Home Depot / $4.98
- Purse-n-alize-it! handbag handles – Joann / $7.99 for a set of two
- Metal rings 1.5″ – Joann / $2.48 for a set of two
- Cording – Michael’s
- Rust-Oleum spray paint – Metallic – Paint & Primer In One – Rustic Mist
- hot glue gun
- Aluminum foil