All the credit for this idea goes to the feature in the July/August issue of Southern Lady Magazine - they did a how-to for "Elaine's No-Hassle Tassel" (provided by Elaine's, a ribbon shop in Montgomery that I'm going to visit next time I'm in that area).
In the magazine, they used smooth silver ribbon to make a tassel that looked great on an armoire. My version used red, white, and blue ribbons as a doorhanger for the upcoming Independence Day holiday.
I bought six different spools of ribbon - red, white, and blue solids and also three different ones that looked like they would go well.
I cut 3 pieces that were about 24" each from each spool - so even my shortest spool (at 3') was enough for this project. Make sure that two of the spools you use will have at least 30" left on them to make the hanger (30") and the tassel wrap (30"). Most of my spools had five yards on them, and that was plenty - with lots of extra left for another project.
In the end, I used about 14 yards of ribbon total.
From each of the six spools, I cut three 24"-long pieces:
Next, I made a swallowtail cut on each of the ribbon ends (that's what makes the upside-down 'V' shape at the bottom of each ribbon). First, take the ribbon, fold it in half and cut at an angle:
Here are all the ribbons after they've had the swallowtail cut at the ends:
Next, I made a knot about 2"-3" from the bottom of each end of each ribbon. This gives the final tassel more volume:
I cut one 30" length of ribbon and laid it out, then on top of that I put all the other ribbons. I tried to make sure that the knotted ribbons were centered on the long ribbon:
Then I carefully picked up the long ribbon and made a knot to secure all the smaller pieces:
Then, I cut another ribbon 30" long (I used the blue with stars ribbon), and wrapped it back and forth around the top of the tassel, just a short way from the top. This secured the whole thing and helped make it look finished:
Now, I just took the tassel and hung it from a doorknob. I think it turned out really great and I think everybody will get a kick out of it at our Independence Day get-together!