Tissue Tassel Garland Tutorial

Posted by Jesyka D'Itri Marés on 24 Comments

After many MANY requests from readers and friends alike, I am finally finished with the tissue garland tutorial! There are a few tutorials out there, but mine is slightly different. I don’t know if one way or another is the best way, but I’ll try to address the tiny details to push the look that much further.

Firstly, we all must acknowledge that design credit goes to Confetti System. I was first inspired by them many months ago! I get the feeling that Nicholas and Julie want people to get together and make stuff, so please have a craft party with family and friends and enjoy this tutorial. :) However, if you think that $130 is a lot of money for a tissue garland, well, sure. But this is A LOT of work, at least for a beginner. Two 12 foot garlands took me and 4 other people about 15 hours. The 4 other people did not work on it the entire time, but I just want to paint the picture of how long this actually takes. If you want this finished in a few days, be prepared to do nothing else. This is for people who love tedious work like knitting sweaters, hand quilting and embroidery. Which I love. SO, I enjoyed the calm  brought on by tending to each little tassel. If that’s not your thing, or you just don’t have time to dedicate to it, (and you have the money to spend) do not think twice about spending the money on a beautiful garland straight from the source! Visit Confetti System’s shop now!

Okay, now that the disclaimer is over, let’s get down to business.


1) A new pack of tissue in assorted colors. Do not wrinkle! This is very important if you want the lovely straight drapey-ness that really can make or break these garlands. Also, you will probably want some mylar/metallic tissue. In my opinion, the shinys are a crucial detail. :)

2) 4 yards of rope trim. I bought mine from the trim department of JoAnns for like $1.25 a yard!

3) Tacky glue. If you are using metallic/mylar paper, than you’ll (also) need hot glue.

4) A long pointy object to help you pick up the tissue. A knife, razor or even a chopstick will work.

5) A rotary cutting set

  • Rotary Cutter (*Tip* Don’t throw out your old and dulled rotary blades! Save them for paper! )
  • A self healing mat
  • A straight edge

6) Scissors.


Step 1: Cutting the strips. Open a tissue pack. The sheets of tissue should be folded in half horizontally, and then folded over vertically a few times. Unfold it until it is only folded in half. Lay the tissue with the folded side to the top of your cutting mat, and line it up with the guide lines. Place your straight edge along another guide line, and cut 4-5 1/2″ strips from the sheets of tissue.

Step 2: Picking up the strips. Using a knife, chopstick, or other thin and long device find the center of the first stack of cut tissue, and place them over your index finger. Firmly hold this stack while you do the same with the next, and gently place the second stack over the first. Repeat until you have four of five stacks (whenever you feel like you have enough strips to make a nice pouf).

Step 3: Twist the strips together. At the center of your stack of strips, bend inward, and begin to twist the tissue strips as if you are wringing out a rag. Continue to twist until the twisted part measures about 4″ total, with the center of the twist being the center of the stack of strips.

Step 4: Twisting on the rope. Place the center of the strips over the rope trim (It really helps to have your rope secured on both ends). Bring each end down over the rope. While twisting, bring the back piece over the front piece. Continue like this until you have 3 or 4 twists. *It is important to twist the tissue with each continual movement! That is how you get the nice tight rope shape that mimicks the rope trim, and it is an important, if small, detail * Note: The tissue may break a in a few spots at this point. Do not be discouraged. Save the fall out for a jar of confetti!

Note how limp and stringy the tassle looks after it's been glued, but before it has been "fluffed".

Step 5: Gluing. Squeeze a small dollop of glue at the point where the last twist meets. Let dry. (Use tacky glue for tissue, and hot glue for mylar. Hot glue is the only thing I have found that works for mylar! If you have any other suggestions, please let me know!)

Note the uneven ends.

Step 6: Fluffing. This is the finishing touch, and one of the most important steps. If you neglect to “fluff” your tissue tassel, it will look limp and lifeless. This is also potentially the most time consuming step. You need to go through each individual strip and pull it apart and away from the other pieces. Do this until you have a nice shape all around. When done right, they always remind me of little ball gowns or ballerina skirts. The tissue should come out at least a 90° angle from the  twists.

Step 7: Trimming. Take your scissors and trim off the uneven pieces of the tassel as if you would trim hair. This way your tassels have a nice clean edge at the bottom. Collect the trimmings in your jar of confetti!

Jars of confetti!

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask in the comments below! I’m always happy to answer. :)

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24 Responses to Tissue Tassel Garland Tutorial

  1. Chelsea says:

    How long is your garland and how much do you think it cost to make? How much time did it make and where did you get the shiny paper stuff?

  2. Hi! My garlands are 4 yrds each (12 ft). You can find the mylar tissue paper in most tissue paper sections, but I bought ours at Party City. It took a long time. I’m estimating at least 15 hours, but I can’t say for sure how long it would take if you really buckled down and did it, because I was chasing after a 1 year old a lot of the time. But I also had a lot of help… I think the total cost of this project was around $25. The mylar paper is the most expensive material; it usually runs about 5$ a package.

  3. Shea Brislin says:

    Hey there. I popped over from ohdeedoh but I’ve seen this garland floating around pinterest for a bit now. I just love it and I want to make one or two for my girls’ rooms. Did you use only one package of each color tissue?
    Thank you for this tutorial!

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  6. kim says:

    i was going to suck it up and buy 6 garlands at $45/piece for my mom’s bday party decorations… but you are inspiring and I HAVE to do this. seems easy enough..but only after the kids go to bed of course.

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  10. Lindsay says:

    LOVE your blog! your daughter’s first birthday has inspired MY daughters first birthday. I am just in the planning stages of the party – but I am going to attempt to make a tissue tassle garland!

    I look forward to reading your posts and seeing what else you have up your sleeve!


  11. Violet says:

    SO glad I stumbled across your blog!! I saw these for sale a couple weeks ago and knew I could do it myself and just needed to get a few tips, and wha-la!! I found you! :-) Question for you, I finished mine a couple days ago and the creases from where the tissue paper was folded in the package are still there, so the tassels are not completely straight yet. How long did it take for yours to “relax”? :-) Thanks!

  12. Hi! I know exactly what you are talking about; I can’t say exactly how long, as it probably depends on humidity, but I would say about a week. However, lately I have been wondering about using an iron on a low setting and a cloth between the iron and the tissue paper to flatten the paper… Is it weird that this thought struck me when I was watching Downton Abbey and I saw William (I think) ironing a newspaper? HA!

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  14. Susan says:

    Hi just saw the comment about the crease in the tissue paper. You can totally iron the paper on a low-med/low setting no steam. Its also a good way to wax out of a table cloth!

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  16. Whitney says:

    Love this and the colors. I just did this for my sons football themed party…. I wanted to save and store it for reuse when Notre Dame plays, and suggestions? I will probably attempt the iron trick too.

  17. I have the garland here hanging in her room permanently, but I have the decorations from Laelia’s second birthday hung on a hanger in a garment bag! That way, they don’t snag on anything, and are kept out of the way, safe, and are less likely to wrinkle! :)

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