My Makes · My Recs

A couple of quick crafting hacks – blocking board and tassels

In Korea, I have a hard time buying some specific crafting items I need for projects. A few reasons are that stores don’t carry a lot of variety in terms of yarns and accessories, and when I order them from abroad, it takes anywhere from 3-5 weeks to receive my goods. Sometimes it delays a project.

Also, ordering online can be risky, because sometimes what I ordered is not exactly what I thought it would be. These can be expensive and time-consuming mistakes. Nevertheless, I have a great crafting life in Korea, and there is so much inspiration here.

An upside of the challenges of buying craft supplies, is that I am forced to be careful and patient about what I buy, and I have also become more inventive in my solutions.

Let me share one example. I’m working on a filet crochet project that will soon be finished, and need to be blocked (see photo above). It’s a lovely Celtic hearts place mat, made with Lydia’s #10 crochet thread in aqua. The pattern is by Michelle at Nezumiworld.

I couldn’t find a blocking board in my city in Korea, so I went online. There are some nice ones, but at a price, and I knew I’d have to wait a month for the goods to arrive. So I thought about what could serve as a sturdy alternative, and on a Pinterest search, saw someone’s brilliant suggestion to use a kid’s play mat and T-pins or pearl head pins.

In Korea, there’s a discount store called Daiso that has a variety of household goods, and I was delighted to find a play mat there for about 5 bucks. Threw in some extra pins, too, just to be sure I had enough. I can’t wait to finish this current filet project, and I will block my work here for you to see!

Another little hack I recently tried is making tassels from embroidery thread. It’s super easy, and a nice way to use up extra thread. These tassels measure 7cm (about 3 inches) when finished.

I made several tassels to adorn crochet hearts, which I used as elements in a mobile.

VIDEO: crochet heart mobile

Here’s a short how-to, using two hanks of embroidery thread (any type) and a pair of sharp scissors. I’ve included some photos below.

First, take one hank of thread, and keep the labels attached for now. Take a 10-12 inch length of thread from another hank, and tie it securely around the middle of the first hank. This will form the hanger for your tassel, as well as keep the threads in place. You can use the same color thread, or a contrast color, as you like.

Next, take a second length of thread about 10-12 inches long. Fold the first hank in half as seen in the photo above, and wrap the length of thread many times around the top of the folded hank, at about the 1/2 inch (1cm) point. Tie and tuck, or leave the threads hanging, as I did.

Now, you can remove the labels from the tassel. It’s time to get out your sharp scissors. Cut through the loops, and then trim them carefully, so they make a smooth, even line. Your tassel length should be about 3 inches (7cm) when finished.

That’s it for today! I’ll be back soon to show you some more hacks, a finished project or two, and brand new one I just started yesterday. Take care!

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