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Knitting Hints: How to Make and Attach Fringe Tassels to a Scarf, Shawl, or Sweater

An avid knitter for over 10 years, Donna enjoys sharing her free patterns and knitting experience with other fiber fans and yarn lovers.

Scarf with fringe

Scarf with fringe

How to Make Tassels for a Scarf

Fringe and fringe tassels can add a fun, finished edging to any knit or crocheted item. Fringe decoration is often added to a scarf, shawl, or blanket, but you can also attach tassels to sweaters, purses, pillows, and other goods. And adding fringe to these items is probably a lot easier than you think!

Here are step-by-step directions for adding fringe to your knitting or crochet project.

You'll need these materials for making and attaching fringe.

You'll need these materials for making and attaching fringe.

Materials Needed for Your Fringe Tassels

The materials to make fringe tassels are very simple and are probably things you already have at hand:

  • Your yarn: How much yarn you will need depends on how many tassels you want to make and the length of the edge you are attaching it to.
  • A good pair of scissors: You want to use sharp scissors to cut your yarn cleanly and not fray the ends.
  • A crochet hook: I use a size H crochet hook, which seems to work well for all my fringe projects. Crochet hooks are sold at most craft and yarn supply stores and websites. You want a big enough hook to hold 3 or 4 strands of the yarn you're using but small enough to fit through your knitted or crocheted material.
  • A piece of cardboard: The cardboard should be at least 10 inches long. The width depends on how long you want your fringe. You should cut your cardboard to be 1/2" wider than the length of your finished tassels. So, if you want your fringe to be 3 inches long, cut your cardboard to be about 3 1/2 inches wide.

Length of Fringe

The length of your fringe is really a personal choice. I generally make my fringe tassels between 3 to 4 inches long for most scarves, shawls, and sweaters.

If I use bulky or extra bulky yarn, I might make them 5 to 6 inches long. For pillows, I would suggest adding shorter tassels - 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 inches long.

Length of Finished FringeCut Cardboard to this Width

2 inches

2 1/2 inches

3 inches

3 1/2 inches

4 inches

4 1/2 inches

5 inches

5 1/2 inches

6 inches

6 1/2 inches


Directions for Making Your Fringe

Step One

Cut your cardboard to be 1/2" wider than however long you want your finished fringe.

Step Two

Once your cardboard is cut, start winding your yarn around your piece of cardboard width-wise. As you wind the yarn, try not to pile it in one area on your board. Instead, move down the length of your cardboard, building a uniform layer of yarn as you wind.

You will need to wind a lot of yarn to make fringe for the edge of most items, probably more yarn than you think :)

I like to make my fringe in smaller batches, and wind and cut more as I need it. This method might take a little longer, but I'm not cutting up more of my yarn than I need.

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Step Three

Cut your yarn along the bottom edge of your cardboard (only) to make the lengths of fringe. Your cut yarn will be twice as long as your fringe tassels.

Then place your yarn in bundles for each of your fringe tassels. I like to use groups of 3 or 4 strands of yarn for each of my tassels. Be careful to line up your yarn evenly in each bundle so the edges of your tassels will be even and clean.

Attaching the fringe is really easy!

Attaching the fringe is really easy!

How to Attach the Fringe

Step One

The first step is to think about the placement of your fringe. If your finished edge is ribbed, you might consider attaching your fringe to every other rib or whatever placement you think would look best.

If your edge is a more uniform texture, you might just have to eyeball your placement. I will often put one tassel on one end of the edge, the next tassel on the other end, and then one tassel in the middle of the working edge. Then I can just add my tassels evenly to fill in the gaps in between.

Step Two

To attach your fringe tassels, take one of your bundles of yarn and fold it in half length-wise. Working from the backside of your item, insert your crochet hook through the material at the edge. You want to be working close to the edge of your material, but be careful that you have at least two stitches or strands of yarn under your hook to anchor your tassel to. See photo above for position.


Step Three

Now working on the front side of your item, grab your loop of yarn with your crochet hook. Then pull the loop through your material to the backside (see photo to the right). As you pull your loop through, be sure to keep your cut ends as even as possible. Lift the loop and pull the ends of your yarn through it, making a tassel. Pull the loop tight to make your tassel snug and secure. (See photo below).

Step Four

Continue attaching tassels along your edge in this same manner. You can trim any uneven ends of your fringe using a pair of scissors when you are done.

If the yarn in your fringe begins to unravel a bit, you can tie little knots at the end of each strand to stop any fraying.

Completed fringe along the edge

Completed fringe along the edge

Finished Product!

There you have it, a beautiful fringe on the end of your scarf. I hope this tutorial was easy to follow and that you are happy with your new fringe.

Questions & Answers

Question: Where can I find a free, easy pattern for knitted baby booties?

Answer: You should look at which is a database of knitting patterns. You can search specifically for free patterns. For other resources of free knitting patterns, check out my article:

Question: I love the pattern shown on "Adding Fringe to Your Scarf". Would you have a pattern to share for it?

Answer: That scarf pattern is "Karin's Gansey Scarf" by Tina Hees. It's not my pattern, but it's available for free on


Donna Herron (author) from USA on January 13, 2020:

Hi Vonnie - If you follow the tutorial, as you pull the yard ends through the loop, this should secure your fringe in place. If you are worried about the yarn ends unraveling over time, you can tie a knot at the end of each strand.

Vonnie on January 13, 2020:

How can I secure the fringe so it doesn’t undo with wearing?

Donna Herron (author) from USA on January 26, 2019:

Hi Kim - So glad you found this tutorial helpful! Hope you love your finished project!

Kim on January 26, 2019:

Thanks Donna! What a wonderful source for a beginner like myself!

Donna Herron (author) from USA on February 06, 2015:

Hi Kat - So glad you found this tutorial helpful. Adding fringe is really easy, and actually fun :) Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting!!

Katherine Sanger from Texas on February 05, 2015:

I always went through a total hassle to put on fringe - this is, without question, the easiest way to do it! Kudos! Thanks!

Donna Herron (author) from USA on November 21, 2014:

Hi OldRoses - Fringe is a great addition to most knit items, especially winter accessories. I think fringe makes them look more cozy :) Thanks for your comments, share, and pin. I appreciate it!

Caren White on November 21, 2014:

Thanks so much for this excellent tutorial. I'm going to go back and start adding fringe to some of my finished projects. Voted up, shared and pinned.

Donna Herron (author) from USA on November 21, 2014:

Hi Heidi! Glad to hear from you! Thank you for you comments and vote up :) Thanks for stopping by and hope you have a wonderful holiday!! Best wishes!

Donna Herron (author) from USA on November 21, 2014:

Hi Dolores! Glad you found this hub helpful. Fringe is also a great way to add a little length to an item, like a scarf, that turned out a bit too short. Thanks so much for your comments, vote up, and share!!

Heidi Thorne from Chicago Area on November 21, 2014:

Great photos and instructions as always! Voted up, useful and beautiful of course. Hope all is good in your world. Cheers!

Dolores Monet from East Coast, United States on November 21, 2014:

I am not an accomplished knitter but I do make ribbed scarves and was thinking of adding fringes. You've made it look so easy! Your steps were clear and the images are perfect! Thank you! (voted up and shared)

Donna Herron (author) from USA on October 19, 2013:

Hi kidscrafts - Thanks so much! I appreciate your comments :)

kidscrafts from Ottawa, Canada on October 19, 2013:

I remember vaguely doing this for an ever ending scarf I had to knit when I was 10 years old.... one colour... no fun pattern like yours! I think adding the fringe was probably the most fun and interesting part of the project :-)

Thanks for sharing! You explained very well the different steps and the pictures are just great!

Donna Herron (author) from USA on October 16, 2013:

Thanks, Heather! You should really try knitting - I think you'd enjoy it :) Thanks again for your comments and pin!

Heather from Arizona on October 15, 2013:

Pinned this to my crafting circle on Pinterest. It looks awesome and easy but since I can't knit, I'm sharing it with ladies who will love it :)

Donna Herron (author) from USA on October 12, 2013:

Hi Kschimmel - Yikes! The holidays are quickly approaching - I hope this tutorial is helpful. I just figured it out for my first scarf, so I wanted to help others avoid the hassle. Thanks for reading and commenting!! Best of luck with your holiday knitting :)

Kimberly Schimmel from North Carolina, USA on October 11, 2013:

Timely advice, as many of us are working on Christmas gift scarves now, as well as extras for charity or just for random giving.

Donna Herron (author) from USA on October 11, 2013:

Thank you, CraftytotheCore! That's very kind of you to say! It means a lot to me and I appreciate it!!

CraftytotheCore on October 11, 2013:

I love reading your Hubs. You have such great tutorials on how to do these things.