These DIY Tassel Necklaces Are The Perfect Galentine’s Day Gift

DIY Tassel Necklaces

With Galentine’s Day just a few days away, it’s time that we all come up with the perfect DIY for our favorite ladies, and what better than these super easy tassel necklaces?

Tassel necklaces are pretty in vogue right now, which I’m a totally a fan of. Too bad I’d have to sell my first-born son to be able to afford one. Seriously, these necklaces are a waaay too expensive for something that you can so easily make yourself at home. I say make them in bulk and gift them to all of your favorite single (or not single!) gal pals this Galentine’s Day. Isn’t that what Leslie Knope would do?

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You’re going to need:

  • Embroidery thread. I used the kind of shiny thread, but any type is fine.
  • Long chain (I used gold). You can either buy chain and clasps at the craft store, or scrounge around for a cheap long necklace to steal the chain from.
  • Large and small jewelry rings matching the color of your chain.
  • Scissors.
  • Pliers.

Start off by taking the wrappings off of your embroidery thread and unrolling it.

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Then cut either looped end of the thread, and pull out 5-7 individual threads to set aside. You’ll use these laters to tie together your threads, making the tassel.

Next, fold all threads in half. You should end with one trimmed end and one end that’s like a loop.

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Using the looped end, pull your thread through your larger jewelry ring.

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Proceed by cutting all loops, so either end of your thread is trimmed. Then, take the 5-7 individual threads you put to the side earlier and wrap these around your threads to make the tassel.

Being totally honest, this is going to take a few tries — I even enlisted my mom for help. You want to make sure you have all of your threads pulled through the ring nice and smooth so to make this a pretty convincing designer dupe. You can either wrap the individual threads once around your tassel and then tie, or do it twice or even three times. It is totally your preference. I wrapped mine twice.

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At this point the hardest part is over; there are just two quick things you need to do to make your necklace dope as hell.

The first is to do a final trim of your tassel. The amount you trim off will completely depend on how long you like yours. I left mine probably three inches long. Pro tip: you know those individual threads you used to tie off your tassel? Trim those to the length of your tassel, not down to the knot. In the very upsetting and potential event that this knot comes untied, it’ll make things easier to have more thread to work with when you re-tie it.

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Now it’s time for that medium or small jewelry ring to come into play. This is what’s going to hook your tassel onto your chain. Using your pliers, wrangle that sucker open a little bit and slip it onto your bigger ring. I like to slide it onto my chain at this time, too, because I can’t fit it over the clasp of the chain. Don’t forget to close the ring. That’d be a really stupid thing to do.

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And there you have it! Whether you and your friends are going on romantic Valentine’s Day dates (lucky betches), or you’re spending a fantastic Galentine’s Day eating waffles with your hottest lady loves, I hope these tassel necklaces will do you some good. Happy holidays, everyone!

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On writing better & 2016 resolutions

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The other day I read a really interesting article on Vox about “reverse outrage.” Overall, what I’m going to write about here and what they wrote about there aren’t going to sound very similar, but the article spoke to me and led me here today.

In sum (although I truly urge you to read the article linked above): In 2015 there were numerous trending internet topics that got massively out of control. Between #BoycottStarWarsVII (a pretty racist movement born out of a total rando who thought the new Star Wars cast wasn’t whitewashed enough to his liking) and those damn Starbucks cups, the internet via social commentary has taken some super obscure social commentaries and blown them to massive proportions that they otherwise would not have reached.

This is a wee bit of an issue because it gives these really negative stories a ton of fame, fame that nobody wants them to have.

But here’s the conundrum: we media types love these inflammatory remarks. Inflammatory remarks increase clicking and sharing and commenting, and every website needs that kind of traffic to stay afloat. There is no mainstream media outlet that did not benefit from the red cup debacle, and I can tell you that with great certainty. There is no mainstream media outlet that is not benefitting from Donald Trump, none that is not benefitting from a random racist tweet against Muslims, none that is not benefitting from a scare tactic relative to immigrants.

And it’s perpetuating a nasty little cycle.

As an aspiring professional writer, I’ve been struggling with that cycle for a few months now. Maybe it’s because I got a little too into The Newsroom when I was funemployed this summer (watched the series three times in a row, Maggie and Jim #4ever), but I actually left a writing gig because I felt a little icky about the stuff I was writing, feeling like maybe exploiting some issues just to get traffic was kind of trashy.

I was writing articles with purposefully inflammatory headlines (ones that I sometimes didn’t agree with) all for the sake of getting enough shares to be picked up by the Huffington Post. I was successful numerous times, but still couldn’t shake that discomfort that came with knowing I was simply baiting people into sharing my story. I eventually stopped writing for this website because as a young writer, I don’t want to shape myself into someone who mass produces trash.

I can pat myself on the back all I want for that move, but the awkward truth is that most of the media isn’t a PBS endeavor. We get by on clicks. We discuss sharable topics. We highlight things other people want to talk about. As someone who’s quickly learning that money definitely matters (chat with your rent-collecting landlord next time you claim otherwise), I know that it is important to cover things that people want to hear about. The catch, however, is to do so with the utmost responsibility.

I’m still finding my voice as a writer. I’m 22 years old, have barely seen anything besides New England mountainscapes, and am only starting to think about scratching the surface of what it means to be a writer. But what I’m learning about, and what I hope to continue to explore, are ways to always be better. Right now, being better means being responsible. Right now, being better means knowing that creating false ire in your readers in the name of “discussion” is not journalism, even though talking about trending topics might be.

In all of this talk about being better, I want to call your attention to these closing remarks to that Vox article I talked about at the top of this piece:

We often don’t care about the fixing the wrong or adding to the conversation; all we see is an opportunity to affirm some version of ourselves by taking a side and making a scene. And in doing so, we’ve figured out a way to dismantle complex ideas into simplistic, easily digestible things that, in the end, are ultimately disposable – until the next fight comes around.

It’s New Years Eve today, and as I keep pushing to get new writing opportunities, new writing jobs, new people to read and help me with my writing, I’ve decided to start peddling a better product. In 2016…

I resolve to add more links when I write. Not links back to my own stuff, but to facts, to further reading, to people who definitely can explain a phenomenon way better than I can. Adding facts is the key to responsibility.

I resolve to be myself, because I think that’s what I’ve been looking to do all along. Being myself (as opposed to someone else) is definitely what I do best, and I know there is nobody who can do it quite like me.

I resolve to shelf long columns/personal essays for three days before publishing. I’m great with deadlines, but sometimes to a fault. I tell myself I’m going to post on a date, and I do, but that means I rarely reconsider what I’m going to say; it is one of the curses in disguise in this blogging world. I need to put my money where my mouth is and triple check I’m saying something I actually want to say.

I resolve to fix the wrong. There are two certain occasions I can specifically think of off the top of my head where I’ve started off saying, “I don’t know the answer to this problem, but I’m going to talk at you about it anyways.” I’m proud of what I said, and I do not fundamentally think it was trash, but I hate that I qualified it with “I don’t know the answer.” Clearly I thought I did. Clearly I thought I could help right the wrong, even if in a peripheral way. I resolve to write constructively about issues instead of retweeting news breaks. I resolve to do the best I can in acknowledging what people want to talk about, but to always make sure the energy I’m putting out there with my words helps fix something in some way.

The Thing With the Syrian Refugee Crisis

Whatever side of this you're on, the rhetoric we use to talk about these people who risk their lives... so their kids have a chance at not being dead makes it sound like we're talking about scraping gum off our shoes.

I’m starting off with this: I have absolutely no idea what I think should be done about the Syrian refugee crisis. I tend to have a politicly big mouth, but with this one… I can’t seem to make words. On the one hand, national security is of utmost importance and I’m perfectly aware that one of the Paris bombers got into the EU via a Syrian refugee program; but on the other, this massive humanitarian crisis is pulling at my merciful little heart.

(That said, you, dear reader, most likely don’t know what to do about the Syrian refugee crisis, either, whether you’re willing to admit it or not. In fact, most folks really don’t.)

The only thing I’m really confident in here is that we have got to change the rhetoric with which we’re speaking about these people — yes! people! — and remember that we all ain’t nothin’ but a bunch of humans trying to live freely and in peace. Whether their policy proposals are correct or  not, I’m disappointed at the way a lot of the country’s leaders are talking about the refugees.

This isn’t because I think we should admit them (but I’m not sure we should, either!). It’s because none of them are acknowledging that it is a tragedy that these people are displaced. It is a tragedy that our nation is having this debate at all. Deciding not to accept Syrian refugees might end up being the best possible decision (or it might not), but that doesn’t mean that it wouldn’t still be a tragedy. Where is the agony and heartbreak over deciding to turn them away? Where is the humanity?

Nothing explains this situation better than my spirit TV show character, Maggie Jordan of The Newsroom. In this scene she’s actually talking about undocumented immigrants and the passage of Arizona’s immigration bill SB 1070, but I think the sentiment is exactly the same. There’s a clip right here, and you can fast-forward to 3:17 if you want to skip Maggie and Jim’s adorable argumentative banter (but like, seriously why would you want to?):