Ok, ok, I know I spend most of my time defending burlesque and claiming it is not just middle class stripping…and then I go and show you how to make nipple tassels (or pasties as they are known).  The discussion about burlesque as performance art is a discussion for somewhere other than here.  But anyone who claims it is pure titillation (no pun intended) should take a look at Twisted Cabaret before making a judgement.

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Anyhow, I digress…

First you will need:

  • Ready made tassels or thread to make your own ( as explained below).  I used Anchor Metallic thread in Navy.
  • Foam to cut pasties out of.  I used glitter foam from The Works.
  • Sequins or jewels in whatever colours you want.  Again, I bought an entire set of lovely colours for £1.99 from The Works.
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Tweezers
  • A lot of patience!

BEFORE YOU BEGIN: you will need to measure your nipples, all the way across.  Everyone’s nipples are different.  If you make them too big, its no disaster, but too small and they will look ridiculous.

STEP ONE: Making tassels

Wrap your thread several times around either your fingers or a small object such as a jewellery box like in the picture below.  Cut three more lengths of thread of around 20cm and tie the pieces of  thread around the loop you have made.


Pull the threads you have just tied to the top of the loop, make a knot and separate into strands for plaiting.

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Once plaited an inch or two, tie LOOSELY in a knot.  You will need to untie this later on when you attach the tassel.


Snip the bottom of the loop to make your tassel…


Then to finish off, measure a cm from the top of the tassel and tie a length of thread several times around, finishing with a knot.  Your tassel is complete!  If it feels like too much work to make another, you can always attach it to a bookmark 😉



Having measured your nipples, draw two circles on the foam, 1.5cm BIGGER than your nipple length.


Now draw a line from the centre of the circle to the outer edge.  Snip along this line and curve to make a slight cone shape.  You might want to test it for size before sticking down.


Then to attach your tassels.  Snip a hole in the centre of the cone and undo the knot at the end of the plait of your tassel.  Thread the plait through the hole and retie the knot at the back of the cone.  This is what is going to keep your tassel from falling out.


If you have used glitter foam like I have, you could just leave them like this.  If not, you now need to stick on your sequins or jewels.  Start from the centre and work your way outwards.  Yes, it’s fiddly.  Yes, it takes time.  Yes, if you use strong glue you will get a headache and may possibly stick your fingers together.  That’s why I’d suggest using tweezers to position your jewels and wear a mask to avoid inhaling fumes if you are using the strong stuff.  This is what it looks like to begin with:


This is the point where I decided to leave it overnight to dry.  Again, the advantage of using glitter foam is that you could leave it here if you wanted to.


Once dry, its time to add your final rows in a contrasting colour.  This is where it gets messy if you are not careful.  I would suggest doing half of the edging of one pasty, before leaving it to dry and doing the same with the second one.  Then you can return to the first pasty to finish off and vice versa.

Here are the pasties completely finished.  Now all you need is tit tape or eyelash glue and away you go. Get twirling!