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Find your Zen in Beads

On yesterday's Beadalon Facebook Live Video, I shared a fun project that featured the Beadalon Knotter Tool and Tassel Maker to make a Mala Necklace. A Mala Necklace means different things to different people, and the internet is a wonderful labyrinth of interesting information, but at its core, it's a prayer necklace of 108 beads that is used during meditation.

For my inspiration, I was looking at a project on the Rings & Things website by Mollie Valente. She used the Beadalon Tassel Maker and Cotton Tassel Cord with some gorgeous beads. I loved her instructions and how she broke it all down, but I wanted to make my necklace with knots in between my beads rather than seed beads like she used. I also used B-Lon Tex 210 Beading Thread for my Tassel. But I did keep the TierraCast charm at the back of the necklace - just one of those little touches that make the design more special. Thanks for the inspiration, Mollie!

You can use any gemstone, glass or other bead that suits your fancy, but I found that 6mm beads are the best size for making a Mala Necklace. 8mm beads will yield a too long necklace and the 2 meters of Silk on the card won't be enough material anyway. Your focal beads can either compliment or contrast with your design, and just make sure that your ending bead has a hole big enough to allow for both lengths of silk cord to pass through it at the end. You can also use the Knot-a-Bead if you like knotting with it better than the Beadalon Knotter Tool. 

(1) Size 12 Carded Silk Cord
(100) 6mm Beads
(8) coordinating marker beads
(1) TierraCast Charm
(1) Tassel Topper
(1) Focal Bead with a hole large enough to fit both of the ends of the Silk Cord
B-Lon Tex 210 Beading Cord

Beadalon Knotter Tool or Knot-a-Bead
Beadalon Tassel Maker
Big Eye Beading Needle

1. Pre-stretch your Silk Cord and tie a knot in the end opposite the needle about 4 inches from the end.

2. String on your beads following this pattern: (1) marker bead, (5) 6mm Beads, (1) marker bead, (13) 6mm beads, (1) marker bead, (32) 6mm beads, (1) marker bead.

3. At this halfway point, add your TierraCast charm.

4. String the rest of the necklace reversing the pattern: (1) marker bead, (32) 6mm beads, (1) marker bead, (13) 6mm beads, (1) marker bead, (5) 6mm beads, (1) marker bead.

5. Double check that both sides are even and your bead counts are correct.

6. Use the Beadalon Knotter Tool or Knot-a-Bead to knot between all of the beads on your necklace. Make sure you don't miss any beads or tie any double knots! I like to treat the marker bead-charm-marker bead at the middle point as one unit.

7. When you are done knotting all of the beads, use the attached needle along with a Big Eye Beading Needle to thread both ends of the silk through the focal bead then a Tassel Topper.

8. Use the Beadalon Tassel Maker to make a Tassel with either Cotton Tassel Cord or (I used) B-Lon.

9. Attach the Tassel to the Necklace just under the Tassel Topper by knotting both of the ends of the Silk through the wraps of the Tassel and tie a square knot.

10. Use another piece of Cotton Tassel Cord or B-Lon, about 10 inches long, to wrap around the top of the Tassel and tie off with a square knot.

11. Cut off the extra threads and trim your Tassel to size.

I really like this project. It works up pretty quickly and you can use a lot of different kinds of beads for a one of a kind look!

We'll be back next Wednesday at 3:00pm EST with another Facebook Live Video. Do you have any suggestions for a project? Any techniques that you'd like us to break down? Leave a comment and let us know!

Happy Beading,