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How to use mardi gras beads for crafts

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How to use mardi gras beads for crafts
June 02, 2019 Events Calendar 4 comments

Mardi Gras is upon us, and heaps of colorful throw beads are a celebration essential. But don’t forget about them once the party is over. These inexpensive accessories can be used to dress up everything from drink coasters to chandeliers. Since they’re easy to buy in bulk and come in a wide range of colors, and since most of the time all you need to get creative with them is some glue, they’re a crafter’s dream material.

1. Bowls

Find instructions on how to make these exclusive to The Good Stuffsparkly love arrows DIY here!

2. Coasters

Source: Rust and Sunshine

You could make these coasters to suit any holiday depending on the color choice (green and gold for St. Patrick’s Day, pastels for Easter, etc.). Simply start with a felt base and attach beads to the top in a spiral formation.

3. Necklace

Source: The Fancy Stanton

Turn a bunch of single necklaces into one big statement necklace. Braid several strands together and secure the ends with pieces of ribbon.

4. Chandelier

Source: DIY Tag

You can turn a simple wire base into a dramatic chandelier with a little patience and lots of beads. This all-over blue version is lovely, but you could also make a dramatic decor statement with a multicolor creation.

5. Earrings

Source: Brit + Co

Cover a pair of inexpensive or old hoop earrings with a layer of beads for a wearable Mardi Gras accessory. Don them day or night, with any outfit, for an instant wardrobe upgrade.

6. Shoes

Source: US Trendy

Heels covered in Mardi Gras beads might be the ultimate party shoe. Make your own by gluing strands of beads to a plane pair of stilettos, and don’t forget a coating of glitter on the heel.

7. Wreath

Source: Aunt Peaches

Give your porch a party vibe with this dangly bead wreath. Simply hang strings of beads from a Dollar Store wreath base for a quick, easy, and super cheap project.

8. Candle Votives

Source: Celebrations

Beads look even more beautiful with a candlelit glow. Wrap clear glass votives in beads for an instant upgrade to your table decor.

9. Wine Bottle

Source: Mattscrap via Etsy

Celebrate Mardi Gras with a bottle of wine (or a few), then use leftover beads to turn them into works of art. Use them as eye-catching table centerpieces for a dinner party, or as unique mantle decor.

10. Boot Tray

Source: Metal and Mud

This winter weather boot tray is a practical and beautiful addition to your entryway. To make, cover a tray with beads arranged in a colorful pattern, and use it to store soppy footwear.

11. Vase

Source: Life A La Mode

Turn a plane vase into a bejeweled centerpiece for displaying flowers, feathers, or whatever you like. All gold is classy, but you could throw in some color too.

12. Napkin Rings

Source: Milwaukee Interior Design Coach

Wrapped beads make for an easy napkin ring that’s perfect for a Mardi Gras fete, but work well for any other dinner party. And guests can wear them when they’re done dining.

13. Easter Eggs

Source: Craftgrrl

Easter will be here before you know it. Instead of the usual dye job, wrap foam eggs in Mardi Gras beads- they’ll be better suited to weather the hunt on Easter morning, and you can use them again next year.

14. Plant Pots

Source: Sanna and Sania

Brighten up your plant pots with a coating of green beads (or any color that matches your decor). Be sure to stick them on your windowsill for passerbys to admire.

15. Side Table

Source: Rob Corley

For a seriously bold addition to your home decor, cover a small side table in beads of various colors, shapes, and sizes. This one will take some time, but the dramatic results are well worth the effort.

Mardi gras beads might be the perfect DIY material – inexpensive, versatile, and available in a wide range of colors. And don’t be afraid to think beyond the projects shown here; you can use glue to wrap them around almost any base (ornaments, candlestick holders, even small pieces of furniture). Use them to add a bit of bling and a party vibe to everything from wearable accessories to home decor.

After mister throws you something, where do Mardi Gras beads go? Sure you keep some for souvenirs, but every year 25 million pounds of used Mardi Gras beads are thrown away. Save the commemorative medalions and blinkly lights and let us help you figure out what to do with all of the rest you have stockpiled! Yes,  we're talking to you people who have the boxes stacked high in the attic or overflowing in the basement. 

French Quarter/Treme

  • Alvar Library – 913 Alvar St.  
  • JW Marriot Hotel – 614 Canal St.  
  • Hotel Mazarin – 730 Bienville St.
  • Ritz Carlton Hotel – 921 Canal St.  
  • Dauphine Orleans Hotel – 415 Dauphine St.  
  • City Blueprint & Supply – 1904 Poydras St. 
  • Treme Recreation Community Cente – 900 North Villere St. 


  • The Roosevelt Hotel – 130 Roosevelt Way 
  • Dudley DeBosier Injury Lawyers office – 622 Baronne St. 
  • Gult Coast Bank & Trus – 200 St. Charles Ave. 
  • KPMG office – 909 Poydras St.
  • Capital One – 201 St. Charles Ave.  
  • Federal Reserve Bank building – 525 St. Charles Ave. 
  • Nopsi Hotel – 317 Baronne St.  
  • Shell gas station – 701 Poydras St. 
  • Windsor Court Hotel – 300 Gravier St. 


  • Touro Synagogue – 4238 St. Charles Ave.  
  • Best Western – 3636 St. Charles Ave.
  • Loews Hotel – 300 Poydras St.  
  • Poydras Home independent living facility – 5354 Magazine St.  
  • Children's Resource Center Library – 913 Napoleon Ave. 
  • St. Stephen Catholic School – 1025 Napoleon St.
  • Residential location – 625 St. Charles Ave.  
  • ARC Document Solutions – 852 Tchoupitoulas St. 
  • Louis S. McGehee School – 2343 Prytania St.  
  • Milton H. Latter Memorial Library – 5120 St. Charles Ave. 
  • Loyola University – 6363 St. Charles Ave. 
  • Lyons Recreation Center – 624 Louisiana Ave. 
  • Whole Foods – 5600 Magazine St.  
  • ArcGNO's Uptown Community Center – 1771 Nashville St.
  • Lusher Charter School – 7315 Willow St.  


  • Gulf Coast Bank & Trust – 201 N. Carrollton Ave.  
  • Mid-City Public Library – 4140 Canal St. 
  • Xavier University Library – 1 Drexel Dr.  
  • Rosa F. Keller Library & Community Center – 4300 S Broad St.

Mid-City and Lakeview

  • Robert E. Smith Library – 6301 Canal Blvd.  
  • Gulf Coast Bank & Trust – 848 Harrison Ave.  
  • LSU School of Dentistry – 1100 Florida Ave. 
  • City Park – 1 Palm Dr.
  • Dillard University's Will W. Alexander Library & Lawless Memorial Chapel – 2601 Gentilly Blvd. 
  • Norman Mayer Library – 3001 Gentilly Blvd.  
  • St. Bernard Recreation Center – 1500 Lafreniere St. 
  • Sanchez Multi-Service Center – 1616 Caffin Ave.
  • Rosenwald Recreation Center – 1120 S. Broad St. 
  • Whole Foods – 300 N. Broad St. 
  • Longvue Hous and Gardens – 7 Bamboo Rd.  

Gentilly/9th Ward

  • Milne Recreation Center – 5420 Franklin Ave. 
  • Stallings St. Claude Recreation Center – 4300 St. Claude Ave. 

New Orleans East

  • NASA Michoud Assembly Facility – 13800 Old Gentilly Rd.  
  • East New Orleans Regional Library – 5641 Read Blvd.  
  • Joe W. Brown Park – 5601 Read Blvd.  

West Bank 

  • Algiers Regional Library – 3014 Holiday Dr.  
  • Cita Dennis Hubbell Library – 725 Pelican Ave. 
  • Oakwood Mall – 197 Westbank Expy. 

Metairie and Kenner

  • Gulf Coast Bank & Trust – 1825 Veterans Memorial Blvd.
  • Munholland United Methodist Church – 1201 Metairie Rd.
  • Haynes Academy for Advanced Studies – 1416 Metairie Rd.
  • Whole Foods – 3420 Veterans Memorial Blvd. 

Click here for more information about the program and how to buy back the used beads.

Upcycle Beads with Crafts, Jewelry & Home Decor

If you’re one of those people who love Pinterest and doing crafts, you may want to try your hand at re-using the beads in your next project. We've seen beads transformed into everything from framed wall art to lampshades. Who knows, it may even turn into a side business for you! Even if you're not that particularly crafty, many of these projects only require cutting and glueing, so they're safe for beginners.

Donate The Extra Beads

Speaking of arts and crafts, many schools collect the beads for art class projects. Other schools may collect beads to donate to groups like the Arc. Check with your neighborhood school to see if they could use your surplus beads.

So what are you planning to do with your unwanted beads? Share your plans with us on Facebook. 

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Discover ideas about Bead Crafts. Use mardi gras beads to make coasters декор своими руками #новыйгод #декор #своимируками Crafts To Do.

We have massive amounts of Mardi Gras beads in our house.

Our apartment is overflowing with Mardi Gras beads. (photo by Carlie Kollath Wells/New in NOLA)

Beads, plush toys, cups, tridents, doubloons, chips, Muses shoe, Nyx purse. You name it, we got it (except for a coconut). But what do we do with the beads now?

We’ve asked our New Orleans friends and searched Pinterest for ideas. Voila – 24 things to do with Mardi Gras beads.

1. Throw them away  

You could throw your stuff away. We’re not a fan of trashing everything we worked so hard to get, but hey, you wouldn’t be the only ones to do it. In same fashion, you can shove everything in your attic or garage.

One of the post-Mardi Gras options for beads and trinkets – throw them away. (photo by Carlie Kollath Wells/New in NOLA)

2. Recycle the beads

We like this option because it quickly removes the clutter from your house. Arc of Greater New Orleans  offers a recycling service for your beads and throws. About Arc:

Buy recycled Mardi Gras beads and throws for less, and do your part to create “green” jobs for people with intellectual disabilities. Join the Arc of GNO and the Sierra Club as we recycle Mardi Gras beads, trinkets, and stuffed animals for the 2013 Carnival Season, and keep them out of the landfills!!

The group sells the beads to krewes. Several places around town have the purple & gold ARC recycling bins. Popular drop-off point – Whole Foods on Magazine Street (Arabella Station store). It’s to the right of the door in the parking area.

We checked it out the other week and it was overflowing with goodies. Muses bags, nice beads and plenty of throws.  For a full list of collection points, call  504-837-5105.

• Full list of 2015 bead drop-off locations in metro New Orleans.

Dirty Coast and Whole Foods partnered with Arc of New Orleans to recycle Mardi Gras beads and throws. (photo by Carlie Kollath Wells/New in NOLA)

You can recycle your Mardi Gras beads and trinkets at Whole Foods on Magazine Street. (Photo by Carlie Kollath Wells/New in NOLA)

3. Sell them on eBay.

Some people choose to convert their free Mardi Gras goodies into cash. We checked eBay and found several throws from Muses listed. Really want a Muses shoe? Buy one on eBay.

Some people try to sell their Mardi Gras beads & loot on eBay. (eBay screenshot)

Some people try to sell their Mardi Gras beads & loot on eBay. (eBay screenshot)

4. Make a bead tree.

Throw your colorful beads onto tree branches. Some people (us!) love the look, while other people don’t. It’s up to you.

You can decorate your trees with beads. After the parades, kids and merrymakers tossed beads into this tree on Magazine Street in New Orleans. (photo by Carlie Kollath Wells/New in NOLA)

You also can make a mini bead tree inside by filling an empty coffee can with foam or sand and sticking a bare branch in the center. Decorate the branch with beads.

image via Pinterest user andreptaylor24

5. Mail out Mardi Gras care packages.

Mardi Gras care packages are perfect for your out-of-state family and friends. They also are good for your New Orleans friends who have moved away. We filled our boxes with beads, cups, chips, doubloons, plush toys and note. These are good to mail after Mardi Gras, or if you want to store them for a year, you can mail them before Mardi Gras next year.

Mardi Gras care package (photo by Carlie Kollath Wells/New in NOLA)

6. Make magnets.

We love this idea from Pinterest. Remember your Mardi Gras adventures every day with magnets on your fridge. Snip the krewe medallions off the beads and hot glue magnets to the back.

Turn your Mardi Gras beads into fridge magnets. (image via Pinterest user lesleye)

7. Make a Mardi Gras tree.

Start with a foam or cardboard cone and glue beads to it. Change your color scheme to fit the appropriate holiday (green for St. Patrick’s, green/gold/purple for Mardi Gras, red & green for Christmas, etc.)

Convert your beads into a tabletop decoration. (photo via Pinterest user lesleye)

8. Create a Mardi Gras mosaic.

image via @nschilling2006 on Pinterest

image via Pinterest user @aleckjames

image via Pinterest user @CarolynStafford

9. Make bead garland.

image via pinterest user @jenshoewalk

10. Make a piece of art for your wall or door. 

image via Pinterest user @erinbresenhuber

image via Pinterest user @mgferguson

image via Pinterest user @lesleye

11. Use them in gift-wrapping.

FedEx’s blog has a how-to guide for using Mardi Gras beads to decorate boxes. Read it here.

12. Upcycle them into jewelry.

This version incorporates chains and knotted beads:

This one on Keetsa is made of beads and men’s ties:

13. Give them to house guests.

We keep a Mardi Gras swag bag in our house. It’s full of beads, cups and plush Mardi Gras throws. When out-of-town visitors stay with us, they are welcome to grab some goodies out of the bag. It’s a nice way to get our guests into the New Orleans spirit, plus we get rid of the extra items.

This is our Mardi Gras swag bag – beads, cups, doubloons and other goodies inside a bag from Bacchus. (photo by Carlie Kollath Wells/

14. Put them in your costume trunk.

Beads always come in handy. You can reuse them for holidays – St. Patrick’s Day, hello?! – and they make good costume accessories for you and for the kiddos.

image via

15. Make a nightlight or lamp shades.

Etsy has a few listings for nightlights and lamp shades made out of Mardi Gras beads. Example from SassyCrafter’s shop:

nightlight via SassyCrafter on Etsy

We like color the beads add to this light fixture:

image via Pinterest user @haprice23

16. Use them as dog/cat toys.

Our cat likes to play with the plush toys. We’ve seen dogs playing with the throws, too.

image via

17. Make a chandelier. has instructions for making a chandelier out of beads. Finished product:

Other versions:

image via Pinterest user @audiemeeks

image via

Here’s the step-by-step instructions for the chandelier.

18. Decorate your chandelier.

Want to jazz up your existing chandelier? has instructions for that.

19. Make a wreath.

You can wrap/glue beads around an existing grapevine wreath:

image via Pinterest user @delana_mcCurry

Or you can cover a foam base with beads:

This wreath is for sale on Etsy for $75. It’s in @nolabeadart’s shop.

NOLAbeadart on Etsy made the second wreath. The seller has several other Mardi Gras bead crafts for sale. See the store here.

20. Bedazzle lamps, glasses, skirts, napkins, etc.

Jazz up your napkins during Mardi Gras. (image via Pinterest user @Lindalou1130)

Upcycle a lamp with beads. (image via Pinterest user @divegoddess316)

Looks like a good skirt for Mardi Gras next year. (image via Pinterest user @newlywedinNOLA)

21. Decorate a fence or a staircase.

Don’t let your house/apartment/condo be naked during carnival season. If you have a fence, it needs beads.

The Visual Vamp blog has several other good ideas for Mardi Gras home decor. Check them out.

22. Make bead curtains.

image via Pinterest user @amygarrett74)

23. Use them as Christmas decorations and ornaments.

image via Pinterest user bambowen

24. Join a krewe and throw them to paradegoers next year.

We’ve pinned several more ideas and examples on Pinterest. Check them out.

(This post originally was published March 18, 2013. It was updated March 3, 2014.)


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Repurpose Mardi Gras Beads with These DIY Crafts

Sure, you have your costume picked out, but is your home decorated for Mardi Gras? We’ll show you two different ways to jazz up your space just in time for Fat Tuesday. For both crafts, you’ll need Mardi Gras beads. Speaking of…

Whether you’re in need of beads or need to get rid of some, Beads by the Pound program – the Arc recycling center in Metairie not only saves you money but also provides green jobs and helps save the planet.

OK, do you have your beads ready? Here we go!

Make these Mardi Gras coasters using leftover beads and felt. (Photo courtesy

Mardi Gras Coasters


  • Beads
  • Felt cut into 3- or 4-inch circles (see How-To)
  • Fabric glue
  • Thread


First, measure your beads. Necklaces that are 24-inches long correspond perfectly with 4-inch felt rounds; necklaces that are 16-inches long fit with 3-inch felt circles. Find the point where the string of beads joins together (usually a deformed bead) and cut it off to make one long string rather than a necklace. Remove any medallions or pendants using pliers.

Place a dot of fabric glue in the center of the felt round. Attach one end of the bead string to the center dot, then wind around in a spiral motion, adhering with fabric glue as you go around. Continue until you run out of beads, then let dry overnight.

For a complete tutorial, visit Rust & Sunshine.

Mardi Gras Centerpieces


  • Beads
  • Glass containers
  • Tea lights


Simply place the beads in the bottom of the glass vessel, and place a tea light on top. Remember to never leave a lit candle unattended!

For color ideas and a complete how-to, visit Bustle.


WATCH THE VIDEO ON THEME: Kids Bead Weaving "3 Wide Braid" BEADZ101

Shimmery metallic beads are a fun addition to parties, festivals, Mardi Gras, carnivals, prize boxes, crafts, parades, and more — use as decorations or necklaces.

25 Bon Temps Mardi Gras Crafts For Kids

When the last float of Rex finishes its tour through the city and you head back to your room laden with enough beads to equal the body mass of a small child, you will be faced with the challenge of figuring out what the heck to do with them all. Instead of dumping pounds of beads into the dumpster, here are some simple and nifty ways to not only reuse your beads, but keep the spirit of Mardi Gras with you long after the streets have been swept and the last of the glitter is gone.

1. Coasters.

All you need is some cardboard (plastic, paper, felt or fabric will also do) and a hot glue gun in addition to your leftover beads in order to make these crafty little coasters. Simply cut the necklace to make one long strand of beads and glue them in a spiral to the paper and voila, you have yourself some festive coasters. They also make great gifts! You can also draw a pattern on the paper and glue the beads accordingly. Simple, fun and personalized.

2. Bead curtain.

Grab your beads, a long piece of cord and two hooks. For this masterpiece, all you need to do is cut your beads into one long strand and tie them together into longer, floor-length strands. Tie each one to the cord (the thicker you want your curtain, the more cords you should make). Place command hooks on either side of the door frame and string your curtain between them. Mixing and matching different types of beads makes for a more personalized and quirky curtain. You can also use spray paint to achieve the desired effect.

3. Monogram.

Buy a wooden letter from the craft store or simply trace and cut one out of cardboard. Wrap with beads and hang with a ribbon. Again, great for decorating your own apartment or giving as a gift to friends and family.

4. Ornament.

There are multiple ways to make this handy craft. You need a foam ball or old ornament you don’t want anymore, some spray paint, a ribbon, glue and your beads. Once again, cut the beads into long strands. You can choose to spray paint them one color (like in the picture) or just have them in different colors. If you are using an old ornament, you can either leave its original color or spray paint it. Simply glue the beads to the foam ball or ornament and tie a ribbon on to hang.

5. Wall decorations.

This doesn’t just apply to the fleur de lis. You can apply this to the logo of your college, your initials, or really any other idea that you could possibly come up with. Simply take a piece of cardboard and sketch out the design that you want to make and label what color beads you want to go where. Treat it as a color-by-number project and just fill in the spaces with beads that you glue on. This makes for lovely decorations for all seasons.

6. Votives and centerpieces: option one.

Put a strand of beads at the bottom of a candle votive and make them more decorative. If you want to get even more creative, take martini glasses and put a strand of the beads inside and put your candle on top. Classy!

7. Votives, pencil holders and glasses: option two.

This time, take your beads and glue them around the outside of the glass or the votive. Again, you can either spray paint your beads or leave them in their original colors. Glue your beads around an old mason jar to make a festive cup or a pencil holder for your desk.

8. Bead chandelier: option one.

You need a few more materials for this one, but in the end it will be worth it. Take three wire wreath frames (of different but close sizes), use a string to hang them next to each another in descending order of size (the smallest ring hanging from the second middle ring hanging from the largest ring). Make sure the rings are hanging so that they are balanced. Then simply hang your beads from the rings. You can glue them into place if you like.

9. Bead chandelier: option two.

This one is a bit more complicated, so I would suggest spending a little more time to make it a reality. However, it is absolutely gorgeous and the perfect craft for a girls' night! You’ll wow every visitor you have when you tell them that you made it yourself out of old Mardi Gras beads! Here is the link.

10. Shoes.

For those of you who live in New Orleans or regularly travel to attend Mardi Gras festivities, this option is pure gold. Simply take an old pair of heels or shoes of any kind and glue your beads on the outside. Perfect for dates and parades. You can try gluing them to old Toms, Vans, Keds or Converse). The results will be brilliant. You’ll be celebrating Mardi Gras better than everyone you know.

11. Wine bottle.

This knocks out two birds with one stone -- you’re finding a creative way to recycle your old wine bottles and reusing your Mardi Gras beads at the same time. These also make wonderful gifts.

12. Wrapped wreath.

Simply wrap your old beads around a foam wreath from any craft store. Mix and match colors for different occasions and get creative!

how to use mardi gras beads for crafts

WATCH THE VIDEO ON THEME: Mardi Gras Bead Projects

I took the frame and covered it in the Mardi Gras beads. It turned out so cool- looking! Mardi-Gras-Bead-Crafts. You could use this DIY Mardi Gras frame to frame.

how to use mardi gras beads for crafts
Written by Gashakar
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