How to Tie a Mala Wooden Bead Necklace – How To-sday

June 23, 2016 separator Uncategorized

How-to-Tie-a-Mala-Necklace

 

I’ve been trying to focus more on mindfulness lately — being present. I’m really easily distracted and often find myself getting anxious just trying to find moments of calm, so I’ll take any help I can get. Thus, I give you my wood and lava mala necklace!


Mala beads are often called prayer beads, and they’re a staple in meditation and prayer. They typically have 108 beads, so that’s the number I used for this tutorial.

Here’s a little blurb I like from Mala Collective: “You don’t have to be religious or have any spiritual practice. You can simply wear them as a reminder of an intention you’ve set. And if you are seeking a calmer mind, body and spirit.”

And even if you’re not looking for a meditation or mindfulness aid, they’re just really beautiful, too!

How-to-Make-a-Wooden-Bead-Necklace How-to-Make-a-Wooden-Bead-Tassel-Necklace How-to-Tie-a-Mala-Wooden-Bead-Necklace---Supplies

Supplies

How-to-Tie-a-Mala-Wooden-Bead-Necklace---Cut-String

1.   Begin by cutting a really, really long piece of string. Stretch out the string between your hands, and stretch out your arms four times to get four “wingspans” worth of string.

How-to-Tie-a-Mala-Wooden-Bead-Necklace---Tie-on-Your-Base-Bead

2.   Tie a regular old knot in one end, and tighten it. Leave a few inches of extra string at the end before the knot. You’ll need it at the end to tie the tassel.
3.   Slide a lava bead (or any bead you want) onto the string, right up against the knot.

How-to-Tie-a-Mala-Bead-Necklace---Slide-the-Knot-Down-to-the-Bead

4.   Tie another regular old knot on the other side of the bead. You can use a needle or awl (the long, pokey tool!) to slide the knot right up against the bead before you tighten it all the way.
You want the knots to be tight against the beads to keep the necklace even and consistent.

How-to-Tie-a-Mala-Necklace---Switch-Beads

5. Once you’ve tied on the first half of the lava beads, switch over and start tying on the wooden beads.

I did 18 lava beads, 72 wood beads, and then 18 more lava beads.

I ended up having to tie double-knots around the wood beads because the holes were too big. Ideally, the holes should be about the same size for both types of beads because having to tie double-knots takes up a lot of extra string.

How-to-Tie-a-Mala-Necklace---Tighten-the-Knot

6. After you finish the wooden beads, just start tying on the second half of your lava beads.

As you can see in the picture above, I occasionally used my jewelry pliers to really tighten a knot up against a bead if it felt like it wasn’t snug enough.

How-to-Tie-a-Mala-Wooden-Bead-Necklace---Tie-the-Ends-Together

7. When you get to your last bead, tie it off just like you normally would, and cut the end, leaving a few inches of extra string.

Then, tie the two ends of the necklace together with a tight double-knot.

How-to-Tie-a-Mala-Necklace---Adding-the-Tassel

8. If you’re using a pre-made tassel, thread the string through the top of the tassel; tie it off; and you’re done.

If you’re making your own tassel, tie the string around the middle of a bunch of embroidery floss or silk cord. Tie a good double-knot as tight as you can get it.

How-to-Tie-a-Mala-Wooden-Bead-Necklace---Wrap-the-Tassel-in-Embroidery-Floss

9. Fold the tassel thread down over the knot, and wrap embroidery floss around it tightly several times to finish it off.

That’s it — you’ve got a beautiful new color-block mala!

How-to-Make-a-Mala-Necklace

10 comments

  1. There are different measurements of beading threads available for different size holes in beads. Bead openings can vary greatly between batches of beads and even from bead to bead in the same batch. So happy you put instructions as the end knitting is what confused me. Thanks for clarifying it all.

  2. Pingback: 25+ Thoughtful Gifts for the Yoga Lover in Your Life | Shutterfly
  3. I just ordered order the stuff to make these via the links your provided but the white string you recommended was too big to fit through the beads and the embroidery was too thin so the beads would slip over the single not. Kind of bummed but I love this so I will be searching for alternate ways to make this work!

    1. That’s so strange, Liz. I double checked and it’s the same brand cord and the same size bead I used. I’m so sorry it didn’t fit but really appreciate you letting me know! I did have to double-knot around the wooden beads because the holes were bigger on mine, and the string was quite a tight fit through the lava beads, but it’s a bummer that yours isn’t fitting. :(

  4. This is beautiful! And like Sarah said above – I love the idea of having a physical reminder of your goal that you can keep with you!

Leave a comment!