Today's project isn't a repurpose, an upcycle or a restyle...it's a mini solution to a problem I run into a lot. I LOVE giving gifts. I love giving HANDMADE gifts. But personally, I find it difficult to give my particular brand of upcycled jewelry to many of the people in my life. It takes a certain...er...esthetic sense...to appreciate what I do. And not everyone wants jewelry even when it isn't weird.
Do you guys know what I mean? Whichever craft you practice, chances are it is not going to be appreciated by everyone on your list.
So I thought I would show you a beaded gift that might please some of those impossible-to-craft-for people. Not all of them. But some. Look:
They are Japa Mala beads - traditional Hindu or Buddhist meditation or prayer beads. Big and exciting looking, they are more decor than jewelry, more objet d'art than necklace. A cool gift for someone into ethnic art or Asian influenced decor. And for anyone who does yoga or meditates, a lovely, unique treasure.
They are super simple to make and (bonus!) require no special tools or jewelry-making skills. Here comes the easy tutorial for my version of Japa Mala beads.
When you have strung all your beads, add a small (optional) spacer to each end, then string both ends through a big, interesting bead of some kind.
Cut a couple of short pieces of string and tie a knot around them using the two original string ends. It's a little hard to see in the picture, but when you pull the knot tight it disappears inside the big bead:
Now you have a bunch of strings that will form the tassel, and you need to thread all the ends through a final big bead. It may be a tight fit. Here is my SECRET WEAPON!!!!
Okay, last step: tie a big knot right up against the final bead:
And that's your Mala! Aren't they nice?