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How to Make a Mala Necklace

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This post shares a tutorial about how to make a mala necklace or bracelet.

How to Make a Mala Necklace

Today I’m updating an old post, so if you’re wondering why this project looks familiar, that’s why 😉 I thought it was high time I update and re-publish it with new photography and instructions. Plus is gave me an excuse to make a mala, which was a nice way to take a break from home projects.

So what’s a mala? A mala is typically used during meditation to help count mantras. Traditionally, a mala has 108 beads, a guru bead (which is a larger bead at the center), and a tassel. To get a basic overview of the mala and its use, you can read this article.

When you’re not using your mala, you can wear it as a necklace or hang it somewhere in your room (that’s what I do). That way, it serves as a reminder of why you meditate, what’s important in live, and all that good stuff.

Make a Mala Necklace

Want to learn how to make a mala necklace? Read on!

Here’s what you need:

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  • 104 beads + 4 marker beads (browse porcelain beads here and wood beads here)
  • 1 guru bead (browse actual guru beads here, but you can also just use a larger bead like I did)
  • Hemp cord or nylon thread
  • 1 tassel
  • Glue and scissors
  • Towel or a beading board to help you keep your beads from rolling around
  • Optional: 1 beading needle (Btw, this kind of silk beading cord come with a needle and it’s cheaper than nylon thread.)

And here’s how to make a mala necklace!

Step 1: Lay your towel out. The towel is a good alternative to a beading board because it helps to prevent the beads from rolling around as you arrange them. However, it isn’t as precise as a beading board and takes a little patience.

Begin arranging your beads in the order you’d like to string them. I used wood beads and lined them up in two rows of 54: 52 beads and 2 marker beads on each side.

beads
beads lined up
beads lined up

Step 2: String one of the rows onto one of the ends of your hemp. See the two bigger beads in the show below? Those are the marker beads. I didn’t use a beading needle, but it would certainly speed the process up and make it easier to get the string through the bead holes, especially if the holes on your beads are smaller. When my hemp started to fray, I just snipped the end to start fresh with a clean edge.

(Note: Mala necklaces are sometimes strung with knots between each bead. This requires a lot of patience and concentration 🙂 I didn’t put knots between each bead.)

threading beads
Make a Mala Necklace
threading beads

Step 3: Then string the other side of the beads onto the other end of the hemp. Notice how the beads are symmetrical? That’s the goal.

Make a Mala Necklace
Make a Mala Necklace

Step 4: Tie two tight knots at each end. If the holes in your beads are very big like mine are, you might want to add two smaller beads to hold the knots.

Make a Mala Necklace
Make a Mala Necklace

Step 5: String the guru bead up through both threads, then string the tassel on as well. Tie several tight knots around the tassel to secure everything in place and trim the excess. You might also want to add a dab of glue to secure your knots.

Make a Mala Necklace
Make a Mala Necklace
Make a Mala Necklace

And that’s that. Now you’ve got a beautiful mala 🙂

Learn how to make a mala necklace.
Make a Mala Necklace
how to make a mala necklace

I know you will also love this post on how to make resin jewelry!

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pinnable graphic with photo of a mala and text overlay saying how to make a mala necklace or bracelet
pinnable graphic with photos of a mala and text overlay saying how to make a mala necklace or bracelet
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Bee

Wednesday 17th of May 2017

I'm sure there are numerous ways of doing this, but traditionally a Mala has 108 beads (not counting the Guru bead and/or what comes afterwards) and the counter beads are also not included in that count. You listed 104 beads + 4 counters, a traditional way of doing this is 108 beads + 4 counters (and/or added spacers if wanted). If the Mala is only for decorative purpose it doesn't matter, if the Mala has a spiritual meaning for you and will be used to meditate it's a tiny detail that might be of importance. Namaste! :-)

Twochicksandamom/Donna

Thursday 20th of April 2017

Nice tutorial! Thanks for sharing at Funtastic Friday:).

Theresa

Monday 17th of April 2017

Love your tutorial Brittany. I am all for easy jewelry DIYs. Pinned & sharing. Thanks for joining the Inspiration Spotlight party. see you again soon.

Vasudha K.S

Friday 14th of April 2017

Looks very easy and pretty.

Sophie

Tuesday 11th of April 2017

That is such a good idea. I have for a long time been wanting to do MALA necklace for my meditation time. Now I know exactly how to made it ! Thank's

Brittany Goldwyn

Wednesday 12th of April 2017

You are welcome Sophie!

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