Make a Tassel Necklace with Prayer Beads

November 10, 2015

People use Mala necklaces for both spirituality and fashion, and making a Mala tassel necklace with prayer beads can be easy and fun! The use of Malas or “meditation garlands” in prayer dates back 3,000 years. Traditional Malas consist of 108 prayer beads, including “marker” beads, plus a larger “summit” or “guru” bead.  During meditation, a mantra or prayer is recited 108 times — once per bead. The marker beads serve as a point to re-focus, if necessary, and the summit bead is a beginning and ending point. When you make your own DIY Mala necklace, you can incorporate gemstone beads with properties that benefit you (or your family, friends, and customers). You can also use charms with symbols of your choice and colors with special meanings. Read on for full instructions.

 

Supplies needed to make a personal Mala necklace include rosewood beads and a lotus charm

Supplies for making the “Lotus Flower” Mala necklace pictured in this blog include a 108-bead rosewood Mala that will be taken apart and restrung with the addition of a few special beads, a charm, and a handmade tassel.

 

First, gather the following supplies:

 

Beadalon Tassel Maker Tool makes perfect tassels--quickly and easily.

Just a few tools are needed to make a Mala necklace: the Beadalon Tassel Maker Tool, sharp scissors, Bead Stoppers, beading tweezers, and a ruler. The tassel maker tool turns tassel making into a quick and easy task!

 

You’ll also want the following tools:

 

String rosewood beads to make a mala.

Begin stringing beads in the pattern shown, or create a pattern of your choice. Size 8 seed beads are strung between each Mala bead to give the appearance of hand-knotting without all the work.

 

Now, start stringing your prayer necklace:

  • Starting at the end where the tassel will be, I used the following pattern: 1 turquoise marker bead, 5 rosewood prayer beads, 1 turquoise marker bead, 13 rosewood prayer beads, 1 turquoise marker bead, 32 rosewood prayer beads, 1 turquoise marker bead.
  • TIP: String size 8 seed beads between each larger bead to give the appearance of hand-knotting without all the work!
  • Now add your charm. You’ve made it to the half-way point!
  • Starting on the other side of your charm, string the following pattern : 1 turquoise marker bead, 32 rosewood prayer beads, 1 turquoise marker bead, 13 rosewood prayer beads, 1 turquoise marker bead, 5 rosewood prayer beads, 1 turquoise marker bead. This will give you a symmetrical pattern.

 

When making a prayer bead Mala, use Bead Stoppers to keep the beads in place.

While stringing beads, just clip a Bead Stopper to the end of the string to prevent accidental bead spills (because stringing beads is fun, but restringing beads is just sad).

 

Add a lotus charm at the half-way point for the handstrung Mala.

The lotus charm marks the half-way point. Simply reverse the bead pattern to finish stringing your handmade Mala.

 

Finish stringing the handmade mala and add a size 8 seed bead.

Add a size 8 seed bead after your final turquoise marker bead.

 

Bring both sides together:

Turn the string of beads into a Mala necklace by bringing the ends together.

Now it’s time to complete the tassel mala necklace. To form an enclosed loop, bring both tails of the stringing material through a size 8 seed bead.

 

Finish the mala with a summit bead.

String the gold-plated bead and the rosewood summit bead (from the original Mala) onto both stringing tails. Pull the beads tightly together and add a Bead Stopper to the string ends. Set the beaded strand aside for later.

 

Now it’s time to make your tassel:

How to use the BeadSmith Tassel Making Tool to make a tassel necklace.

Take a few minutes to set up the tassel making tool. Space the tassel maker rods approximately 2 inches apart. Use the provided suction cups to firmly attach the tassel maker to your work surface. Unscrew one wing nut and insert the end of the tassel thread leaving a 3 inch tail; tighten the wing nut to secure the thread.

 

How to make a handmade tassel.

“Thread” the tassel making tool by wrapping the tassel thread over the far rod. Turn the crank to wrap around the other rod.

 

Winding tassel string to make a handmade jewelry tassel.

With the tassel spool held tautly, turn the crank and wind tassel thread evenly across the rods.

 

Tassel Maker Blog L - tassel 4

Keep turning until you have wound enough material to make your desired thickness of tassel. Our tassel required approximately 4 meters of tassel thread. Cut the thread from the spool leaving about 4 inches for finishing the tassel.

 

Tie a knot to finish the tassel.

String the tassel thread tail through the center of the wrapped material (beading tweezers can be very useful for this task). A loop will form, thread the tail through it and pull tightly to knot the thread. Repeat to secure the knot.

 

DIY tassel making tutorial with Beadalon Tassel Maker Tool.

Loosen the wing nut that is holding the beginning of the tassel thread and gently release the thread.

 

How to make a jewelry tassel; removing the tassel.

With one end securely knotted, slide the partially-formed tassel off the tassel maker tool.

 

Tie the tassel to the Mala Prayer Necklace.

Retrieve the strung Mala. As shown in the image, use an overhand knot to tie the partially-finished tassel to the Mala strand. Clip the stringing cord about a quarter inch from the knot.

 

Wrap the tassel cord around the tassel to finish it,

Use the remaining tail of tassel thread to finish the tassel. Just below the base of the summit bead, wrap the tassel tail several times around the tassel.

 

Make a yoga necklace with handmade tassel.

Tie a few overhand knots to secure the tassel’s wrapped finish.

 

Make a yoga bead necklace with tassel.

Use sharp scissors to clip the looped end of the tassel. Trim the tassel to even up the ends.

 

Mala Necklace Shortener Image

To wear your handmade Mala as a layered necklace, just add a necklace shortener.

 

A finished Mala necklace can be used for prayer, meditation, and worn.

The finished “Lotus Flower” Mala necklace is ready for use.

 

If you enjoyed making a Mala from prayer beads, you might also enjoy making a yoga bracelet.

Yoga Charm Bracelet Step Concluding Image

“Lotus Flower” Yoga Bracelet by Rings & Things designer Mollie Valente. Just click the image for full instructions.

 

Make things!

Mollie

 

 

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11 Comments

  • Reply Anne Wilcox December 1, 2015 at 10:23 am

    Beautiful!! The colors work really nicely together. Thank you for sharing such clear instructions.

  • Reply Kathleen Coop[er December 11, 2015 at 10:52 am

    The large pictures are wonderful. I just bought a tassel maker tool and appreciate the instructions you put in this tutorial.

  • Reply Teri March 26, 2016 at 6:48 am

    Thanks for the very detailed instructions. My question is, can you use other type of beading string/material to make this type of necklace???

    • Reply Polly March 28, 2016 at 9:21 am

      Hi Teri,
      Yes, you can use other stringing materials. There are hundreds of weights, colors, and materials suitable for stringing. Each has pros and cons. Beadalon and Soft Flex are popular stringing materials because they are durable, strong and don’t require a needle. They are stringing cable (like a tiny version of the huge cables used for suspension bridges), rather than thread. Their main drawback is that they can kink if abused. There are dozens of brands of beading thread. Each store carries their own favorites. For wooden beads, you’ll want something durable that resists fraying.
      Also, for the tassel portion – you can use many types of cord. Even embroidery floss from the crafts store works great. It is a softer so gives you a fluffier tassel, and has a tendency to fray and snag, but is inexpensive and comes in so many wonderful colors.
      -Polly

  • Reply Brooke Roe March 31, 2016 at 7:38 pm

    Love this project. Ordering several sets of materials to do with customers in my DIY studio. Is it okay to share your instructions on out tutorial system and give you credit for pics and instructions?

    • Reply Polly April 1, 2016 at 8:50 am

      Hi Brooke,
      Yes, you are welcome to share our instructions as long as you give us credit, (Rings & Things of Spokane, WA, or rings-things.com, either is fine). Thanks for asking!
      –Polly

  • Reply Meredith Roddy September 15, 2016 at 10:54 am

    I went looking for a tutorial on how to make a Mala necklace, and you’ve done a wonderful project featuring the Beadalon Tassel Maker and Cotton Cord! Thanks, guys!

    • Reply Polly September 16, 2016 at 10:25 am

      Thanks Meredith! We hope to have the tassel maker back on our website soon!
      –Polly

  • Reply Sonya September 18, 2016 at 8:34 am

    A lovely mala!
    Let us suppose you wish to add a stone pendant rather than tassel to end.
    Once you draw strings through the stone, how would one finish it off? A crimp and crimp cover?

  • Reply Dasya1 January 22, 2017 at 6:00 am

    Wonderfull
    do you have clips how to make a mala

  • Reply Sahil kumar July 5, 2017 at 5:59 am

    This is really a nice design.Thanks for sharing this post.

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