How to Twist Mardi Gras Beads


Mardi Gras, meaning Fat Tuesday, is the time of celebration that leads up to and ends on Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent. Originally just the day before Ash Wednesday, Fat Tuesday or Mardi Gras now spans weeks and involves parties, parades and festivals, particularly in the Gulf region of the United States. During Mardi Gras parades, beads are thrown from floats to the crowd. Catching these beads can be considered an art form. Not only do you want to catch a lot of beads, you want to catch beads that are unique. One way to stand out in the crowd is to know a few simple tricks to "dress up" or embellish the beads you've caught.

Making A Star

  • Find the spot on your Mardi Gras beads where two beads look as if they're melted together. This is the "bad" end, and you should work on the opposite side of the strand of beads for your project.

  • Twist a section of four beads into a square. Skip one bead, and twist another section of four beads into a square. Continue to do this until you have four squares hanging on the bottom of your necklace.

  • Grasp the beads just above the end squares on the left and right. Twist the strands together.

  • Count up two beads on each strand and twist the beads together, forming the fifth square, or top of the star. Now a star shape hangs on the bottom of your Mardi Gras bead necklace.

Making A Dog

  • Find the bad end of your beads and work from the opposite end.

  • Twist a section of four beads together to make a square. Make another square on each side of the square you just created. These form the dog's four legs and head.

  • Count five to six beads up the necklace from your left-hand square. Hold that bead between your fingers of your left hand.

  • Count three beads up the necklace from the square on the far right. Hold that bead between your fingers in your right hand.

  • Bring the two beads you're holding together, twisting them together to form the finished dog. His four legs are the two squares on the bottom; his head is the square on the far left that is now tilted up by connecting it to his tail.

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  • Photo Credit beads image by Aleksandr Lobanov from
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