How to Restring a Mala Bead Wire


Malas feature anywhere from 20 to 108 and beads. Similar to rosary beads, mala strings contain one size of beads and a tassel instead of different sizes of pater beads on a crucifix. Buddhists use mala sets in much the same way that Catholics use rosaries. Buddhists often wear malas around their wrists or necks and use them daily. This daily use can take a toll on your mala. No matter your stringing material, it will eventually break. Inspect an older mala every day for wear and restring it when it develops worn places.

Things You'll Need

  • Old mala
  • Felt fabric
  • Scissors
  • Beading wire
  • Wire nips
  • Beading needle
  • New fabric
  • Snip the wire between two of the beads; it doesn't matter where you snip. Gently pull the beads off of the old wire and lay them on the felt. If they were in a certain order, keep them in that order as you lay them down.

  • Snip a piece of beading wire about as long as your arm for 108-bead malas and about 10 inches long for bracelet, or 20-bead, malas. Thread the wire through a beading needle.

  • Pick up the guru tower bead from your old mala set. This bead looks like a small, round pyramid with a flat top. String it onto the wire with the narrow end pointing downward toward the other end of the wire.

  • String the guru bead next. This is an ordinary bead with three holes: one on each side and one in the bottom. Pass the needle up through the bottom hole and out of the left hole.

  • String the rest of your beads onto the wire. Keep your pattern intact, if there was one.

  • Curl your mala into a circle and pass your needle down through the right and bottom holes in the guru bead as well as the hole in the tower bead. Adjust the mala so the beads are snug, but the mala is flexible.

  • Knot the ends of your wire together and slip both ends through the eye of your needle. Pass the needle through the top of the knot on the mala tassel, snugging the tassel up against the guru tower bead. When finished, knot the wire and snip away excess.

Tips & Warnings

  • Place your old mala on a piece of clean felt fabric. The felt cushions the beads and prevents them from rolling around too much.

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