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Craft a Frame with Mardi Gras Beads

Looking for a way to use up those leftover Mardi Gras Beads and let the party spirit last all year long? Try this super simple, budget-friendly) craft and "laissez les bon temps rouler!"

We love that this DIY project repurposes a supply you're sure to have on hand but typically would toss out after one wear. The frame makes for a sweet gift to a friend but would also look great on your end table year round - especially in a cluster of three different sized frames.

Our photo frame was made with the latest color craze - tangerine - in mind.


Mardi Gras beads
Hot Glue Gun and glue sticks
Plain Picture Frame


Select your frame and make sure the surface is clean and dry. You can find inexpensive frames at the dollar store, thrift shop, or discount store. Or, if you have an unused giveaway or promotional frame lying around (Prom 2001: Magical Memories, anyone?) feel free to repurpose that too. You will be able to see through the space between the beads, so a plain solid color frame works best, but you can paint a multicolored one you may have before affixing the beads if you would like.

Decide upon your color scheme -- all one color, rainbow, or alternating, and get your beads together.

Smaller frames will use less, obviously, while larger frames will need more, so have several strands on hand.

Step 1: Remove the backing and glass from the frame so you are only working with the front portion. (If it does not come apart that is ok -- just be careful when handling. 

Step 2: Cut your first string of beads apart so it is no longer a circular necklace but one long string. You may notice that some of your beads are held together by fusing two beads -- if possible, cut this double bead out to maintain a consistent look. 

Step 3: Heat up your hot glue gun and carefully add a strip of glue to the innermost portion of the frame, and carefully affix your bead string on top of the glue, working one side at a time. Always use caution when operating a hot glue gun -- those suckers burn!

When you are closing up the first rotation, measure how many more beads you’ll need and trim before putting the glue down. Add your strip of glue, press down on the beads, and start again outside this first loop.

Continue this process all the way around your frame, preparing and adding new strings of beads as needed.


Try and maintain 90 degree angles (when using a rectangular frame) instead of rounded corners. For your outermost row of beads make sure that your beads align exactly with the shape of the frame. 

If you do have gaps due to rounded corners or uneven bead work, not to worry – cut off individual beads and add small drops of glue in the space. Tuck in a bead or two, and your frame will look flawless. 

Allow the glue to completely dry, then add a fun picture inside. 


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Meet our Writer
Jennifer Geddes
Celebrations Writer

Jennifer Kelly Geddes has hosted Christmas cookie swaps, New Year's open houses, Thanksgiving for 22, and all manner of dinner parties in her Manhattan and Ghent, NY homes.

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