I’m so excited about this mala necklace DIY! This has been on my bucket list for a while, so in case it was on anyone else’s, here’s how to make a DIY mala bead necklace. A strand of mala beads are kind of a yogi right of passage. They’re traditionally a set of beads used for prayer and meditation, similar to a rosary. You don’t have to belong to a religion to have or wear these. A mala necklace can enhance your personal practice and meditation, encourage a calmer state of mind, and ground you in mindfulness throughout the day.
Mala bead necklaces are typically made up of 108 beads and 1 focal bead. To use the mala, you rotate each bead as you repeat a mantra, working your way from one end of the focal. Once you reach the focal again, you turn the necklace around and work your way back the other way. They’re often made with a knot between each bead because that makes it easier to turn the beads.
The design for my mala beads are modeled after the Surfer Mala from Mala Earth, a design that was originally made for Kelly Slater. Turquoise is so beautiful, but I wanted to incorporate some rose quartz into mine to tap into the heart chakra energy. I’ve focusing my energy there lately, expressions of joy and positivity, doing a lot of heart openers, and was interested in mala beads that would encourage that exploration.
These mala beads are made from a combination of energetic gemstones and rudraksha seed beads. Many mala beads are made from rudraksha seeds. Rudraksha is derived from two Sanskrit words, “rudra” and “aksha”, and translates to “the one who is capable of looking at and doing everything” (third eye). If you look these seeds up, you’ll find all kinds of information about the importance of using genuine rudraksha and the number of faces (mukhi) that would be best for your lifestyle (5 for me). Basically, they are a shield against negative energies and have an electromagnetic frequency or something like that, which helps to regulate blood pressure and bring balance between your Ida and Pingala nadis.
Mala Bead Necklace Gemstone Meanings
Gemstone energy is a really interesting idea. I like to work with gemstones recommended for Aries, which is my sun sign. These are the intentions of the beads I chose:
Rudrakasha – balance all body chakras, minimize stress, relax mind, aid in memory and decision making, protection
Rose quartz – heart stone, compassion, peace, healing, nourishment, comfort, heart chakra
Lava – stone of the earth, healing, grounding, calming but intense, rebirth, root chakra
Obsidian – healing, protection against sensitivity, blocks negativity, self control, resilience, root chakra
Turquoise – protection, power luck, wisdom, self-expression, throat chakra
Tassels are really popular in necklaces right now, but I chose not to include one so it could easily be worn as a bracelet without that tassel flopping all over the place. Also, I wasn’t using waterproof thread and really didn’t want a wet tassel flopping all over the place after washing my hands. Instead, the bottom of this necklace is finished with a button to easily hook the bracelet around the wrist. Tassels are so beautiful, though. To add a tassel to your mala beads, Martha Stewart can teach you how to make a tassel. She is so good at crafts!
Mala Bead Necklace DIY Materials:
1 Strand of Rudraksha Beads
6 8mm Rose Quartz Beads
6 8mm Lava Beads
6 8mm Obsidian Beads
1 T-drilled round rose quartz bead
1 Turquoise Focal Bead
1 Skein of Burgundy Embroidery Thread
1 Made With Love Charm
1 Brass Jump Ring
1 Brass Button
These rudraksha beads actually came as a set of prayer beads, so if you wanted to keep things simple you could just order them from the nice people over at BeachCastleBeads and tada you have mala beads. What a great name for a merchant 🙂
Mala Bead Necklace DIY Directions
Use the embroidery thread to thread your beads. This necklace used the entire length of the thread, without cutting the length down at all. As you thread each bead, tie a double knot with the embroidery thread at the base of the latest bead. Depending on the width of your thread, you may want to tie a double knot to ensure the bead knot is larger than the bead hole it’s over. You don’t want your bead slipping over the knot and getting stuck.
1 lava bead / 1 rose quartz bead / 1 lava bead / 11 rudraksha beads / 1 obsidian bead / 11 rudraksha beads / 1 rose quartz bead / 1 obsidian bead / 1 rose quartz bead / 11 rudraksha beads / 1 obsidian bead / 12 rudraksha beads / 1 lava bead
1 lava bead / 12 rudraksha beads / 1 obsidian bead / 11 rudraksha beads / 1 rose quartz bead / 1 obsidian bead / 1 rose quartz bead / 11 rudraksha beads / 1 obsidian bead / 11 rudraksha beads / 1 lava bead / 1 rose quartz bead / 1 lava bead
To finish the necklace, take the two ends of your embroidery thread, and thread them through the T-drilled bead. It may help to use a wide-eyed needle and bend it into a spiral with beading pliers. This makes it easier to pull each embroidery thread through the tricky T-shape. Then thread the embroidery through the focal bead, and tie off. You can add a button or a tassel, or nothing at all on the end. Make sure to secure the embroidery thread ends with a little bit of jewelry glue or clear nail polish.
It’s nice to add a little charm or embellishment at the nape of the necklace, too. I’ve been adding a little “Made with Love” charm on everything. But any cute charm will work, so find or make (stamp) a distinctive one that speaks to you. Use pliers to drop the charm on the jump ring. Loop it around the knot between the two consecutive lava beads, and use the same set of pliers to secure the jump ring closed.
Buy Mala Bead Necklaces
DIY projects aren’t for everyone. If you have limited time on your hands or just don’t feel in a making mood, you can find a nice mala bead necklace or bracelet here: