Making Malas

Let's start off with how to make meditation or prayer beads. The proper number for a wrist band is 27 beads. If you have a lot of beads available then the full length worn around the neck is 108 beads strung together. I recommend using heavy thread such as nylon string and doubling it over. Keep back a 6 inch piece of string at the beginning to use after the beads are strung on.Before the first bead, and between each bead strung on, I take the time to tie one or two knots - whatever it takes to hold the beads in place. When the last bead is knotted I use embroidery floss to make a small tassel.How to make the tasselUse a 36 inch piece of 6 strand embroidery thread. Fold it into 6 lengths. Set it aside for the moment. Tie together the free ends of string from making the prayer beads. Now lay the folds of embroidery floss across the knotted spot, center it and tie the tassel on with 2 knots. Use a separate 6 inch piece of embroidery thread to gather the tassel together near the top and knot tightly. Trim the tassel to the desired length. Anyone who meditates would certainly appreciate this gift.How to make a small pouch to hold prayer beadsThis is a nice gift for holding prayer beads when not using them. You'll need a piece of felt in the shape of a rectangle. 9 inches (22.5cm) long and 4 inches (10cm) wide is a good size. Fold up one short edge to form a pouch so that when you fold over the other end you have 3 even pieces. If you don't have felt, other ideas to use to make the pouch are plastic table cloth material and interfacing material.Using a paper hole punch, punch holes about one half inch apart along the 2 sides of the pouch. Using a long piece of yarn weave in and out of the holes to hold the pieces together to form the pocket. Tie a knot at each end. And there you have your little pouch or pocket. If you use a sewing needle you can sew the sides of the pouch closed with a contrasting embroidery thread. By using felt you don't need to further finish any edges. You could easily make one of these for everyone in your family or friends - they are handy for all sorts of small objects. Remember that Christmas or birthdays are times for giving to show care and remembrance. Little gifts you make yourself will always be treasured.Article by Susan Kramer

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