DIY Mala Bead Necklace




About: I'm just a groovy girl making groovy instructables ;).

A mala bead necklace is a a strand of beads, usually 108 in Tibetan Buddhism, used for keeping count when you are meditating and reciting a mantra. I was inspired to make this necklace when my mother was doing yoga in a studio, and said that everyone there had a mala necklace. I also wanted to create this tutorial because I found out when I was making the necklace, there were not many directions on how to make a mala necklace online, and they weren't very thorough.

This necklace consists of many stones, which each have a certain meaning. If you want to make a mala, I suggest that you would create your necklace using stones that have a certain meaning that you want. Like, courage, protection, and love.

It took me a couple of months to complete this necklace. I'm just warning everyone who attemps this that it is very time-consuming, and in the end it does cost from 50-100 dollars to make. But, it is very worth it and it is gorgeous in the end.


108 beads of your choice. I used 8mm beads

1 Pendant

Bead Cord of the color of your choice. The thickness will depend on the size of your beads

1 medium-sized stone for the end of the necklace

A Beadsmith or a board where you can layout your beads

A charm or tassle

Crazy Glue

Step 1: Layout of the Beads

First, put all your 108 beads on your board in the order that you want to string them. This gives you a visual of how all of the beads will look together when the necklace is finished. The center of the necklace will be knotted together to hang the pendant, so when you start stringing the beads on start from the center of the necklace.

Step 2: Knotting

When you are ready to start the necklace, make a knot on the string around 9-10 inches before the end. Make the knot just big enough to have the first bead sit on it. Make sure you are stringing the beads on from where the beads in the center would be. Don't start from the end or else you'll have to start over.

A mala necklace is knotted, so after each bead you need to make a knot as close to it as possible. I suggest using pliers or a needle to get the knot as close as possible. If this is hard for you, there are some helpful videos online that you can watch, or you can actually buy a machine that knots it for you.

While you are knotting, many people repeat a mantra to bless the beads.

Step 3: After the Knotting......

After you are done with knotting all 108 beads, you will want to tie the two ends of the cord together. Make a couple of very tight knots as close to the two beads as possible. Then cut off the short rope, not the one that is the rope we started the necklace with and we left a couple of inches before we made the first knot. After, super glue the knot and let it dry.

Step 4: The Pendant

I added a stone, a pendant, and then a little lotus sign at the end of the necklace. I first strung on a clear stone that I had and made a knot after it. Then I strung on the big stone pendent and made a couple of knots after it. I also super glued the knot. Last, I added a charm to the necklace and finished it by just putting a drop of glue on the last knot I made. If you don't want to put a charm on your necklace, you can also replace it with a tassel.

Step 5: Done!

Then you're done! You can now use your mala for many things, like counting your mantras, doing yoga with it, or even wearing it out as a gorgeous necklace.

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    7 Discussions


    3 years ago

    Ugh, I'd love to make this but not being a beader or even that crafty I don't really understand the starting directions. You said you made the first knot 9" from the end. So then you add a bead and make a knot? And you do that 108 times. So it appears that you're starting at one end and stringing/knotting to the other. However then you said something about starting in the middle so I'm confused. When you finish all the beads are the first bead you strung and the last one you strung - is that the ends on either side that go behind your neck. Or is that going to be the middle in front? And did you tie the pendant just in the middle of the "necklace" just over a knot or what. I'm sorry to be such a beginner! :)

    1 reply
    dat groovy girldaisygirl2

    Reply 3 years ago

    The way i designed this necklace is a little bit confusing, so I'll try to explain it further. First, you want to start off by making a knot nine inches from the end of the string to start. The first beed that you would string on would be the 54th beed, since it is the exact middle of the necklace. You would then work your way to the ends of the necklace, meaning where the necklace would begin, and then to the other side of the necklace before you would string your pendant. I did it this way so that the two ends of the string would be where you would add and then knot your pendant. This is also why there is an extra nine inches at the beginning, because that is where the pendant will later be strung.
    I hope this helps and good luck making your mala!


    3 years ago

    Where did you find that lotus charm? It's pretty and would like to order one! Thanks

    1 reply

    3 years ago

    Hi I want to make this but I have had trouble finding the right string for my beads. If you used 8mm beads what size thread did you use?


    4 years ago

    I loved it !! :))