Mardi Gras Bead Art

In Louisiana we end up with lots...and I mean LOTS of Mardi Gras beads. So we have the age old question ....what do we do with all these beads?

I create Bead Art. These beads are cheap, so you can't restring them. AND they are no longer the kind of plastic you can melt into cool objects.

Step one: Find your surface.
It could be wood, canvas or even mat board for a smaller piece.

Step two: Paint surface black.
The biggest tip I can give is to NOT grout!
So to give the illusion of grout, I suggest painting the surface the color you would have grouted. I used black.

Step three: Draw your design.
You can use tracing paper to transfer your design to the surface.
Don't get too detailed, because the beads are rather large. If you want a detailed design you will need to use smaller jewelry beads not Mardi Gras beads,

Step four: Prepping your beads.
I discovered the mosaic looks tighter if you cut apart the beads. You may want to do this the day before. I separate by beads by color and size and place them in a bags that I can easily access.

Step four: Gluing Your beads.
Use Acrylic Latex CLEAR Caulk (from the home repair store), the kind that you need the gun. You get more bang for your buck with this and not the smaller tubes. You want clear because you want the black background to be the faux grout and want to see your pencil lines.

Start with your main design, your focal piece. Mine was a fleur de lis, so I glued that down first. Spread the glue on the surface and try to stay in just the area you are working or you will have some thick dried glue with no beads. Then when you add beads on top they will be higher than the rest of the beads. The caulk has some working time, so you should be ok.  I use an old credit card to smooth out the glue, You don't want to be pressing the beads into a mound of glue.

Work from the focal point out.

If your beads are not the color you want, you can use a spray paint for plastic and spray paint them the day before.


When you are finished, let your caulk set for a few days before you handle it.

Also check out this post.
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Unknown said…
How can I create bead art with my Mardi Gras beads. I want to make a mosaic of a tiger

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