Plastic Mardi Gras Beads

If you have kids, you probably have at least a few strings of cheap plastic beads. They get handed out at parties and community events. They are a huge part of Mardi Gras festivities in Louisiana and elsewhere. And they might seem like a great material to creatively reuse into crafts. But actually, they are really not a good item to handle for you and especially for kids.

Every year 20 million pounds of these beads are shipped to the United States, mostly from China, and the majority go to Louisiana for Mardi Gras. After the festivities, the New Orleans sanitation department has to clean them up with front loaders. It’s bad enough that they create tons of litter, but they also contain lead, bromine and antimony among other toxic chemicals.

In this episode, get ideas for how to make your own non-toxic Mardi Gras beads, and find new ways to celebrate this super fun tradition.

DIY Non-Toxic Mardi Gras Bead Necklaces

Beads from rolled up paper or magazine strips

Pasta necklaces – You can change the color of pasta by soaking it in vinegar and food coloring

“Beaded” necklaces made from plastic straws

Trashmagination-designed Mardi Gras “beads” made from plastic produce bags and plastic table cloths

DIY Mardi Gras beads from plastic produce bags and table cloths - designed by Trashmagination
DIY Mardi Gras beads from plastic produce bags and table cloths – designed by Trashmagination

I cut up colorful plastic table cloths into squares which I folded up into little balls. I then would wrap the tablecloth balls in the produce mesh nice and tight so it made a little ball, and then I tied a knot to keep it from moving.

Show Details

Comments are closed.