The mala, a meditation tool, is traditionally made up of 108 or fewer individual beads that create a necklace-like object with one dangling string of beads at the centre. Mala beads are generally made with wood, usually basil or sandalwood. Mala beads are used by practitioners of meditation, but they are also used in Buddhism and Hinduism as an aid in prayer. Mala beads closely resemble the rosary beads used by Catholics as a tool of prayer. Learn how to string your own mala beads to create a very personal, spiritual object.
Purchase beads, nylon thread and a beading needle at a local craft or fabric store.
Cut a piece of nylon thread with standard scissors to measure at least 18 inches in length.
Tie the beading needle to one end of the thread. Tie a large knot in the other end of the thread.
String mala beads onto the thread through the beading needle. Use 28 to 90 round, 8mm beads to create the mala.
String a single large (12mm or bigger) bead after all other beads have been threaded.
Thread the knotted end of the nylon through the large end bead to create a circle.
Cut the beading needle off the end of the thread and tightly tie a secure knot in the thread at the large, central bead.
Leave at least two inches of thread hanging from the circle and cut away the excess.
Tie the beading needle to the excess nylon thread. Tie off the other end of the thread, repeating Step 3 with the small piece of thread.
Thread 18 of the 8mm beads onto the thread. Repeat Step 7, cutting off the beading needle and tying a secure knot at the end bead. Do not cut the excess thread from the end.
Tie the vertical string of beads to the hanging nylon thread on the large circle of beads; cut away any excess thread.