While there is something really heartwarming about seeing New Orleans strung with festive spirit, there is a very ugly flip side to Mardi Gras beads and those plastic throws. If you find yourself overrun with colourful garlands after Carnival season, try these creative ways to repurpose and upcycle your party souvenirs.
1. Create a chandelier
Create a chandelier using this Dollar Store Crafts tutorial. Leave the beads as are for a festive, colourful look, or use spray paint to tone it back for every day.
2. Tie some jewellery
Give that shiny plastic a little class by combining it with old silk ties or scrap fabric to create unique jewellery pieces.
3. Craft yourself some party heels
I don’t know about you, but these party heels are giving me serious Priscilla, Queen of the Desert vibes! Use an old pair of pumps or thrift yourself a pair for this makeover.
4. Wrap a wreath
Create festive front door adornment by cutting the loops of beads to create long strands, and then wrap them around a wreath form found at most craft stores.
5. Deck the halls
Save them for other holidays and celebrations – I use them on my Christmas tree in place of tinsel, which has the added benefit of no foil mess. You can even incorporate them into your gift wrapping.
6. Make a mosaic
Transform an old tray into wall art using leftover Mardi Gras beads to craft a mosaic, just like in this I Love to Create video. Alternatively, create a glue-free, 3-dimensional variation using a shadow box that can be purchased at most craft stores.
7. Dress ups
Add some to your kid’s dress-up box or donate them to a local kindergarten.
8. Store them for next year
Give them a gentle wash in warm, slightly soapy water (I used some dishwashing liquid), and hang them to dry thoroughly. Tie them in bundles to prevent tangling and store them for next year’s festivities.
9. Create a bead curtain
Cut the beads to form long strands and use them to construct a bead curtain that makes fun party decor or even a festive photo backdrop.
10. Reduce, reuse, recyle
If you’re not in the crafting spirit or just feeling overwhelmed by the volume of beads, remember you can always donate them to ArcGNO.
For more on Carnival and Mardi Gras, see these posts:
Laissez les bons temps rouler!
Peace, love & inspiring travel,