Beaded necklaces are traditionally thrown from floats during the annual Mardi Gras parades in New Orleans. The beaded necklace tradition has been around since the 1920’s and it is a time honored celebration. Most Mardi Gras beaded necklaces come in the famous Mardi Gras colors, green, purple and gold. Each color represents a certain Mardi Gras principle. The purple color represents justice, the green color symbolizes faith and the gold color exemplifies power.
Mardi Gras beads are fun, colorful and festive. Instead of simply hanging the beaded necklaces around the house, I have put together this simple and attractive way to use your Mardi Gras beads. The craft is inexpensive, super easy and quick. It is the perfect addition to jazzing up your wine glasses for a dinner gathering or party.
Glass stem covers are popular for two reasons. First they provide a coaster that travels with the glass, thus eliminating the need for coasters randomly placed on tables throughout the house. And second they capture any moisture that can accumulate on the outside of the glass, which tend to run down the stem of the glass (onto your outfit) after you go for a sip. While stem covers are functional, most of the time they plain and lackluster. This simple craft takes the average stem cover and turns it into something attractive yet still functional (two things I love).
The tutorial below can be a hand sew or no hand sew project. I have included directions on how to use hand sewing in the tutorial if you want to give your completed stem glass cover some extra strength (it is optional and not necessary). Decorative scissors are also an option (I used zig zag decorative scissors) . Decorative scissors can be found at most craft and/or fabric stores. They are fairly inexpensive and are a great tool to have for various sewing and craft projects.
Any solid color or color combination Mardi Gras beaded necklace will work for this craft. You can choose to get a matching or contrast color felt fabric piece for your stem cover. Purple and green colored felt are fairly easy to find, while you might have some difficulty finding gold felt. If you cannot locate gold felt and want a gold color, you can use fabric paint to either spray or brush paint a white or yellow felt fabric gold. I used yellow felt fabric for the gold stem cover that was photographed in this tutorial and found it to work fine with the gold colored necklace.
The instructional below creates 1 beaded glass stem cover.
Beaded Glass Stem Cover
2 pieces of felt (5″ by 5″)
Glue gun sticks (preferably hot temp sticks)
1 Mardi Gras beaded necklace
Decorative edge scissors (optional)
Sewing needle and matching thread (optional)
Place your glass on a piece of felt. Measure about 1/2″ out from the base rim and draw a circle.
Using scissors, carefully cut out the circle from the felt piece. Trace and cut out the circle on the second piece of felt. I used decorative scissors in a zig zag pattern to cut the circle from the felt piece (as seen in the photographs).
Find the center on one of the circles and draw a line. From that center line, measure 1/2″ out in both directions and draw two more lines. Cut the felt at each of these lines (I again used the decorative scissors). You should now have two half circle pieces and one complete circle piece.
Heat your glue gun up to the maximum temperature. Take one of the necklaces and cut in half to create a single beaded strand. Line the necklace up along the curved edge part of a half circle. Cut the necklace where the beads stop at the edge of the other side. Remove the cut beaded strand from the felt piece.
Using your hot glue gun, run a strand of hot glue along the curved edge part of the half circle (right where the beaded necklace was). Quickly place the cut beaded strand onto the hot glue and press into place.
Repeat this process for each curved line of beads until you have a complete beaded half circle piece.
Repeat the same process on the other half circle piece.
At this point there is an optional process you can do to ensure your beaded strands are completely secured to your felt pieces. Using a needle and thread, hand sew a stitch between each bead to attach the strand to the felt piece. Continue the stitches around the strands until complete. This process is completely optional and not necessary since the hot glue does do a nice job of securing the beaded strands to the felt. However, if you want to go the extra mile then securing the beaded strands with needle and thread would be the way to go. If you do not want to hand sew the strands, then continue onto the next step.
Using your hot glue gun, run a strand of hot glue (see white line indicator in photograph below) along one side of the full circle felt piece. Quickly place one of the beaded cut circle halves on top of the glue and press down.
Repeat this process for the other side so that both half pieces are now affixed to the bottom of the full circle. There should be a rectangular opening in the center of your complete piece. This opening is where the glass base will be inserted into the cover.
Your beaded stem glass cover is now complete and is ready to be used! Enjoy!