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December 31, 2014

Making a Personal Talisman - Handheld Prayer Beads

Cheers to a new year

2015, here I come!  

I love a fresh start.  I'm well rested after the hustle of the holidays and ready for everything that the new year can bring.

I've decided to take on a few new challenges this year - one being participating in the Year of Jewelry  (YOJ).  This is a personal challenge to create one piece of jewelry, every week, for a year.  I've tried before, but never completed the challenge.  I know this is the year!

With a little luck 

Every week, the YOJ provides an optional theme to jump start your creativity.  

This week, the challenge is to make a personal talisman, something to represent what you hope to achieve, or some symbol of strength and creativity for you to wear as you move through the year.

And a prayer

I chose to make contemporary handheld prayer beads inspired by a project by Eleanor Wiley in the book Beading for the Soul (pg.87).

Handheld prayer beads are meant to be kept close to remind you of a personal journey, a goal or to maintain your focus.

Hop to it

The amulet I chose is a carved stone frog.  I'm not sure what the stone is, but the symbolism of the frog is what I was after.

The frog is a symbol of transition and transformation and because it lives in and near water, it has a cleansing attribute.

Wash me down, I'm ready to change!

But, all jokes aside, I expect this to be year of exciting changes and challenges in my jewelry making journey.

Don't knock it

The amulet and assorted beads are strung on 2mm waxed cotton cord and sized to fit comfortably in the palm of my hand.

I started with about 14 inches of cord - and the finished prayer beads are 5.5 inches long from the tip of the frog to the end of the knot.  I had to trim the ends of the cord frequently to make them easy to string through the beads.

I chose wood beads to give me the opportunity to knock on wood - both for luck and to ward off negative energy. 

The saucer beads on the end are silver coated ceramic beads from Greece.  They make a soothing tinkle sound when they touch.  All of the beads are loosely strung so they can be fingered as you would with typical mala prayer beads.

The knots are standard overhand knots - using two cords at the top of the prayer bead strand and only one for the silver beads.

Bright and shiny

Thank you for reading my blog today and whenever you can.

I hope I can inspire you to create and help you learn new techniques - or that you at least find me slightly amusing and enjoy the pictures.


If there's a technique you'd like to learn, a project you'd like to see me try, a problem you can't seem to solve (all bead and jewelry making related - just to be clear!), let me know and I'll see if I can tackle it this year.


  1. Very pretty. I have a set of prayer bread, too, that I made several years ago. Its soothing to have them in my pocket.

    1. So far, I'm very happy with this little strand of beads I made. I agree, it is very soothing and somehow it helps keep me grounded and thinking of all the goals I made for the year. Prayer bread gave me a little giggle too. :)