Being in quarantine means having more time for crafting things DIY style! If you are tired of the same old projects with the kids, there are some interesting variations in crafting that you may want to check out.

Quarantining can be that much more bearable if you have a variety of projects, to boot. Think all you can create are cute necklaces and bracelets? Think again: there is so much more you can do with different kinds of high-quality beads!

 

Waist beads

Waist beads are just as culturally significant as other kinds of bead accessories. Waist beads are commonly worn by women in Western Africa, but this type of attachment has caught on in the West, too, and folks are either making or buying them because they look fantastic regardless of your size, height, weight, or skin tone.

Initially, waist beads are glass beads that have been strung up by thin wires or even plain strings. Waist beads can be worn around the belly area, or around the hips. Because they are made specifically for each body type, they fit perfectly, and you will feel adequately comfortable when you were waist beads that you have created to provide your body’s unique dimensions.

Waist beads can also be made with various personal charms and ornamental items, such as semiprecious stones and different kinds of beads. You can add to waist beads anything that rocks your boat, and it will still look beautiful. What do these beads represent anyway?

Why do women in countries like Ghana and Senegal wear waist beads? In addition to being pretty and complementary to the natural beauty of women, waist beads have particular signification in West African countries. Wearing waist beads represent many desirable feminine characteristics such as fertility, natural beauty, and sensuality. It has also come to represent positive spirituality in some cases, in addition to being a highly attractive accessory for women.

In the West, waist beads are used for body awareness, especially weight awareness. Because waist beads do not expand, they can serve as subtle reminders that you may be gaining a little weight, and these can help keep track of your body goals. Inversely, when you begin losing weight even if you did not intend to lose weight, the waist pearls are going to feel looser than usual, and they will settle lower on your body. What we love about waist beads is they give a mostly positive message about bodies. We highly recommend that you try them yourself.

In some cultures, waist beads can also signify coming of age or the physical and emotional maturing of a woman. In some Western African countries, waist beads adorn girls during their naming ceremonies. Rites of passage require symbols and what better way to symbolize womanhood than with beautiful glass beads on a simple accessory that can always be worn. Take note also that the waist beads worn by smaller girls are different from waist beads worn by mature women. Feel free to interpret these differences when creating DIY waist beads for yourself or your kids. Different kinds of beads can be used for creating waist beads, but if you want to stay faithful to the Western African origin, we recommend using glass beads.

 

Beard beads

If you happen to love beads and have quite a beard, then you may want to look at creating beard beads. They’re fun to have, and if you have a beard to tame, they’re not bad either. It would appear that beard beads first came into vogue with the Nordic peoples, especially with the Vikings.

The story goes that Vikings began using beads on their beards for a more practical reason: they want to keep thick facial hair out of the way as they proceeded with their daily business and concerns. If the lore about Vikings is actual, then the Vikings probably kept their beards in a more disciplined manner because it’s hard to pillage and explore with facial hair hitting your face consistently.

The most common type of beard bead is made of metal because they look cool, and these longer beads can hold together bundles of slick beards more easily than plastic. Of course, you’re free to experiment with other kinds of beads (even wooden beads and plastic beads). Still, if you are interested in modern or steampunk fashion, then we highly recommended metal beads and similar accessories. Metal beard beads also have a vintage or retro look to them that goes well with the long beard look that people sport.

But then again, it would be up to you what you want to do with your beard. Enjoy the process, and we recommend that you start with a more minimalistic orientation with beard beads. Don’t overdo it. In the case of beard beads, less is more.

 

Aroma beads

Aroma beads are unlike other beads that we usually work within crafting. Aroma beads are made of plastic, but they are designed to absorb both color and liquids. These are generally used to retain fragrances and slowly diffuse aromas into the environment. Aroma beads are placed in drawers, cars, and other spaces that require freshening up. The more you concentrate the source of fragrance, the better they work. So what do they have to do with crafts?

You can use aroma beads to create fun and almost magical pendants and necklaces that diffuse your favorite essential oils throughout the day. In this respect, the resulting necklace or pendant becomes medicinal, too, because the aroma beads can carry any kind of fragrance or essential oil.

If you have a favorite combination that you’d like to carry with you wherever you go, this is your opportunity to have your favorite fragrance anywhere you are. There are a lot of blueprints online, and all of them are easy to create. As long as you have the necessary knowledge about creating pendants, you can create different variations and gift your aroma bead pendants to friends and family, too.