You’ve caught them…now what? If you are riding next year, you may want get them organized to throw. Last night I offered my kids 25 cents for every dozen they culled for next year (stapled with paper). If that ain’t your M.O. – they will be collecting dust in your attic or garage (you know it). Well, one local company called Unique Products or “UP,” used their brains to create some fabulous stuff (I want a chandelier for my 40th be-day honey). They make lights , chandeliers , nightlights , bowls and sun jujus out of beads, this great article sums up their business. They only use the old style plastic beads which aren’t thrown as much any more (commonly called “street or cheap “beads). If you know which beads are those, they will take them off your hands (I haven’t a clue).Their signature is “REcycle / REbuild / REbirth New Orleans.” You can see more samplings of their products both here and here.
7mlchand.jpgcrownlight.jpgTheir workshop/showroom can be found “UPstairs” in Winkys on 2038 Magazine st, open everyday , normally 11-6 mon – sat 12-5 sun – but might close earlier due to Mardi Gras parades this week (they need to catch beads). Call Mark Kirk /Heather Macfarlane at (studio) 504 529 2441 (cell) 504 237 4224

If you would like to attend their workshop on making items with your beads on February 16th at the Big Top Gallery on 1638 Clio.

I copied some info for you from the New Orleans Area Recycling Guide. Please call first as I haven’t been able to confirm all the sources (it’s 6:30 AM).

***St Michaels Special School & the Strive Center of the Sophie Gumbel Guild 1139 Napoleon Ave (504)895-2557 M-F 8:00-4 have programs where their clients/kids recycle the beads for next years riders by sorting and bagging.
***Recycle for the Arts/The Green Project 2831 Marais St T-Sat 9:00-4
***Wolfe Center 5700 Loyola Ave M-F 8:00-3
***The ARC and the Sierra Club 5700 Loyola Ave M-F 8:00-4
***Magnolia School (504) 733-2874
***Soldiers Angels Louisiana where you can save them to send to Operation Overseas Mardi Gras 2009

h/t reader MBarnhill who told me about Unique Products
h/t BBBGirl who told me how to cull

This post can be enjoyed at both my personal blog with tons of Lagniappe and

4 Replies to “What to do with dem beads”

  1. Last night when I was visiting a sick friend in the hospital, I happened to walk by their gift shop window. I saw the prettiest plates decorated with ribbons/bows. They wove the ribbon in and out of the outer edge of the plate which had a lattice like design.

    I was just thinking the same could be done with the right width Mardi Gras beads and then you could make matching napkin rings from the strands. You could even alternate green, gold and purple.

    I bet those kinds of plates could be found at a local department store or even a flea market.

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