Decorating With Mardi Gras Beads

Mardi Gras is over, and if you’re lucky enough to live in an area that celebrates it, you might be wondering what to do with all this colorful junk you got by flashing everybody. There are plenty of sites out there offering up projects that incorporate Mardi Gras beads, but this is not one of them. Despite not living in New Orleans or Mobile, I absolutely love decorating with Mardi Gras beads as-is. Call me tacky all you want but I think they’re really fun.

One thing that surprised us in New Orleans was that even when it was not Mardi Gras, even when we were not in the French Quarter, the beads seemed to just grow on trees and out of the ground. The trees were beautiful all strung up with the discarded remains of past celebrations like so many outdoor Christmas trees. In fact, the Christmas tree that was put up in the house we were staying at was completely Mardi Gras themed, an idea we immediately took up for our own home and which you MUST remind me to write about come Christmas. But once the trip was over and the Christmas tree was taken down we had to figure out what to do with all these things. The short answer? treat your house like a sexy party animal and put them everywhere.


There are many places you can drape your beads for a year-round festive effect. It’s also good to remember that it looks by FAR the best when they look like they’ve been tossed half-haphazardly in a romantically tangled mess. This look does not lend itself to neatness, such a thing with Mardi Gras would be damn weird. Some places we’ve put ours?

Tacky? I think not.

Tacky? I think not.

-Hanging from curtain rods

-On doorknobs

-On lamp shades and wall sconces


-Hanging from chandeliers

-Hanging from all sorts of household plants


At the bottom of the fruit bowl


This is a spiderweb bowl, with sparkly spiders 😀

-In the horn of our phonograph, like a new kind of plastic cornucopia.


Of course there are never enough beads to satisfy me and I’m always looking to get more. Eventually I’d like to place hooks under a shelf in my dressing room and hang from them an absolute curtain of the things as a backdrop for hanging jewelry where it will be easy to access above the vanity. I’d also like to cover the headboard in them, and ever since I saw the house on The Real World New Orleans I dream of having stairs I can decorate in similar fashion. A liberal use of beads is also the essential finishing touch in addition to other decorative items such as jazz album covers on the wall, wrought iron, carnival masks, and of course copious amounts of alcohol in beautiful vintage-style bottles in creating a fun New Orleans themed home. Make the look a little darker with voodoo dolls and skulls and you have yourself a nice little gothic abode where almost anything can happen. It’s not as tacky as you might imagine, and if somehow it still turns out that way, can a place that invites a policy of toplessness ever be a bad thing? Well, only when your relatives come over.

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