Friday, October 25, 2013

Beads from Woody Herb Stems

I've been talking and thinking about it for years, so it seemed like time to give it a whirl.  Working with holy basil for many years, I've seen mention of using the woody stems to make beads that are used in meditation.  There are malas available made from holy basil stems.  Since I grow many plants each year, it seemed like a project to make time for.  Our goal was to just try making a few.  108 beads is far more than we have in mind. 
While considering this project, the woody stems of lavender, rosemary, and sage also came to mind.  Although some of each were cut, only the lavender held a fragrance.  So those were the ones we used along with the holy basil.  After today's adventure, I will stick to making the beads with herbal powders, but it was fun.

First we cut the woody stems into the desired size.  They were held firmly with a wrench and drilled.

The large ones are lavender, the small ones holy basil.  The holy basil stems were really too narrow to get much shape from them, while the lavender gave us a lot more to play with.

We shaped them with the Dremel tool, although I personally found regular flat sand paper to be just as easy.  My arm is pretty sore now, though...

The finished beads (at the bottom of the picture) are fairly rustic.  We could add essential oil to them, paint, stain, or any kind of decoration we like.  I think they'd look nice with some glass beads.
That was fun.  I don't think we need to do it again, but it was one of those things that's been nagging at me for years, so we had to try it once. 
Now back to the workings of herbs and soaps and all the other things that have been piling up for the past couple of weeks!

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