I get a lot of questions as to where I find all my beads and other mala-making supplies, so I decided to make an ongoing list for you! I will continue to update as I find other good places to buy. :)
Where to Buy Mala Cord
For cord, I prefer using 100% Griffin Silk Cord, .08mm wide (size 8). It’s already cut to a length of 2 meters, complete with a wire needle on one end, making it easy to string beads. For my mala, I use a single strand to knot -- if you prefer to double up your cord, you’d probably need 2 cards' worth of this particular cord. The best price I’ve found is here. Sign up for their emails -- I often order 40-50 cards at a time when there’s a 20% OFF sale!
Where to Buy Gemstone Beads
For gemstone beads, I buy most of mine here. The quality is excellent for mala use -- though I make sure to pay attention and look for A and B-grades, etc. I swear, this is the best-kept bead secret on the internet. Just be warned: these beads ship from Asia, so shipping times vary.
My second most common bead-hoarding spot is eBay -- gemstone beads here. Note that to shop for beads on eBay, you REALLY need to be familiar with what you’re buying. I’ve heard horror stories of sellers calling glass beads “turquoise,” “emerald,” “smoky quartz,” “citrine,” etc -- because of the color (I mean, not so horrific in the grand scheme of things, but still). Just be aware and use the above link for gemstones, specifically.
For truly amazing beads and focals, there’s this site. I mean, just LOOK at their double-point bead collection.
Where to Buy Crystals
I also use eBay to buy crystals for pendants and focals I make myself. Shop the rock and mineral section of eBay here. This gem and crystal section is much less shady when it comes to the descriptions. You can get some AMAZING deals -- especially if you’re buying bulk!
Making Your Own Crystal Pendants
While we're on the subject of shopping for crystals, want to know how to make gemstone pendants without having to drill them? Check out this other site I’ve been building -- SoftSoldering.com. It’s nowhere near finished (photos are lacking), but I tried my best to share thorough supply lists and links on Amazon for easy purchasing. Learn how to make soft-soldered pendants with the Tiffany method, like these here:
And finally, for unique, one-of-a-kind artisan-made beads and focals, I LOVE supporting independent makers on Etsy. In fact, here are some of my favorites:
Carved bone pendants:
The CUTEST resin kittens and more (this seller is the SWEETEST person too!):
Please note that “Tibetan Silver” is usually just made from a tin alloy. Unless it’s vintage, there’s probably no actual silver in it at all. This can be a problem for people with metal allergies to zinc, nickel, antimony, etc. There’s no standard for labeling exactly what’s in these pieces. BUT they are beautifully made by artisans, each one from SCRATCH -- and I love them so, SO much! Don’t discount them just because they’re not actual silver (side note: the ones that specifically say “sterling .925” generally ARE -- but these are hard to find).
Also, don't confuse "Tibetan Silver" with "Hill Tribe Silver" - Hill Tribe Silver actually is silver (also known as "Karen Hill Tribe").
How I Make My Boards
I get this question a lot. My boards are designed in Adobe Illustrator, engraved on a Glowforge home laser cutter, and hand-finished and sanded by me. Each one takes a few hours, so I try and make a bunch at a time to keep costs down.
Interested in getting a Glowforge for yourself? Follow this link for $250-$500 off your purchase. If you buy one through this link, you get a helluva discount, and I get some referral money too -- which is AMAZING! Then once you have your own, you'll also have a dedicated coupon link to share and earn.
Before this year, I wasn't comfortable sharing that link with anyone, because Glowforge was still going through a lot of growing pains with their programming. But I have watched this machine BLOSSOM with updates, and now I can't imagine living without it! I rely on it entirely for my business now (I used to use industrial laser engravers at a local maker space, but it's so much easier to have one at home now).
If you're on the fence, feel free to email me. I'll do my best to answer any questions you may have. Thanks so much for reading! :D
*Please note that some of these links may be affiliate links, and I may gain a small commission if you buy something (at no extra cost to you, of course!). I truly appreciate it -- it will keep this blog’s lights on. Please don’t hesitate to shoot me an email at TheWeekendMystic@gmail.com if you have more questions or are having trouble finding something. I’ll do my best to help you suss it out!