Best Places to Buy Beads and Other Mala-Making Supplies

Posted by Emily, The Weekend Mystic on


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!

Other mala makers prefer Beadsmith's S-Lon nylon beading cord or Caravan Beads' C-Lon bead cord. You can buy it individually, but a multi-pack of assorted colors is a great way to build your stash when you're just getting started with mala making.

Want to learn more about the most popular types of cord for mala-making? I've written all about it here -- including magical correspondences of each material option (silk, linen, etc.).

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.


Another great spot for crystal point pendants is Cherry Tree Beads. They are very affordable and available in lots of colors and stone varieties. I really like that they have drilled towers and double-terminated hexagonal options too.

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 hereThis 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:

https://www.etsy.com/shop/Balibagus

https://www.etsy.com/shop/cabcabana

The CUTEST resin kittens and more (this seller is the SWEETEST person too!):
https://www.etsy.com/shop/Deviousdesigns69

Tibetan Silver:
https://www.etsy.com/shop/ChiTownUrbanSupplies

Please note that “Tibetan Silver” is usually just made from a tin alloy (which means it's technically pewter). 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").

Ceramic pendants:
https://www.etsy.com/shop/Majoyoal

I hope this has been helpful! If you a favorite source for beads or other mala-making supplies and feel like sharing, please let me know. :)

*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! 

3 comments


  • Hi there!! I am going to be teaching a mala making class and I absolutely love the ombre looking tassels you use!! Could you possibly share where you find them? And also the tiny spacer metal beads you seem to use here and there, love them!!
    Thank you so much!

    Amy on

  • Thank you so much for taking the time to share these sweet secrets with us. May you continue flourishing in your craft.

    Blessings,
    Mayu

    Mayu on

  • This has been very helpful as I am a beginner at mala making. I did have a question – did you come across beads (same size) with different hole sizes? I’m currently having that problem! One bead’s hole is slightly bigger than the other set of beads I’m using for the same mala. It’s kind of frustrating because I’ve tried .08 Griffin Silk (fits in both bead holes), but if I tie a knot, one of the beads can pass through it while the other one can’t. But if I use two strings, both won’t fit in the smaller hole.

    Did you run into a problem like that? If so, how did you solve it?

    Jennifer on

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