Dystonia & Beading A few years ago Happy Mango Beads got involved in 7,000 Bracelets for Hope. The goal was to raise awareness and funds for over 7,000 rare diseases. All of which lacked awareness and the necessary funding for research, translating to no cures for most of these obscure diseases. The bracelet project was...

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Milagro Charms Now that we know more about Native American fetishes, let's take a look at these Latin American religious charms! Historically, Milagros accompanied the Spanish to Latin America. Milagros, translating to "miracles", are a Latin American religious folk tradition that are offered as a tool for healing....

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What is a Fetish? First a '50 Shades of Gray' reference and now we're bringing up fetishes?? You might think we're getting a little wild this week here at Happy Mango Beads, but don't be fooled. We're always a little crazy! A fetish is a carving that is believed to have power. Fetishes have been used by all southwestern...

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Chile Fire Relief UPDATE! I am sure that the devastating hill fire that struck Valparaiso, Chile in April is still very fresh on many minds around the globe, especially those living in the burned region. On June 25th, Happy Mango Beads sent $500 to a trusted friend in Valparaiso, and here is Samuel's most recent report: "The...

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Crayola ain't got nothin' on us Contrary to popular belief, coming up with the color name of beads is hard work. It is especially hard when you're working on a whole bunch of similar beads at one time! How does one even decide what is butterscotch, creme brulee, or tapioca? (It just makes me want a snack.) You can now search all of...

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Kittens, Beads and Pantyhose


As I have stated before I am not a beader, but as an update, I’m learning! In my recent ventures into jewelry making I’ve improvised a few tricks that I felt were blog-worthy. First thing is that a new kitten and an exposed beading project do not mix well. Add to that scenario a carpeted craft room and I thought for sure I would lose at least half of my precious beads to the vacuum. But the resourceful problem-solving skills of an all around crafter kicked in and I found a genius (if I say so myself) solution. Using some knee high panty hose I had for home-made fairy wings (see Merle wearing said fairy wings) I fitted one over the end of the vacuum wand and waved it over the carpet. It conveniently sucked up, but not sucked in, all the kitten casualties trapped in my carpeting.

Beader 1 : Kitten 0.

Having worked in the Happy Mango Beads warehouse for a few years now, I have seen a fair share of vacuums crack under the pressure of too many beads and strings for an appliance to handle. Save your vacuums and beads by repurposing old panty hose!

photo 2

Category : Beading Tips, Beads, Beads, Beads, Ideas & Tutorials

Comments (2)

Great idea for beads mixed into the carpet!! And the kitty – it’s just too cute for words. What a sweetie!

I’ve got an old kitten (~1 yr) that looks just like your kitten! The beads are in a different room…with a door.

Thanks for the genius vacuum tip–it’ll get used ;-)

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So Fresh and So Clean

We have received an email or two over time about how some of our African vinyl beads are authentically gritty (ahem: dirty). As they are one of my favorite materials to work with right now, I decided to test out a few different cleaning methods and determine which works best.

First up was a good ol’ soaking in warm water and dish soap followed by a rinse in a strainer. It removed a lot of  dirt but still left the beads looking a bit dull.

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Second I tried a few in the utensil bin of my dishwasher. Unfortunately the extreme heat warped them after drying for the full cycle.

Thirdly I constructed a pouch out of cheese cloth and a rubber band and threw them in the front-loader with a load of laundry. This worked pretty well but for the smaller vinyl discs I can see them working a hole into the cheese cloth and escaping.

Finally, and the winner in my book, is to put them in an air tight container with warm water, a small amount of dish soap, a drop or two of essential oils (I use grapefruit oil), some lemon juice and a generous amount of table salt. Just shake vigorously and rinse and repeat until the water stays clear and the beads shine.

Does anyone else have any tips or tricks for cleaning and polishing your most-loved beads?

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Category : Beads, Beads, Beads, Ideas & Tutorials

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One Chance, One-of-a-Kinds

Get it while the gettin’s good!

I have amassed quite a collection of shiny baubles and beads since I started working at Happy Mango Beads. I have also packed and shipped a slew of beads that I had intended to buy, but some customer with excellent taste beat me to it. There is no worse feeling than knowing that the strand of some one else’s beads in your hand contains exactly the beads you needed to complete a project that has sat stunted on your craft table for months.

We have been listing so many one of a kind beads and pendants lately that this has been happening more and more often and has started to affect our customers as well. One such incident happened last month when two customers placed their orders for the exact same druzy pendant at exactly the same time. I’m sure others have noticed items being removed from their carts before checkout if you perhaps took a bit too long to decide.

Don’t hesitate ladies and gentleman. If you love it, buy it! Make something beautiful! Many pieces we carry are really and truly one of a kind and once they are gone we cannot guarantee they will be restocked. That work of wearable art you imagined making when you saw that perfect listing on our website was meant to be yours and step one is getting those beautiful beads!

Just in case you like what you see, this photo includes a lovely smattering of assorted glass beads from Nepal, a water buffalo horn tip bead, a turquoise and coral pendant from Nepal, a pendant from Afghanistan, and a turquoise nugget focal bead.

Happy Mango Beads


Category : Beads, Beads, Beads

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“One Good Deed per Bead”


Recently Happy Mango Beads donated many strands of glass crow beads to The Bridge Teen Center in Orland Park, Illinois. “The Bridge Teen Center is a place for students not just to be, but to become” (from the Bridge Teen Center website). The mission of the center is to provide free programs during after-school and unsupervised hours where students can develop mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually in a safe environment. One event the center held was ‘Girls Night In’, where about 130 girls gathered and made beautiful bracelets with ‘Let Love Grow’ as the theme. At the bracelet station the girls made bracelets to inspire them to Love Others. Each girl received 10 beads and a 28″ piece of string. She made the bracelet with 10 beads, with each bead representing one good deed she would complete that week. When the girl completed one good deed, she could move the bead from one side of the bracelet to the other. The goal is to complete 10 good deeds in one week, so that all 10 beads would be moved from one side to the other. The next week, the girls would start over again by moving all their beads to the other side one-by-one. The deeds could range from helping at home by loading the dishwasher, to welcoming a new student at The Bridge, to being nice to someone you may not like at school.

I thought this was so inspirational and wondered, if there was one good deed per bead in every piece of jewelry, how much more beautiful would that piece of jewelry be?

Feeling warm and fuzzy yet? Get to it!
The Bridge Teen Center
The Bridge Teen Center
The Bridge Teen Center
The Bridge Teen Center
The Bridge Teen Center

Category : Beads, Beads, Beads, Ideas & Tutorials, Jewelry Inspiration

Comments (4)

I can see that there is more to Happy Mango than just the most wonderful beads anywhere…What a wonderful thing to do.

Thanks Dottie! We appreciate your feedback and for following Happy Mango!

You are an inspiration to the rest of us. Very happy to be a fan of the Happy Mangoes! Diana

Thanks for following Happy Mango, glad to have you on board, Diana!

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Bead-Dazzled Bicycle!


Generally, when I think of beads, I think JEWELRY! Well, that’s not always the only solution to using these tiny treasures.

I currently sell my jewelry designs at a local co-op in Fort Collins, CO called Trimble Court Artisans, and our feature display in September focuses on bicycles! The 50+ members are encouraged to create bicycle-inspired artwork for this showing, and it can be in any medium we choose. Well, after Courtney showed me this little bicycle at Wishful Living that needed some TLC, I knew I needed to bead-dazzle it. With a broken head-lamp and rickety seat, this bike was hiding back in the stock room and I brought it back to life.

Using seed-beads intertwined in the basket, along with Czech-glass beaded flowers, a little wire, and a few items from the craft store, I was able to turn this bicycle into a beaded beauty! Now I just hope it goes to a good home, where it will be put on display and brighten up someone’s space. Although, I almost don’t want to let it go…

Happy Mango Beads
Happy Mango Beads

Category : Beads, Beads, Beads

Comments (1)

[…] weather and scenery, and get a little wind flowing through your hair. I recently blogged about the bead-dazzled bicycle for “bike-month” at Trimble Court Artisans…but I also made several other bike-themed […]

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