You’ve got these bags of old Mardi Gras beads – now what?

Now that the fun is over, what are you going to do with these bags of beads just laying around the house?

by Mary Staes
January 10, 2019

You got a great spot early on the route. You caught a signature throw from your favorite parade, whether that’s a glittery Muses heel or a prized Zulu coconut. You stumbled back home in one piece, intact after Mardi Gras. You fought the good fight.

But now that the fun is over, what are you going to do with these bags of beads just laying around the house? Sure, you could throw them away. Or, because you’re guilty about the hours you stood outside in order to catch the plastic trinkets, you’ll shove the bogs into the back of your closet, never to see the light of another Mardi Gras day again.

But, we’ve got better ideas. There are plenty of places to recycle your beads around town, or if you’re a budding artist/entrepreneur, there’s even places on Etsy that sell bead art.

St. Michael Special School

Located in the Lower Garden District, this school for students with special educational needs uses the beads at their Joy Activity Center. Many of the school’s graduates return here to help sort the beads and get paychecks for their work! Click here for more information and donation hours.

St. Michael Special School
Getting there
1522 Chippewa St, New Orleans, LA 70130, USA
Mon-Wed 8am–4pm
Thu Closed
Fri 8am–4pm
Sat-Sun Closed
More Info

Arc of Greater New Orleans

For more than 30 years, ArcGNO has made jobs for people with intellectual disabilities by collecting, sorting and repackaging beads and throws. If you’re lucky you can find specialty beads for specific krewes at their Metairie store. Click here for more information and donation hours.

Arc of Greater New Orleans
Getting there
925 S Labarre Rd, Metairie, LA 70001, USA
Mon-Fri 8am–4pm
Sat-Sun Closed
More Info

Become an artist


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Happy Kings’ Day everyone! #mardigras #mardigrasbeadart #neworleans #kingcake #kingsday 👑

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Okay, so it’s out of the box, but investing in canvas, a hot glue gun and an Etsy store isn’t that expensive. A quick search on Etsy brings up art from $30-$300.

Know anywhere else taking bead donations? Email us at [email protected] or reach us on social media @VeryLocalNOLA



Mary Staes is Digital Content Lead for Very Local. She works with our freelancers and crafts content for our social media platforms and website. Before Very Local, she worked with CBS affiliate WWL-TV as a web producer and weekend assignment editor for about 4 years. She has also handled broadcast coverage for 160 Marine Reserve training facilities while she served as an active duty Marine. As a native New Orleanian, she takes being "very local" to heart. She loves being intertwined with the culture and figuring out how there are less than two degrees of separation between us all, whether...

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