Mardi Gras beads have a rich history that spans several decades and have evolved in various ways over time. Originally associated with the celebration of Mardi Gras in New Orleans, Louisiana, these colorful beads have become an iconic symbol of the festival and are often thrown from parade floats to enthusiastic crowds.
The tradition of throwing trinkets from parade floats during Mardi Gras can be traced back to the early 19th century. Initially, small objects like flowers, coins, and even handmade jewelry were tossed to the revelers. However, it wasn't until the late 19th century that Mardi Gras beads began to make an appearance.
The first Mardi Gras beads were made of glass. These beads were imported from France and Czechoslovakia in the late 1800s. Glass beads were prized for their vibrant colors and shiny appearance, and they quickly became a popular item to throw during Mardi Gras celebrations.
We found the motherload of vintage glass Mardi Gras beads, and have been stringing them up into up-cycled stretch bracelets all summer. They are the perfect souvenir for someone visiting New Orleans or for a local that just loves Mardi Gras!