DIY: Waist Beads…

Hey y’all!


This is my first DIY post, I’m so excited. As a Recessionista, one has to learn how to improvise and do things (most things) on their own. After the Eid weekend, things got a little out of hand. My waist beads broke! I thought it was the universe saying, Haha, you’re fat” but I’m not even 60kg(that’s my goal BTW) Always one to put a positive spin on things, Le Lover said, maybe it’s the universe’s way of telling me it was time for a new set.


Thank you Universe! I’ve got your message loud and clear.


I’ve always loved waist beads. I feel naked without them. It wasn’t something that was taught. Growing up, I didn’t know adults who wore them, so I didn’t even know they had meanings behind them, it was just something I liked. Do you like them? Do you like them on a partner?


The biggest misconception I constantly hear about wearing waist beads is that you have to be a size 0 with a flat stomach. Which is a big fat lie. Women of all ages and sizes wear waist beads! Let’s take a trip down memory of waist beads…


Lipglossmaffia fun fact



  • “Waistbeads, also known as belly beads, have traditionally been worn by African women since the 15th century to serve many celebratory purposes. In Africa, a bead is rarely a simple ornament; beads are worn visibly as a sign of status or hidden as an invisible yet perceptible signal to a husband or lover.”


  • Throughout several countries in Africa, belly beads have been used to adorn girls and women and indicate how they have matured and grown. Traditionally, mothers adorned their daughters with waist beads during their first menstruation as a rise of passage into womanhood. New belly beads were looked forward to, as they symbolized a healthy life.


  • Waistbeads can also be worn for seduction. Not only do they symbolize a woman’s progress in life, but they honor her sexuality as well. For some, waistbeads possess intimate appeal and can provoke desire. Wives would often lure their husbands with the rattle of beads or use them as a means to communicate their fertility at certain times of the month. Senegalese and Yoruban women, in particular, heightened their allure with the gently clicking of sweetly perfumed tiny bead strands worn around the waist underneath their clothing.


  • Many women used waist beads as an instrument of body shaping. The beads were used to alert women of their weight gain or if they became pregnant. For women who do not normally weigh themselves, belly beads can serve as an indicator of weight loss or gain: beads roll lower on your waist if you lose weight, and become tighter or higher on your waist if you gain weight.


What You’ll Need

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  • Small coloured beads of your choice.
  • Flexible plastic or cloth tape measure.
  • Closers (known in the local market as waist bead closer, duh)
  • Scissors
  • Measuring Tape
  • A white towel or a plate with divisions
  • An awesome playlist
  • Your creativity



Insert a string into one end of the closer.

Then continue, by making a double knot at the end of string.Pull both sides of the string firmly to ensure the knot is tight.

And then, as the spirit leads, string the beads in any order you want. 

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This is the first one I made. I really wanted red and gold this time.


How To Measure Yourself

  • Please do not use manufacturer clothing sizes as a gauge for your waist size. For a more precise size, please use measuring tape.


  • Measure yourself on bare skin with measuring tape; where you would like your beads to fall. Make sure the measuring tape is snug, but not tight and not to loose. Stand up straight and don’t suck it in!


  • If you’ve never worn waist beads before, measure right below your belly button. If you have a tummy, measure underneath it. Measure lower if you would like your beads to fall lower. If you would like your beads to be worn over clothes, measure as above but over clothes.


  • If you will be wearing your waist beads to help you lose weight, measure on your tummy. As you loose weight, they will begin to fall.
    Please measure yourself correctly.


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And that’s it, folks. I have so much yellow and red beads left over so, if you would like a set, let me know, I could make some for you. My payment is a medium sized pizza from Debonairs’. (seriously)




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