Mardi Gras Crafts: Beads, Costumes, Party Ideas & More

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Mardi Gras, or “Fat Tuesday”, is the day before Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the fasting period of Lent in some Christian traditions. As such, it is traditionally a day to eat, drink, and be merry before the austere fasting season begins, leading up to Easter. These days, both religious and non-religious people enjoy the festival with many different regional traditions. Here at Craftster, there are plenty of craft projects and recipes to ensure that les bontemps roullez for you and your friends and family this year. Get ready for February 24, this year’s Mardi Gras!

In North America, Mardi Gras is most closely associated with New Orleans and other Southern cities, such as Mobile, Alabama. French settlers brought the tradition with them from France and Canada, and it has grown and taken on its own Southern flavor.

The traditional colors of Mardi Gras in New Orleans are purple, green, and gold. They represent justice, faith, and power. There are many customs surrounding Mardi Gras, but it all boils down to one thing: a great big party, and fun for all! Parades, costumes, masks, beads, and food are all part of the package. Craftster members have made some awesome projects using the Mardi Gras theme.

Colorful costumes are one of the highlights of Mardi Gras. It’s a great chance to express yourself with outrageous outfits, feathers, sparkle, and masks.

Mardi Gras Outfits for a Window Display

For a more subtle way to show your Mardi Gras spirit, these jewelry projects will get you into the mood to celebrate!

If you don’t live in a place that has a big Mardi Gras festival, it’s still a great excuse to throw a party. Get some friends, some masks, and some good food and drinks and that’s all you need to get started with a tradition all your own. Here are some great decor and other projects to make your home a Mardi Gras palace.

Cajun Kitchen Towels

You can entertain your friends or perform in a Mardi Gras Parade with these fantastic knit juggling balls.

If you are wondering what to do with all those beads you caught at the parade, our clever members have come up with come ingeniously crafty ways to use them. Here are just a few of their awesome projects:

Mardi Gras Bead Scarf

Blue/Green Melted Bead Lampshade Made From Mardi Gras Beads

Mardi Gras Beaded Flip Flops Tutorial With Pics

Of course, what would Fat Tuesday be without food? Beignets are a quintessential New Orleans treat. This tutorial will help you make your own beignets so you can have a taste of New Orleans any time.

King Cake is one of the most famous and beloved Mardi Gras traditions. A toy baby is baked into the cake, and the person who gets the baby must bring the next cake. If you can’t make it to New Orleans, you can make your own beignets and King Cake. These awesome Craftster bakers will show you how:

If you want an entire Mardi Gras feast, check out this post with a meal and more of Cajun food! Warning: it will make you very, very hungry!

New Orleans is known for it’s Mardi Gras festivities, but the holiday is celebrated around the world. Sydney, Australia, has the Gay Mardi Gras, with parades representing all parts of the GLBT community. Like in New Orleans, colorful costumes and parades are the order of the day.

Brazil is known around the world for its amazing Carnaval season, another incredible festival of parades, glamorous costumes, and infectious Samba music. Like Mardi Gras, Carnaval combines Old World European tradition with New World and African influences to create an enormous party with a flavor all its own.

If you’d like to sample some of the flavor of Brazil, here are some wonderful tutorials for traditional Brazilian sweets:

Venice, Italy, is another center for Carneval festivities. Venetian Carnevale celebrants have worn masks at least as far back as 1268. Masks are still an important part of the Venetian Carnevale, along with lavish costumes. The masks are often made with papier mache or leather, and elaborately decorated. Here are some Craftster member projects that would look quite at home on the streets of Venice:

Elsewhere in Europe, the British celebrate Pancake Day, or Shrove Tuesday, with pancakes. You can have your own Shrove Tuesday Pancake Party. Assemble a variety of fruits, whipped cream, syrups, chocolate sauce, nutella, smoked salmon, caviar, or anything else you can put on a pancake, and invite your friends to pancake buffet. You can make the pancakes ahead or make pancake flipping a part of the fun! Here’s a yummy recipe for fluffy chocolate chip pancakes:

If pancakes aren’t your thing, here’s a traditional Swedish bun recipe from the Shrove Tuesday traditions of Scandinavia:

Whether you call it Mardi Gras, Carnival, or Shrove Tuesday, February 24 is a day for fun, friends, family, and food. Enjoy it with a light heart and a full stomach and let the good times roll!

There are so many traditions around this holiday, we couldn’t begin to cover them all. How do you celebrate where you live? Do you make any special crafts or recipes to mark the occasion? Share your traditions with your fellow Craftsters!

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  1. crafty_dame says:

    this looks awesome!

    i love seeing all the stuff i missed the first time around!

  2. nurseninja says:

    wow- that lampshade is amazing!

  3. Karin says:

    Scandinavia represent! Makes me happy that a little Semla (that’s what the bun in the last picture is called) made it into this post! 😀

  4. psyche says:

    Thanks for featuring Mardi Gras things! I have a no less than major obsession with Mardi Gras, Carnival around the world, AND Louisiana in general, so this was awesome! (Especially since I pretty much haven’t seen any of these on Craftster.)

    Good stuff 😀

  5. Heather says:

    A very traditional pancake topping here in the UK is lemon juice and sugar, leading to a shortage of lemons in store if you try to get them on Shrove Tuesday!

  6. batgirl says:

    Ah, I LOVE lemon sugar pancakes! Thanks for reminding me of them!

  7. Hayley says:

    A “must have” for any Mardi Gras or Carnival Party is the traditional Brazilian Caipirinha. The easiest way to make it is to use Boca Loca, a premium Cachaca. Here’s the recipe:

    Traditional Caipirinha:
    2 oz. Boca Loca Cachaca
    1 lime cut into 6 sections
    2 teaspoons sugar

    Muddle limes and sugar in rocks glass to form a paste. Add ice to top of glass, stir in paste with ice. Add Boca Loca, stir and serve!

  8. batgirl says:

    Thanks for the recipe, Hayley! That sounds delicious (and strong!)

  9. Gin says:

    I love the Mardis Gras masks! somebody got a tute out there somewhere? thank you for sharing this info. 🙂

  10. batgirl says:

    Happy Mardi Gras!!

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