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How to Make Greek Worry Beads

How to Make Greek Worry Beads


Komboloi or worry beads are a string of beads used as a form of stress management similar to squeeze balls (only you can’t squeeze them). The word “Komboloi” comes from the Greek word “kombos” or “knot” and “logio” meaning “collection”. Worry beads are also used to simply idle away the time.

Worry beads are similar to prayer ropes (“komboskini” which uses the Greek word “kombos” for “knot” and “skini” which means “rope”) but have no religious significance. Like prayer ropes, they consist of an odd number of beads because odd numbers can not be evenly divided and are considered good luck.

Although many cultures use worry beads, they have been used in Greece and Cyprus for centuries. In recent years, worry beads made of materials other than the traditional amber or amber resin are popular.



Odd number of pony beads in different colors (3, 5, 7, 9, 11, etc. I used 17 and 21)

One bead larger than the other beads preferably in another color or contrasting material;add more pony beads in different sizes


Wide-eyed needle (optional)

Cordage such as string or nylon twine or even yarn about 24” with more yardage for adding tassel

Tassel (homemade or store-bought)

Ruler or measuring tape


1.      Cut cordage and string beads through it

2.      Thread both ends of the cordage through the large bead and tie a knot at the end

3.      Attach the tassel by tying extra cordage around it and knotting it. Or attach four smaller pony beads about a    half-inch below the knot.

4.      Tie a knot and trim excess cordage or fray it like a tassel.

5.      Extend four fingers keeping them together and the thumb upright. Twirl worry beads under and over the hand. Or twirl the worry beads over and under the forefinger.

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