Peace, Love and Bead Crafts!

beads3Bead Crafts knock my socks off. The low cost of wholesale Mardi Gras Beads keeps it cheap, while keepin’ it real with a whole lotta shine & bling.  Bead crafts can transform into seriously effective DIY party decor.  Remember beaded curtains?  Former flower children & alternative types know what I’m talkin’ about:  that sweet jingle jangle of plastic strands as you walk through a doorway.  There are a ton of New Orleans inspired bead creations on Pinterest, but this one reigns supreme, plus can be made to fit windows, neat-o.  I crafted my own magical doorway beaded curtain for Halloween using FBL glow beads – do you like?


bead_crafts<<<  That’s right, amigos, I put that together from scratch with 3 things:  my trusty glue gun, a plank of wood, and a pile of beads.  That’s all you need for curtain bead crafts!  Oh, and patience, have plenty of that on hand, for it’s just repetitive motions once you have the materials gathered.  If you’re ready to dive into the world of bead crafts, get some strands from FBL to go all matchy-matchy like I did (took me 66 total bead necklaces), or go the more eclectic route and add old random beads from past Mardi Gras parades.

Let’s cut to the chase – here’s what ya do:

  • Cut each necklace so they’re now long un-connected strands,
  • Hot glue 2 pieces together to make an extra long strand,
  • Get a plank of wood to hot glue these stands to,
  • Repeat until your bead curtain is full enough to your liking, aaaand there ya have it.

Another one of my favorite bead crafts is archived in our blog from last Mardi Gras when I added our sparkly strands to the brim of a top hat.  Mardi Gras is year ’round for so many party people, so it’s never too early to re-visit this gem.  Special guest appearance by our cool copper wire LED string lights!  Battery powered for crafts, y’all.

DIYpartyhatBookmark us and join us NEXT TIME when we explore some easy DIY centerpiece ideas for your Thanksgiving table.  Don’t ya just love fall crafts!  We sure do…


~ Flashing Blinky Nikki


Craft Your Own Party Hat! You Can Do It. I Believe In You…

Isn’t it nice to have someone believe in you?  I will be that person for you on this magical journey, dear crafters.  Let me be your guide into the land of Extreme Party Hat Craftin’.  I’ve said it once & I’ll say it again:  LIGHTS.  ARE.  ESSENTIAL.  And don’t you forget it.  A blinged-out party hat is excellent for whimsical tea parties, Mardi Gras carnivals & night time festivals where creativity is king.  So get yourself a simple novelty top hat & FUNk it up.  Here’s my latest creation, do you love it, or do you love it?

Party Hat MAGICAL INGREDIENTS straight from the shelves of FBL:

1.) 76″ battery powered LED String Lights for crafts & table decor.  We have many shapes & colors, but white stars are my favorite.  Shines a brilliant steady light, easy on the eyes.

2.) Inexpensive non-light up Mardi Gras Beads.  All experienced Mardi Gras peeps know they’re a glue gun’s best friend – attach them to anything.  Makes for a cool colorful lining in particular.  Pinterest taught me well!  (< Find ours right there, y’all.)

3.) The rest of my flair was found for cheap online (top hat) & at my local craft store (everythang else).  Seriously just gather & glue, gather & glue, it’s that simple.  Use tinsel garland, glitter ribbon, faux flowers, decorative birds, sparkle butterflies, I’ve even got a garden gnome in there – ello:


Don’t forget feathers, y’owl!


Baby bird’s ready for his close-up.  Sweet lil’ dude.


Crafty WORDS O’ WISDOM:  Before you start gluing, and looking at all the junk/treasures accumulated, you may panic for a second, thinking “WHERE do I begin?!”   Hey.  Chill.  And just glue – glue like the wind!  Take it one piece at a time and know you really can’t mess this up, for the funkier the better.


So how about it, party animals, are you ready to make your own?  Give it a go.  I’d love to see what you come up with.  Let’s keep in touch – leave a comment below.  ‘Til next time…


Flashing Blinky Nikki, at your service.


Best Party Craft Yet: Add LED Lights to a Feather Boa!

Oh ma goooodness, get a load of this party craft.  ‘Tis the mother of all party crafts in my humble opinion, yet so easy that it’s barely worthy of a “tutorial”, let’s just tell it like it is here.  Oh yeah disco darlings, LED lights are the wave of the future and the groovy past in this week’s party craft.

Now who doesn’t enjoy a glam feather boa?  Nobody & ya know it.  Whether used as a prop for the feminine & flamboyant, or playfully draped over a manly man out on the dance floor, a feather boa is one sassy costume accessory & enjoyed by all.  I really put it to use in this week’s party craft – check it oooouuut:

handAb fab!  I clipped rainbow flash LEDs within the feathers; didn’t want to hassle with wires.  To keep my party craft sturdy & strong whilst I boogie, I sometimes reinforce the clip blinkies with simple needle & thread, allowing me to re-use these LED lights on a future party craft – just snip ’em out after tearing up that dance floor.

11950_BL_orb_string_lights_compv1_600Naturally my party craft will dim after a few nights of fun.  But good news, everyone:  I can change the batteries in each light clip. Steady Candy Lites dim after a night of use, whereas flash LEDs go for DAYS – keep that in mind before you buy. Another swell option is copper wire LED String Lights – great for this craft, just conceal the wire in feathers (wrap it tightly in center) and hide the battery house (pants pocket perfect fit).  String Lights Bonus: has AA batteries.  Gonna keep you well lit without a doubt.

I’ve said it once & I’ll say it again:  you can add little LED lights to anything & everything!  Anywhere & everywhere!  It is just.  Too.  Easy.

If you too create awesome things with our Light Ups & want a platform to show off the goods, then hey, drop me a line over here on the FBL Facebook!  We love talkin’ shop with our customers + always got coupon codes for the newbies…


~ Flashing Blinky Nikki


FBL Lights On Location: New Orleans Mardi Gras!

AHOY there!                                         ‘Tis I, Flashing Blinky Nikki.               Went to New Orleans’ Mardi Gras & lived to tell the tale.  NOLA sweet NOLA!  My new home away from homa.  Where you can dance in the street wearing wigs & tutus, light ups & sparkles, costumes & glow, and no one’s gonna take much notice because EVERYone is decked out.  Yes, would you believe I totally blended in?  I have found my people.  NOLA left me in awe the entire time & I’m now planning to go back annually.  Would you like to take a peek at some of my most memorable New Orleans Mardi Gras moments?                              Come along now…

First couple nights started off real tame.  Just takin’ it all in, sportin’ some star light boppers while playin’ sax on the streets, no big deal:

Here’s a sweet babydoll I met while enjoying the classic parades that make New Orleans Mardi Gras what it is.  Love that pose, love those shades!  Girl’s goin’ places:

The family that blinks together stays together!  Quite literally; I would’ve gotten lost from our krewe 10 times a night had it not been for LEDs.  So props to this NOLA mom:

Lady Light Devil up to no good….except for those glow bracelets linked together like a chain and ready to share– oh that’s very good.  Way to think outside the box, makes for easy distribution:

 Made a new friend on Royal Street!  Or was it Bourbon Street…the details are a little fuzzy, yet memorable.  ‘Twas an honor to share a toast on the go with such a fashion icon.  Did you notice my king crown lights up?!  Aw yeah:

Light swords outside Kajun’s Pub & Allways Lounge (holy fun venues, Batman!):

Silly party time took a backseat as we went out to dinner with the grown ups.  I packed some light up ice cubes in my purse & passed them out at Commander’s Palace.  That place is FANcy, oh ma goooodness, but our color changing party cubes fit in regardless (no flash; just chill mood lighting):

CHEERS to not getting kicked out due to my casual attire!

On Franklin Street, we stumbled upon a street band that melted my heart.  We could’ve danced all night.  Love the talent front & center playing a saw like a violin.  Old timey jams & impromptu dance parties in the street, THIS was my favorite thing about Mardi Gras.  The local talent is out to make a little money, and as they should, ’cause dang they are gifted & hard working.  Tourists, don’t forget to tip!

Some groovy lighting I spotted while taking a stroll through the French Quarter:

OK, ok, back to party time!  Niiiiice light up party hats, darlings:

We were fortunate enough to get into the Bacchus Ball to watch the Krewe of Bacchus Parade – WHAAAAT?!  Grateful beyond words – thank you, Zac Levi.mardigras3

Our LED beads looked great at this black tie event – everyone was pleasantly surprised & (play) fighting over the last one; should’ve packed more.mardigras2

Once again, LED ice cubes made an appearance; a Bacchus favorite.  Mixed with real ice cubes looks cool, plus invited guests to help themselves.  Awesome idea for future parties, y’all, it’s gunna be “my thing” from now on:

‘Til next time, NOLA my sweet!


~ Flashing Blinky Nikki


Light Up A Mardi Gras King Crown For A Royal Good Time!

Here at FBL, we have searched high & low for a great quality Mardi Gras king crown with LEDs.  Imagine such an item lighting up the streets of New Orleans.  Yes sir, a ready-made light up Mardi Gras king crown would be hot hot hot!  The hunt is still on, for we’re picky & won’t settle for less.  In the meantime, I’ve found a heck of an alternative:

To start, I found a non light up Mardi Gras king crown at a local party store; very easy to track down.  It’s pretty well made; just needed LEDs! And boy do we have those – every color combo.  Just clip LEDs onto the tips of the Mardi Gras king crown. Crafters, it does not get much easier than that!  They come with removable soft rubber backs in case you want to wear them as earrings, plus those will help the LEDs stay put.  Or for a more permanent fixture, add hot glue to the backs if you know you’ll be partying up a storm.  Look at these simple little guys – oooohhh the possibilites:

Last but not least, combine your new costume creation with some equally epic accessories like a magical fairy wand, a color changing LED wizard staff, stacks of Mardi Gras beads, a fuzzy cape and you are WELL on your way to a royal good time.  Happy carnival, crafters!

TCB & DIY ~                                                                                                                           ~ Flashing Blinky Nikki