Pop Beads

As early as I remember, we had pop beads. My grandmother had them and they looked like pearls. She often wore them to church and had several strands of different pale pastel colors.

The great thing about pop beads was that you could make the strand as long or as short as you wanted by snapping the individual beads together. You could even fashion a bracelet from them as long as your wrist was not too small.

Each bead had a stem that popped into a hole on another bead. They were a fashion statement in the 50’s and 60’s.

Pop beads were made of plastic, resin or lucite and their translucent look made them look like pearls. They were actually well made and would last a long time unless owned by a child. You see, for a child, the constant popping and un-popping the beads was irresistible. Especially in the middle of church service. If you were skilled, you could ease the beads apart quietly by slightly bending them which, in time, would weaken the connection. If they were new, they made a lovely “popping” noise when pulled apart.

I bought a strand of vintage pop beads off eBay for my sister before she passed away. Even with so many girls in the family, none of our pop beads survived.

Now they are sold as children’s toys and come in a variety of bold or neon colors. That would never be suitable for a fashionable lady of my era.

I could not find a photo I felt I could use here, but I will keep looking.

Did you own pop beads?


16 thoughts on “Pop Beads”

    1. Yes, Pete, those are a good representation. Pearls were a big fashion statement that few could afford, so these were a cheap attempt at reproducing the look.

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  1. Yes, Pete’s links us to the exact beads I owned. I don’t think they ever fooled anyone that they were pearls, however. At least not in my circle.

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  2. I adored my pop beads. My Canadian cousin Geraldine had some and the first I saw were at her house in Ontario when I turned 7 there. santa Claus got me my own set the next year. Score!

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