Of all the time I’ve spent posting Catholic crafts for kids, how have I never posted directions for how to string a rosary with kids? 😉 If you’re working with really small children, see my post on easy rosaries made from pipe cleaners. If you’re working with older kids and you’d like to string complete rosaries, you’ve come to the right place. The best part is, these rosaries are made using only supplies found at any craft store! That’s right- you don’t have to special order crucifixes and rosary centers.
- Pony Beads (6 Our Father beads, 53 Hail Mary beads, and 6 beads to make the cross)
- If you’re beading your crosses, then also glue dots
Yep- that’s it!
How to choose your string: You want something thick enough that when you tie a knot, the knot doesn’t fit through the pony bead. That’s what makes this so easy- you don’t need to know any fancy rosary-tying knots.
Other than the knots, there’s one more frustration you’ll want to head off before beginning. Make sure your string doesn’t ravel on the ends! Now, most string will ravel to some extent, and that’s very frustrating to kids, which in turn will become very frustrating to you as you walk around and trim everyone’s string ever few minutes. What you want to do is keep the string from raveling. I have 3 favorite ways to accomplish this:
3 ways to keep the ends of your string from raveling:
- Burn the end of the string with a lighter or match (clearly a job for adults).
- Paint the end of the string with fingernail polish. Allow to dry.
- Wrap a clear piece of tape around the end of the string. (Think shoe strings).
Different methods work better for different types of string. You choose something that works for your string. It doesn’t matter if it makes the end of your string ugly because you will cut that part off. I cut my string about 3 feet per rosary. It needs to be longer than you think because the knots eat up the length. Once your have your strings prepared, you’re ready to go!
To begin your rosary, tie on your cross or crucifix. The great part about this craft is, you can bead your own cross out of pony beads, and I think it comes out absolutely adorable! Plus, no specialty pieces needed. Find directions for beading a cross here, or click the picture below.
When you bead your cross, do it at the end of your string, not the middle. Here’s mine.
Once you have your beaded cross finished, don’t forget to knot it at the top. Choose the colors and beads you’ll be using for your rosary. We used pony beads for the Hail Mary beads, and heart shaped beads for the Our Father beads. You could certainly use pony beads for all of them. String on 1 Our Father bead, tie a knot, 3 Hail Mary Beads, tie a knot, 1 Our Father bead, then another knot.
Before your string your decades, tie another knot in the string to separate the bottom piece from what will be the decades of your rosary. Leave a space between the knots that’s big enough for about 1 bead. This space is going to work as your rosary separator thingy.
Now you’re ready to string your decades. Just put the beads on in 1 long string. Start with 10 Hail Mary beads, knot, 1 Our Father bead, knot. So you always have a knot on both sides of the Our Father beads.
10 Hail Mary beads, knot, 1 Our Father bead, knot, and so on until you have 5 decades. You do not put an Our Father bead at the end. When you string on your last decade, just tie another knot. In a long string, it should look like this.
*Note. If you’re using heart shaped beads for your Our Father beads (like we did) then you’ll string the last 2 Our Father beads on upside-down*
Once you have all your beads strung on, tie the end of the string to the space that we left between the 2 knots. Be sure to double knot this.
Trim off the excess string. With the ending knots, either dab the knots with some glue, or melt the ends with a match to keep them from coming untied.
Another thing to remember when you’re stringing a rosary is to leave a little extra room without stringing it too tight. That way, as you pray on the beads they can move a little to be counted. Also, you want the rosary to be able to pile nicely, rather than being stuck in a stiff circle.
That’s it! I love these little rosaries. I think they’re really cute! I went ahead and hung mine from my rear view mirror. That seems to be the universal sign of Catholicism, doesn’t it? 😉
I love this little rosary and I think it’s a good fit for my minivan full of toys and car seats. (btw- love how you can tell I have a cracked windshield in that pic. lol!)
So go ahead- make a rosary with your kids! It’s so fun and rewarding for them! And don’t forget the most important thing- teaching them to use their new rosary for prayer. 🙂
- Make a giant Pool Noodle Rosary
- Easy pipe cleaner rosary craft
- Make a Rosary book with kids from paper bags
- Learning Rosaries for young children