How To Make A Rosary With String And Beads

Having a homemade rosary can be a sweet and fun addition to your rosary collection! I just love making rosaries with the kids and they seem to get excited when they are involved!

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, that these rosaries are made using only supplies found at any craft store! That’s right- you don’t need to special order crucifixes and rosary centers.

How to Make a Rosary

We love to work on crafty stuff, and you can find all of my crafty rosary resources for kids here.

How to Make a Rosary With String and Beads

How Many Beads Are On A Rosary?

There are 6 “Our Father” beads and 53 “Hail Mary” beads. So that is 59 beads in total!

Supplies Needed:

  • String- I like to use a silk cord (You can use yarn, but I like a slicker string better. I didn’t like the final result when using the plastic “gimp” string and I definitely do not recommend using anything elastic. You can also use ribbon, which can be quite beautiful.)
  • Pony Beads (6 Our Father beads, 53 Hail Mary beads, and 6 beads to make the cross OR a plastic cross or crucifix)
  • If you’re beading your crosses, then also glue dots or hot glue (You can order crucifixes in bulk from Autom for just 0.19 each!)
  • clear fingernail polish (to secure the knot at the end of the rosary when you tie it)

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 every 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:

  1. Burn the end of the string with a lighter or match (clearly a job for adults).
  2. Paint the end of the string with fingernail polish. Allow to dry.
  3. Wrap a clear piece of tape around the end of the string. (Think shoe strings).

Different methods work better for different types of strings. 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 you have your strings prepared, you’re ready to go!

How To Make A Homemade Rosary

To begin your rosary, tie on your cross or crucifix. The great part about this craft is, that you can bead your own cross out of pony beads, and I think it comes out absolutely adorable! Plus, no specialty pieces are needed. Find directions for beading a cross here, or click the picture below.

How to Bead a Cross

When you bead your cross, do it at the end of your string, not the middle. Here’s mine.Beaded cross at the end of a string

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.

Beaded cross and beads on string

Before you 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 splitter thingy.

Rosary Splitter Section on String

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.

Knotted String and Heart Bead

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.

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How to String a Rosary

*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.

Tieing off the extra string on beaded rosary

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.

Finished Beaded Rosary

Finished Beaded Rosary

That’s it! I love these little rosaries. I think they’re really cute! I went ahead and hung mine from my rearview mirror. That seems to be the universal sign of Catholicism, doesn’t it? 😉

Finished Beaded Rosary on Rearview Mirror

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!)

Make a Rosary With Kids

How to Make a Rosary


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. 🙂

Finished Beaded Rosary

Don’t miss my other rosary resources for kids!

More Rosary Resources For Kids

You might also like to try making your own sacrifice beads! You already have most of the supplies you need at this point 😉

DIY Sacrifice Beads


  1. Momma Bear says

    I really wanted to see the Make a Rosary book with kids from paper bags page, but it isn’t found. I LOVE this rosary idea. Will do it this week. Thank you!!!

  2. Melissa Krintz says

    That is wonderful! I might try this as our kid craft in our Mom’s Group. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Having been looking for something like this for ages! Great post. Loving the multi-coloured rosary bead. Taking special care in choosing the colour of the beads, one can also make a missionary rosary – where each colour of the rosary decades represents a continent. For more info about the missionary rosary, see this link from the Vatican Website:

  4. So cute! I can’t seem to get the link for learning rosaries for young children to work.

  5. Lacy – this post is one of the fastest answers to prayer I have ever gotten! 🙂 I am planning crafts for my Little Flowers group for the year and I have spent the better part of the morning trying to find an easy way to make rosaries with a dozen or more girls ages 5-8. After about 20 minutes of searching how to make a rosary with pony beads I decided to check and see if you had done one. What comes up right away as I open Catholic Icing? You rock!!! Thank you.

  6. So cute, my 4yo will love this.laughing about the rosary in the rear view mirror thing. One time I went to a catholic homeschool conference and was unsure I was in the right place. All the vans with rosaries on the mirrors assured me that I was.

  7. Josephine Viajar says


    God continues to answer my prayers through your sweet site! 🙂 I am excited to make this!

    We’re having a school wide retreat next week, and this is definitely going to be incorporated! I was wondering 2 things – about how many inches of string is needed to make 1 rosary? And 2- about how long does it take to make this rosary?

    Thanks for the great work! <3 God bless!

  8. Maria Isabel Abrantes says

    Muito bonito! Ótima ideia para se fazer com as crianças! Obrigada!

  9. I am so glad I found this website. I am teach Kindergarten at a Catholic school and we are having an All Saint’s Day Party next week. Tons of awesome ideas!

  10. I used this in my session with High School Sophomores. I forgot to get glue dots and the little store I ran into only had glue sticks or super glue…. super glue was NOT a good idea even for 16 year olds. (It also didn’t help that I’d bought little pony beads). Two of my female teens figured out how to get the cross shape without any glue and I think that was a good modification.

    We spent ~45 minutes on this and only one person fully completed the rosary during that time. (Although there were definitely things like having the beads more organized before class could have sped up the process).

  11. These are so cute.

  12. These are so cute.

  13. We used this to make rosaries with our jr high youth ministry kids last night and they all loved it! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  14. A couple of tips that helped us.
    We pre-packed the appropriate number of beads with the cord and crucifix (we didn’t make the crosses). Each kid was given a ziploc bag with their supplies.
    We put extra beads in the center of the tables in case they wanted to choose different colors.
    I had a pre-made example rosary for each group to reference.
    Some had trouble with some of the beginning knots, fortunately we had enough adults to help with that.
    Most kids finished their rosary in 20-25 minutes.
    Thanks again!

  15. I’ve been making these rosaries for awhile. Love it! I’ve recently begin making them for residents in a Catholic LTCF and have been told they love them, too, and think they’re beautiful Can you tell me what kind of string you use for these? Thanks!

    • While I’m not 100% sure what she used, it appears to me to be satin cord, which is typically found with beading supplies. – Angie, Catholic Icing Project Manager

  16. Julie Campos says


    Just wanted to say thanks for the ideas. Today I helped my daughter’s 3rd grade class all learn how to make these. They loved it! Please keep sharing!

  17. how long should the string be?