Make Your Own Sacrifice Beads

When St. Therese was a little girl, she used a string of beads that she made herself to offer acts of love throughout the day. She called it her “chaplet of practices”. We now call them “sacrifice beads” or “good deed beads”. St. Therese used sacrifice beads as preparation for her First Holy Communion, and they are still a great tool for kids learning to make sacrifices today! You can find all of my St. Therese resources for kids here. Today I am going to show you how to make your own sacrifice beads step by step. 

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The idea behind sacrifice beads is that when you move the bead, it stays in place. This allows for you to keep the string in your pocket all day. Whenever you make a sacrifice or do a good deed, you move one bead over.
This post has a step by step picture tutorial on how to make sacrifice beads below, but I also made an easy to follow video on how to make sacrifice beads. So if you think a video would be easier to follow along with, be sure to watch that and give the video a “like” for me! 😉

Supplies Needed To Make Sacrifice Beads

  • 3 feet of silk cord (The string must fit through the bead twice. Avoid the plastic “gimp” string and definitely do not use anything elastic. You can also use ribbon, which is shown at the end of this post. You can use yarn, but I like a slicker string better. If you use yarn, you’ll want to put a piece of clear tape round each end to keep the yard from unraveling and make the stringing easier for children.)
  • a key ring (or St. Therese medal) 
  • pony beads (this is a good kind of bead to use because you need a bead with a large hole)
  • crucifix (you can order them in bulk from Autom for just 0.19 each!)
  • clear fingernail polish 

I also have step by step directions for duplicating your own Saint medals and crucifixes, so if you’re feeling extra crafty you can make your own of those as well!

Sacrifice Bead Kits

If you’re looking for a sacrifice bead kit, the kits for crafting beaded lacing animals are perfect for Sacrifice beads! It comes with the beads, string, and key rings all in one kit- everything you need besides the crucifixes! 

How To Make Sacrifice Beads

You’re going to start with your St. Therese medal or your key ring. Even young kids can do this craft with help!
Find the middle of your string and put it through the end of your St. Therese medal or key ring. This will make a loop with the middle of the string. Take the 2 ends of your string and put them through the loop. 

Pull the 2 ends of the string tight, and it will attach the string to your St. Therese medal or key ring, leaving 2 strings dangling down.

You can lay out 10 pony beads and decide the order you want to string them in. I am going to make a pattern with pink, purple, and white beads.

Take your first pony bead, and put one string through one side, and one string through the other side. 

Pull both ends of the string and the pony bead will start sliding up towards your medal. 

Keep pulling the 2 strings in opposite directions until your bead goes all the way up to the top.

Now do the same to another bead- 1 string going in each side of the bead.

Keep repeating this step until you have 10 beads on your string. Then leave a space, and tie a knot by wrapping the string around your fingers and putting the ends of the string through the hole. This knot needs to be big enough to hold the pony bead in place, so make a double knot if you need to. 

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Place your 11th bead after this knot, then make another knot right under that bead. That bead will stay in place.

Now you’re ready to attach your crucifix! Just lace one string through the crucifix and then secure it with a square knot. Trim the edges, but not too close to the knot. Leave a little extra to prevent it from coming untied. 

To make really sure it stays in place (because this string is very slick) you need to do one of the following:

Secure your knot at the end by doing one of the following:

  • Painting the knot with clear fingernail polish
  • Burning the ends of the string with a lighter (a job for grown ups)
  • Put a dot of glue on each side of the knot

That’s it- you did it! You made your own sacrifice beads! We also made one with ribbon, and it worked beautifully as well.

Here is the completed ribbon sacrifice bead string, and it holds the beads in the same way. Very pretty!

We made lots of different colors and combinations of sacrifice beads! Check them out!

Buy Sacrifice Beads

Don’t want to make your own? No problem! There are plenty of places you can buy these adorable tools for Catholic children. I love these sacrifice from Holy Heroes as they come in all different colors and with a carabiner at the end so you can attach them to anything. 

St. Therese Resources For Kids

You can read more about the history of St. Therese and her sacrifice beads here
You’ll find all of my St. Therese resources for kids here.

More Catholic Crafts You Might Enjoy…

Be sure to check out all of my other October feast day resources as well!


  1. I want to say Thank you for such a Beautiful Blog you have been award the Beautiful Blog award but also all of your hard work! God bless you and your family!

  2. Alicia@Playing With Paper says

    Great idea! You may see this one on my blog when we get a chance to make them! SO SO glad I found your blog!

  3. JOYfilled Family says

    My girls love making these. In fact I have my Little Flowers group make them every year at the start of a new session. They find someone to give them to if they already have a set.
    I'm glad you posted the tutorial from The Little Ways. I have been using their instructions but could not recall the source. Their tutorial is very easy to follow.
    Keep sharing all your free ideas and new finds!
    Pax Christi – Lena

  4. Dear Lacy,
    I am so impressed with all the wonderful activities and ideas you share.
    Thank you for putting this together.
    God Bless

  5. Amazing_Grace says

    Those sacrifice beads are so pretty. The kids will really enjoy making them and adults will too! 🙂

  6. Angie @ Many Little Blessings says

    Thanks so much for mentioning the new toolbar and Catholic Mothers Online. You already know that I love your site. I was actually talking about it with some of the people at our homeschool co-op this week. (Since about 15+ of my FB friends are now fans, so that was some of those people.)

  7. Our Legion of Mary has a first Saturday Potluck , bonfire, rosary. The the first Saturday of March we made the Sacrifice Beads, for Lent, the children loved the project. and the adults did too. Thank you for your many projects and ideas.