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Forty Days of Crafts: Make a Rosary

In her book The Life of Jesus: An Illustrated Rosary, Mary Billingsley highlights the joy, sorrow, and glory of Jesus’ life as she teaches children to pray the rosary.

Make your own beaded rosary to use as you meditate on the mysteries of Christ and work to cultivate a more disciplined prayer life this Lenten season.



  • Scissors
  • String (needs to be thick enough to stop the bead from moving when knotted)
  • 6 “Our Father” beads
  • 53 “Hail Mary” beads
  • A cross (or 6 beads to create a cross)

Step 1: Cut 2½ to 3 feet of string (depending on the size of your beads).

Step 2: Bead the cross (skip this step if you have a ready-made cross).

  • String your first bead so that it has 5 to 6 inches of string on one side of it and the remaining string on the other side.


  • Put both sides of the string through the second bead.


  • For the 3rd and 4th bead put one on each side of the string


  • Thread the 5th bead onto one side of the string and then thread the second side of the string through just the 5th


  • Pull both of the sides of the string together and string the final 6th bead onto both sides.






Step 3: Bead the Rosary.

  • String on 1 “Our Father” bead and tie a knot after it. Then 3 “Hail Mary” beads and tie a knot after the three beads. Then string on 1 “Our Father” bead and then another knot.

Rosary_10forweb Rosary_11forweb Rosary_12forweb

  • Before you string more beads tie another knot, so you have the knot after the last “Our Father” bead, a space about the size of a bead, and then another knot. This will separate the bottom of your rosary from the top section.


  • Now start beading the main part of the rosary on the long side of the string. Follow the pattern below until you have strong all the beads. You should end up with 5 sections called decades.
    • 10 “Hail Mary” beads — knot — 1 “Our Father” bead — knot (There should always be a knot on both sides of each section.)


  • The pattern should end with a section of Hail Mary beads then a knot.
  • Tie the two ends of the string together to complete the circle with the top section.




Helpful Tip:

To keep the ends of the string from unraveling you can . . .

  1. Melt/burn the end of the string with a lighter (adult’s help needed).
  2. Put nail polish on the ends of the string. (It will need to dry before you continue.)
  3. Wrap tape around the end of the string (to replicate the plastic covering on the ends of shoelaces of the strings of hooded sweatshirts).
The Life of Jesus
Suggested reading: The Life of Jesus: An Illustrated Rosary

The Our Father Prayer

Our Father who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come.
Thy will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us,
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
[For thine is the kingdom,
and the power, and the glory,
for ever and ever.]

The Hail Mary Prayer

Hail Mary, full of grace.
Our Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou among women,
and blessed is the fruit of thy womb,
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
pray for us sinners,
now and at the hour of our death.

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