A homemade rosary made of love

By 
  • December 22, 2010
Christina PanziniTORONTO - This Christmas, Christina Panzini is going to be making Christmas gifts for her grandparents using the nicest beads she can find. But she won’t be making bracelets or necklaces. This year, Panzini will be making homemade rosaries.

“I never know what to buy my grandparents and I want to give them things that are sentimental,” she said. “Something they’ll use and appreciate.”

Panzini, a third-year geography student at York University, said it’s easy to make beautiful rosaries at reasonable prices. She buys all materials at art supply stores, like Michaels, which stock all the required parts.


Carol Shevlin, a member of the Toronto Bead Society, said a homemade rosary is a good idea for a Christmas gift because it’s made with love.

“It’s one thing to go out and buy a rosary, it’s another thing to make it with some love attached to it with the person in mind,” she said. “That really enhances what’s going on.”

And you don’t have to worry about the person’s personal taste, said Shevlin.

“If you make a necklace for someone and they don’t like it, they’ll never wear it. Whereas a rosary will generally get used,” she said.

To make a rosary, you will need: crucifix, 53 glass beads (for the Hail Mary and Glory Be), 26 crimp beads (small beads that hold your rosary beads in place), six large chrome beads (for the Our Father), stainless steel bead stringing wire, flat-nosed pliers (to apply pressure to the crimp beads so they stay in place on the rosary).

Step 1: Take your wire and cut it into two pieces. Cut a longer piece about 40 cm long. Cut a second piece about 10 cm long.

Step 2: String a crimp bead onto the shorter wire followed by the crucifix. Hold the crimp bead in place so it’s about one cm away from the crucifix.

Step 3: Take the end of the wire and place it though the same crimp bead so that it creates a loop, with the crucifix hanging at the bottom.

Step 4: With a pair of flat-nosed pliers, squeeze the crimp bead until it becomes flat. This will ensure it stays on the wire without moving, helping to keep all your beads securely in place.

Step 5: On top of the crimp bead, string on a large chrome bead, followed by a crimp bead. Every time you string on a crimp bead, apply pressure to it with the flat-nosed plier. Leave one cm of space. String on a crimp bead, followed by three glass beads and another crimp bead. Leave one cm of space. String on a crimp bead followed by another large chrome bead, securing it with a crimp bead.

Step 6: String your first crimp bead onto the longer string. String on your 10 glass beads, followed by a crimp bead. Leave one cm of space. Put on another crimp bead, followed by a large chrome bead, and secure it with a crimp bead. Leave one cm of space again and repeat the steps until your five decades of the rosary are complete.

Step 7: Once your longer string is complete, bring the two ends of the wire together. String both ends through a single crimp bead, making sure extra wire is coming out of the bottom. Squeeze the crimp bead with the pliers to secure the two ends together. String another crimp bead onto the extra wire. Slip the top of the shorter wire through the same crimp bead. Apply pressure to the crimp bead. This will connect the longer and shorter pieces of wire. Cut off the excess wire.

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