I was raised Catholic and for my Confirmation, my paternal grandmother gave me a precious, priceless gift: a simple silver rosary that has been in my family for many generations. Of course, I still have it so I have never had a need to make myself one. Over the span of my years designing jewelry, I have gotten several questions on how to make rosaries, though, so I decided to create one. Making a rosary was a true labor of love; it took hours to wire wrap all those beads by hand. And while I can appreciate the look of a beaded rosary, I am a bit more sentimental and traditional and really like the look of wrapped beads. When we got in the pearl beaded chain, I was so very excited. Not only does this chain make rosary creations a breeze, it is great for any project where wrapping beads by hand is too time consuming and labor intensive. Plus, the beaded chain makes rosary making so easy a beginner can do it! With Easter coming, I thought I would share just how easy and beautiful making a rosary out of beaded chain can be!
What You Need:
- About 2-and-1/2 feet of beaded chain – I used 8mm pearl and antique brass chain
- 6 Swarovski crystal pearls a size larger than your chain – I used 10mm jade pearls
- A rosary station – I used the antique brass station measuring 9x16mm
- A cross pendant – I used the TierraCast Talavera cross in antique brass
- 6 eye pins to match the metals you are using – in my case, I used 2 inch, 21 gauge headpins in antique brass
- 6 bead caps to match the metals you are using – I used 9mm petal bead caps in antique brass
- A jump ring that matches your findings – I used a 6mm, 18 gauge antique brass jump ring
- 2 pair of chain nose pliers
- 1 pair of round nose pliers
What You Need to Know:
- How to open and close jump rings. If you would like a visual demonstration of this, I suggest watching Karla’s Split Ring, Jump Ring Video.
- How to make simple (or rosary) loops. Working with wire is a skill that takes practice, but making simple loops is a pretty easy – and useful – technique to know. For instruction on how to make these loops, check out Karla’s Y Necklace Video.
What You Need to Do:
- Start by sectioning your chain into 5 pieces that consist of 10 beads each. To get a 10 bead piece, take a pair of chain nose pliers and open the loop on the 11th bead that connects it to the 10th bead. Remove the 10 bead piece of chain from the 11th link and close the loop. (It would be wasteful to cut this chain, so we recommend using pliers to simply remove unwanted links and get the chain to its desired length.) Repeat this step until you have 5 pieces consisting of 10 beads each.
- Using the same technique from step 1, make a 3 bead piece of chain.
- On an eye pin, pick up a bead cap, a Swarovski pearl, and another bead cap. Make sure your bead caps are cupping the pearl. Use your pliers to make a simple loop. Repeat this step 5 more times until you have a total of 6 bead wire wrapped beads.
- Using your chain nose pliers, open an end loop on a 10 bead piece of chain. Attach it to one of the 2 top connectors on the rosary station. Use the chain nose pliers to close the loop.
- Use your chain nose pliers to open a loop on a wrapped Swarovski pearl bead. Attach it to the segment of chain just added. Close the loop.
- Open a loop on a 10 bead piece of chain. Attach it to the pearl bead just added. Close the loop.
- Repeat steps 5 and 6 three more times. You should have used all 5 pieces of 10 bead sections of chain and 4 of your Swarovski pearl wraps. The last piece of chain you added should now be attached to the other loop at the top of the rosary station. To attach this link, use your chain nose pliers to open the loop. Attach it to the loop on the connector. Use your chain nose pliers to close the loop.
- Using your pliers, open a loop on a wrapped Swarovski pearl. Attach it to the loop at the bottom of the rosary station. Close the loop.
- Open a loop at the end of your 3 bead piece of chain. Attach it to the bottom loop of the Swarovski pearl added in the previous step. Close the loop.
- Open a loop on your last Swarovski pearl. Attach it to the piece of chain added in the previous step. Close the loop.
- Using two pair of chain nose pliers, open a jump ring. Attach it to the cross pendant. Then attach it to the loop at the bottom of the last pearl added in the previous step. Close the jump ring. Your rosary is ready!