The history of the rosary dates back to the 12th century, when Saint Dominic had a vision of Mary and she gave him one, according to the Personalized Rosaries website. Rosaries have been used for prayer and mediation ever since. Making your own rosary is a way to customise and personalise it as a gift or for yourself.
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The largest rosary component is the crucifix, which dangles down on a beaded chain from the main body of the rosary. The crucifix can be simple or ornate and made from a number of materials. Crucifix sizes also vary, depending on the size of the rest of the rosary. Many are at least 1 inch long. Crucifixes can be wood, plastic, silver, gold, nickel, vermeil or other metals. Some glow in the dark.
Beads and Eye Pins
Beads are a must for making a rosary, with each bead generally needing an eye pin to secure it in place. Catholic rosaries have 59 beads and each bead represents one recitation of a prayer. The beads are small, usually around 6 to 8 millimetres, and can be made from a variety of materials. Beads can be glass, crystal, metal, wood, plastic, ceramic or even rose or flower petals that have been powdered and mixed into clay. Small metal eye pins hold the beads together, with the ends of the pins sticking out the sides of the beads and bent into loops.
The rosary's centrepiece is a small medallion that connects the crucifix chain to the rosary's main body. Centrepieces will usually have three holes, one on each top corner and one at the bottom, to make the connections. Centrepieces can depict a number of saints, religious figures or symbols. Many are metal, but they can also be enamel or other materials. Some include coloured illustrations set in a metal frame, while other designs are etched directly into the metal. The centrepiece's size is usually 1 inch or less, and it usually attached to each side of the rosary's body and to the crucifix's chain via three jump rings, one in each hole.
The rosary also needs a small section of chain which you'll cut into even smaller pieces and intersperse among the beads. An 8-inch chain is usually sufficient, cut into 14 equal sections of about four or five links each. A small section of chain connects to each corner of the centrepiece and to the top of the crucifix, and is interspersed throughout the body of the rosary, dividing the beads into sections of 10 beads each.
The only tools you need to make a rosary are a pair of pliers and a pair of scissors. Small needle-nose pliers work best for bending the eye pins and rings. You'll need the scissors to snip the chain into smaller sections.
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