Picture of How to make a Rosary out of Paracord
Rosary 004.jpg
The Rosary is a method of prayer used primarily by Catholics.  It utilizes beads on a string or chain that are used to keep track of which prayer you are saying while you are meditating on the mysteries of the Gospels.  To learn more about the rosary check out www.rosaryarmy.com/.  I learned how to make rosaries out of twine a couple of years ago from these folks, and when I deployed I decided to try and make one out of paracord.  Some of my fellow soldiers really liked the idea of a Rosary that was a little more masculine than the traditional Rosary.  This makes a great gift for service members or to donate to a nearby military installation.

For your first attempt you will need about 40 feet of paracord.  As you get better you will need less because your knots will be tighter.  You will also need scissors or a knife, and a lighter.  A crucifix or cross can be attached if you like but I will show you how to make a cross from the paracord.

Step 1: Layout

Picture of Layout
If you are familiar with the Rosary and its layout you can skip this step.  The Rosary consists of a tail and a loop of five sets of ten beads/knots called a decade.  The ten knots of the decade are for praying the Hail Mary, between each decade is a knot for praying the Our Father.  The tail consists of a knot to join the loop together, an Our Father knot, three Hail Mary's, another Our Father and finally a cross or crucifix.  We will start in the middle of the loop and work our way down to the crucifix/cross.

They only had 21-foot sections of parachord at my local Michael's, so I bought two of them and joined them in the center using a Hunter's bend knot. I figured it wouldn't be too great of a compromise. I'll upload an image once I'm finished :)

amyers102 months ago

Wooden bead, dremel tool. Carve a simple cross on the wooden bead, stain dark walnut, oil finish. Use as the crucifix.

jrwkubas81 made it!6 months ago
Made a few more using different colors and the shorter style. Thanks again.
jrwkubas81 made it!6 months ago
Easy to follow! I love the icecube trick. Thanks for sharing.
rryder made it!8 months ago
awesome project!
Sandy7771 year ago

I make a very similar one using 4 wrap knots for the Our Fathers and 2 wrap knots very close together for the Hail Mary knots. http://www.cordbands.com/

Sandy7771 year ago

This is a good tutorial. I make the same knot using 2 wraps for Hail Mary knots and using 4 wraps for the Our Fathers on my Combat Paracord Rosary that I sell at RuggedRosaries.com.


shweet lol

cmeager1 year ago
Does anyone have the instructions for making the decade rosary where the cross is in line with the beads instead of dangling off the wrist? I worry about it getting caught and knarled up and would like something that sits flush to my skin. Plus I like the look of them better.
dgrc made it!1 year ago

Thanks for this instructable. I made a similar rosary using your directions. The differences:

  1. I made an Anglican rosary. Four sets of seven knots with "cruciform" knots between.
  2. Thanks to a mistake I had to correct, I attached a knotted cross by looping the ends and burying them back in the adjacent knot.

I'm too much a klutz to manage all that twisting, gnarly paracord wrapped around my finger. I cut about an inch and a half of 5/16 ID poly tubing, then slit it down one side. That way I could use two hands freely to loop the cord around the tube, push the end through tube, pull the cord and tube out through the loops, and snug everything up. The slit let me remove the tube without pulling the cord all the way back through it.

Sdots1 year ago

Good job on this instuctable. I make similar ones using file knife knots and I sell them at RuggedRosaries.com. Using standard 550 paracord, it takes about 20 feet to make one of these. I can see how you might need up to 40 feet if you are making the hail Mary knots using triple rosary bead knots. The resulting rosary must be about a yard long. If you use a double knot instead, your resulting rosary will end up at about 28 inches long, depending on how close together you tie your knots.

Sandy7772 years ago
Found these great paracord rosaries at www.cordbands.com.
Found this awesome "ible at the same time i found this site, figured I'd link it for everyone. There are some good tips and resources, even a video how to of this process. http://rosaryarmy.newevangelizers.com/  Great job on your rosary and the 'ible.
I was practicing the our father knots when I decided that it looked like an alright bracelet. Thought I'd share.
amayes24 years ago
no offense or anything, but can someone do this but with an upside down cross, and basically this, but everything is reversed. like backwards hail mary, and a back wards father. again, i honestly do not mean to insult any one, but its a free country in which we practice free religion, and i practice satanism. if someone finds a link, or makes instructions, please contact me by my facebook. i really like how this is, but just want one suited for my religion. thanks. may your form of "God" bless :)
I'd recommend doing it yourself, using the Satanic number system if it has one. The knots for making an upside down cross would be the same but reversed, which should be easy to work out.
If you think up a sequence of prayers to suit your religion, and have a knot to represent each one, it should be good for any prayer or meditation.
ok thank you :)
No problem! And good luck on your path.
fidgety24 years ago
hello i am doing this for my local parish and am trying to help a bunch of (no offense) elderly people make these do you have any suggestions


P.S. nice ible' by the way and God bless
papaiii4 years ago
Nice Ible, if you want a smaller knot/rosary you might try taking out the inards from the paracord. I'm at Bagram AB Afghanistan right now and will try this on my time off. God bless!
Grazelda4 years ago
Nice... :~)
lipsydos4 years ago
great instructable...thanks much...
amstewart4 years ago
This is truly amazing. As a prior soldier and proud owner of a LOT of 550 cord, I will be making one of these very soon. Thank you so much for this instructable!
Thank you for this! I've finally finished my first rosary. I'm not sold on the cord cross though, the arms on mine are all wonky. I might have to break down and put a wooden cross or crucifix on instead. And @looker1995: good luck and God bless.
beta1072 (author)  arthur.nudge5 years ago
I'm glad it helped, I hope your fingers aren't too sore. The cord cross is a good expedient, but it is tough to get just right. If you do get a wooden cross/crucifix I would like to see how it turns out.
Oops, I gave the rosary away without taking a photo. My local Catholic store didn't have any wooden crucifixes that were quite the right size, so I bought a chrome one approximately 3.5 inches tall, which looked pretty good on the finished product. I found the 550 cord easy to tie, but the finished rosary is kind of enormous. Smaller twine was touchy as all get out (the paternoster knots really drove me up the wall), but the finished rosary was a more convenient size. I've still got enough paracord to make another, so I'll try to take pictures of the next one and add it to the comments.
Thanks for the support from both of you. It helps all of us to know that we have support back here.
looker19955 years ago
Your instructable led me to look up the Rosary Army. I tied one of their standard rosaries with some mason's twine that I have, then tied one of yours. I was interested because I am headed to Afghanistan this year. I find yours, out of 550 cord, is much easier to tie. I also really like the hand tied cross. Thanks for the instructable, I will be making more of these for my friends.
beta1072 (author)  looker19955 years ago
I tried the mason's twine first as well. It is not very forgiving on the fingers. Stay safe in Afghanistan, we'll be praying for you.
grut1255 years ago
two thumbs up, god bless you.