How to Make a Knotted Rosary Cross

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Things You'll Need

  • Nylon cord or twine
  • Measuring tape
  • Scissors
  • Cigarette lighter

Knotted rosary crosses are commonly used as prayer and meditation tools by Catholics and Anglicans. The knotted rosary is designed to be used with a technique of prayer in which parts of the prayer are counted along the rosary. Twine or cord is used to make the rosary using a knotting technique to form the length of the rosary and the cross. The knotted cross is made of knots that include Hail Mary and Our Father prayer knots commonly used for daily devotional prayers.

Body of Rosary

Measure the amount of nylon cord you will need to make the rosary. The cord should be 6 yards long.

Start approximately 6 inches away from the end of the cord to form the body of the rosary.

Hold the cord in your left hand between your index and thumb finger. Take your right hand and wrap the cord around your index finger three times to create a loop.

Pull the full length of the cord through loop and tighten. This creates the first knot which is the first Hail Mary.

Repeat and place the second knot about 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch away from the first knot and tighten it. Create eight more knots in a similar manner for the next eight Hail Marys to complete the first decade.

Wrap the cord around four times to create four loops instead if three to form a bigger knot. Leave a space of 1/2 inch before and after the knot. This knot represents the Our Father part of the prayer.

Repeat four times on the cord to complete the second, third, fourth and fifth decades on the knotted rosary.

Take the knots that represent the first Hail Mary and the last Hail Mary and hold the rosary cord in your left hand. Wrap both parts of the cord around your finger two times, then pull both of the ends through the loop and tighten it. Pull the shorter part of the cord through first, then pull the longer part through the loop.

Use the remaining length of the cord to form an Our Father knot, leave a 1/2-inch space, then form three Hail Mary knots, and leave another 1/2-inch space, and make another Our Father knot.

The Cross & Cross Bar

Make four more Our Father knots with 1/4-inch spaces between them. This forms the vertical part of the cross.

Burn off the remaining cord left at the joining knot. This will be used to form the cross bar of the cross.

Set the burned off piece of cord and the knotted rosary flat on a table. Place the piece of cord between the last two Our Father knots.

Take hold of the ends of the rosary; make a knot and tighten. Make an Our Father knot with each end of the cord to complete the crossbar of the knotted cross


  • Seal the cut ends of the cord using a cigarette lighter to prevent the ends from fraying.