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Pipe Cleaner One Decade Rosary

A favorite craft that I have used in my religious education classes over the years has been making one decade rosaries using pipe cleaners. The age group I have taught in the last two years has been eight and nine year olds. This project seems to be right on with this age group or perhaps a little younger. In class, the project took 20 to 30 minutes to complete. To make these one decade pipe cleaner rosaries you will need:


One 12 inch pipe cleaner
Ten 6 mm beads

Begin by locating the center of the pipe cleaner. This can be as simple as folding the pipe cleaner in half. Begin stringing the beads onto the pipe cleaner so that all 10 beads are concentrated at the center of the pipe cleaner. Space the beads about a half a centimeter apart.

When stringing the beads, the tips of the pipe cleaner can begin to unravel. Once the unraveling has begun it is very difficult string a bead. This can be avoided by pinching the tip of the pipe cleaner each time you string a bead on. Just in case it doesn't hurt to have extra pipe cleaners on hand!

Once the 10 beads have been strung you are ready to move on to the next step. Curve the middle section of the pipe cleaner where the beads are into a circle and twist the pipe cleaner together where those beads end.

The two straight ends of the pipe cleaner will be twisted into a cross shape. This can be done in various ways, but I recommend having one end of the pipe cleaner be the vertical section of the cross, and the other be the horizontal. Twist the pipe cleaner around itself to secure the shape and tuck the sharp tips in to avoid injury. The size of the cross will be about the length of the diameter of the circle of beads. This means you will have to bend the pipe cleaner back on itself several times and shape and tweak until you have the cross shape completed.

The one decade rosary is one fifth of the size of a regular rosary. Its small size can fit into a pocket with ease. When used for prayer, begin at the cross with "The Lord's Prayer/ Our Father". Then proceed to each of the 10 beads and say the "Hail Mary" prayer at each bead. End once again at the cross with the prayer "The Glory Be".

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