How to Fix Rosaries

Repair a beloved rosary at home with common tools.
Repair a beloved rosary at home with common tools. (Image: Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images)

Although it is a predominantly Christian artifact, many people wear or keep a rosary prayer necklace as a protective talisman, a keepsake or a fashion accessory. Rosary prayer beads are beautiful and inspirational, however they are quite delicate and often become tangled in clothing, hair and furniture. It can be deeply saddening if a beloved rosary is broken or pulled apart when snagged on a foreign object. You can repair a wire link or threaded rosary yourself with simple tools.

Things You'll Need

  • Needle-nose pliers
  • Round-nose pliers
  • Soft, temporary adhesive tape
  • Brush-on clear modeling glue
  • Craft gloves

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Repairing a Wire Link Rosary

Count the beads of the rosary. Often when a wire link rosary pulls apart, it springs apart in more than one spot and segments and beads can be lost. If any of the beads or segments are missing, you will need to buy replacement parts.

Determine if parts are missing. A Christian rosary has 59 beads, grouped in 5 sets of 10 beads called decades; each decade is separated by a single bead. The length of beads is connected in a loop, usually by a center medal. A shorter strand hangs down from the large loop of beads or the medal; this shorter strand has a sequence of a single bead, a series of three beads, another single bead and then a crucifix hanging from the end.

Reconnect the links of the rosary. The most common linkage design involves a wire through each bead, with the wire forming a loop on each end in a sort of closed "S" shape. Reshape the stretched wires back into linking loop shapes using round-nose pliers. Use flat needle-nose pliers to tightly close each loop. Use the round-nose pliers to bend the wire so each loop is straight; the wire length through the bead should come out of the middle of the loop like the stick in a lollipop, not like the letter "P."

Repairing a Thread Rosary

Put on craft gloves to prevent the glue from sticking to your fingers.

Prepare one side of the broken thread. Wet one end and draw it to a point as you would to thread a needle. Apply a small amount of glue to the thread and work it into the fibers of the thread while twisting them to a point. Set the end down in a manner that prevents it from touching any surface and being stuck, such as over the side of a table.

Using fresh gloves, wet and twist the other broken end of the thread to a point. Comb out the moistened thread slightly with your fingernails. Wrap the combed-out fiber of thread around the still tacky, glued point of the other thread. Twist the ends together tightly so that they mingle and adhere, without air space or clots of glue between the fibers. After the strand dries, you can reinforce it by brushing on another light coat of glue.


  • "Inspired Wire"; Cynthia B. Wuller; 2008
  • "The Encyclopedia of Wire Jewelry Techniques"; Sara Withers; 2010
  • "Teach Yourself Visually: Jewelry Making and Beading"; Chris Franchetti Michaels; 2007
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