How to Make a DIY Rosary from Funeral Flowers: Step-By-Step

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If you’ve recently lost a loved one, you may struggle to know what to do with all the beautiful flowers you received after the funeral. 

Jump ahead to these sections: 

While there are plenty of ideas on what to do with funeral flowers, this one has a religious significance. If you are Catholic, you may consider using the flower petals from the funeral to create beads for a rosary.

Let us help you with the process of making a rosary from funeral flowers. 

What You’ll Need Before You Start Making the Beads

Before you make the rosary, you need to make the beads. First, gather the supplies you need.

  • Dried funeral flowers: You can use any type of funeral flowers to create beads. You can dry flowers in several different ways. You may simply leave the flowers sitting out without water for several weeks and then carefully remove the petals from the stems. You could also place the petals in a 275-degree oven until they appear dry.
  • Polymer clay: You can purchase polymer clay at your local craft store in a variety of colors. While white beads may allow the color from the flowers to “pop,” other colors may look good too.
  • 9- by 13-inch baking dish: The dish must be oven-safe, but it can be either metal or glass.
  • Coat hanger: You’ll only be using the bottom part of the coat hanger. Remove the hook and the shoulder pieces. You may need a wire cutter to complete the process.
  • Oven
  • Table knife
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10 Steps for Making the Rosary Beads from Funeral Flowers

Once you’ve gathered your materials, you’re ready to make the beads. As you begin, remember that this project takes patience and time. The key to completing this DIY memorial gift is to make sure each bead looks the same. 

1. Roll 2 tablespoons of polymer clay into a tube

At first, the clay will be difficult to maneuver. As the heat of your hands warms the clay, it will become more pliable. Roll the clay into a “snake” approximately 0.5 centimeters in diameter. 

2. Notch the tube into 1-centimeter sections

Once the sections have been measured, make sure they look uniform in size. If you are happy with your measurements, cut off each piece so you have many 0.5-centimeter by 1-centimeter sections. 

3. Flatten the small section in the palm of your hand. 

Each of these small sections will form one bead. 

4. Take a pinch of dried flowers and crumble them into the section of clay on your hand

Complete this process over a flat surface so the parts that don’t adhere to the clay can be reused.

5. Roll the small section into a ball

Add more flower petals if necessary. As some of the flowers may be hidden inside the bead, you may want to add more to the outside.

6. Stab the finished ball onto the coat hanger

The beads won’t maintain their shape as you push them onto the coat hanger. You’ll have to reshape them once they are spaced evenly across the wire. Make sure there is at least 0.5 centimeter of spacing between each bead.

7. Place the coat hanger across the baking pan

The beads should not rest on the surface of the pan. Instead, they should float above the pan with the wire protruding from them. 

8. Bake the beads

Place the pan in a 275-degree oven and bake them for 15 minutes.

9. Cool the beads for 30 minutes

After the beads are cool to the touch, slide them off the coat hanger. Wait until the beads are cool since they will harden during this part of the process.

10. Repeat this process until you have at least 59 beads

It’s always a good idea to make a few extras when completing a craft project like this. 

What You Need Before You Start Making the Rosary

Once you have created your beads, you’re ready to begin the rosary. This would be a lovely gift to give to a widow or widower on the death anniversary of their loved one. 

Gather these materials:

  • 59 beads: Depending on how you want your rosary to look, you could also choose to use 53 beads made from funeral flowers and six others with a different look. For our purposes, we will call these six other beads “special beads.”
  • Eyelet pins: Eyelet pins are pins that have a small round section on top. They come in different sizes. Make sure the eyelet is not so small that it goes through the bead.
  • Round-nose pliers
  • Flat-nose pliers
  • Wire cutters
  • Chain: You will be cutting this chain in segments of three links, so plan the chain size accordingly.
  • Jump rings: Jump rings are used to connect pieces in jewelry making.
  • Crucifix: The crucifix should be the appropriate size in comparison to the beads. It should be larger but only slightly larger. Choose one with a jump ring attached to simplify the process.
  • Centerpiece for the rosary: The centerpiece for the rosary is a unique piece. It has three jump rings attached. 

6 Steps for Making the Rosary Beads From Funeral Flowers

Once you have gathered your materials, you are ready to begin making the rosary. This process is time-consuming and requires the ability to concentrate on small tasks and manipulate tiny wires. 

1. Connect 10 beads

When making a rosary, you will not just string beads together. Instead, you will connect them via eyelet pins. Here’s how the process works.

Place an eyelet pin through the bead. Cut the excess on the other side, leaving enough to make a matching eyelet on the other side of the bead. You’ll complete this cutting and twisting of the wires with your wire cutter and needle-nose pliers. Once one bead has an eyelet on each side, connect the beads. 

Repeat this process five times so you end up with five sets of 10 beads. Repeat this process once more by making one set of three beads.

2. Cut the chain into segments of three links

To complete this process, you’ll need to cut every fourth link on the chain. You’ll need 14 three-link segments.

3. Create an eyelet on each side of the six special beads

Once each of your segments has connecting pieces, it’s time to assemble the beads in the proper order. 

4. Place the centerpiece of the rosary face up in front of you

On the top left of the rosary centerpiece, attach a segment of 10 beads and then a special bead (which is spaced separately.) Follow that special bead with another segment of 10 beads, then an appropriately spaced special bead. The order of beads is as follows:

10 - 1 - 10 - 1 - 10 - 1 - 10 - 1 - 10. Connect the last string of 10 to the top right of the centerpiece. 

5. Attach five beads to the bottom part of the rosary centerpiece

The beads should be attached in this order: 1 (special bead) - 3 - 1 (special bead).

6. Attach the crucifix

Put the crucifix at the end of the previous segment that extends from the bottom of the rosary centerpiece.

Alternative Ways to Honor Loved Ones

In addition to using funeral flowers to create rosary beads, there are other alternative ways to honor loved ones' memories. You might choose one of these unique ideas below that also use a lot of creativity:

  • Memorial jewelry: You could turn these beads into memorial jewelry that you wear each and every day. 
  • Memorial diamond: If your loved one was cremated, you could have their ashes transformed into a memorial diamond with Eterneva. This is a gorgeous tribute you'll hold onto forever. 
  • Memorial art: If you're artistically inclined, you could create memorial art in honor of your loved one using their funeral flowers, ashes, or other mementos. 
  • Online memorial: For a more digital-savvy memorial idea, you can create an online memorial page to honor their memory online. 
  • Custom urn: In the case of cremation, Foreverence creates one-of-a-kind custom urns to honor your loved one's memory, passions, and personality. 

Other Things to Do With Funeral Flowers

What else can you do with funeral flowers? You could create pressed dried flower artwork. You may consider placing the dried petals in a clear glass ornament to use as a memorial piece on your Christmas tree. You may also want to create a piece of jewelry instead of a rosary with the beads you created. 

If you aren’t a do-it-yourselfer, but you still hate the idea of throwing away beautiful flowers, consider donating them to a church. Many churches use fresh flowers to decorate for each service. You may also consider dropping the displays off at a nursing home so the residents and staff can enjoy them.

If you're looking for more keepsake ideas, read our guides on funeral favors and keepsake gifts.

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