Welcome Readers of The Upper Room

Welcome to all of you who learned about us from The Upper Room! The response to our Prayer Workshop in the current edition has been incredible. Clearly, there is great excitement about the possibility of using beads to deepen our connection with God! We are thrilled about that!

Currently, I am attending Session #3 of The Upper Room’s Academy for Spiritual Formation and will be home tomorrow. Once I get settled and have time to get back into the studio I will write a new prayer bead devotion. I will also write some posts on the history and symbolism of the beads to help you get familiar with this new – yet ancient – prayer practice.

In the meantime, I wanted to welcome you and answer a few questions that many of you have been asking:

1. Can I purchase your prayer beads? 

Absolutely! We love to create and share our prayer bead designs, which are available for purchase at www.prayerworksstudio.etsy.com. However, the response from The Upper Room article has been so great that we have currently closed our website to give us time to create new designs and catch up on orders. We will reopen the site on Sunday, February 3, 2013.

For those of you who cannot wait, we certainly understand your excitement and desire to get prayer beads as soon as possible. Plus, we know that we cannot begin to meet the need for prayer beads for all of you, since we are one family who works out of our home. For that reason, we would encourage you to look at other shops and websites as well. Many Episcopal churches have gift shops that sell Anglican prayer beads, and there are many websites where you can purchase prayer beads. I would also recommend a friend and fellow artisan, Christine Stanton, who owns Prayer Bedes. I have long been a fan of her work; she has a gorgeous aesthetic and a deep faith in God.

2. Can I make my own prayer beads?

Absolutely! Making your own prayer beads is a wonderful activity! You are using the creative gifts that God has given each of us to create something meaningful and that aids your prayer life. That is all good! I have included instructions for making your own prayer beads below.

3. How do I use prayer beads?

The good news about prayer beads is there is no right or wrong way to use them! I have provided some basic information on our page, “Prayer Bead Basics.” I encourage you to review that to get familiar with the Protestant (or Anglican) prayer bead format. Also, one of the basic prayers I use when teaching people how to use prayer beads is called “The Full Circle Prayer.”

Along the right side bar of this blog is a list of categories for our blog posts. All of the ones that begin with “Dev” are devotions I have written for use with prayer beads. I encourage you to browse through them to get a sense of the myriad ways you can use beads in prayer.

Again, I will write more when I return home, but for now, I want to welcome you. I am thrilled that you are interested in learning new ways to be with God.

Peace, Kristen

Instructions for Assembling Your Prayer Beads

Materials Needed

  1. 5 large Cruciform beads
  2. 29 medium Week beads
  3. 36 small seed beads
  4. 1 cross
  5. 2 crimp tubes
  6. about 2′ of wire (I recommend 49-strand, .19 or .18″)

Tools Required

  1. 1 pair of chain-nosed pliers
  2. 1 set of wire cutters


  1. Place one crimp tube on the wire.
  2. Thread the wire through the cross
  3. Fold about 1″ of wire back towards the cross and through the crimp tube (the crimp tube should now be up against the cross, with one long wire and the 1″ of wire both coming out of it)
  4. Use the pliers to flatten the crimp tube
  5. String the beads in the following order, taking them all the way down so that the first bead is lined up against the crimp tube that sits above the cross (note: make sure the beads cover both of the wires—the primary wire and the extra piece that extends from the top of the cross):
    1. 1 seed bead
    2. 1 Cruciform bead
    3. 1 seed bead
    4. 1 Week bead (optional)
    5. 1 seed bead (optional)
    6. 1 Cruciform bead
    7. 1 seed bead
  6. String the second crimp tube
  7. String the following beads:
    1. 1 seed bead
    2. 1 Week bead
    3. Repeat steps a and b 6 more times
    4. 1 seed bead
    5. 1 Cruciform bead
    6. Repeat steps a to e 2 more times
    7. Repeat steps a and b 7 more times
    8. 1 seed bead
  8. Take the end of the wire and thread it back through the crimp tube that was added in Step 6 (the wire will be heading back towards the cross).  Thread it through the crimp tube, the seed bead, the Cruciform bead, the seed bead, and the Week bead so that it comes out from the bottom of the Week bead.
  9. Pull the wire tightly, adjusting the beads as necessary to remove any slack in the wire and to ensure that the wire is completely covered up by the beads.
  10. Using a pair of flat-nosed pliers, smash the crimp tube as tightly as possible.
  11. Using a set of wire cutters, cut the remaining wire off as close to the beads as possible.
  12. Enjoy your beads!  Blessings!

7 Responses to Welcome Readers of The Upper Room

  1. Thank your for the instructions on how to make the prayer beads. I am truly hoping to try my hand at this!!! I am so looking forward to the next devotional and using my (hopefully) hand made prayer beads.

  2. When I read about prayer beads in the Upper Room this month, I thought it would be the perfect transition activity between the 4 month unit on prayer and the new unit my ‘tweens Sunday school class is about to begin on the names of God.
    I don’t have the money to get as fancy as you’ve described, but I’m confident that the lesson will result in the children developing a more consistent prayer life and, therefore, a closer relationship with God.
    Thank you for making this information available.

  3. Do you have specific instructions and devotions for chaplets? I would like to make one, but am not sure how many beads to include especially if you have devotions which I can follow