How to Make a Palm Cross
Alright, ready to get started making palm crosses? Let’s dive in with your easy, step-by-step palm cross instructions!
1. Separate Your Palm Frond and Remove the Strings
If your palm frond is folded over on itself, gently tear the two halves of the palm frond apart, and remove any extra strings. This will make your Palm Sunday cross easier to fold.
2. Fold the Palm Frond
Fold the thick end of the palm frond over on itself, being careful to keep the fold “loose” or “rounded.” (Don’t squish it.) Aim for between 1/3 to 1/4 of the palm folded over.
If your the skinny end of your palm frond has a looong skinny end, don’t count that part when estimating — it will be extra when you’re done.
This folded area (on the right side in the picture above) will be the front, vertical section of your finished Palm Sunday cross. The bigger this folded area, the bigger your palm leaf cross will be, and vice versa.
3. Fold at a 90° Angle to Create the First Arm
Once you have the vertical section of your palm cross folded (step 2), flip your palm cross so you’re looking at the BACK — the long side. Fold the long side of your Palm Sunday cross at a 90° angle to the right to start the first arm.
In the picture above, you’re looking at what will be the back of the palm cross and what will be the left arm once you flip it over.
4. Continue Folding Around to Start the Other Arm
Once you’ve started the first arm, you’ll fold the long length of the palm frond back the other way to start the second arm. Be sure to wrap around in front of your palm cross here. You want to basically go in a big circle around the vertical part to create both arms.
This is my favorite way of learning how to make a cross from a palm frond, because you can easily see what all the parts are right away.
I find it’s more difficult to remember how to make a cross with palm leaves when you have to remember a series of random folds before you even get started making your palm frond cross.
5. Finish the Second Arm
Continue your circle around the the vertical section of the palm frond so you have two arms, both arms are “doubled up,” and your extra length is pointing past the first arm you made (to the right, when you’re looking at the back of the palm leaf cross).
6. Fold the Extra Length Up at a 45° angle
At this point, you have a cross out of palms. (See, I told you making palm crosses was easy!) Now, you just need to secure it.
We will do that by creating two “sashes” to hold the cross in place. So fold the extra length of palm cross up and to the right, at a 45° angle, so it goes right in between the top of the vertical section and the first arm.
7. Create the First “Sash”
Next, turn the palm Sunday cross over, and fold the extra length of palm frond diagonally across the front of the palm cross so it looks like a “sash.”
^^ This is what your palm cross will look like from the front.
8. Fold the Extra Length Straight Across the Bottom
Hopefully you’re not running out of extra length yet! (Figuring out how much palm frond you need is definitely the trickiest part of folding palms into crosses.)
Here, you’ll run the extra length straight across, left to right, right under the “arms.”
9. Create the Other Sash
This sash will also go diagonally across the front of the palm leaf cross, but this time it will go bottom to top.
^^ Here’s what your palm cross will look like from the back.
10. Tuck in the Extra Length
Now, you just have to tuck away any extra length and you’re all done!
Fold the extra length to the back of your Palm Sunday cross and tuck it in. You can either go “top down” or “bottom up” — whichever is easiest for you, depending on how much palm frond you have left and how thick it is.
11. Adjust the Lengths and Crease the Ends
Want your palm cross a little taller or shorter? Are the arms a bit uneven? Make any adjustments you need to (even with easy palm cross instructions, every palm is a bit different and you may need to adjust accordingly).
Then, carefully push on the folds to get a strong, clean crease that looks nice and tidy.
Congratulations! You just learned how to fold a palm cross!