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How to make a Traditional St. Briget's Cross

Below are three methods for making Brigid's Crosses. Hopefully, one will work best for you. I have to give due credit to the geocities domain for the source of this material. I just came back from Ireland and I hate to see this lost via the internet.

In Gaelic: Cros Bhrighite


Materials Method 1 Method 2 Method 3

Rushes are the traditional material for the St. Briget's
Cross. All materials should be blessed before construction.
If you use rushes be sure to keep them wet but not too
wet as they will mold and rot. To avoid  the  mess  I  have
found  that  ordinary plastic drinking straws left in their
white wrappers are just fine. Use rubber bands to tie up
the ends. I generally use 9 straws and 4 rubber bands,
however, any number may be used.

Size does not matter. Generally  crosses are made from
pieces of  rush that are about 8-12 inches  long. Some
jewelers, however,  make them in  the size of  ear rings.


 Method  1
After searching for many months I finally broke down  and purchased a cross from  the traditional  Irish-American giftyshop. I took  it  apart and found the simple secret of thedesign.  The process does wonderful things for busy fingersand is great with story telling!

1.  Find 9  8-12 inch  rushes, swizzle sticks  or  drinking  straws  and  4 small  to  medium sized rubber  bands. 

2.   Hold one of  the rushes/straws vertically.

3.   Fold  a  second  straw  in  half  horizontally over  and at a  right  angle over  the center of  to the  first straw with the second  straw projecting to the right.  Snug the inside of  the bend  right  up to the first straw  at   its  center.

4.   Grasp the center overlap tightly between thumb and fore-finger.

5.    Turn the two straws held together 90  degrees counter clockwise  (left) 
(the two ends of the second straw will be projecting  upwards.)

6.   Fold the third straw in half over both parts of the second straw horizontally       from left to right and  snug the inside of the fold up against the center       and the second straw. Hold tight.

7.   Holding the  center  tightly!   Rotate all straws  (the entire assembly) 90 degrees    counter clockwise. (left)

8.   This time  the bottom half of the first straw will be projecting upward. Fold a new straw in half over and across all straws projecting upward.

9.   Snug the straw tightly against the center and against the vertical straws.

10. Holding the center tightly rotate all straws (the entire assembly) 90 degrees Counter clockwise.

11. Fold a new  straw in half  over all vertical straws from left to right and snug up to center and to the right.

12. Repeat the process of rotating  all straws (the entire assembly) 90 degrees  to the left and folding  the new straw  over until all straws  have been used.Remember: Hold tight to the center.

13. When the last straw has been used snug all straws to center being careful to hold tight to the last straw folded.

14. Secure the last arm of the cross with a rubber band or if using rushesplatted straw or string.  Then secure each  other arm.

15. You may paint the drinking straws but be careful as wet paint will dissolvethe thin paper covering. Place rushes on a  flat surface to dry. You may wish to seal the rushes  when dry with a paint of your choice.

 How did  you do?
Let me know send e.mail with your comments! Here
 To the top!


Method  2

This method produces a cross in a form which is much like the Eye of God and as such it brings to mind the antiquity of the Celtic Traditions of Ireland.
Materials:Two sticks and either rushes or wire or paper twist. Heavy gauge electrical wire (I use green!) makes for a great re-usable cross which can be re-constructed for each session.I start the cross and pass it through the class audience for completion.

1.Secure two sticks together at right angles. (I use string or tape).

2.Pull rush or wire from center attachment under the X in the top image over the top across the center to the left. Then under the bottom left spoke then over the upper left spoke then curve back under it and continue in a clockwise direction (to the right). Ideally there should be a few inches of stick remaining exposed on each spoke. It should resemble a cross more than an eye of god...

How did  you do?
Let me know send e.mail with your comments! Here

(Source:Lettice Sanford Straw Work and Corn Dollies)  To the top!

Method  3

This method produces a cross much like that of Method 1 For some reason this method seems to  be more Archaic than method 1. 

1.Tie nine straws together at their ends. 

2.Spread them as shown with the tied end facing down (three to the right and two each other direction. (Image #1) 

3.Fold the front straw of the three under the other two.(Image2) 

4.Bring it upand over to be alongside the two at the nest corner.(Image3) 

5.Completed cross is shown in Image 4 

(Source: Joan Rendell, Your Book of Corn Dollies.)


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