How to Wire Wrap a Disciple's Cross

Written by roxanne mchenry
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How to Wire Wrap a Disciple's Cross
Disciples' crosses are created from bent nails and wire (nails 1 image by DLeonis from

The disciple's cross is a popular jewellery project for Christians, who sell them at craft shows, fundraisers and church functions. The nails in the cross represent the nails in Jesus's hands and feet during the Crucifixion, and the wire represents the thorns placed on his head. Making a disciple's cross can be hard on your hands, but pre-bent nails and locking pliers make the process easier.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

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Things you need

  • 2 top pre-bent disciple's cross nails
  • 2 bottom pre-bent disciple's cross nails
  • 20 or 22 gauge coloured wire
  • Quick release, straight-jaw locking pliers
  • Wire cutters
  • Rubber band
  • Acrylic coating

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  1. 1

    Line up the top and bottom pre-bent disciple's cross nails so they look like one half of a cross vertically, with a straight edge on one side. Hold the two nails together by clamping the locking pliers on the horizontal "arm" of the half cross and locking the pliers in place.

  2. 2

    Measure about 14 inches of wire and cut off the spool with the wire cutters. Bend the wire in half at the centre point to create a "v" shape. Place the point of the "v" on the top part of the cross just above the arm.

  3. 3

    Wind the side of the wire next to the cross arm tightly around the arm (press each round of wire against the last round). Move the locking pliers back to the end of the arm after you wind about 1/3 of the cross arm with wire.

  4. 4

    Line up the other half of the cross using the other set of top and bottom pre-bent nails--as before.

  5. 5

    Using your fingers, hold the vertical side of the second cross half onto the vertical length of the wired half to make a full cross (let the clamp and wire hold the first cross half).

  6. 6

    Place a small rubber band on the bottom of the cross with your free hand, which will hold the cross together for winding. Wind the other half of the wire around the other arm of the cross (as you did with the first arm).

  7. 7

    Cut another piece of wire the same length as before with the wire cutters. Bend the wire about 1/3 of the way down the length of the wire into a point.

  8. 8

    Place the bent wire point diagonally at the centre of the cross with the short end next to the top of the cross, and the long end on the bottom side of the cross. Wind the short end around the top of the cross, making each round tight against the previous one.

  9. 9

    Wind the wire down the bottom of the cross right under the cross's centre, under the arms. Remove the lock jaw pliers, and cut the rubber band off, being careful not to cut the wire near the bottom.

  10. 10

    Dip the wired cross in a clear acrylic coating, and allow to dry for 20 minutes. Dip in acrylic coat again and air dry.

Tips and warnings

  • Press your fingers against the wound wire in each previous round to keep it tight.
  • Use coloured metal jewellery wire to customise the cross's colours.
  • Use a clear acrylic spray for a light finish and faster drying, instead of the acrylic coating.

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