How to Fold a Palm Into a Cross

Written by kate bruscke | 13/05/2017
How to Fold a Palm Into a Cross
Palm leaves are folded into crosses for Palm Sunday. (palm frond on blue sky image by Nikolai Sorokin from

Palm Sunday, the Sunday before Easter, is a Christian holiday that commemorates the return of Jesus into the city of Jerusalem before his crucifixion. According to the Handbook of Christian Feasts and Customs, traditional stories recount that the followers of Jesus placed palm fronds on the walkway to cushion his rough ride on the back of a donkey. Therefore, many churches distribute palm leaves, which are then folded into the shape of a cross and held during service or in a procession. Folding palm leaves into the shape of a cross requires no special equipment, aside from scissors to trim excess.

Hold the palm leaf and measure the length.

Trim with scissors so that the leaf is approximately 20 inches long.

Grasp the leaf so that it is oriented vertically. Hold in the centre.

Fold about 7 inches of the top away from you and crease. Repeat with the bottom. You should now be holding a vertical piece of the cross about 5 to 6 inches long, with the folded top and bottom trailing behind.

Twist the top folded end to the right and bring back across the front, forming a side crossbar of the cross. Pinch tightly.

Twist the bottom folded end to the left and bring to the front, forming the other crossbar of the cross.

Tie a small knot, securing the right and left crossbars.

Trim any excess as you pinch, and press to flatten. Flip over to see the completed cross.

Things you need

  • Palm leaf
  • Ruler
  • Scissors

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