Horseshoe nail crosses represent the crucifixion of Jesus and the wearer's devotion to God. They are usually made by forge-welding several horseshoe nails, bending the tops down to make loops and wrapping the nails with cord. This is not a method suitable for use by children. An alternate method uses horseshoe nails to create simple cross necklaces in a way that's simpler and easy for children to do, as a home project or as part of a church Sunday School lesson.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- 4 horseshoe nails
- Craft wire, 22 gauge
- fast-drying glue
- Leather cord, 18 inches
Place a small line of fast-drying glue along a flat side of one horseshoe nail. Press the flat side of a second horseshoe nail against the first to glue them together, positioning the second nail so that the nails' points are pointing away from each other. Let it dry a few moments.
Place a dab of glue just above centre of the two glued horseshoe nails. This is where the vertical nails are placed to create the cross shape. Do not put glue in the centre because that will make a plus sign and not a cross. Place a flat side of another horseshoe nail over the glue so it is centred on the two glued nails. The single nail must extend an equal length on either side of the two glued nails.
Turn the glued nails over and glue the last nail on in the same way, but with its point facing in the opposite direction from the other vertical nail. The two vertical nails will not touch and will have a gap between them.
Wrap the craft wire around the two glued vertical nails. Start at either of the lower corners where the nails all meet. Wrap the wire over the centre and toward the opposite upper corner. Press the end of the craft wire to the back of the nails and wrap the wire over it. This will hold it in place. When you reach the horizontal nails, stop wrapping, but make sure the end of the wire is in the back of the cross.
Wrap the wire diagonally around the centre of the cross twice. Make sure the end of the wire is in the back.
Continue wrapping the vertical nails until you reach the top. Cut the wire and tuck the end beneath the wrapped wire. A dab of glue will help hold the wire in place.
Wrap the horizontal nails with the craft wire in the same manner. When you reach the centre, wrap the wire diagonally in the opposite direction. For example, if you wrapped the vertical nails diagonally from top left to bottom right, wrap the horizontal nails from top right to bottom left. This will create an "X" shape on the front of the cross.
Push the end of the leather cord through the criss-crossed wires on the back of the nail cross. Pull the cord until the ends are even. Tie a double knot with the two ends of the leather cord.
Tips and warnings
- Craft wire comes in many colours. You can use more than one wire colour on the cross.
- Horseshoe nails come in many sizes, and have many head shapes. The best sizes for nail cross necklaces are #3 or #3.5.
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