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How to make wooden cemetery crosses

Updated February 21, 2017

Simple wooden crosses served as grave markers in early America as wood was ample and the marker could be made quickly with little expense. The cross design signified the Christian faith. In some areas, placing simple wooden crosses on graves is still practised today, even when the grave has a stone head and foot markers. Making a 3-foot wooden cross is quick and easy.

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  1. Paint or stain the boards, if desired.

  2. Cut the bottom of the 48-inch board on a 45-degree angle to form a point.

  3. Measure 12 inches from the top uncut end of the board and mark with a pencil.

  4. Place the smaller board so the top rests on the 12-inch mark.

  5. Center the cross piece and nail in place with two finishing nails.

  6. Decorate with dried or silk flowers by stapling them in place in the centre of the cross. You can also add ribbons or a bow.

  7. Tip

    For winter decorating, staple fresh evergreens, pine cones and a red bow to the cross. Three feet is a standard size for a wooden cross, but if you can make it any size you want. Just be sure the ratio is 2:1 (with the height being twice the length of the width) or 3:1.

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Things You'll Need

  • 4-inch-wide board, 18 inches long
  • 4-inch-wide board, 48 inches long
  • Saw
  • Measuring tape
  • 2 finishing nails
  • Hammer
  • Staple gun
  • Paint or wood stain (optional)
  • Decorations (optional)

About the Author

Nannette Richford is an avid gardener, teacher and nature enthusiast with more than four years' experience in online writing. Richford holds a Bachelor of Science in secondary education from the University of Maine Orono and certifications in teaching 7-12 English, K-8 General Elementary and Birth to age 5.

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