Last Sunday was Palm (or Passion) Sunday in the Christian calendar, which commemorates Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem, where crowds greeted him by waving and covering his path with palm branches, and marks the beginning of Holy Week. Many churches distribute palm branches or fronds for people to wave as part of the worship service.
For our Palm Sunday service, I rashly volunteered to go looking for individual palm strips that could be folded into crosses for Easter. “Who will fold them?” they asked. “Oh, I’ll do it,” I said. “How much work could it possibly be?” *Cue evil laugh track*
After the Palm Sunday service, I came home with the bag of still fresh palm strips and I asked my good friend Google, “Seriously, Google? How hard COULD it be?”
Google replied, “Mwah hah hah hah hah…!” but also helpfully directed me to some instructional websites and I got to work.
I found a lot of the instructions and pictures tough to follow, so I decided to try my hand at making one of my own. Please note that unlike the actual palm strips, the paper I used is blue on one side and white on the other so you see how the folds really go! The wider end of the palm/paper is the bottom and narrower part the top; if it’s really stringy at the top, trim it. If it’s extra wide (more than 1.5″), cut a notch at the bottom and peel the two halves apart to make 2 strips.
Fold #1: Fold the top straight down over the bottom at the height that you would like the cross to be (in this case, about 5″).
Fold #2: Fold to the right at a 45° angle to start to form the first arm of the cross.
Fold #3: Fold straight back towards the left to complete that arm and start to form the second arm of the cross.
Fold #4: Fold underneath to complete the second arm. The paper/palm should pass behind the cross.
Fold #5: Holding the cross together in the middle, fold strip at a 45° angle to pass behind cross from top left to bottom right.
Fold #6: Fold from bottom right straight across to bottom left (keep holding middle of cross together).
Fold #7: Fold up at 45° angle so strip passes behind cross from bottom left to top right.
Fold #8: Pass top of strip over top right and tuck into where the strip wraps around the bottom of the cross.
Then pull tight.
Turn over and trim excess to finish.
Here are some of the real thin, front and back, in various sizes.
And here I am with crazy eyes having just spent the last 4 hours making 187 of them!!
It was strangely soothing, as repetitive tactile experiences go. When we delivered them to the church, Ian proudly declared, “Oh, it was easy! At least, it didn’t look that hard…”