In the last post, I showed you how to make one version of a palm cross. Here is its sister tutorial, which will show you how to make a second, fancier-looking version. A note of acknowledgment: this is basically a photo version of this line-drawing tutorial, with my own directionality aids and suggestions added in. If you do better with diagrams than with photographs, I suggest you go there (you’ll have to scroll down the page to find it).
As I wrote in the last post, this model isn’t particularly stable — because the last tuck and fold is made on a diagonal, the knot tends to slip a bit, and furthermore, since there is no loop to reinforce the strength of the bottom vertical arm, the base tends to shred a bit and will get brittle as the frond dries. However, it stays much flatter than the other version, which is quite conducive to giving as a gift that can be kept between the pages of a Bible or pressed under glass. In order to reinforce the knot and ensure that everything stays where it’s supposed to be, I’ve taken a double strand of plain beige thread and embroidered a Chi Rho symbol where all four arms meet, making sure to go through ALL of the layers with my needle whenever possible. The Chi Rho works nicely because it has an X shape that holds the layers of the horizontal arms together diagonally across the X portion of the design, as well as a vertical Rho symbol that secures the layers of the vertical arms. In short, with the exception of the danger of the bottom arm shredding or breaking off — this cross isn’t going anywhere anytime soon!
Palm Crosses – Version 2 (“X design”)
1 Palm Frond (try to choose a long-ish one if you can)
Scissors to trim, Needle and thread if desired
Grasp the frond at about 1/3 of the way up from the bottom, and fold the top 2/3 down so that they overlap. [It’s important to note here: we’ll be working the cross from the back, and won’t flip it over to the front until the end].
Fold the front section to the right so that it’s perpendicular to the vertical, back portion. From now on we will call the longer section that you’ve just folded right section “A” (after end A), and the vertical portion “B”(after end B). B will form the vertical main post of your cross. A will form the cross-beam and the wrapped X-shape.
Leaving the length desired for your right hand cross-arm, fold section A back towards the left and behind the rest of the cross, making sure to line up the horizontal layers as much as possible (please disregard the crookedness of the model being folded in the diagram – it’s hard to fold with one hand while holding a large camera in the other!)
Leaving the length desired for your left hand cross-arm, fold section A back towards the right and over the TOP of the rest of the cross. You might have to readjust things at this point – keep pinching the center, or everything will come unfolded.
And just as quickly, we are going to return A to a diagonal position. Fold it up behind the back of the cross in a Northwesterly direction so that the tip comes out between the Top and Left arms.
Fold A diagonally back down the front and towards Southeast, but this time tuck it underneath the topmost layer. Pull through until everything is snug. Trim the excess length at the tip of A so that everything lies flush with the side of the Bottom (South) leg. You may also want to even up the very bottom of the cross, at tip B, so that it’s straight.