Palm Sunday brings out the crafter in every Catholic. It seems that everyone has something different to do with them.
I wanted to share with you 10 different things we like to do with our palms we get at Palm Sunday Mass.
We’ll start with palm basics:
- When you get them at church, they are green and bendable. This is when they’re prime pickin’ for crafts. Once they’re dry, that’s it- you can’t shape them anymore.
- The palms are blessed, so when you’re done with them, you can’t put them in the trash. To properly dispose of the palms, they need to be burned, then the ashed returned to the ground.
- What looks like 1 palm is generally 2. They split right apart (as shown below). For some folds, you leave them together at the bottom, for others you split them apart, and can basically can make 2 different things out of the same palm.
Well, lets start with the simplest option. If you bring them home straight, you can actually put them in a vase just like flowers. They will stay green and fresh in the vase for as long as cut flowers will. This way you can enjoy them for awhile in their true palm form, and still make something out of them later in the week.
In their straight form, you can use them to decorate. We have a wooden cross that stays out year round, but has different decorations on it for different days of the year. You can put a red cloth and palms on it for Palm Sunday.
You can cut up your palms and make a banner that says “Hosanna!” for Palm Sunday.
You can, of course, fold your palm into a cross. This is a classic. This can be done very quickly. I like to do this to our palms as soon as we arrive at Mass so that the kids don’t wave giant palms around, hitting people in the head during Mass. The crosses are a lot more manageable. 😉 You can get them to dry out nice and flat by placing them under a book for a few days (think pressed flower).
You can also make them into palm roses. I only learned how to make these palm rosettes a few years ago, and it is just as fast and easy as the crosses. They’re small, cute, and it’s a little bit of different, which I like.
You can make an awesome palm spiral! These are really beautiful and different.
You can also fold them like a paper spring.
If you take one of the palms that isn’t separated yet (so it still has 2 sides) you can make a heart. Split each side down the middle using your fingernail (4 pieces total still connected at the bottom) and make fold one of the “paper springs” on each side. Tie the palms together at the top to make a heart shape. Allow it to dry out laying flat in a heart shape.
My Nana is famous for folding her palms like we used to weave that plastic gimp string as kids. (You remember- we would make them into zipper pulls and key chains? If you don’t remember, that just means you weren’t a child of the 90’s.) This is another one that requires you to have a palm that is still attached, and you split each one making 4 attached pieces. Then it weaves together. (video on how to do this here)
You can also split the palm into 3 strips (but not quite all the way!) and braid the strands together. Tie a knot at the end.
After we’ve folded our palms into this or that, we like to put them around the house. Some of them end up on our family altar from time to time, in the window, or other places, but a lot of times they end up peeking out of the corners of the pictures hanging in our home. This always seemed to happen at my mom’s house, and it continues here.
We also find other creative places to tuck them around our home.
So enjoy your palms this Palm Sunday! And remember, when they dry, hang around your house for a year, and start to look like this…
Don’t throw them in the trash! They need to be burned. 🙂
Check out Holy Week In Handprints– a great printable book that you kids can illustrated themselves with handprint crafts. So fun and really meaningful for the season!