10 Things To Do With Palms From Palm Sunday

Palm Sunday brings out the crafter in every Catholic. It seems that everyone has something different to do with them.

what to do with palms from palm sunday

I wanted to share with you 10 different things we like to do with our palms we get at Palm Sunday Mass.

10 things to do with palms for Palm Sunday

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.

how to split palm branches

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.

put palms in a vase

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.

decorating for Palm Sunday

You can cut up your palms and make a banner that says “Hosanna!” for Palm Sunday.

make a hosanna banner for palm sunday out of palms

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).

make a palm cross for palm sunday

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.

palm rose for palm sunday

You can make an awesome palm spiral! These are really beautiful and different.

how to make a palm spiral from palm sunday palms

You can also fold them like a paper spring.

palm folded 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.

palm sunday heart

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)

palm sunday palm craft

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.

braid a palm sunday palm

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.

where palm sunday palms end up

We also find other creative places to tuck them around our home.

what to do with palms

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…

what happens to palm sunday palms in the end

Don’t throw them in the trash! They need to be burned. :-)

Find More Lent and Holy Week Resources for Catholic families here.

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How To Fold A Palm Cross In 10 Easy Steps

This is a Catholic classic, and must be added to the library of Catholic crafts here at Catholic Icing. ;-) Here’s how you fold a simple cross out of a palm you get at Palm Sunday Mass.

how to fold a palm cross for palm sunday the easy way

You start with 1 palm. Most of them are actually 2 connected together, so if it easily splits into 2 palms like so, separate them completely.

how to split palm branches

Your palm will be really long like this. I can’t show the whole thing in every picture, but this will give you a feel for the length.

how to fold a palm cross 0

1. Fold the palm down. The length of the short side will be the length of your completed cross.

how to fold a palm cross 1

2.Turn it over so the long side of the palm is facing you. Fold the long side back at a 45 degree angle. This will make one arm of your cross.

how to fold a palm cross 2

3. Fold the long side of the palm back at the length you want the arm of your cross to be.

how to fold a palm cross 3

4. Fold the long side of the palm forward at the length you want the other arm of your cross to be.

how to fold a palm cross 4

Now you have your basic cross shape, and you just need to secure it with the amount of palm that’s left. You’re basically going to make an “X” around your cross to hold it together now.

5. Fold the pointy end of the palm up at a 45 degree angle.

how to fold a palm cross 5

6. Fold the palm down around the back.

how to fold a palm cross 6

7. Now, fold the end up parallel to the arms of the cross.

how to fold a palm cross 10

8. Fold it across the back again at another 45 degree angle.

how to fold a palm cross 13

9. Now, bring the tail of the palm down and thread it under the little piece in the back.

how to fold a palm cross 16

10. Wind the tail around and around that same piece until there is not enough left to wind it anymore.

how to fold a palm cross 17

Turn it around and look at your awesome palm cross from the front!

how to fold a palm cross 18

Each cross is going to look a little different because each palm is a little different, and that’s ok. They all take on a different personality.

how to fold a palm cross

If you want your cross to stay looking nice (rather than curling up as it dries) you can put it under something heavy, such as a large book. This is similar in concept to pressing a flower.

You can find my list of 10 things you can do with palms here.

You can find more resources for Palm Sunday and Holy Week on my Lent page.


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How To Make A Palm Spiral

Palm spirals are beautiful, and absolutely one of the easiest things you can make out of your Palm Sunday palms!

how to make a palm spiral form a palm sunday palm

Take your palm, and wrap it around something long and skinny (such as a broom stick). Secure on both ends with a small piece of tape.

how to make a palm spiral

Allow it to dry for a few days. Remove the tape and slide it off the end.

how to make a palm spiral from palm sunday palms

Yes, that’s really all there is to it. ;-)

how to make a palm spiral for palm sunday

These are quite beautiful when tucked behind things or in your fake flower arrangements.

You can find my list of 10 things you can do with palms here.

You can find more resources for Palm Sunday and Holy Week on my Lent page.

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True Presence In The Eucharist- Printable Craft For Catholic Kids

We’re still working on our First Holy Communion preparation at home with Lydia, and we’re planning a field trip to adoration. We’ve been learning about the true presence in the Eucharist, and this craft was such a fun way to drive that point home! This is a great craft for kids preparing for First Communion. (You can find all of my resources for preparing for First Communion here.)

true presence in the eucharist craft

Now, stay with me! This is a unique craft, but I’ve made it very simple for all of you. This prints out, you color by number, and then fold it back and forth like a fan. One picture is all on one side, and one picture is all on the other side, so when you move your head side to side, you can see it morph from one picture to the next.

Here’s what it looks like when it prints:

first communion color by number

I utilized a trick that I learned from Melissa and Doug, and I made the numbers match the actual colors that you color them. This way, the numbers disappear as you color.

color by number eucharist craft

Here’s my whole crew coloring in our school room!

kids coloring

That’s pretty much it. As you color, it looks kinda crazy.

color by number printable zig zag craft

The more you color, the more you can kinda tell what’s going on in the picture.

color by number jesus and monstrance page

When your picture is all colored, you cut both pieces out along the outside rectangles. One side will have a big white rectangle remaining. Line them up and attach the 2 sides together with a glue stick. When you have one large piece that is finished being colored, you’re ready to start folding.

Turn your paper over so you’re looking at the white side, and make the first fold back. Fold exactly on the vertical line.

how to fold zig zag paper

Turn your paper back and forth, folding like a fan on the vertical lines so it’s like an accordion.

how to fold paper like a fan

When you have them all folded, open it up a little bit, and mount it onto paper or card stock. You can mount it with hot glue, glue dots, or even tape. We used glue dots. Just place them on the folds where the accordion pieces will actually touch the card stock underneath.

accordion fold craft like a fan

Voila! You have your completed artwork! From straight on, it looks kinda weird- like this.

first communion craft

But from the right, it you see a monstrance…

monstrance color by number craft

And from the left, you see… “honey, turn your paper a little more to the left. Little more… little more… little mo…THERE! Perfect! Don’t move it. Smile! *click*” …. you see Jesus! :-)

jesus color by number craft

This was so fun, and the kids were literally enchanted with this craft! I guess it’s some kind of trump l’oiel, bi-picture, diy optical illusion? Whatever it is, I had trouble naming it, but I do know that it is really cool!

Lydia said “This is so cool because it’s showing how Jesus is in the Eucharist!” Lydia is so funny now, because as we work on stuff she’ll say things like “remember to tell them that it’s easier if you do it like this”, referring to all of you of course! ;-) Sometimes we hit snags, and we improvise and change what we’re doing. These are the days she tells me it would be easier if someone else were typing the directions for us. lol! She did help me out today to make sure I had number in all of the spaces (which originally I didn’t) but I think we’re good to go now.

monstrance jesus craft for first communion

There are a few areas that were too small for numbers, so they have dots of the color they are supposed to be colored rather than numbers. In most cases, these spaces are so small that it doesn’t really matter if they’re not really colored.

If you are crunched on time, you can leave all the blue areas white. This is the background. They are designated with the number “4″. So for instance, if I were doing this in a classroom environment, I would tell the kids they needed to color all of the other numbers, and if they had time at the end they could add the blue.

For a limited time, this is available for free, so be sure to download it now by clicking here!

first communion craft

Check out all of my resources for preparing your child for First Communion here!

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