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.

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. 🙂

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!

holy week in handprints book for kids

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

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  1. I made a crown of thorns a couple of years ago by braiding a palm and tie it in a circle. The take scissors and cut little slits around the braid, once it dries out, some will stick up like thorns. This was very easy for the little ones to braid and then I cut the slits, they were happy to take home a braided palm and the next day it was even better.

  2. Cindy Coleman says

    I take home enough unblessed palms and make crosses (as in your example) for all the students in my religious education classes. The kids are really thrilled. I make the crosses from unblessed palms as I can’t be certain that the children/families with treat them properly and only dispose of them by burning or buried in the ground).

  3. One year a very sweet Holy Cross sister taught me how to make a crown of thorns with the cut palm. It has to be fresh and tender fronds work best. About a 1/2 inch from the wide end, take a push pin and make 3 even rips down to the end. You’ll have four pieces to braid loosely. Braid down to end and wrap ends together. Put a dot of Elmer’s glue so and let dry. Take a small manicure scissors and snip the edges just a bit to make the thorn. I give many as gifts and place a blessed one over the top of my Crucifix.

  4. I just made a heart! Thank you!

  5. A friend of mine just shared a link she found of a crown of thorns, slightly different than 1st commenter: http://www.italiansrus.com/palms/palmcrown.htm

    • I had so many people suggest the crown of thorns that I tried my hand at one today, and it’s cute! It wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. I’ll post directions on how to do it next year. 🙂

  6. The readers here are a crafty lot! I have gotten hundreds of views on my site for the paper spring that you linked to in this post.

    Your how-to-fold-a-palm-cross-in-10-easy-steps post is wonderful: beautiful photo, clearly described. Thank you.

    • Thanks for posting directions for how to make a paper spring, because I didn’t have the time or the pictures. 🙂 I love your paper folding illustrations.

  7. Thanks for the post—I pinned it to my Year of Faith Pinterest board. I make the crosses and mail one to my daughter who is away at college and other college friends who are Catholic.
    They should arrive by Wed or Thur of Holy Week.

  8. Samantha Newman says

    I like to make my crosses and have created a way to make Jesus and then connect him to the cross. This was the first time my daughter asked why is Jesus on that cross. It was a great way to tell her about Easter and the blessing we have for His sacrifice. She was familiar with the cross, sign of the cross and knew that it was Jesus on the cross, but as a small child it was hard to have this conversation with her until she had been to a few funerals to talk about Heaven. What a wonderful Easter this was because of Palm Sunday and creations made, stories told, and lessons learned to last a lifetime.

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