For St. Patrick's Day,
we thought we'd venture out of China
and head over to the Emerald Isles.
Saint Brigid's cross is traditionally woven on January 31st, in preparation for the Irish spring festival on February 1st. With the first day of spring fast approaching, we made our own versions.
The cross is traditionally made of freshly pulled rushes, or straw, and is hung by doors and rafters to protect the house from fire and evil. Each year, a new one replaces the old.
We wove ours out of 1/8" strips cut out of a paper bag. We also used glue and twine.
It's a fairly simple process and both Pea and I found it relaxing. I cut 17 strips per cross.
1. Keep one strip as is, and the rest get folded in half.
2. Keep your long strip vertically facing you, and wrap one folded strip in the middle, open ends facing the right. Glue to attach.
3. Rotate one turn to the left.
4. Take a folded strip, wrap around strip that is now vertical, with its open ends facing right.
5. Pull the folded strip down to meet the other horizontal strip, glue in place.
6. Repeat steps 3-5 until you've used up all strips - rotate one turn to left, wrap strip with ends facing right, pull down to meet in the middle, glue in place. Repeat.
7. As the cross gets larger, I found it helpful to run a bead of glue on both sides of folded strips before attaching in the center.
8. Weaving is complete
9. Secure ends together with twine.
We strung a short garland of Brigid's crosses over our mirror, by the front door.
Find more Irish crafts and recipes at with Around the World in 12 Dishes
Find more cultural and historical activities at All Things Beautiful