Making a St.Brigid’s cross, is an ancient tradition in Ireland, people young and old make these crosses from rushes of which there are plenty growing around the country. Tradition has it that the cross will protect the house from fire, hunger and evil if hung above the door. You can often still see them hanging in halls of houses. St.Brigid or as she is known “Mary of the Gael” is the patroness of Ireland, she was born in 450 A.D.

It is also suggested that this cross has pre-Christian origins and is related to the sun cross. The first of February is when St.Brigid’s day is celebrated, this is also the ancient Irish celebration of ‘Imbolc’ which marks the beginning of spring, and indeed spring starts on the first of February in Ireland! (According to the behaviour of the birds this morning in our garden, this must be about right).
Actually Wikipedia gives a real good write up about St.Brigid cross and that is why I am adding a link to it, far more information than I could know or share here, so enjoy if you are interested.

I have added some photos to show how the cross is made on request of some of my nice friends that follow my blog.  I made some of these crosses tonight. Went to pick the rushes earlier and kept them from drying out, this is important to work with them easily if not using straight away.

So here goes, I will do my best to describe:
First you hold one rush vertical in your hand, and you add another rush with your other hand bending it in the middle and sliding it across the vertical rush as seen in pic 2.  you then turn the vertical rush either clock-wise or anti clock-wise depending on whether you are right or left handed.  You keep adding one rush at the time constantly turning the original rush, you keep a tight hold of them.  When you have added enough and it becomes like pic 6 then you have to cut the ends but be careful as the whole thing might jump loose, so hold tight, fix an elastic band around the end and repeat this with all four sides.  Your cross is now ready to hang up.

I hope the explanation will do, and if you try I hope you have much fun.

The rushes or reeds used to make these crosses are called;

Soft Rush or Juncus effuses.




  1. They have a mystic beauty to them –thanks for sharing. When I did basket weaving we collect the plant material and hang them to dry for about 10 days then dampen them (say wrap in a damp towel) to make them pliable. This reduces shrinkage and makes the article stronger and longer lasting. Of course they won’t have the vibrant green colour of the fresh material then.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for sharing this it is wonderful to see and learn about these kinds of traditions. Here in the US they make something like this also but made from yarn or string and a two crossed sticks and call it a Gods Eye. May try this with some local plants.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Just wonderful! Could I link to this in my own post for tomorrow about my St. Brigid’s Eve plans to join some other islanders for yoga, meditation, a wee feast, then making of our own crosses? It will be my first time making my own and your excellent photos and instructions would compliment it so nicely. I have no intentions of making my own tutorial, just going to learn. 🙂 Melissa

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Great idea Melissa, and I wish you a good celebration with your friends, that sounds nice. I too enjoyed making the crosses yesterday, working with natural materials is so nice and good for the soul 🙂


  4. that’s really a wonderful tradition of which I never heard. Very interesting story and thanks for showing how it works. Have a wonderful weekend, dear Agnes, kind regards Mitza

    Liked by 1 person

  5. An excellent tutorial. I am not a particularly religious person but I love making St Brigid crosses, and have done so since childhood. I feel it is so important to continue the tradition with kids today. So I will certainly be making some over the next few days here.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. never heard of this before, thanks for sharing. what the farmers in Austria do, is getting some willow twigs first blessed by a priest around Easter (I think it’s a week before) and put the branches above the doors of stables and house for good luck and plenty of crop.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Interesting too. In Belgium it is on Palm Sunday, the week before Easter that a branch of Palm (box plant) is blessed and put in house and stable to protect against evil. And so all the old traditions are still doing the rounds.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s