How to Decorate Homemade Wooden Crosses

Crosses can be both a decorative item and a way to show your faith. Many people also use wooden crosses to memorialize a family member after death. Decorating a wooden cross for a garden or other outdoor display means adding a personal touch to a traditional icon. As an artistic project or way to honor a loved one, decorating a wooden cross can be a healing way to express yourself.

Things You'll Need

  • Vice

  • Grapevine or barbed wire

  • Wire cutters

  • Heavy duty staples

  • Staple gun

  • Heavy gloves or garden gloves

  • Clear lacquer spray

  • Wood stain or paint

  • Paintbrush

  • Hot glue gun

  • Clear glue sticks

  • Craft glass rounds

  • Clear silicone caulk

Religious Reflection

Step 1

Post your wooden cross in the ground or in a vice in your workshop so you can work in the round without having to handle the cross or materials.

Step 2

Take the end of a length of grapevine or barbed wire. The length of the material varies dependent upon the size of the cross. Start with 4 yards of material for a medium-sized cross and add or cut with wire cutters as necessary.

Step 3

Attach the grapevine or wire to the bottom of the cross using heavy-duty staples. Use a staple gun to connect the material to the wooden cross.

Step 4

Wear heavy gloves to handle the wire (or garden gloves for grapevine) and wrap the material around the straight upward portion of the cross.

Step 5

Move the material back down and to the left and right of the cross to wrap the arms. This will make the center of the cross a bit thicker and add more interest to the piece.

Step 6

Bring the end of the material to the back-center of the cross and secure with a heavy duty staple.

Step 7

Spray the cross with a clear lacquer to make the piece water resistant and further secure the attached material.

Sparkling Tribute

Step 1

Paint the wood cross with a light wood stain or white opaque outdoor paint with a medium-sized brush. Allow to dry.

Step 2

Heat up your hot glue gun and clear glue sticks. Use heavy duty clear glue for the best result.

Step 3

Mix up the assortment of glass round pieces to apply an unplanned pattern or divide glass pieces by color if you are adding specific details.

Step 4

Starting at the top of the cross, place glass rounds, flat side down onto the cross. Complete a section to your liking before gluing in place.

Step 5

Using the hot glue, apply a dollop of glue to the flat side of the glass and press firmly onto the cross. Continue placing the glass closely together to cover the wood cross.

Step 6

Apply glass to both sides of the cross to use in the center of a garden or in front of a house.

Step 7

Apply a clear silicone caulk around the glass rounds to further secure and protect the project if you plan on leaving it outdoors year round.


Seal all outdoor wooden crosses with a clear weatherproof sealant.


Always check the labels of paints and sealants to make sure they are weather resistant when using your wooden crosses outdoors.

References & Resources