- Thin wood.
- Laser printer or Cricut with engraving tools (you could also make this design with vinyl and/or cardstock)
- Paint or stain
- Paint brushes
- Optional: wall hanger hook or rope, chain, or ribbon, to hang the piece if desired. You will also need glue to attach the hanging method you decide.
- My design, which can be found in my free library, by one of these buttons.
I designed this beautiful cross with the American flag design on it. I made mine with a thin piece of wood, but you could also make it with cardstock, chip board, cardboard, vinyl, or many other materials. It is a simple design, that is fairly big, so a Cricut machine should be able to make this piece on thin wood. You would need the engraving tool to engrave the stars and stripes into the wood, or you could apply cardstock or vinyl for these areas instead.
If you would like to make this piece thicker, then you just need to cut a few layers of just the cross shape, and glue them together. I recommend applying wood glue and using some clamps or placing some heavy items on top as the layers dry. This will help create a better bond/make sure they are glued together well.
I used my Glowforge to cut out my cross and engrave the design into it. I thought about just applying a stain to my cross, but I ended up adding some color instead. I wanted a little burn look into the wood, so I did not cover my wood when putting it into the Glowforge. This allowed some of the burnt wood from the laser to show. I thought about taking a lighter to the piece and lightly burring the wood more, but I was afraid to try it. If you have experience with burning wood or making the burnt wood look, I would love to learn more about how to do this.
For the colors I watered down my acrylic paints and carefully painted them on. The watered down paints soaked into the wood, and even bleed into other sections some. So, just know this will happen even if you are very careful. Different colors of stain would also be very pretty on this piece. I did two coats of this watered down paint to get a brighter red color. With just one coat of the watered down paint, the red looked pink to me.
Originally I was going to keep the white sections the wood color, but since there was a lot of bleeding of the red in particular, I decided to paint these areas white. It took away some of the rustic feel of it, but it made it much cleaner. I also ended up painting the stars white as well to match.
I then glued a hanger to the back of my cross. If you make your piece thicker, then you could put nails to hang your piece. It is pretty light weight, so just gluing the hanger to the back should be okay. I probably over did it by using gorilla glue. You could also use rope, a chain, or a ribbon to hang your cross as well. If you want to add a bow with the ribbon you could also add this detail.
I think this piece turned out nice. If I were to make it again, I think I would try to use different materials (paints or stains) to make it look more rustic and not quite so brightly colored. I also made this with cardstock and added some patterns to the stars and some stripes. If you are interested to see how that turned out, then click here. There is a lot of creativity you can put into this piece and even ways to make this piece. I would love to see how your cross with the flag over it turned out.