Never Miss Any Updates! Subscribe Here And Receive Free Access To Our Irish Castles E-Course!

Enter Your E-mail Address
Enter Your First Name (optional)

Don't worry — your e-mail address is totally secure.
I promise to use it only to send you Enjoy Irish Culture ezine.

Making A Brigid's Cross

Making a Brigid's Cross is an Irish crafts tradition associated with Brigids Day, February 1st. This day is considered the first day of spring in Ireland. Scroll down to find all the instructions you need.

It is the Catholic Feast Day of Saint Brigid. Legend has it that Brigid wove a cross like this one from rushes to demonstrate to a dying pagan what Christianity was all about.

In Ireland the cross is seen as a sign of welcome for visitors to the house as well as protection for the residents.

Colm is starting of a Bridgets cross to show you how it's done.

Join us in the studio to make a Brigid's Cross.

Colm and Cillian are starting it off, and Tara is watching, too!

Making a Bridgets Cross
Making a Bridgets Cross

The first step is to go outside and collect a bunch of rushes. Rushes are the original material used to make a Brigid's Cross. Rushes are plentiful in Ireland, especially here in the West where the soil is largely quite poor.

If, for any reason, you cannot get hold of rushes, you can use reeds instead, or even straw. If these are dry and brittle, make sure to soak them for a couple of hours before you start.

Now pick the first two rushes and lay them down on the table making a cross as seen above on the right.

Making a Bridgets Cross
Making a Bridgets Cross

Now take hold of the vertical rush and fold the top down OVER the horizontal rush. Then pick a third rush, and insert it underneath the piece you have folded down. It should lie parallel to the horizontal single strand.

Making a Bridgets Cross
Making a Bridgets Cross

Left: This last rush that you have just inserted is now folded in half towards the right OVER the two strands at the bottom. Make sure it sits neatly there on the fold.

Right: Then turn your assemblage CLOCKWISE by one quarter.

Making a Bridgets Cross
Making a Bridgets Cross

Left: Insert another rush at the bottom, placing it underneath the strands that point to the bottom first, then fold it over those strands towards the right, folding the rush in half.

Right: Turn your creation CLOCKWISE by one quarter.

Making a Bridgets Cross
Making a Bridgets Cross

Left: Exactly as you did before, insert a rush laying it underneath the strands pointing towards the bottom.

Right: Fold it in half towards the right making sure it sits neatly against the centre piece. when you are done, turn the've guessed it...CLOCKWISE by one quarter.

Making a Bridgets Cross
Making a Bridgets Cross

Left: Insert a rush underneath the two strands that protrude at the bottom.

Right: Fold the rush in half OVER those strands holding so that it sits neatly against the centre of the cross. When you are done, turn your piece CLOCKWISE by one quarter.

Making a Bridgets Cross
Making a Bridgets Cross

Left: here we go again. Insert rush underneath.

Right: Fold over towards the right, then rotate clockwise by a quarter.

Easy-peasy at this stage. The tricky bit now is to hold the centre down onto the table neatly so that the nice weave you are creating stays neat.

Making a Bridgets Cross
Making a Bridgets Cross

And the same procedure again as above...

A Bridgets cross half way made.
Making a Bridgets Cross

and once more...

Now you are more than half way there making your Brigid's Cross. Join us here to continue and finish it off using only rushes, no man-made materials!

Hi there, like what you see on our website? If you do why not tell the world about us?! It will help other people like you to find and enjoy our content, too.

We'd appreciate your support and have provided some convenient social buttons both at the top left and at the very bottom of the page.

Thanks a million and warmest regards from Susanna and Colm

Return to the top of this page.

Return to 'Irish history'.

Buy Us a Cup of Coffee

We invest a lot of our own funds and free time into this website so that you can find out about Irish culture, heritage  and history. 

Please return the favour and help us cover our cost by clicking on Google ads and/ or buying us a cup of coffee! Thank you so much in advance.

Warmest regards, Colm & Susanna

New! Comments

Like what you just read? Leave us a comment!
Share this page:

Enjoy this page? Please pay it forward. Here's how...

Would you prefer to share this page with others by linking to it?

  1. Click on the HTML link code below.
  2. Copy and paste it, adding a note of your own, into your blog, a Web page, forums, a blog comment, your Facebook account, or anywhere that someone would find this page valuable.