The season of Imbolc has many wonderful traditions associated with it. One of my favourites is calling on the Goddess Brighid (Brigit, Bride or Brede) to bless home and hearth. Traditionally, a Cross was made with wheat or grass however, I prefer to make them with pipe cleaners. Here, I’ve included photographs and instructions on how YOU can make your own too!
1. Collect 15 pipe cleaners. For this article, I collected three each of five different colours. Keep one straight and bend the other 14 in half. I’ve found that this makes the crafting part of the cross much easier!
2. Choose one folded pipe cleaner and slide it over the straight one – to approximately half way. Hold the join with your fingers and turn the whole cross 90 degrees to the left (a quarter turn).
3. Choose another folded pipe cleaner and slide it over the two ‘arms’ of the pipe cleaner pointing up. Hold the join with your fingers and turn the whole cross 90 degrees to the left (a quarter turn).
4. Choose anoher folded pipe cleaner and slide it over the three arms of the pipe cleaner pointing up. Hold the join with your fingers and turn the whole cross 90 degrees to the left (a quarter turn).
5. Keep adding folded pipe cleaners by sliding them over all the arms of the cross that are pointing up. Holding onto the join and rotating the cross a quarter turn will help you keep track of where you are at.
6. After placing all 14 folded pipe cleaners on your creation, select the longest pipe cleaner in each arm. Bend it around the ‘arms’ so that it twists and secures all together. Do this for each arm. You may also like to bend one of the pipe cleaners and use it as a hook. Alternatively, you can thread some ribbon through one arm so that it may hang freely.
7. Place the cross on your altar or hang it in its traditional place – near the heart of the home: the hearth or fireplace. In today’s modern age, I usually place mine near the stove.
Enjoy crafting your St Brighid’s Cross!