Tag Archives: making layered wooden crosses

How to Make Layered Wooden Crosses: A Step-by-Step Guide

If you’re looking for a unique and meaningful way to decorate your home or give a thoughtful gift, making a layered wooden cross might be just what you need. These crosses are made by layering different types of wood to create a stunning and intricate design. The possibilities for customization are endless, making it a perfect DIY project for anyone.

To get started, you’ll need to gather your materials. This can include various types of wood, saws, sandpaper, glue, and clamps. It’s important to choose wood that has contrasting colors and grains to really make the layers stand out. Once you have your materials, you can begin cutting the wood into the desired shapes and sizes. The layers can be glued together and clamped until the glue dries to create a sturdy and beautiful cross.

Understanding the Basics of Woodworking

Safety Measures

Before you start any woodworking project, it is important to take necessary safety measures to protect yourself and others around you. Here are some safety tips to keep in mind:

  • Always wear safety glasses to protect your eyes from flying debris.
  • Use earplugs or earmuffs to protect your hearing.
  • Wear a dust mask to protect your lungs from sawdust and other airborne particles.
  • Keep your work area clean and free of clutter to avoid tripping hazards.
  • Never wear loose clothing or jewelry that could get caught in machinery.
  • Keep your hands away from the cutting area of the saws and other tools.
  • Always use sharp tools to avoid slipping and causing injury.

Tools and Equipment

To make a layered wooden cross, you will need some basic woodworking tools and equipment. Here is a list of some essential tools:

Tool Description
Circular Saw Used for making straight cuts
Jigsaw Used for making curved cuts
Drill Used for making holes and driving screws
Clamps Used for holding pieces of wood together
Sandpaper Used for smoothing out rough edges

In addition to these tools, you will also need some materials such as wood glue, wood stain, and varnish to finish your project. When selecting wood for your cross, it is important to choose a type of wood that is easy to work with and has a nice grain pattern.

By following these basic safety measures and having the right tools and equipment, you can successfully create a beautiful layered wooden cross.

Choosing the Right Wood

When it comes to making layered wooden crosses, selecting the right type of wood is crucial. Not all types of wood are created equal, and some may be better suited for this type of project than others. In this section, we will discuss the different types of wood and wood grading to help you make an informed decision.

Types of Wood

There are many types of wood available, each with its own unique characteristics. Some of the most popular types of wood for making layered wooden crosses include:

  • Maple: Maple is a hard, dense wood that is easy to work with and has a fine, uniform texture. It is a popular choice for making layered crosses due to its durability and strength.

  • Cherry: Cherry is a medium-hard wood that is known for its rich, warm colors and smooth texture. It is often used for making high-end furniture and decorative items.

  • Walnut: Walnut is a hard, strong wood that is known for its dark, rich color and beautiful grain patterns. It is a popular choice for making layered crosses due to its durability and aesthetic appeal.

  • Mahogany: Mahogany is a hardwood that is known for its deep, rich color and beautiful grain patterns. It is often used for making high-end furniture and decorative items.

Wood Grading

In addition to the type of wood, it is also important to consider the wood grading. Wood grading is a system used to classify wood based on its quality and appearance. The most common wood grading systems include:

  • Select: Select grade wood is the highest quality and has the fewest defects. It is often used for high-end furniture and decorative items.

  • Common: Common grade wood is less expensive than select grade and has more defects, such as knots and blemishes. It is often used for more rustic or casual projects.

  • Rustic: Rustic grade wood is the lowest quality and has the most defects. It is often used for projects where the natural, imperfect look is desired.

When selecting wood for your layered wooden cross, consider both the type of wood and the wood grading to ensure that you choose a high-quality, durable material that will look beautiful and stand the test of time.

Designing Your Cross

When it comes to making a layered wooden cross, the design is an important aspect to consider. Here are a few sub-sections to help you with the design process:

Sketching the Design

Before you start cutting any wood, it’s important to sketch out your design. This will give you a visual representation of what you want your cross to look like. You can use a pencil and paper or a digital sketching tool to create your design.

When sketching your design, consider the size of your cross and the number of layers you want to include. You can also experiment with different shapes and patterns to create a unique look. Don’t be afraid to play around with different ideas until you find a design that you’re happy with.

Determining the Layers

Once you have your design sketched out, it’s time to determine the number of layers you’ll need. This will depend on the size of your cross and the thickness of your wood. For a 20-inch cross, you may want to aim for 5-7 layers.

When determining your layers, consider the depth you want to create. You can create depth by using different thicknesses of wood or by adding additional layers. You can also experiment with different wood stains to create a unique look.

Overall, designing your layered wooden cross is a fun and creative process. By sketching your design and determining your layers, you can create a beautiful and unique cross that you’ll be proud to display.

Cutting the Wood

Cutting the wood is a crucial step in making a layered wooden cross. It requires precision and accuracy to ensure that all the pieces fit together perfectly. In this section, we will discuss how to cut the wood for your layered cross.

Creating the First Layer

To create the first layer of your cross, you will need to cut two pieces of wood to the same size. These pieces will be the base of your cross. You can use any type of wood, but it is recommended to use a hardwood like oak or cherry for durability.

Measure the length and width of your wood pieces and mark them with a pencil. Then, using a table saw or a circular saw, cut the wood to the appropriate size. Make sure your cuts are straight and even to ensure a tight fit.

Making Subsequent Layers

After creating the first layer, you will need to cut the remaining pieces of wood for the subsequent layers. These pieces will be smaller in size and will fit on top of the first layer.

Measure the length and width of your wood pieces and mark them with a pencil. Then, using a miter saw or a circular saw, cut the wood to the appropriate size. Make sure your cuts are at a 45-degree angle to create a perfect fit.

It is important to note that the number of layers you create will depend on your personal preference. Some people prefer a simple two-layer cross, while others may want to create a more intricate design with multiple layers.

In conclusion, cutting the wood is an important step in making a layered wooden cross. Take your time and ensure that your cuts are precise and accurate to create a beautiful and lasting cross.

Assembling the Cross

Once you have all the layers of your wooden cross cut and sanded, it’s time to start assembling them. This section will guide you through the process, step-by-step.

Joining the Layers

To join the layers of your cross, you’ll need wood glue and clamps. Apply a thin layer of wood glue to the back of each layer, making sure to cover the entire surface. Then, carefully stack the layers on top of each other, making sure they are aligned properly.

Once the layers are stacked, use clamps to hold them together while the glue dries. Be sure to wipe away any excess glue that squeezes out from between the layers.

Securing the Structure

After the glue has dried, remove the clamps and inspect the cross for any gaps or imperfections. If necessary, use wood filler to fill in any gaps or holes.

Next, you’ll need to secure the structure of the cross. One way to do this is to attach a backer board to the back of the cross using wood screws. This will add stability and help prevent the cross from warping over time.

Finally, you can add any finishing touches you like, such as staining or painting the cross. Be sure to let the finish dry completely before hanging or displaying your new layered wooden cross.

By following these simple steps, you can create a beautiful and unique cross that will be a cherished addition to your home or office decor.

Finishing Touches

After assembling your layered wooden cross, it’s time to add the finishing touches. This is where you can really make your cross stand out and showcase your personal style. In this section, we’ll cover two important aspects of finishing touches: sanding and painting or staining.


Sanding is an important step in finishing your wooden cross. It helps to smooth out any rough edges and imperfections, and prepares the wood for painting or staining. Here are a few tips to help you sand your cross:

  • Start with a coarse grit sandpaper (around 80 grit) and work your way up to a finer grit (around 220 grit).
  • Sand in the direction of the wood grain to avoid scratches.
  • Use a sanding block or sanding sponge to ensure even sanding.
  • Be sure to sand all edges and corners to avoid any sharp edges.

Painting or Staining

Painting or staining your wooden cross is a great way to add color and character. Here are some tips to help you get started:

  • Choose a paint or stain that complements the wood and matches your personal style.
  • Apply a thin coat of paint or stain using a brush or rag. Allow it to dry completely before applying a second coat.
  • Use a clear coat to protect the wood and give it a glossy finish.
  • Consider adding decorative elements such as stencils or decals to make your cross unique.

With these finishing touches, your layered wooden cross is complete and ready to be displayed. Whether you choose to paint it, stain it, or leave it natural, your cross will be a beautiful and meaningful addition to any space.

Maintenance Tips

Congratulations on making your own layered wooden cross! Now that you have completed your project, it’s important to know how to properly maintain it to ensure it lasts for years to come. Here are a few maintenance tips to keep in mind:


To keep your layered wooden cross looking its best, it’s important to keep it clean. Dust and dirt can accumulate on the surface, so it’s recommended to wipe it down with a soft, dry cloth on a regular basis. If you need to clean it more thoroughly, you can use a damp cloth with a mild soap solution. Be sure to dry it off completely afterwards to prevent any water damage.


To protect your layered wooden cross from scratches and other damage, it’s a good idea to place it in a safe location. Avoid placing it in direct sunlight or near any sources of heat or moisture. You can also apply a coat of wax or oil to the surface to help protect it from any potential damage.


If your layered wooden cross becomes damaged, it’s important to repair it as soon as possible to prevent any further damage. Depending on the type and severity of the damage, you may be able to repair it yourself or you may need to seek professional help. For minor scratches or dents, you can use wood filler or sandpaper to smooth out the surface. For more serious damage, it’s best to consult with a professional to ensure it’s repaired properly.

By following these maintenance tips, you can ensure that your layered wooden cross remains in excellent condition for years to come.