This is ME shopping in a boutique featuring handmade items:
Bright shiny colors and rhinestones catch my eye.
Move in for a closer evaluation.
Pick up a beautiful mosaic cross.
Gush over how pretty it is.
Assess how it must have been crafted.
Confirm that yes, I do have the ability to make similar item.
Flip cross over.
Gasp at price.
Put cross down.
Make mental note to pick up supplies at craft store.
After doing this so many times it’s like the movie Groundhog Day, I finally decided to test my theory that I could in fact, make a decent mosaic cross.
This was my first one.
It was easy. It was cheap. It was pretty. I was hooked.
In fact, it was so much more fun than the craft exchange project that I originally chose and struggled to make work, that I abandon that pinterest fail and committed to cross making in earnest.
Here’s what you need:
- Unfinished wood cross or letter – I made both. You can get these at any craft store. Mine are all from JoAnn.
- Paint (chalk paint or Dreamcoat type paint) I used Annie Sloan chalk paint for the blue and black ones, but I also made red and brown with Dreamcoat paint. Honestly, it doesn’t matter what paint you use.
- Hot glue – this DOES matter. You want one that is non-yellowing.
- Floral pebbles – you can use ANYTHING, broken china, jewelry, buttons, rhinestones… I chose these because they’re pretty, you can get them at Dollar Tree or any craft store, and they’re inexpensive. Plus the leftovers would be great for a kid’s craft.
- Boxed/packaged/strand of beads – I used pearls (from my failed craft exchange project) and those tubes of beads you can get at the craft store. The larger centerpieces are the strands of beads, also from craft stores. These came from both JoAnn and Michaels.
- These weird non-edible cake decorations – these are not required but I paid an exorbitant amount for them at Cake Palace and found I didn’t need them since you can’t eat them and when I tried to return them they told me that I couldn’t because I may have used “one” out of the container of 20 jillion. I get it if it was something that can be contaminated, but it’s not. So… needless to say, I am not shopping there again. Nor am I going to waste my money by throwing them away. So the weird non-edible silver balls are part of my cross collage.
Here’s what you do:
It’s almost as stupid easy as the decoupage candleholders I made this week. Each one, with painting, took total of maybe an hour? I was drinking Cuca Fresca during some of them and that may have slowed my pace down. Maybe.
1) Pick a paint that will accent the pebbles.
2) Paint the wood.
3) Let it dry.
4) Arrange your pebbles and center bead where you want them.
5) Glue those down.
6) Fill in the remaining holes with glue and the smaller beads.
The Princess Cupcake made one too.
She’s six so for hers we replaced the hot glue with Aleens Clear Tacky Glue and it worked great. It didn’t have the same immediate gratification factor, but once dry, stuck together nicely.
Cost of materials
This is a pretty inexpensive craft, especially if you have some of the materials already. Dollar Tree is obviously the cheaper option for the pebbles (one bag makes 2 crosses), but the pebbles, when not on sale, are around $2.99 at the craft store. The cross is $1 at JoAnn, (however, the letters are more). The packaged beads are about $3.99 per tube, and the center beads/buttons vary anywhere from $4 per button to $8 (or more) per strand of 4, depending on what you buy. You’ll go through a lot of glue sticks. They’re probably $3.99ish a bag? I had all the paint already, and the silver balls, so I had no cost there. If you were making one from scratch and you didn’t have ANY supplies and nothing was on sale, it would be ~ $18+, but your next one would be much less because you’d have leftover materials you could use.
If I made this again…
I really like how the letter turned out.
If I had known I would like it so much, I may have made mosaic letters for everyone. I loved being able to customize the colors for each person’s preferred palate. There are lots of ways you could modify this with broken china or discarded jewelry pieces; you could put words behind the glass pebbles, which would be really cool. I would like to find some affordable crosses that have more decorative edges to dress it up a bit. I’d also like to play with distressing the wood to make it look old. I’ve seen lots of these crosses online that have wire wrapped around them as well and that’s a different look, however the Princess Cupcake has a strong opinion that those are NOT pretty so I may hold off until her tastes evolve. No sense in having a heckler in the house.
I’ll definitely be making these again. It may be my standard Christmas present this year. It’s easy, but really pretty and on trend.
Let me know if you make these. I’d love to see how they turn out!
Looking for unusual glass stones and beads for your mosaic? How about these? (affiliate links)