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How to make a mosaic cross

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.

blue pebble mosaic cross

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.
Preview
Wood Cutouts for Crafts, Antique Cross (11.8 x 8.8 in, 6-Pack)
Factory Direct Craft Package of 6 Unfinished Wood Wall Crosses for VBS, Scouts and Bible School Projects
Walnut Hollow Pine Signboard, Arrow
Description
Wood Cutouts for Crafts, Antique Cross (11.8 x 8.8 in, 6-Pack)
Factory Direct Craft Package of 6 Unfinished Wood Wall Crosses for VBS, Scouts and Bible School Projects
Walnut Hollow Pine Signboard, Arrow
Price
$12.99
$22.49
$10.62
Preview
Wood Cutouts for Crafts, Antique Cross (11.8 x 8.8 in, 6-Pack)
Description
Wood Cutouts for Crafts, Antique Cross (11.8 x 8.8 in, 6-Pack)
Price
$12.99
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Preview
Factory Direct Craft Package of 6 Unfinished Wood Wall Crosses for VBS, Scouts and Bible School Projects
Description
Factory Direct Craft Package of 6 Unfinished Wood Wall Crosses for VBS, Scouts and Bible School Projects
Price
$22.49
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Preview
Walnut Hollow Pine Signboard, Arrow
Description
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Price
$10.62
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CYS EXCEL GGM001T-5BAG Vase Filler Gem Glass Confetti, Table Scatters (Light Blue), Pack of 5 Bags, 5lbs. Aprox.500pcs, Stone
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Hicarer 120 Pieces Pearl for Vase Filler Pearls Bead for Vase Makeup Beads for Brushes Holder Assorted Round Faux Pearl Beads for Home Wedding Decor, 14/20/ 30 mm(Creamy White, Bright Red)
Price
$16.99
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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.

bright colors mosaic cross

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.

how to make a mosaic letter

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.

black and silver mosaic cross diy full view mosaic cross diy

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)

light blue beads  fire glass diamonds
transparent stone cubes  multi color beads  diamond shaped multi color stones

32 Comments

  1. I shop at resale shops like St.Vincent Depaul or the DAV for old jewelry . I’m going to try making rosaries , but I think I’ll start with some crosses. I love your idea.

    Reply
    • Thanks! I bet you find some great stuff.

      Reply
  2. I like your version adding the smaller beads to fill in and the big jewel in the middle. Looks very nice. Thanks for the tips.

    Reply
  3. I’ve made these crosses a little different for a Pre-K Easter project. Instead of wood cross I used foam core board (Michael Store) instead of glue I used Modge Podge or Decopodge to glue them down. I also put the modge podge over the top (it dries clear) to secure the beads together and then sprinkled glitter over the top to make them really sparkle.

    Reply
    • Fun! I’d love to see a photo. 🙂

      Reply
  4. My husband was sent to spain (air force). Asked him to bring me back a bejeweled crucifix, which he said he couldn’t find. Thinking of making my own when I came across your site. Yours is beautiful. Gave me some ideas….thanx!!

    Reply
    • That’s wonderful! I hope it turns out beautiful!

      Reply
  5. Thank you for writing this tutorial! I LOVE this! Inspired me so much that i am teaching my elementary students how to make these in an after school class. I think your ideas are beautiful!

    Reply
    • Awww, thanks! I hope they turn out great!

      Reply
  6. Could you make a magnet with the crosses?

    Reply
    • I think you could if you used super strong magnets. The glass marbles make them a bit heavy so you wouldn’t want them to fall off if the magnet wasn’t strong enough.

      Reply
  7. Thanks for the idea. My brother in law collects crosses and though this was a great idea.

    Reply
  8. THIS IS REALLY PRETTY. ALL QUESTIONS WERE ALREADY POSTED IN YOUR BLOG OR WERE ALREADY ASKED AND GIVEN AN ANSWER. THE ONLY OTHER QUESTION WAS IF I WANTED TO SELL THESE (HOPING THAT THET TURN OUT HALF AS NICE AS YOURS) WHAT WOULD BE A FAIR PRICE???? ALSO THANK YOU FOR SHARING. THERE ARE SOOOO MANY TALENTED LADIES OUT THERE. AREN’T WE AWESOME 🙂

    Reply
    • Hi Irene – As long as you obtain the commercial license for your font/monogram, you could sell these. I’ve seen them priced around $20-$25.

      Reply
  9. Very Beautiful, I love this idea. Did you attach something on the back so it could be hung on the wall?

    Reply
    • The cross came with a hole on the back to hang it, but you could also purchase a picture hanger that you nail into the wood. 🙂

      Reply
  10. I was looking for a gift for my Goddaughter that wouldn’t break the bank. Not sure how I came on this page except that it was a top Google for something. I used pink glass pieces and beads and a wooden cross from Michaels that has scalloped edges. Love the result – at $13 including tax. I also wrote a message on the back; now she can keep it for life and pass it down.

    Can’t wait ’till you tackle the wire-wrapped crosses…:)

    Reply
    • Ooooooo. Do I hear a challenge? 😉

      Reply
  11. so inspiring! keep it up. Cross is solo pretty! it gave me some ideas for my own business

    Reply
  12. This is awesome, you have inspired me to make one for myself….thank you

    Reply
    • Yay! Tag #MommyUpgrade in a photo on social. I’d love to see it!

      Reply
  13. You can use acrylic gems, any beads, I also do frames, boxes, jewelry boxes. Any acrylic paint works. I love doing these and they make wonderful gifts

    Reply
  14. and where did you find the crosses? Hobby Lobby has them but they are 11.99 thats sort of high? Help??

    Reply
  15. where did you find the center pieces for the crosses!! LOVE THIS SO PRETTY

    Reply
  16. This is such a beautiful craft. I need to try this with a group of moms in my neighborhood that are going to meet up to make wreathes… this would be a great addition.

    Reply
  17. This is a beautiful piece and it looks very easy to make. Thank you so much for sharing.

    Reply
  18. How big were the crosses and letters?

    Reply
    • Hi Rebekah, they are about 12 inches high.

      Reply
      • Can you post exact measurements?

        Reply
        • Sadly, I didn’t make the wooden cross base, so measurements will vary depending on what you use as a base for your project.

          Reply

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