Palm branches, which are symbolic in Christianity, are also used as craft items. Palm branches typically come from the leaves of the arecacae plant and are harvested in various sizes. This plant, also known as the palmae, is native to tropical climates. Smaller versions of this plant can be found at local greenhouses and are often referred to as a patio palm.
Use palm branches left over from Palm Sunday church celebrations for an extension craft in religious classes. Tear off a thin strip of palm branch and form a loop at the top of the strip and another at the long end. Bend and crease the palm at an angle diagonally and bend the creased strip around to form a cross. Wrap the rest of the palm around the cross and tuck the end in the middle of the weave to finish.
Palm weaving, an Italian tradition typically performed around Easter, has been around for generations. The woven creations are used to give as gifts, decorate homes, adorn graves and fill churches during this time of year. The palms are woven into the form of cones, braids, rosebuds or a crown of thorns. These are then used to make elaborate flower arrangement creations.
A palm chain is a fun and easy craft in which children make a chain in the same way as a gum wrapper chain. Simply tear or cut off the individual leaves from the branch. Fold the first leaf in half lengthwise. Fold again by bringing each end of the folded leaf together in the middle to make a crease. Repeat the process with a second leaf and push the ends of one piece through loops of the other piece. Fold a third leaf in the same way and push it through the ends of the second piece. Repeat the steps with additional folded leaves until your chain is the desired length.
- palm-framed entrance image by Paul Marcus from Fotolia.com