Supplies you will need
- a piece of wood (around 3" x 5" x 1" thick)
- a piece of string (preferably leather lacing)
- a band saw (or coping saw, or hand saw)
- a drill
- (optionally) a sander
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Step 1: Draw the Cross on the Piece of Wood
Sample dimensions shown.
Step 2: Cut Out the Cross
No need to turn corners: just make each cut straight from the edge. Be careful when you join the cuts at the corners: any gouges you make here will take a long time to sand out later.
If you don't have a band saw, no worries: the cuts are straight, so you can use a hand saw, a coping saw, a hack saw, a sawz-all, or just about any saw (though a rotary saw will be difficult).
Step 3: Sand the Cross
Sand the rough edges and any pencil marks. Square up your cuts. Remove any gouges. A belt sander will make a lot of this easy, but you'll probably have to finish with some sandpapering by hand.
If you want to finish the cross really nicely, start with a rough grit sandpaper (like 60 or 100). Once you can't do anything more with that grit, move up to a finer grit (150 or 200) and then finer and finer until you're satisfied with the smoothness. I only went up to 150 grit.
Step 4: Drill a Hole in the Top
Use a piece of scrap wood to brace the cross. This will make drilling easier, and it will also keep the wood from chipping where the drill bit exits the cross. Make the hole big enough for your string to pass through.
Step 5: Apply Finish
To make the cross look a little nicer, you can put some oil on it to bring out the grain. Lindseed oil is good. So is teak oil and about a bazillion other oils. I used Neat's Foot oil (which is actually made for leather) because my teak oil had dried up. In a pinch you can even use vegetable oil or butter, though I've had a problem with ants when I did this.
Just rub it in and wipe off the excess with a cloth before it dries and gets sticky.
If you want to change the color, you can buy some wood stain (or use some shoe polish).
If you want to finish / protect the wood more, you can get a urethane coating, spray-on shellac, or other type of clear coat.
Step 6: Thread on the String
Thread your string through the hole in the cross.
Measure about how long you want the necklace to be. Then cut the string about six inches longer.
If you're using leather lacing, you can cut the tip of the lacing to a point to make it easier to thread through the hole.
Step 7: Tie an Adjustable Slider Knot
The principle of this knot is simple if you've ever tied a fishing line to a fishing hook before. You create a loop, wrap around the string several times, and then go back through the loop.
Do this with one end of your string (green), looping your loops around the other end of your string (red). Tighten. (Steps 1-3)
Now repeat with the other end of your string (red), looping your loops around the first end of your string (green). Tighten. (Steps 4-6)
Now you can adjust the length of the necklace by sliding the knots.
Step 8: Adjust Length and Place Around Neck
- Grasp the loop in both hands. The cross should be dangling at the bottom, and the loop should be open wide, with your left hand on one side of the loop and your right hand on the other side.
- Raise the loop until the center is at eye level.
- Duck your head forward so that your forehead just touches the bottom of the loop.
- Slide your hands (which are still holding the loop) backwards over the top of your head. Your right hand will slide just over your right ear, and your left hand will slide just over your left ear.
- Continue sliding your hands down the back of your neck until you feel the string touch the back of your neck. At this point the cross should be dangling just below your chin.
- Carefully release the loop with both hands. If you have done this correctly, the cross will not fall to the floor, but will be suspended from the string, which is supported by your neck.