Palm weaving is the folding and weaving of strips of palm leaves (also called fronds). You can make anything you like weaving palm; but, there is a tradition of making religious symbols representing Easter. [Photo by A Hacking]
According to scripture, Jesus entered Jerusalem on a Sunday. As he entered the city, people laid palm leaves along the street because palm leaves were a symbol of triumph & victory. Today, churches commemorate Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem by passing out palm leaves on Palm Sunday.
Later, the palm leaves are returned to the church, burnt, and the ashes used for Ash Wednesday services. Alternatively, the palm leaves are folded into religions symbols such as crosses and a crown of thorns. The use of palm fronds to make religious art has been encouraged and promoted by Sister Cecilia Schmitt. [Photo by K Steppe]
Palm Weaving Instructions
- diagrams for Simple Cross (C Salvarola)
- diagrams for Crown of Thorns (C Salvarola)
- Palm Cross , video()
- braid, cone, cross, crown of thorns, rose bud (A Parente), video
- diagram for grasshopper (A Walden), video
- photo instructions for Elaborate Bird (A Hacking)
- photo instructions for Simple Fish
- photo instructions for flax leaf flower
- photo instructions for a flax angel
- photo instructions for a flax 3D star
- Photo by G Aharoni
Other cultures have used palm, banana, and coconut leaves to weave baskets, hats, food wrappers, and decorative elements. Flickr has a section dedicated to palm leaf art.
- really nice basket (EI Nocheseda)
- swordfish (photo by AJ Conway)
- grasshoppers here, here, and here (photo by M Woodward)
- simple fish (photo by A Manubay)
- Palm Weaving: The Story… and The Art by Sister Cecilia Schmitt
- The Craft of Hawaiian Lauhala Weaving by Adrian J. Bird et. al.
Paper Weaving Projects for Kids:
- Make a Weaved Fish (uses glue)
- Make a weaved heart basket
- Make a Weaved Place Mat
- Make a Zig-zag Weaved Mat
- more weaving patterns
Books about Palm Folding
- Fun with Flax by Mick Pendergrast
- Shows how to make a simple windmill, a dart, a whistle, puzzles, balls, birds, fish, a caterpillar, and more.
- What are Fronds For? by Wendy Arbeit
- Teaches you how to fold toys & gifts, decorations & party favors, mats & plates, baskets & carriers, fans & ornaments, hats & visors, and more.
- How to Weave Hawaiian Coconut Palm Fronds by Jim Widess