He is Risen! Easter Cross Centerpiece

DIY Easter Cross

My mom was hoping to make some new table decorations for the Easter morning breakfast at their church, so naturally she turned to Pinterest for inspiration.  Frustrated with only being able to find bunnies and Peeps, she asked me to help look.  I found plenty of really gorgeous tablescapes, but hardly any focused on the real meaning of Easter: our Savior’s resurrection.

Instead of relying on the internets, we made our own Easter centerpieces that remind us why Easter is the most wonderful day of the year for Christians.  HE IS RISEN!

wooden crosses

To make He is Risen! Easter Centerpieces, you will need:

unfinished wooden crosses

wood stain

foam brush


air dry clay

acrylic paints (grey, white, black, brown)

foam pouncers


circle cutter

fine- tip permanent marker

precision tweezers

adhesive dots

stained wooden crosses

Remove any tags or stickers from the wooden crosses and apply a coat of stain.  Wooden craft pieces are made of porous wood, so don’t be surprised if the crosses really soak up the stain.  Apply as many coats as you would like, wiping off the excess stain with a rag.  Let dry.

air dry clay rock

After the crosses are dry, ball up an ounce or two of air-dry clay and push a cross down into it.  The clay will make the crosses stand up on their own and will be painted to look like stone.  It is actually better if the surface of the clay is bumpy and uneven, as it will make it a more realistic “stone” after it is painted.

Make sure that you have used enough clay that the cross can stand upright, and use a level to assure the cross isn’t crooked.

crosses in air dry clay

Let the air-dry clay harden according to the package directions. (NOTE: This might take a day or two.)

After the clay has hardened, you can paint it with craft paint.  I used a simple layering technique to make the clay look like stone.

By using foam pouncers and a few colors of craft paint, you can get the clay to look pretty convincingly like stone.


The clay itself is an off-white color, so you don’t have to worry about completely covering that off-white color with paint.

Painting Air Dry Clay to Look Like Stone

  1. Load up a foam pouncer with medium grey paint (I mixed white and black), then pounce most of the paint off onto a paper towel or paper plate.  You don’t need much paint on the pouncer at all.  Lightly dab the paint onto the clay, leaving some areas bare.
  2. Load another pouncer with a lighter grey color.  Pounce most of the paint off onto a paper towel, and lightly dab the paint on the clay, creating highlighted areas. 
  3. With the last pouncer, you will dip half of the foam into brown paint and the other half back into the dark grey paint.  Pounce off the excess and VERY lightly dab the clay.

faux stone

Between the uneven clay surface and the layered paint, you can create a faux stone finish that looks pretty realistic!

Cut paper for scrolls

While the craft paint dries, you can get to work on the “He is Risen” banners.  I used a paper with a cream parchment look to it.  Then I used my circle cutter set to a 6” circle and cut arcs every inch down the paper.  This gave me curved pieces of paper that were wider in the middle than at each end.

roll edges of paper

Using precision tweezers, roll up each side of the paper like a scroll.

finish scrolls

The paper should now look like this.  Use a fine-tip permanent marker to write “He is Risen.”

attach banner with glue dots

Use an adhesive dot on each end of the banner to attach it to the cross.  I attached the banner so that it bows outward a bit in the middle to give the banner a little more dimension.

Easter Cross Centerpiece Craft

Just add a few white lilies around the base of the cross, and you have a lovely centerpiece that keeps the focus on the real reason we celebrate Easter!

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Thanks,  Jessica Hill

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