How to Make Homemade Wooden Crosses for Accident Sites

by Penny Porter
Honor the memory of lost loved ones by hand-making memorial crosses for accident sites.

Honor the memory of lost loved ones by hand-making memorial crosses for accident sites.

The decorated or plain white wooden crosses that align America's roads and highways serve as both memorials and reminders to drivers regarding the importance of safe driving. While you will find such crosses in stores near Memorial Day, you may have trouble finding those memorial crosses any other time of the year. Making your own cross prevents you from stocking up on Memorial Day and eliminates the need to constantly replace flimsy crosses. Building and decorating your own wooden cross for a loved one claimed in an auto accident takes only a few hours.

Draw a cross shape onto a piece of ½-inch thick plywood. Use a tape measure, carpenter's square and pencil to draw straight lines and produce a cross measuring 30-inches from top to bottom and 15-inches from one side to the other with each section measuring 3 inches wide. Cut the piece out with a miter saw.

Sand the front, back and all edges of the plywood piece with sandpaper or an orbital sander. Remove rough edges and smooth the front and back surface of the cross for painting.

Attach a wooden stake to the bottom of the memorial cross to use when installing the cross. Drive a 1-inch nail through the stake and into the back of the plywood cross.

Paint the plywood and wooden stake with two coats of white acrylic paint, using a paintbrush. Allow the first coat to dry for 15-minutes before applying the second coat on both the front and back of the memorial cross.

Paint the deceased loved ones name across the 15-inch long beam of the memorial cross in black acrylic paint. Use an artist's paint brush and stencil to produce even lettering.

Decorate the cross with ribbons and flowers as you desire. To attach the ribbons and lettering use either a hot glue gun or sections of small gauge wire.

Tip

  • Use a rubber mallet to lightly tap the cross into place in the ground at the accident site.

Items you will need

  • ½-inch thick plywood
  • Tape measure
  • Carpenter's square
  • Pencil
  • Miter saw
  • Sandpaper
  • Wooden stake
  • 1-inch nail
  • Hammer
  • White acrylic paint
  • Paint brush
  • Black acrylic paint
  • Artist's paint brush
  • Stencil
  • Ribbon
  • Flowers
  • Hot glue gun
  • Hot glue sticks
  • Wire

About the Author

Penny Porter is a full-time professional writer and a contributor to "Kraze" magazine. She is pursuing a bachelor's degree in journalism at Eastern Kentucky University in Richmond, Kentucky.

Photo Credits

  • cross at normandy image by Jesse Caron from Fotolia.com