Celtic Anniversary Claddagh

Patterns / Spring

Celtic Anniversary Claddagh

Celtic Anniversary CladdaghAdd another chapter to your anniversary memories.

Pattern designed by Chuck Bookbinder

St. Patrick’s Day is coming, and here’s a project that can turn the day into a romantic one for you and your significant other. Present him or her a token of your affection: a wooden wedding anniversary plaque that has the look of a Claddagh ring.

Be sure the coast is clear when you’re working on this project and that you’ve got a good hiding place to put it. Then, you’ll be able to enjoy your spouse’s surprised look when you hand over the finished plaque.

Celtic Woodcraft

Step 1: Using 180-grit sandpaper, prepare the wood by finish sanding it before applying the pattern. Sanding the wood now is easier than sanding the delicate parts after the cutting has been completed.

Step 2: Apply the Claddagh pattern to the board with temporary bond spray adhesive.

Step 3: Drill the blade entry holes into the glove and crown using a 1/8″ bit. The glove holes on the line ends should be drilled with a 1/16″ bit. I like using a moto-tool to drill the small starting holes because it is easier than trying to move the wood around on the drill press.Great Book of Celtic Patterns

Step 4: Use a #2 blade and begin cutting the inside fret areas first. I normally cut the smallest areas first, leaving the larger areas to add support. Be careful where you grab the wood as you are making cuts. There are many delicate parts that could be broken. I try to hold the wood with my fingers on the outside edges of the board so I don’t break the delicate parts.

Step 5: Now, it’s time to cut the letters, numbers and comma. Be sure you have an entry hole for each piece of the letters and numbers and one Celtic Frames & Borders – Book w/ CDfor the comma. It’s crucial that the letters and numbers look as identical as possible so take occasional breaks during this part of the project. Cut the outside of the plaque after all of the inside fret cuts are completed.

Step 6:  Finish sand the project with 220-grit sandpaper. The insides of the cutouts do not need to be sanded because the blade leaves these surfaces smooth.

Step 7: Wipe the wood with a tack cloth to remove any dust. I finished this piece with two coats of Deft Gloss Clear Wood Finish. I prefer to use the spray version of this product.

RH-Crown-In clad2

The Legend of the Claddagh

It’s easy to enhance a piece like this one as a gift or for sale by including an account of the legend, origin or special meaning behind the project. Try experimenting with different types or colors of paper. With this addition, you will not only educate the gift recipient or customer but also add value by highlighting the item’s special qualities. And don’t forget to sign your work.

This particular legend takes place in the village of Claddagh in Galway, Ireland, around the 16th century. One morning, a boat went out to sea and was captured by pirates, and the crew was taken as slaves. One man of the crew, who was to have been married within the week, now had no hope of seeing his true love again. The pirates eventually sold the man to a wealthy Moorish gold-smith, under whose rule the man became a master goldsmith. Still remembering his lost love, the man created a ring for her. The elements of the design each had its own meaning—the heart symbolizing love, the hands holding the heart symbolizing friendship, and the crown symbolizing loyalty. After many long years of slavery, the man finally returned to his village, looking for his true love. To his overwhelming happiness, he not only found her, but also found that she had never married. The man gave her the ring, the two were soon married, and they were never parted again.

Today, the Claddagh ring has gained much popularity, still representing love, friendship and loyalty. The ring has even more significance depending on the way it is worn. If you wear it on your right hand with the crown facing inward, it means that your heart has not yet been claimed. If you wear it on your right hand with the crown facing outward, you hold a special commitment to someone. If you wear it on your left hand, with the crown facing outward, you and your love have been united forever.


  • 3/4″ x 9″ x 141/2″ pine
  • Temporary bond spray adhesive
  • Sandpaper, 100 grit
  • Tack rag
  • Clear spray finish
  • Hanging device


  • Scroll saw with at least 16″ throat depth
  • #5 reverse tooth or #2 reverse tooth blade
  • Drill or drill press with 1/16″-diameter bit or 1/8″-diameter if using pin-end blades
  • Router and decorative bit


Celtic Woodcraft | Great Book of Celtic Patterns

Claddagh Pattern