One year at Vacation Bible School, we each made a burnt matchstick cross. For safety reasons, the minister burnt all the matchsticks for us. First, he took a big box of wooden matches and opened it a tiny bit, with one match head sticking out. Then he set the box on the cement steps of the church and lit the match that was sticking out. FOOM! The whole box went up at once and at that precise instant, the minister closed the box to extinguish the fire before the wooden matchsticks were entirely burnt up. That's how we got the effect of wood lightly charred at one end.
Then it was our turn. Using a pattern, we cut a large cross out of cardboard and fashioned a hanger out of string on the back. Next, we carefully glued charred matchsticks to the front in a particular pattern. Once dry, the cross was shellacked and voila! beautiful Christian art of which any home could be proud!
I can't believe I was actually able to find a photo of a burnt matchstick cross on the internet, but here it is! This is exactly what the end product was supposed to look like. Unfortunately, my cross didn't, because I got mixed up while following the pattern and some of my matchsticks started going the wrong way. But my parents loved my burnt matchstick cross anyway. So much so that they gave it pride of place out in the garage!