Making Folk Art Angels

Angels are a hot commodity. Here you will learn how to craft a folk-art angel, for yourself or a gift.

Angels today are hot commodities to collectors, whatever form they are in. Unfortunately, the market has become saturated with just that... angels in any possible medium you can think of. But if you are looking for a unique gift for an angel lover you know, or for yourself for that matter, you'll love making these folk-art angels.

To make a folk-art angel you will need:

1 - 1/4" dowel, 12" long

1 - wooden heart for base (3"x3/4")

1 - wooden ball (1" in diameter)

1 - small straw hat

1 - button

1 - 8 1/2"x 7 1/2" fabric piece for dress

1 - 8" x 1 1/2" fabric piece for arms

2 - 6 1/2" x 5" contrasting fabric piece for wings

1 - 9 1/2" x 1 1/2" fabric piece for collar

1 - miniature mushroom bird

1 - black medium tip permanent marker

yarn for hair

bits of sphagnum moss

Assorted paints: fleshtone, forest green, red, white, barn red

glue gun

sewing machine

drill with 1/4" bit

pinking shears

Directions: Paint wooden heart green (or any other color you desire) and let it dry. When dry, spray with a matte, clear coat finish.

Paint the wooden ball fleshtone and allow it to dry. When ball is dry, draw facial features such as eyes, and eyebrows, mouth, and nose. Using a fine tip paintbrush, touch up eyes with a dot of white. Mixing white paint with red, create a light pink and roll it onto cheeks. When dry, dip fine tip brush into barn red and dot freckles onto the face.

Once face has been painted and has dried, drill 1/4" hole, 1/2" deep into the bottom for dowel placement. With a small amount of hot glue on one end of the dowel, insert it into the base of head. Dowel can also be inserted into base at this time, but do not secure it with glue.

To make clothing, take the piece of dress fabric and turn bottom edge up 1/4" and secure hem with a straight stitch, and sew a basting stitch along the top edge and gather as tightly as possible, leaving at least 1/4" hole at neck. Fold fabric, right sides together, and stitch up the back side. Insert the dowel into the dress and hot glue neck area onto the doll. To make wings, place pieces, wrong sides together and zig-zag stith 1/2" in from edge. Using pinking shears, trim around edges.

Using a basting stitch, stitch up the center of wings and then gather. Once gathered, sew a straight stitch over top to secure. With glue gun, glue wings onto back of dress.

To make collar, trim all but one long side of the fabric piece with the pinking shears. Stitch along the remaining side with a basting stitch, then gather, leaving both ends of thread long. Lay collar in place on top of dress, and secure threads in back. Tack in place with dabs of hot glue. Hot glue button in center of collar under chin.

To make arms, coat wrong side of fabric strip with glue stick, and then fold the fabric so the outer edges meet in the middle. Fold in half once more, and tie a string around both ends, 1/2" in for wrists. Cut 1/2" slits into dress on both sides where the shoulders would be. Insert the arm piece through one hole and out through the other. Once arms are even, secure in place with hot glue, attaching arm piece to dowel near neck.

Cut yarn for hair, making the length of yarn pieces double what your desired hair length is. For example, if you want the hair to be 2" long from the top of the head, cut several 4" strips of yarn. Lay the strips of yarn out side by side, and tie one piece around the middle. Place a strip of hot glue from forehead back to base of neck. Lay the hair on top of head, with center lining up along glue line. Flatten hair and/or spread out yarn, adding more dabs of glue to hold it in place as desired. Now you can put small dabs of glue around inside of straw hat and attach to head also.

To finish the angel, she needs to be holding the bird in the nest. To do this, bring wrists together and seure with a string. Roll a small bit of sphagnum moss together to form a nest, and attach to hand/wrist area with glue. Attach bird to nest the same way.

At this point, if you desire to have your angel permanently attached to the heart base, you can glue it in now. Or, if you desire versatility, you can simply set it in the base, and then if you desire to use it in another aspect, such as a plant stake you may do that also.

There are variations that can be made with the folk-art angel. Instead of a hat you can make a tiny fabric scrap bow, or use garland for a halo, and instead of a bird in a nest you can have her holding a miniature flower pot with flowers. Your choices are limited only by your imagination. These directions can be adapted to fashion your angel any way you desire to make them extremely unique for yourself or as a gift.

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