Heavenly Host of Angels

Make your Christmas tree sing this year with a heavenly host of angels.  Handmade heirloom Christmas decorations making good use of  up-cycled waste materials.

Project Overview

Angels made from lace and curtain tie back using up-cycled sequins

If you are wondering where I first got the inspiration from to set up Heart Upcycling, I can tell you that the answer lies in a humble curtain tie-back left lying in a heap of soggy curtains after a major flood at my house.  I saved the tie-back thinking – as you do – that may come in useful at some point?

Some months later, I retrieved the tie-back from my fabric stash and began to unravel it.  What I found inside really took me by surprise:  Deconstructed, the tie-back yielded many colours and textures of fibres – some of them wavy, some curly and all potentially just perfect for creating hair for angels.  Hair is always one of the most challenging elements of creating a doll and this was an unexpected solution.  Best of all – my angels’ hair did not come from an expensive purchase of something new, it could be up-cycled from something that would otherwise have been thrown away.  Motivation indeed to get creative!

What You Will Need

Angels Heat n Bond Fusible Web
Heat n Bond Fusible Web
Hi Tack PVA Tacky Glue
Hi Tack PVA Tacky Glue

Step-by-Step Guide

Time needed: 4 hours

Makes: 6 angels

  1. Make a pattern

    Make yourself a pattern using the template below. The neck opening is 3.5cm wide. My paper ones have lasted for ages, but you can use acetate sheet if you prefer something more durable.

  2. Backing pieces

    Use the two pattern pieces to cut a piece of heat ’n bond fusible fleece to make a backing piece for both the gown and wings.

  3. What to wear?

    Use the two pattern pieces again to cut a piece of lacy/shiny fabric suitable for a heavenly angel.

  4. Heat ‘n’ Bond

    Bond your fabric to the heat n’ bond using a hot iron. This should give you a nice, stiffened piece of fabric to work with that will hold it’s shape well.

  5. Pipe cleaner time

    Take a 12”/30cm length of pipe cleaner and cut off a piece just long enough to fit across the middle of the wings.

  6. Feet off the ground

    Fold the wings in half (wrong sides together) over the pipe cleaner and use a sewing machine to sew up the triangle at the base of the wings to enclose the pipe cleaner.

  7. Does my bum look big in this?!

    With right sides together, fold the stiffened gown around into a cone shape with a narrow seam (about 0.5cm) and use a sewing machine to stitch the back seam closed. Turn the cone right side out.

  8. Oh, hello!

    Take the remainder of the pipe cleaner and feed it through your wooden bead head.

  9. I’m so pretty!

    Cut a piece of ribbon to the length you want for your hanging tie and knot it firmly. Cut off the remainder.

  10. Almost there

    Feed the pipe cleaner through the ribbon and bend it at the half-way point over the knot. Pull the pipe cleaner down through the bead so that the knot is carefully concealed inside the bead.

  11. Feeling special now

    Dot a minuscule amount of glue around the bottom of the bead and on the top of the gown. Insert the pipe cleaner through the top of the gown and press together. Allow the glue to set.

  12. I can FLY!

    Shape the wings by bending the pipe cleaner. Glue the wings to the back of the gown just under the head.

  13. Golden locks

    Glue your chosen hair onto the head. Remember – every angel can have a personality and style all of her own!

  14. Diamonds are a girl’s best friend

    Decorate the gown with beads/sequins – up cycled if you can – as you wish.

  15. Smile for the camera!

    Use felt-tip pens, a sharpie) or pencil crayons to draw on the face.

  16. Merry Christmas!

    Cut off the surplus pipe cleaner so your angel will stand up.

Tips and Tricks

  • Your gown fabric for your angels needs to be stiff enough to give a good shape – they don’t look good if they are too floppy.
  • I find a cocktail stick a great tool for placing a dot of glue just where you want it and for positioning beads and sequins precisely without getting glue on your fingers. Sometimes, I choose to sew the beads ands sequins on rather than glue them – it takes longer, but is more durable.
  • Let the glue dry at each stage – patience is a virtue!
  • Using a longer pipe cleaner than you need may seem a bit wasteful, but it helps to have something to hold onto when you are working on the gown/hair etc.
  • I sometimes use some thread and a few tiny stitches to secure the hair in place if glue doesn’t give you quite a precise enough finish.
  • I like to leave the face right until the end so that you can see how it fits with the hairstyle you have chosen.
Angels on the Christmas Tree
Angels - on the Christmas Tree
Heavenly Angels - just add personality!
Heavenly Angels - just add personality!

Heart Up-Cycling!

Heart Upcycling Logo
  • Beautiful, ready-curled angel hair can be up-cycled from a curtain tie-back.
  • A trip to the charity shop yielded this little girl’s skirt -just perfect for decorating a host of heavenly angels.
  • Never throw anything away!  I save all sorts of bits and pieces – just waiting to find a good use for them in a future project!
Angels - Up-Cycled Curtain Tie Back
Up-Cycled Curtain Tie Back
Angels - Upcycled sequins - charity shop find!
Upcycled sequins - charity shop find!
Angels - Oddments Box
Oddments Box - Heart Upcycling!

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