Sometimes it’s fun and relaxing to sit down and just play at your craft table. Today I did just that — I set out several Abaca angels, some ribbon in tasty fall colors, and some metal embellishments and got busy creating altered handmade angels. Since Thanksgiving is coming up, I used “Thanks” as my theme for these girls. I love how they turned out! You need to make some — here’s how!
- Abaca Angels.
- Assorted ribbon.
- Rustic tin maple leaves.
- Rustic metal stars (tin folk stars or assorted 3D mini stars).
- Rustic tin folk hearts.
- Steampunk charms (I used keys and hearts & bows).
- Paper flower embellishments.
- Mini crochet doily embellishments.
- Wooden craft sticks.
- Paper in a matching color scheme.
- Hot glue gun and glue sticks.
There’s no wrong way to alter handmade angels! You can use any supplies or embellishments you have on hand to make a unique artistic expression. I used ribbon and metal embellishments, along with some floral embellishments I had on hand, but dig deep into your stash of supplies for items like beads, buttons, or found objects. Anything goes! Here’s how I made one of my angels!
Create a layered ribbon skirt:
- Cut a number of ribbon scraps from 3″ to 5″ in length. Hot glue to bottom of angel’s dress.
- Cut a number of coordinating (but different) ribbon scraps from 2″ to 4″ in length, and hot glue to just above previous layer of ribbon scraps.
- Repeat cutting shorter lengths of coordinating ribbon and gluing above previous layer of ribbon, until you reach the angel’s waist.
- Trim ribbons if necessary. I like mine to be uneven lengths.
Decorate wings and body:
- To decorate the angel’s wings, weave ribbon through wings, or glue ribbon on top of or behind wings.
- Once you are happy with the ribbon covering on the angel, add embellishments!
- Add paper or crochet flowers, bows, metal charms, or rustic metal embellishments to the angel wherever you’d like.
Add a dramatic topper: I wanted to take my altered art angels a little over the top, so I created dramatic toppers for several of them.
- Glue a large metal embellishment to a wooden craft stick.
- Add more embellishments to the large metal embellishment, if desired! This is a good place to put your “Thankful” banner, or any inspirational word or phrase you would like! I typed mine on my vintage typewriter.
- Glue wooden stick to the back of the angel.
That’s just one angel I made. Each of my handmade angels were made using a slightly different process, depending on where the crafting spirit took me!
This angel is clearly the Queen of Autumn!
You can create an altered art angel with inspirational word or saying you like! They are great for holiday decorations, but how about for personal empowerment or to remind you of your goals? You could make handmade angels for a friend who needs encouragement, help going through a tough illness, or a little pick-me-up.
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Heather Mann is the mother of four boys and designs and shares clever crafts with a frugal twist at her site Dollar Store Crafts. She’s also fascinated by the unsuccessful (yet humorous) side of crafting, and explores it at her site CraftFail, and in her new book, CraftFail: When Handmade Goes Horribly Wrong.