Friday, 18 October 2013

Christmas Calico Angels

Many years ago, when I did a lot of craft work and sold it at craft parties, I made Christmas Calico Angels which were very popular. I did a tutorial on how to make them on the Down to Earth Forum last year but since the change over to a new server, all the photos have been lost so I thought I would do a new tutorial for anyone who is interested in making one. They are very easy to make and you can either glue them or add a few stitches to keep them together.

You will need:

 Calico or other fabric
 1 styrofoam ball
 Glue (not white glue which takes too long to dry)
 Cord or ribbon for wings and crown

Firstly, cut a circle out of your fabric. You could even iron it too if you felt inclined. :-) I actually did but forgot to take a photo. I made it about the size of a dinner plate but it is better to make it too big than too little as you can always cut off the excess fabric later. Place a styrofoam ball in the middle of the circle and then ..... 

.....pull the fabric together tightly over the ball and tie with a rubber band or hat elastic. This will be covered later so won't be seen.

Cut out a piece of fabric roughly 70cm (about 28 inches) x 26cm (about 10 inches). Turn over an edge on the long side and iron it down. Measure about 4cm (1 1/2 inches) from the edge and then cut or tear strips up to that point.

Then start folding the strips around the 'neck' of the angel.
Try and fold this as tightly as you can.
Then fold the edge over at the back and glue it. I pinned it while it dried.
Then tie some ribbon or whatever you choose around that section.

I then trimmed off some of the original circle.
On the back glue some ribbon firmly and this will be used to hang up the angel.
I then trimmed some of the fabric that I cut off the circle or else you could cut a strip of fabric about 23cm (9 inches) x 4cm ( 1 1/2 inches).

Glue this over the ribbon you have just glued on the back of the angel for hanging.  

Bring it around to the front and trim it. Then add a bow or flowers or whatever takes your fancy.
Plait some fabric or raffia and make some wings and glue them on the back. If it looks a bit messy just glue a small flower or something over it if giving as a gift. It won't be seen when hanging. You can also use ribbon or cord for the wings and I have also used plaited calico in the past.

To finish off the angel, glue on a crown.
Patterned fabric also looks nice especially Christmas fabric.

This is an angel I made last Christmas when the ribbon was reduced to half price. I loved it so much that I have had it hanging all year. I plaited calico for the crown for this angel. I love the colours of the ribbon.

You can let your imagination run riot with this Christmas decoration and it was interesting last year to see the variety of angels everyone on the Down to Earth Forum came up with. Instead of using a styrofoam ball for the head, one person used lavender instead. It was very nice.

Sorry the photos are bit dodgy but we have had storms rolling through all afternoon while I have been making the angel and it was very dark most of the time and certainly not good light for taking photos.

Do you think you will have a go at making one of these this Christmas? Let me know if you do as I would love to see what ideas you come up with!


  1. Simply made and oh so effective!! I made several last year from your tutorial and some were posted overseas.

  2. Shirley, I need to do the tutorial on the DTE forum again to include the photos so I thought I'd do it on my blog as well in case they get lost again. They are certainly simple to make and effective.

  3. Nanna Chel, this is great! I will be making some of my own. I like the idea of using lavender too. Thank you for sharing.

  4. I love these angels! Thank you for showing how you make them, they are so sweet :)

  5. I have been looking for an easy Christmas craft for my quilting club and this may just do the trick, thank you for redoing them for us!


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