The Christmas spirit is alive and well in our household. Today was cold, and a bit snowy here in New Hampshire. The warmth of the house inspired me to stay inside and make a few handmade Christmas ornaments. In this post, I provide all the details you will need to make a felt angel Christmas ornament out of wool felt and a wood form.
Felt is a great material for making handmade Christmas ornaments because it does not require any special treatments on the edges. You can cut felt and leave the cut edge bare and that edge will not ravel. I also like to practice embroidery stitches and embellish the felt edges on my creations.
I suggest using felt made of at least 70% wool, or a bamboo felt. These natural felts have a much better feel and finished look when compared to synthetic felts. I usually purchase my felt and roving from Wier Crafts. The wood form and embroidery floss can all be found at your local craft store. Have fun with your own colors and stitch choices to make a whole choir of angels.
3″x3.5″ piece of wool felt for the robe (I chose pink)
2″x3.5″ piece of wool felt for the dress (I chose yellow)
4″x 1.5″ piece of wool felt in white for the wings
Scrap of wool felt for dress accent (I chose light pink)
DMC 25 stranded embroidery floss in two colors (I chose purple and yellow)
Crewel embroidery needle
2 3/8″ wood man game piece
Wool roving for hair with matching thread
Gold DMC color infusions memory thread
Markers to make details on the face
1. Cut the robe and wings to the template that I provide below – or choose your own shape. Pick a contrasting embroidery floss and divide the 6 strands in half. Use three strands to embellish the edges of the robe and wings with a button hole stitch. (For more detail on stitches see the Stitch Guide at the end of this post). For the wings start in the center so you can use the ends to attach to the finished angel. After finishing the robe edge, secure both ends together. Hide the ends by running through the center of the felt and trimming.
2. Trim the felt you want for the dress to be the diameter and length of the wood form. Wrap the felt around the wood. Make three small “v” shaped cuts in the top to remove extra felt around the neck. Remove enough felt when cutting these “v” shaped cuts so that the remaining felt lays flat against the wood form. Glue the felt to the form. At this point your angel should look like the image below.
3. Cut a small strip of felt to accent the dress. It should be the exact length to go around the dress, but can be any width you like. Thread your needle with three strands of the embroidery floss. (They floss comes as 6 strands). Use your needle and floss to attach the accent to the dress with a small stitch in the back. Be sure the seams of both pieces of felt line up.
4. Secure the accent piece with any type of decorative stitch you like. I used a whip stitch. I completed two rounds of a whip stitch slanting the stitches in alternate directions to form a cross pattern.
5. Changing back to the floss on the robe take a running stitch across the robe where the indent on the robe is. You can verify the placement in the photo below.
6. Use this new strand to gather the robe at the neck and tie around the angel body. Fold the collar of the robe down. Use a square knot when you have the robe arranged the way that you want it and use the needle to hide the ends. Trim any excess.
7. Gather a piece of wool roving for the hair. The piece of roving should be about twice the length you want the hair to be. Use floss or thread the same color as your roving, to tie a knot around the center of the roving as in the photo.
8. Fold the roving in half and arrange the hair on your angel. Hide the thread ends under the hair. Trim them if they are too long. Secure in place with glue. Be sure not to use to much glue as it may seep through the roving and be visible.
9. Create a halo with the gold wire. Start by making a circle with the wire, then weave the end around the circle to create a twist. Secure the halo in place with gold or yellow floss.
10. Use the floss ends remaining after stitching around the wings to attach the wings to the back of the angel. Be sure to stitch to the robe and not just the hair.
11. Trim and hide any ends left from stitching. If you want you can also give your angel a face with markers or paint. Permanent markers do bleed some, so be careful when adding your face. Practice on some spare fabric 1st!
12. If you want to hang your angel on the tree then a small loop can be attached at the wings.
Enjoy your new creation and Happy Holidays!
Stitch Guide (Photos: Embroiderer’s Guild):
Button Hole Stitch