Yarnia Inspired Angels: Making The Red Angel

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Let's start the Making Angels Series with Lindsey - she is, after all, my first! And some of the techniques I am sharing (like hair application for instance) will also be used on other angels as well, so it makes sense to begin with her.

Just so you know in advance, this is the longest post of the series.

I am dividing the "how-to" posts into sections so if you are only interested in say hair application, you can skip down to that part. And once they are all posted, you can mix and match and design your own angels!

The body is basically a cardboard cone available at Yarnia and is wrapped uisng the tutorial here.  You can find instructions for attaching the head here in the intro post.

WINGS

You will need from your stash:

cereal box weight cardboard

scrap yarn from your stash

Mod Podge or clear drying glue - I prefer Fabric Mod Podge.

brush

scissors

scrap paper

cardboard - shipping box weight

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This particular set of wings is based on my tutorial for Woven Tree Ornaments made from fabric woven on a cardboard loom. 

And my friend Meg (MegaCrafty and MegaSpooky) is responsible for pointing me in the direction of making "sandwiches" in the first place.  Thank you Meg!

1. To make a wing pattern, fold scrap paper in half, draw a wing shape you like and cut along your design lines. Leave the fold uncut.

Open the folded pattern and you have a lovely pair of perfectly matching wings! Now trace your wing pattern onto cereal box weight cardboard and cut.

2. Make a cardboard loom that is at least two inches bigger on all sides than your pattern. You will find the tutorial for making a cardboard loom here.

3. The tutorial for Saori weaving on a cardboard loom can be found here. 

Note: For weaving projects that will be cut into shapes, it is best to use a warp yarn that doesn't have too much stretch to it.

All credit for the fact that the angel's body wrapping and wing pattern work so well together goes to my muse who is always in charge when I am weaving in Saori style!.

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4. Before removing the weaving from the loom, just double check the pattern to be sure there is enough room around all edges to accommodate a bit of shrinkage. Cut the pattern down a little if needed.

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5. Carefully remove the weaving from the loom by pulling the warp yarns loose from the cardboard grooves as is described in the tutorial.

6. Cover one side of the cardboard wing pattern with Mod Podge. If you can get it, FABRIC Mod Podge works best for this application but regular Mod Podge or a good fabric glue will work - just don't apply it too heavily.

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7. Place the cardboard wing on the wrong side of the weaving with the glue side facing the fabric. Press with gentle pressure just to make sure all the fibers are in contact with the glue surface.

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8. While the wing is drying a bit, using your paper wing pattern, cut another set of wings from felt cutting about 1/8" beyond the edges of the pattern. (This will ensure no cardboard will be exposed on the finished wing.

9. Once the wing has dried for about an hour, cover the exposed surface of the cardboard with Mod Podge.

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10. Carefully place the felt wings on top of the glue surface as shown. Cover with wax paper and weight down with a heavy book for about an hour.  Remove the book and wax paper and let dry overnight.

Note: As you can no doubt see, my cardboard is peeking out from under the felt.  That is because I learned the hard way that it is best to cut the felt about 1/8" beyond the edges of the pattern.

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11. With the felt side facing you, and using very sharp scissors, cut the woven fabric about 1/8" beyond the edge of the felt around the entire wing shape.

The cardboard will be invisible but will provide shape and structure.

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12. Pull and trim any loose yarns not caught in the glue; and then use your finger to fluff up the edge by gently rubbing it back and forth across the top edges of the yarns.

HALO

You will need from your stash:

cereal weight cardboard

worsted weight yarn 6 yards of one color or 4 yards each of two colors.

scissors

blunt end needle with large eye

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1. Cut a circle from cereal box weight cardboard. The circle diameter for my 1 1/2" angel heads is 3". Cut a second hole in the center about 1/2 " diameter. (This little center hole does not have to be perfect.)

2. Cut a long piece of yarn - about 4 yards long - and thread one end through a large eyed blunt point needle.

3. Secure the other end with a bit of tape and begin winding your yarn around and around the cardboard halo as shown.

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4. Both halos I made using this technique were made using two colors of yarn. This particular halo was wound using first a dull gold yarn and then topped with a very shiny gold yarn.

If you like this idea, you will need about 4 yards of each color. If you wish to use only one color, you will need about 6 yards.

For a two color halo, wind the first color onto the cardboard. Small spaces between yarns will most likely occur and are not a problem because they will be covered when you wind on the second yarn.

You will notice that the center hole gets all smoothed out as it fills with yarn.

5. When you are finished winding, secure the yarn by running it under at least half of the wound yarns and cut.

CURLY HAIR!

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I was all set to use yarn hair. Then, the day before I was to assemble my angels, I found this package of doll hair at a thrift store. Can you even believe it? So perfect! Serendipity... or a muse working overtime!

So here is how I applied those beautiful golden curly locks!

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1. Before beginning, I lightly marked with pencil the outline of the hair area. You can see it there just to the left of the glue glob.

2. Cut a length of curls. Then apply a spot of hot glue to the head.

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2. Holding one end of the strands of hair in each hand, place the very middle part of the length of hair in the glue and hold for about 10 seconds.

3. Then pull a little of the loose ends of the hair back over and into the glue - just enough to hide it. Press lightly (so you don't burn you fingers) and then move on to the next spot.

Note: I placed one spot of glue right on top of the screw head so that it would be completely hidden by lovely golden curls.

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4. Continue until all the hair area has been covered. Trim any long or wild ends.

I have to share that applying the hair was way too much fun and I literally spent the entire time giggling to myself. Once that hair - any hair - is in place, your angel has a personality. It was definitely at this point in assembly that  I fell in love with every one of them!

ASSEMBLY

Use a hot glue gun to assemble your angel.

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If the wings are glued flat against the cone, this particular style of wing will tilt forward too much and look weird. So to prevent that, cut a small piece of plastic foam about 1" x 1/2 " x 1/2".  Saved packing material works great or a few layers of those foam food trays .

This will serve as a brace.

Wind a scrap of yarn around the foam just enough to make the foam disappear on the sides. No need to cover the top or bottom surfaces or worry about neatness as the brace you are making will be nearly invisable.

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First place a dab of glue on one side of the brace and press it firmly on to the back of the angel body right near where you will place the center top of the wings. Mine is about 1/2" below the top edge of the cone.

Next, place globs of hot glue (about dime size) on the felt side of the wing - one near the center bottom and one near the center top.

Carefully set the wings in place, making sure they extend the same distance on each side of the angel and that the foam brace is covered.

If you miss your mark a little - which I did - just glue in a little hair to hide the glue! Sigh! I am never perfect.  Why is that?

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Now glue on the halo.

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Back view! Actually, I am glad I "missed my mark" because I just love those little curls peaking out from under the halo. Don't you?

Come back tomorrow - "Folk Art Angel" is next!

Cute angel. I can't believe

Cute angel. I can't believe you cut into your lovely woven fabric!

hahahah!  having woven it

hahahah!  having woven it specifically for this project made cutting into it a little easier! And i saved all the scraps!

So much texture and lovely

So much texture and lovely details! These are great and I'm so looking forward to seeing the details of each angel.

This is great. I especially

This is great. I especially love the woven wings!
~Annie

Oh, I love the red angel,

Oh, I love the red angel, can't wait to get the details on all the others!

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