This “burlap-and-tulle angel for dummies” (meaning, I can make it) is based on the gorgeous lace-and-tulle angel MMHoney showed me from her vintage craft stash. Here’s hers:
She must have had a lot of ill-founded faith in my crafting ability since she gave me the pattern:
I read the directions about 20 times. Unfortunately, they were in Greek. Or so they might as well have been. However! Since when do I let not understanding the directions stop me? We can invent directions. You can make one, too! Let’s go!
Note: The original tulle angel was made from tulle and lace fabric with gold cord, baby’s breath, gathered lace, and all sorts of angelic materials. You can make this angel with any materials and notions your heart desires. I used tulle for the skirt and made the apron in burlap. After Christmas, this angel’s gotta fit in around here and she’s going to be cleaning out the chicken house.
The basic design of the angel is similar to other no- or low-sew dolls like corn husk dolls.
How to make a Burlap and Tulle Angel (for Dummies):
white tulle (approx. 1 yard)
burlap (less than 1 yard)
hemp or other yarn, cord, etc.
ruffled lace and other decorative notions
Step 1. Cut four pieces of tulle, approximately 12 inches by 24 inches. Set two pieces aside for now. Taking the other two pieces, lay them one on top of the other, spreading the tulle out flat. Pinch pleat the two tulle pieces together along the wide edge.
Tie one end, about an inch or so from the top.
Turn the tulle inside out over the tie, pulling it down over the tied spot. Make another tie under the “ball” that is now the angel’s head.
Step 2. Take one of the two remaining pieces of tulle and pinch pleat it the same way along the wide edge. Tie at the top just as before.
(You’re NOT turning this one inside out.) Set aside.
Step 3. Take the fourth piece of tulle and place a bendable wire on top of one short edge. The wire should not quite reach the ends. I actually used two pieces of wire wrapped together because I didn’t have one piece that was the right size. This is a really good project to use up random items from your craft stash.
Roll the tulle up, with the wire inside and tie the center to secure.
Make a bow tie on each end. (This part will show, so make a nice bow.) I used narrow hemp cord for all of the ties, but you could use gold cord, yarn, ribbon, anything you have or want to use.
Step 4. Look up your angel’s dress. She doesn’t mind. She’s not that kind of angel.
I’m pretty sure if you did this whole thing right you could put the arms in there and you wouldn’t have to cut a slit, but because I don’t do things right, I cut slits where I wanted the arms to go and inserted the arms inside the angel just below her neck.
On top of the arms, place the top of the other piece of pleated tulle prepared previously.
Make a tie (in the back) just below the arms and the top of the pleated tulle and now you have made her bodice.
Step 5. Lay the angel flat and smooth out her skirt.
Trim off the bottom of the tulle so that it is all fairly even. You don’t have to trim it perfectly. This is a primitive craft. It will look “perfect” on your tree along with your dried orange slices and twig stars and gingerbread men.
Step 6. Measure from the bottom of the bodice (where you tied it) to the bottom of the tulle skirt.
Mine came out to be about 7 inches from the bodice down. I want the burlap apron to be shorter so the tulle will peek out, so I cut burlap 6 inches and doubled it across, so 6 inches by 12 inches. Whatever your measurement is from the bodice to the bottom of the tulle skirt, cut your apron one inch shorter and double in width. Using a yarn needle and the narrow hemp cord, I made loose stitches across one wide edge of the burlap. You can use yarn or whatever else you want. Leave a long end as you start because you’re going to be making a tie.
Gather the stitches to fit the angel’s waist.
Tie it on in the back. (SEE STEP 8. You should really insert Step 8 here. Be smarter than me.)
She looks like she’s been hitting the Christmas pies, but that’s okay. She’ll work it off later when she’s cleaning out the chicken house.
Step 7. Now you can decorate the angel however you want, with whatever you have. I’m going to use some ruffled lace for her hair and some gold ribbon for her halo. Fun stuff!
I just hot-glued ’em on there.
Her arms are bendy, so they can hold a little bouquet, a little harp or something from your Christmas ornament collection, or maybe a hoe….. But, wait, she needs wings!
Step 8. Cut another piece of tulle approximately 6 inches by 20 inches. Pinch it in the middle.
Fold it over on itself and tie it just about half an inch or so down. You’re just doing this to “force” the tulle into more of a V-shape.
At this point, I realized I really should have done this while I was tying the burlap apron onto the angel (Step 6) as that is the easiest way to attach the wings. I inserted that little tied nub in the back where the apron is tied on. If you did this to start with, you wouldn’t have so much trouble sticking it in there.
But, whatever, now she has wings!
Find something to put in her arms….
….and either sew, tie, or hot glue it on. I went through my Christmas stash and came up with a pine cone and hot glued it to her hands.
You can call her finished now, or finish her out with more ribbons and other notions, whatever suits your fancy. You can keep her fairly monochromatic or add some color. I added a long, narrow strip of burlap around her shoulders as a sort of shawl and declared her done.
She can go on top of the tree, or be part of a table centerpiece or other decorative display. Simple, almost no-sew, with an old-time crafty flavor and a little bit of rustic charm, I think I love her.
Can’t wait till she cleans out the chicken house!