Wednesday, December 5, 2012


'Tis Advent!!

Our family has been busy with typical Advent activities: Tree, crafts, baking, reading, music, shopping, having tea parties, collapsing and ordering pizza for dinner,  etc. And, against my better judgement and all common sense, I am handmaking gifts. Not smart, because it's so bad for me - I mean, my personality (procrastinatey, perfectionisty, propensity for giving away everything to everyone) is of the sort that is better suited to buying gifts. It is just kinder to my family that way. But I'm handmaking. And I'm sort of even enjoying it. Frrrrrmph. Well, there's a first time for everything, I guess. 

Enough of me. Let's talk about Advent again, shall we?

So, we have our Advent calendars up. For various reasons, we have four - two were gifts, one was that pocket quilt and one we made for fun last weekend. One is a magnetic Nativity scene (Jenna handles that), one is a wooden hook thing in which you hang stuff onto a backdrop (Emily handles that), one is felt and has pockets containing the story of Christmas in 25 installments (Kate handles that) and the pocket quilt dispenses chocolate truffles, a book-a-day and a random chance activity - movie, craft, trip, baking adventure, puzzle, or whatever I can think of in a panic the night before. All three girls take turns with that.

This is one of the crafts (as ordered by Advent Calendar No. 4) the girls and I did yesterday. I photographed the step-by-steps for you while I was making the reference sample. There is some preparation but it is mostly cutting, so it is quite a fast craft to put together.

It's funny how many ways angels are depicted in art - often with lyres and billowy robes and curly golden hair and whatnot. Ever since reading Frank Peretti's This Present Darkness as a young adult, in which angels are soldiers in tan fatigues, of every skin and hair color, waging war against the Dark Side, I haven't been able to fully relate to those Renaissance cupids in their off-shoulder togas. I mean, if I were to have a guardian angel, I'd like him (or her) to be a skilled fighter rather than a harpist, given all the craziness going on the news right now. Just sayin'. 

Still, this is Advent, and we are used to angels as celestial choristers and orchestra players, heralding the birth of the Christ child in song and praise. So that's the sort of angel we'll be making.

Here's what I used:

Start with a circle of cardstock. Mine was 8" in diameter, cut into three segments to roll into cones. I also cut a hole out from the center, to reduce the bulk at the point of the cone.

Do the same thing for a doily. I got mine from Michaels for $2 for a pack of a dozen.

Roll and glue a cardstock segment into a cone. Glue the doily segment over it.

Make the hair. I used some golden-brown cardstock, which I cut to a width slightly narrower than the head of the angel. Cut slits in both ends - shorter slits for the bangs and longer slits for the back of the hair. 

Curl each of the cut strips with pliers - just grip the end and roll up tightly, then gently unroll enough to release the plier jaws.

Glue this onto the head, which is just a clothespin doll head.

Glue the head to the top of the cone, which fits snugly into the hole of the head.

Cut a small paper plate into six segments. I rounded my corners but you don't have to.

Glue (or glue-dot) the points of two segments to the back of the cone for wings.

Cut two right-angled triangles for bell sleeves and glue (or glue-dot) those to the sides of the cone, facing forward. You can orientate these sleeves any way you like - I made mine tip upwards to the face

to hold a bugle/trumpet, which is a wooden golf tee.

Here they are in silver and gold:

And here is the full band - vocals and instruments:

An easy variation of this is to leave the cones un-doily-ed and decorate them with markers and fabric to make Mary, Joseph, shepherds, wise men (although they didn't really turn up till Jesus was a toddler) and even the innkeeper. We started late in the day and finished just before supper, so we didn't do any of the other Nativity characters. Even without them, the girls took this straightforward craft and just ran with it. It always happens, and I always love it. 

First, there were the faces. 

Then the earrings and "the things to help them hear better when they sing":

Then the hairbows and hairbands:

And the halo (that's a hairband with a bow, under it).

(Confession: I almost added wire halos to the original design but decided to wait and see if anyone would suggest it instead. Yes - Jenna did, and designed and cut it out all by herself).

Finally, the backdrop. Kate has this grand plan of a different backdrop every Christmas from here on, which I thought was wonderful. This is 2012's:

Happy Advent, all!


  1. What cool angels! I see a craft project in Miss C's future. :) AND I need a marker caddy like that!!

  2. I love your angels! And you have the willow tree nativity? So pretty!

  3. Darling, I feel exhausted reading this! (But it does sound like fun)


  5. Thanks for sharing this great idea. My class made a host of angels as one of their Christmas crafting sessions.

    Mrs S and 5/6 CS from Tasmania


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