Today, here's the instructions for making the first style of felt angel ornaments (instructions for the second style will be posted tomorrow).
To make these ornaments, you will need...
- The template sheet at the bottom of this post
- Scissors to cut out the templates
- Sharp sewing scissors or embroidery scissors
- A needle & pins (& possibly a larger needle for sewing the embroidery thread)
- White felt for the wings
- Coloured felt for the angel's dresses, and contrasting colour for the backing felt
- Felt in your chosen hair and skin colours
- Sewing thread to match all your felt
- Black sewing thread for stitching the eyes and mouth
- Optional: black seed beads for eyes, and sequins/threads/etc for embellishing the angels
- Gold stranded embroidery thread (floss) for the halos
- Narrow white ribbon (or another shade to match your chosen colours)
1) First cut out all your felt pieces, cutting one of each of the following pieces: wings, feet, body, face and hair (front). If you want to add arms to your angel, you will also need one arms piece and also cut two small ovals for the hands. Click here for a guide to cutting out small shapes.
2) Pin the body and wing pieces onto a piece of backing felt in a contrasting colour. Make sure to leave enough room around the edges for adding the feet and halo, and for cutting a neat "frame" around the angel later on.
3) Use running stitch and matching thread to sew around the body shape. When you sew along the bottom edge, tuck the feet under & sew over them so they just peek out, as shown.
4) Sew around the edges of the wings, using white thread and running stitch.
5) Add the face, and sew this & and the feet in place with running stitch in matching thread.
6) Place the hair on top of the face, and sew with more running stitch in matching thread.
7) If you want to add arms to your angel, now's the time to add them. Use matching threads & running stitch to sew first the arms...
... and then the hands in position.
8) Now use black thread to sew two (closed) eyes and a smiling mouth. Use back stitch and very small stitches to create the curved lines. You might want to practice this on a scrap piece of felt before sewing the expression on your angel.
If you prefer, you can use two small black seed beads for the eyes. Sew the beads flat (like an O) on the felt, using three or four stitches to hold each bead in place.
9) Cut a length of stranded gold embroidery thread (floss) for sewing the halo - you could use metallic thread, or just choose a golden orange colour. The metallic thread looks great, but it is a little harder to sew with than standard thread. Divide the thread in half (so if your thread is made up of 6 strands, just use 3) and switch to a larger needle if necessary. Then use backstitch to sew the angel's halo.
I've included two styles of halo on the pattern sheet - you can copy the design of your choice onto the felt lightly with a soft pencil, or just stitch it free hand. Alternatively, you could use gold sequins or beads to create a sparkly halo.
10) If you want a sparkly angel, now's the time to decorate it! I used pearlescent white sequins for the wings and decorated the dress with small X's in silver embroidery thread. You could use any sequins or embroidery threads you fancy, or small beads (seed beads or bugle beads) or even tiny buttons.
11) Carefully cut out your finished angel, leaving a border around it as pictured. Then use the shape you've just cut out as a template to cut a matching piece of felt for the back.
12) Cut a 5 inch (12.5 cm) length of narrow ribbon, and fold it over to form a loop. Sew the ends to the top of the ornament as shown, so they'll be hidden within the two layers of felt when you sew them together. Use whip stitches, and sew into the felt but not through it (if you prefer, sew the ribbon to the piece of felt which will become the back of the ornament, and use thread to match the felt so any stitches that show through will be less visible).
13) Finally, place the front and back pieces of your ornament together and sew the edges together with whip stitch in matching thread. Finish your stitching neatly at the back.
Your finished angel will look something like this:
To print the templates - right click on the image and select to view it in another window or tab, then click again (if necessary) to view full size and print at 100%. I've added a scale so you can check if your templates have printed out correctly, but you can make them larger or smaller than mine if you prefer.
This tutorial is for non commercial use only: you can use it for as many ornaments as you like for yourself or as gifts for friends but please don't make any for sale. Please feel free to borrow photos if you want to blog about this project, but remember to credit me and link back to the original source, and do not reproduce my entire tutorial on your site. Thanks!
Want to make some of these ornaments to sell at craft fairs or in your Etsy shop? A PDF version of this tutorial is now available for sale for just £3.50. Easy to print, buying the PDF allows you to sell as many angels as you like as long as you make them by hand yourself and credit me as the designer on the label or in the shop listing. You can also use the templates to teach a sewing class if you want to. The Felt Angel Ornaments PDF Pattern is now available from my Big Cartel shop and from my Etsy shop.