Starched String Angel

Don't be fooled by the fragile and intricate appearance of this ornament. Although it looks like it takes hours to make, your hands-on time will be quite short.  Best of all, it takes no special talent or skills such as crochet or knitting.  You need little more than string, fabric stiffener, pins, and a willingness to get your finger sticky.

You will need:

1.  White cotton string

2.  Fabric stiffener (Available in craft stores.)

3.  Wax paper

4.  Straight pins

5.  Stiff paper

6.  A small balloon

7.  A bulletin board or piece of cardboard

8.  Damp rag or paper towels

9.  A glue gun or a strong white craft glue

10.  The string angel pattern.

An angel made from startched string
Setting up the molds to shape the string 1.  Lay the pattern for the angel wings on the bulletin board or cardboard.  Cover it with wax paper and pin or tape the wax paper down.  Cut the angel's body out of stiff paper and cover it with wax paper.  Blow up the balloon until it is about one inch in diameter.
Getting the stiffener on the string 2. Prepare the string.   Pour some fabric stiffener into a small bowl.  Put about two feet of string in and allow it to soak up some of the stiffener.  As you pull the sting out, run it through your fingers to remove the excess stiffener.  As you use the string to make the angel, keep unwinding more sting and putting it in the bowl.  You will definitely get sticky.  Keep a damp rag handy so you can wipe your fingers frequently.
Place the first set of pins onto the pattern 3.  Put straight pins about an inch apart around the outer edge of the wings.  Use the gluey string and put it around the outside edge of the pins.  Then randomly string the thread back and forth between the pins several times.Put down the first layer of string

Christmas crafts made with starched string

More Christmas Crafts made with Starched String

 

Add the second layer of string 4.  Add three pins in a line down the center of each wing.  Use them as anchors while you randomly drape the string back and forth across the wings.  When the string forms a pattern you like, cut it off.  Set the wings aside.
Everything drying 5.  Wrap string around and across the cone and balloon, just as you did with the wings.  Set them aside to dry.  When the fabric stiffener is dry, carefully pull the pins out of the wings.  It helps to put one finger at the base of the pin and push down on the string while you pull the pin up with the other hand.  Gently peel away the wax paper.  Gently peel the string away from the paper cone base.  Twist and tug until the string comes free.  Pop the balloon and pull it out of the angel's head.
Gluing the angel together 6.  Glue the head onto the body.  Decide how to position the wings and then glue them in place.
An angel made from startched string 7.  Slip your angel onto the top of your tree or add a bit of ribbon and hang it like an ornament.

Angels have always been associated with Christmas.  In the Christmas story, they announce the birth of Christ to shepherds and fill the skies with singing and light.  It is no wonder that angel ornaments are popular and that many households choose to top their tree with an angle.

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