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How to make a handkerchief angel

Updated April 17, 2017

Handkerchief angels look sweet hanging from the branches of a Christmas tree or as a gift adornment. Making angels also allows you to showcase vintage handkerchiefs instead of hiding them in a dresser drawer. Find vintage hankies at yard sales and estate sales. Handkerchiefs with embroidery make especially pretty angels. If the handkerchief you plan to use belonged to a loved one, the angel will become an heirloom. Making handkerchief angels is easy and children enjoy making them for gifts.

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  1. Lay the handkerchief on an ironing board and mist it with spray starch. Iron the handkerchief. This will make it easier to manipulate as well as give it more body.

  2. Place a small amount of fiberfill in the centre of the handkerchief. A few cotton balls work equally well if you don't have any fiberfill on hand. This will form the angel's head.

  3. Fold the handkerchief from top corner to bottom corner over the fiberfill. You should have a triangle. Arrange the triangle so the point is facing you. The bottom point will become the skirt. The left and right points will become the wings.

  4. Gather the handkerchief around the fiberfill and securely tie a ribbon underneath the "head" area. Tie a bow and trim any excess ribbon.

  5. To make the wings, carefully hold the angel by its head. Then, fold the right-hand point of the handkerchief behind the angel's head. This makes the leftwing. Likewise, fold the left-hand point of the handkerchief behind its head to create the rightwing.

  6. Wrap the sheer wire-edged ribbon around the middle of the angel. Not only will the ribbon secure the wings you just created, but it will become the bodice, as well. Place the ribbon on top of the front of the angel and then bring it around the back, criss-cross it, bring it around to the front and tie it in a bow.

  7. If you desire, create a halo from a string a craft pearls or a short length of metallic gold pipe cleaner. Glue it on to the top of the angel's head. (Do not use glue on an heirloom-quality handkerchief. Instead, sew the pearls or pipe cleaner in place using a few stitches to secure the halo.)

  8. Thread your needle and insert it in the top of the angel's head to form a loop. Tie the ends together to form the hanger.

  9. Tip

    For a firmer head, use a small styrofoam or wooden ball. Use permanent markers to draw a face on your angel if you wish.


    Constructing these angels takes a little bit of practice. Don't get frustrated if you don't get it right the first time.

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Things You'll Need

  • Handkerchief
  • Iron
  • Spray starch
  • Cotton balls or fiberfill
  • White craft ribbon
  • 24-in. length of wired 2-inch wide coordinating sheer ribbon (gold, silver or white metallic preferred)
  • Needle
  • Thread, gold or silver
  • Craft pearls or gold metallic pipe cleaner (optional)

About the Author

Carol Bancroft has been writing about food and crafts since 2000 when she launched her blog, Pure Sugar. Bancroft formerly owned a small wine shop. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the University of Massachusetts.

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