Folk Art Angel

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Folk Art Angel

Simple carving can be used as an ornament, pin, or pendant

By Gerald Smith

This holiday season, adorn your Christmas tree with a lovely handcarved ornament. Sure to become a new family favorite, this sweet and simple folk art angel
has minimal details, making it a perfect project for beginners. The carving can even be used as a pin or pendant. Have fun with the design and make it your own!

Carving the Angel

Cut out the outline with a band saw, and use gouges, V-tools, and knives of your choice to carve the details. Make sure your tools are sharp and that you wear a carving glove. This carving is a great place to experiment with fabric folds and curves.

Painting and Finishing

Once you’ve finished carving, thin white acrylic paint to the consistency of milk and apply it to the angel’s clothes and wings. Paint the hands, feet, and face with thinned medium flesh. Once the face is dry, use full-strength chocolate brown to draw on the eyelashes, and then thin the chocolate brown and paint the hair.

Let the paint dry fully. Glue the wings onto the back of your carve and attach a screw eye to the top. Apply paste wax with a toothbrush, allow to dry fully, and then buff the entire piece with a shoe brush. Attach a string through the screw eye to complete the ornament.

Click Here for the Pattern


• Basswood, 1/4″ to 3/8″ (6mm to 10mm)-thick: wings, 1 3/4″ x 2 1/4″ (4.4cm x 5.7cm); figure, 1 3/4″ x 3 1/4″ (4.4cm x 8.3cm)

• Acrylic paint:chocolate brown, medium flesh, white

• Small screw eye

• Wood glue

• Paste wax

• String


• Carving knife

• Small V-tool

• Toothbrush

• Shoe brush

• Small clamps

About the Author

Gerald Smith has been carving since he was a boy. In the early 1970s, Gerald moved to Colorado Springs, Colo., where he got involved with the Wood Carver’s Museum and started carving more actively. A friend gave Gerald’s business the name of “Santa’s Whiskers” because of Gerald’s beard and the Santas he carves. Gerald currently lives in Harrisburg, Pa.


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