During the holidays, when angels — or at least
songs and stories about them — hover near the Earth, creating gifts
with their winged charm is one sure way to share the sentiments of
the season. With a poppy-pod head and an aromatic herbal skirt, our
charming angel is just the right messenger to proclaim warm tidings
of love and affinity. If handled and packed away carefully, it
should give you many years of enjoyment.
Make this angel using fresh herbs, if you can, because the angel
smells wonderful as the herbs slowly dry in place. However, if you
have no access to fresh herbs, you can attach dried herbs with a
1 long-stemmed, dried poppy pod*
8-inch piece of dowel (1/4-inch diameter)
Fresh or dried lavender stems**
Fresh or dried long-stemmed herbs such as rosemary, oregano,
marjoram, bay, pennyroyal, artemisia, lavender, Russian sage, or
Maple leaves, preserved with glycerin (so they are flexible)
2 dried oak, magnolia or bay leaves
Spanish moss for hair (optional)
Hot-glue gun and glue
Scissors or garden clippers
STEP 1: MAKING THE BASIC BODY
Hold the 8-inch piece of dowel perpendicular across the stem of
the poppy-pod head (about 1 inch below pod). Wrap raffia in a
crisscross fashion to attach the dowel to the stem. Tie tightly
with a knot.
STEP 2: CREATING ARMS
Lay the lavender stems over the arms so the dowel is completely
covered. Secure the stems by wrapping and tying raffia at each end
(near hands) and crisscrossed in the center (at bodice). Use
scissors to trim the ends of the lavender (at the hands) flush with
STEP 3: ASSEMBLING THE SKIRT
Create a small bouquet of herbs and tie the ends with a rubber
band. Turn the bouquet upside down and use raffia to attach the
skirt to the angel, right under the arms. You may need to tie a few
herbal sprigs onto the sides and back to evenly cover the skirt
area. If the herbs are dried, you may hot glue herb sprigs to fill
any blank spots.
STEP 4: THE BODICE AND APRON
Wrap a few maple leaves across and over the bodice. Secure with
raffia or hot glue the ends in the back. Glue a few upside-down
maple leaves under the bodice to act as a colorful apron.
STEP 5: CREATING THE WAIST
Tightly wrap raffia several times around the angel’s midsection
and tie securely in the back. This will help hold the entire angel
STEP 6: ADDING WINGS AND HAIR
Hot glue two leaves for wings to the angel’s back. If desired,
glue Spanish moss on top as hair.
STEP 7: FINISHING TOUCHES
Glue or tie a raffia loop on the back of the angel for hanging.
Fill in with leaves or herb sprigs as needed.
* Dried poppy pods are available at craft supply stores. If you
are unable to find one, substitute one 8-inch long piece of dowel
(1/4-inch diameter) with a round, 1-inch diameter wooden drawer
pull attached on one end as the head.
** You may substitute a stiff, ornamental grass, corn husks cut
to length or a piece of burlap for the lavender stems to cover the
arm dowel. Simply cut to length and secure with raffia about 1/2
inch from the end creating wrists and hands.
Theresa Loe writes about gardening, crafting and herbal cooking
from her home in Southern California. This text was excerpted with
permission from her 2005 Herbal Calendar (Tidemark Press, 2004).
The calendar is available from her website at www.country thyme.com
or your local bookstore.