If you need an angel costume for a Christmas pageant, costume party or Halloween, create a dress, wings and halo from ordinary household items and a few craft store items. Choose from a variety of methods for making the dress, depending on the occasion and your personal style. Whether you're a novice sewer or an experienced seamstress, you can undertake this project with confidence.
No-Sew Angel Dress
This dress features a no-sew tutu skirt that can be customized depending on the style of dress desired. The tulle falls from an elastic band at the top, so you can decide if you want the band to be around the waist like a skirt or under the arms like a strapless dress. Also, you can choose to make the dress knee-length, floor-length, or anything in between. Since the tutu isn't lined, wear white leggings and a long-sleeve white T-shirt underneath.
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Things You'll Need
2 spools white tulle, 6-inch
1 yard white braided elastic, 1/2-inch
White thread (optional)
Embellishments, such as feathers, beads and ribbon
Hot glue gun
Measure the distance around the area where you want the elastic band to go, either your waist or under your arms, and add 2 inches. Cut a length of elastic to this measurement.
Overlap the ends of the elastic by 1 inch, and hold in place with a safety pin. If you'd rather not wear this with a safety pin, hand sew a few stitches to secure the elastic, and then remove the safety pin.
To determine the length of tulle strips to cut, measure the length you want your final skirt or dress to be, add 2 inches, and multiply your answer by 2. For example, if you want the skirt to be 15 inches long, then your measurement equals 34 inches.
To estimate the number of tulle strips to cut, figure three strips of tulle per inch on the elastic waistband. So if your waistband is 20 inches, you will need to cut 60 strips of tulle.
Place the elastic around a dress form or any wide, cylindrical object, such as a tall pot.
Attach the tulle to the elastic: Hold a strip of tulle with one end in each hand. Bring the ends together, folding the strip in half. For example, if you cut 34-inch strips, fold a strip in half so it is now 17 inches long. You will have a loop on one end and two tails on the other.
Insert the loop end behind the elastic so that the loop extends a few inches over the top. Hold it in place with one hand. Take the two tails in your other hand, pull them in front of the elastic, and insert them through the loop. Pull the tails until the loop makes a knot around the waistband. Adjust the knot so the tails are hanging down.
Continue to add strips of tulle in this fashion until the skirt or dress is a full as you desire.
You are not limited to using only tulle to make a skirt or dress in this fashion. Consider using other materials for a different look, such as gauze, fabric strips or white, iridescent curling ribbon.
Embellish the skirt or dress. Choose from a variety of ways to decorate the tulle and the waistband.
- Cut a piece of ribbon twice the length of the elastic waistband. Hot glue it to the waistband and leave tails to tie in a bow in the back.
- Hot glue or hand stitch feathers, beads, flowers, bows -- or for a glowing effect, adhere LED lights to the skirt or waistband of the costume.
If you are attaching LED lights to the costume, you will need to have a pocket somewhere underneath the dress to hold the battery pack.
Sew an Angel Dress
Things You'll Need
White flat sheet, any size
Fabric marking pen
Thread to match
2 yards of gold or white rope or ribbon, 1-inch or 2-inch
Fold the sheet in half and lay it on the floor.
Have the person who will be wearing the costume lie down on the sheet, legs and arms outstretched as if to make a snow angel. The head should be above the fold, so the fold is at the neckline. The arms should be extended all the way out at the sides, so they are parallel with the fold, and the legs should be slightly open.
With your fabric pen, trace around the person lying on the sheet. Begin by marking a dot 2 inches under the left armpit and another dot 6 inches below the left wrist. Draw a diagonal line connecting these two dots. Make another dot 2 inches to the left of the left ankle. Draw a line connecting the dot under the arm pit with the dot at the ankle.
Repeat this process on the right side.
Have the person get off the sheet. Draw a horizontal line connecting the two ankle dots. Draw a vertical line from the bottom of each sleeve to the fold. Draw a curve on the fold in the center of the gown to create a marking for the neck hole.
Cut on the lines through both layers of the sheet. Leave the fold intact at the top of the sleeves. Also cut out the neck hole through both layers.
Pin the two layers together, and sew the side seams using a 3/8-inch seam allowance. Leave the sleeve openings and bottom hem open. Press the seams after sewing.
Turn the dress right side out, and have the person try it on. Trim the sleeves and dress to length, and hem the sleeves, hem and neckline.
Tie a ribbon around the waist if desired.
Make a Halo and Wings
Things You'll Need
1 sheet of white poster board, 22-by-28-inch
Hot glue gun
Pleated, white coffee filters
12-inch length of silver or gold garland
Draw angel wings on the poster board in the desired size. Begin by making an upside down, curved letter V. Starting at the bottom left tip of the V, draw a curved line up and around to make the left wing. Repeat on the other side to make the right wing. Cut the wings out.
Hold the wings up to the person wearing the costume. Make a mark on each side at the top of the shoulder and under the arm. At your work table, punch holes through each of these marks with your pencil or the tips of your scissors. String yarn through the holes. This yarn will be used to tie the wings to the person's shoulders.
Lay the wings on a flat surface. The side with the tails of yarn should be facing down. Begin at the bottom tip of the left wing: Fold a coffee filter in half, and then in half again, making a triangular shape. Using the hot glue gun, place a dot of glue on the tip of the triangle and attach to the wing. Continue attaching coffee filters to the wing in this manner, overlapping the rows as you go up, until the entire wing is covered.
Repeat this process on the right wing.
Put the length of garland on the head and arrange in a circle to make the halo. Attach with bobby pins.
Variations on a Theme
Consider using different colors to dress as a fallen angel or a glamorous one.
- Wear a black dress and either black or pink wings to be a fallen angel.
- Add glitter and sequins in various colors to the dress and wings for a glam effect.