Sunday, October 31, 2010

Corn Husk Angels Tutorial

(Reposted from August 30, 2007)

You will find there are two main sources of corn husks. You can buy and husk your own fresh corn, saving the silks for hair for your angel. This gives you the added bonus of having the wonderful corn to eat. Or you can buy pre-dried husks, used for making tamales. If you use fresh husks, you will need to dry it for several days (weeks, months, whatever) until it is stiff and completely dry. Be careful to keep husks separated and air circulating around them to avoid mildew. After your husks have completely dried, (or after taking them straight out of the tamale wrapper bag), you must soak the now-dry husks for ten to fifteen minutes. Yes, it seems counter-intuitive after drying it, just to wet it again, but this is necessary in order to make the husks pliable. After soaking them, wring them dry. We then lay them out on a cookie sheet at this point for ease of transporting to our crafting area.
Next, we pre-cut several pieces of string, about 3-4 inches long, for binding husks together. Then we make the arms, by separating outcorn husk strips (app.1" wide each), and tie them at the tops.
Next, we braid them. You'll need two braided arms per angel. Pictured here is enough for two angels.
Then we prepare the angel's hair, either by gathering up a big fluff of cornsilk, or winding string or yarn around our hand several times, as so:
Next, take the "hair" and lay it on top of three pieces of corn silk, two side by side on the bottom, then the third piece overlapping the two on top, just under the string or silk.

Layer some more husks on top of the string "hair," following in reverse, with one piece of husk immediately over the string, and two more side by side on top of it. Doing it this way allows for a smooth "face," as you'll soon see.
Get a sturdy piece of string or yarn and tie the whole bunch securely at the very top.
Then, reach under the husks, take the end of the hair and turn the whole thing "inside-out."
Like so:
Smooth the husks down and around to form the head below the hair and make a tight knot, forming the neck.
Now, take the two arms and set them side by side, tying them together in the middle and trimming where there may be too much braid there overlapping.

Take a rolled up piece of husk about an inch thick to tuck in over the arms to give some shape to the angel's bodice.
With the angel lying face up, lift the front three sections of her skirt and place spread at a right angle  two peices of husk cut and formed into wings, then, on top of the wings and under the "bodice" piece, add the arms.
With another piece of sturdy string, cinch in the angel's waist under her bodice and tie tightly.

Take a narrow piece of husk, and lay it behind the angel's neck; pull each end forward over her bodice, criss-crossing it in front; then tie this piece in place behind the waist with another piece of narrow husk.
Pull her arms into the position you like and tie with a piece of small string or thread, then trim the ends to make neat hands. You can make a halo out of very thin strips of husk braided and tied in a circle. To make her stand, trim the bottoms of her skirts and spread outward.
And, here she is, a little harvest angel!


Anonymous said...

That's pretty neat!!

Jaye said...

What a wonderful idea, thanks for sharing it with us. These little angels will make wonderful Christmas gifts as well as unique home made tree ornaments!

Anonymous said...

thank you for the very helpful blog.............

Beth said...

This was just what I needed. Angel is beautiful and I will try to make one myself. I also have a pattern where you use corn husks as angel wings using a handkerchief.

A Bit of the Blarney said...

Thanx! Well done! Very lovely! Cathy

Therese said...

oh they are great Lisa.

Unknown said...

oh my goodness, that is a lot of work but worth it! I have seen miniature ones on trees, at tree festivals, I know they sell for a lot of money! What a grand idea to make an angel tree!

JanetT said...

Beautiful! My daughter and i just learned how to make a corn husk doll of very similar construction, but she wanted to make an angel for Grandma's bday. Thank you for the helpful instructions!

Anonymous said...

prettiest one I've seen so far. Most natural.