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Toys in Miniature: Frances Armstrong
Christmas tree angel
in 1/144 scale
This angel can go on top of a tree that is less than an inch high.  Suitable for a tabletop tree in 1/12 scale, or a small tree  in 1/48 scale, or a tree in a dollhouse dollhouse.
This angel goes on top of a Christmas tree that's about ¾ inch high (nine feet high in 1/144 scale).  (Click here for suggestions about tree.)   The should be about 1/8" high, but you can get by making it a tiny bit larger.
You will need
a toothpick
half an inch of embroidery floss or silk thread or silk ribbon or Bunka, for hair
a scrap of white tissue paper, or thin white writing paper
a white bristle from a scrubbing brush
scrap of irridescent mylar (or thin transparent acrylic) for wings

and a knife, scissors, white glue, Mod Podge, fine black marker or black paint with fine brush, sandpaper, a paper punch (1/4" circle) and a metal file.

Method
Sand the tip of the toothpick slightly, round it off, and with the file make a small groove all round as a neck (diagram 1).
Punch a hole from the white tissue paper and make a pinhole at the centre of the circle (diagram 2).
This is the angel's dress (robe).  Insert her head into the hole, and using a smear of glue, arrange the dress in folds (diagram 3).
Where the dress ends is where you will cut the angel free from the toothpick, but not yet.
Cut a piece of the same paper about 1/4 inch square, and fold it in half.  Glue at the fold to a white brush bristle (diagram 4).  From this, cut two triangular sleeves, leaving a bit of bristle sticking out as a hand on each.  Glue these arms-and-sleeves to the angel (diagram 5).
Seal the head with a smear of Mod Podge, let it dry, then make the tiniest dot with brush or pen for eyes.  If they are too big, sand off and try again.  At this stage you can try both sides of  the head (diagram 6).
Unravel the silk thread and glue it on  the angel's head, leaving the eyes visible.   Trim.
Cut wings from mylar or acrylic, and glue to the angel's back (diagram 7).
You could make a halo of fine brass wire, or cut a small circle of gold paper.

To cut her off her toothpick, put the toothpick on a cutting board with the angel itself sticking out beyond the toothpick.  Cut below her dress, rotating the toothpick.  Use your third hand to catch her as she jumps  away, or, if you only have two hands, cover them with a cloth or tissue to catch her.

diagrams 1-3
Diagram 4
Diagrams 5-7
Suggestions for making the  tree itself ( one inch high or less)
Use "bumpy chenille" (available in craft stores) and cut of a tree-shaped piece.  Trim as desired.  If the wire shows through, cover the whole tree with transparent glue (like "school" glue or mucilage) and dip it into fine glitter.  Use a bead for a stand.  Unravel gold thread or ribbon to get fine garland material. 
You may find a model railroad tree that looks good.
E-mail me if you need more ideas!
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This page was last updated on: May 17, 2010