Remembering Jessica: creating a special angel for the top of our Christmas tree

For the last few years we’ve had a star at the top of our tree. This year though, our tree will be topped with a very special angel – our little heart angel Jessica who died in April. Last year Jessica enjoyed helping me make figures for a shoebox Nativity using polystyrene balls and paper cups. This year, I used them to make a model of her for our Christmas tree.

 

An angel made from a polystyrene ball and paper cup on top of a Christmas tree - "Remembering Jessica: Creating a special angel for the top of our Christmas tree"

 

Our little angel tree topper is simple to make. If you would like to make one for your own Christmas tree, here is how we made ours:

 

You will need:

  • A polystyrene ball
  • Flesh coloured paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Blu tack
  • A cocktail stick
  • Marker pens
  • A paper cup
  • PVA glue
  • White crepe paper or tissue paper
  • White webbed fabric
  • A small paper doily (optional)
  • Hot glue
  • Silver card
  • Paper
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • White craft foam
  • Pink felt or craft foam
  • Cardboard
  • Brown embroidery thread or wool
  • White embroidery thread or wool (optional)
  • A sparkly gold pipe cleaner

 

1) Paint the polystyrene ball with flesh coloured paint. We pushed a cocktail stick into the bottom of the ball and stuck the other end of the stick into some blu tack to hold it upright which made it easier to paint. Leave to dry. Repeat with extra coats as needed.

 

A painted polysyrene ball on top of a cocktail stick stuck in blu tack

 

 

2) Draw a face on the polystyrene ball using marker pens.

 

A painted polystyrene ball with a face drawn on it

 

 

3) Turn a paper cup over so the base is uppermost. Cover in PVA glue and wrap white crepe paper or tissue paper around it. Repeat to add extra layers as needed.

 

An upturned paper cup covered in white crepe paper

 

 

4) Spread another layer of PVA glue on the cup and wrap some white webbed fabric around it. Leave to dry.

 

An upturned paper cup wrapped in white crepe paper and lacy fabric

 

 

5) If your cup has a recessed base like ours did, you may wish to fill it in by gluing scrunched up tissue to the base and then gluing a small paper doily on top.

 

The paper cup with scrunched up white crepe paper on top and a paper doily next to it

 

 

6) Cut two pieces of silver card and glue together with the shiny sides facing outwards. Leave to dry.

 

7) Cut out two arm shapes from white craft foam and two hand shapes from pink felt or craft foam. Glue the hands on to the arms and leave to dry.

 

Arm pieces cut from white craft foam and hands cut from pink felt

 

 

8) Draw the outline of a pair of angel wings on a piece of paper and cut out. Use this template to draw angel wings on to the silver card and cut out.

 

A paper angel wings template and angel wings marked out on a piece of silver card with a pencil and scissor next to them on the table

 

 

9) Glue the polystyrene ball to the cup using hot glue.

 

10) Attach the angel wings to the back of the cup using hot glue. Glue one arm on each side.

 

The paper cup with the polystyrene ball, angel wings and arms glued on

 

 

11) Cut a piece of cardboard approx. 15cm long. Wrap brown embroidery thread around the cardboard. Cut at the top and bottom to create 15cm long strands of embroidery thread.

 

Brown embroidery thread wrapped around a piece of card

 

 

12) Spread glue over the top and back of the polystyrene ball head and stick on the embroidery thread to make the angel’s hair. Trim the ends if needed. You can use the trimmings to create a fringe if required. Leave to dry.

 

The angel with brown embroidery thread hair

 

 

13) Make a halo by twisting a gold pipe cleaner into a circle and leaving a short stem at the back. Glue to the back of the polystyrene ball using hot glue.

 

The angel with a sparkly gold pipe cleaner halo

 

 

14) (Optional) We plaited our angel’s hair and tied it with white embroidery thread bows. Jessica often wore her hair in two plaits.

 

The finished angel with two plaits

 

Your angel is now finished and ready to go on top of your Christmas tree!

 

Christmas will be hard this year without our beautiful angel with us. Having a little model of her looking over us from our Christmas tree is one way for us to help make her a part of our Christmas.

 

Our Jessica angel made from a polystyrene ball and paper cup on top of a Christmas tree

9 thoughts on “Remembering Jessica: creating a special angel for the top of our Christmas tree

  1. What a beautiful Angel Jessica! I have two Angel babies in Heaven, who would be turning 14 next week, and for the last 13 Christmases, I have hung their special baubles on our tree. The baubles are clear glass with a silver Angel inside and they have their names engraved on. They were two of my triplet boys, one of whom survived and is still here with us x Take care and stay strong x

    1. Thank you Tracy. The angel baubles sound beautiful and a lovely way to remember your boys. Happy birthday to all three of your boys for next week and love and hugs to you all x

      1. Thank you and wishing you all the best this Christmas! I am going to have a go at making a Jessica Angel. My youngest daughter is called Jessica x

  2. Such a beautiful angel, just like your little angel. It’s a lovely idea having her watching over you from the Christmas tree x It’s also a lovely craft that I’m sure many will be able to replicate with your detailed instructions. xx

    1. Thank you Anne, I enjoyed making my Jessica angel – doing little things like this will hopefully help make Christmas a little easier x

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