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Doorknob angels need a spot to “live,” for instance, on your closet door


All Photos Courtesy of Judy Schweitzer

Doorknob Angels – a Fun Craft, A Fun Gift or Decoration

I received my first doorknob angel a few years ago in a Christmas package sent to me by my sister. She also sent one for my partner. Each was crafted to represent our Guardian Angel, which was to resemble us. We immediately put them on our walk-in closet doorknobs and there they’ve been, only occasionally removed for a light dusting.

Here’s a shot of my Doorknob Angel on my closet door.


Doorknob angels aren’t an expensive project, because they begin with the lowly paper bag. Many requirements for making them you may already have around the house and what you don’t have isn’t expensive and can be kept and used for other crafts.

The body of a Doorknob Angel is made with two layers cut out of the paper bag, with polyfil stuffed between the two layers to give it a slightly three-dimensional look. You will need two colors of small print cloth, skin colored cloth for hands, legs and face to match the person receiving the angel, raffia paper for wings, yarn for hair and three buttons; one for the neckline of the dress and two for the shoes. The exact measurements you will find below along with templates for the angels.

The Doorknob Angel shown at the top of this page belongs to my partner. Mine was diplomatically made with yellow hair, since I’m gray! I’ve always loved these angels, and wanted to make them. So I deconstructed one to figure out if I could make it…and yes, I can! And so can you, to give as gifts, or to keep for yourself as decorations.

But I warn you, if you plan to give them as gifts, better make several, because once word gets around, everybody you know will want one!

Supplies You Will Need

If you love to craft you probably already have some of the required items below. Just check them off the list.

  • Large Paper Bag or a Roll of Paper-bag-type Paper (if you are making many)
  • Pinking Shears and Regular scissors
  • Various Bright Printed Fat Quarters of Fabric, contrasting color (Small print looks best)
  • Pale pink, white, light tan or brown fabric (for face and hands)
  • Small amount of brown, black or other color fabric for shoes. Hint: If the person you are making this for has a favorite color, use a lot of that, even for shoes.
  • Two Small Buttons (one for each shoe) of desired shape and color
  • One Large Button(for neck of dress) of desired shape and color
  • Yarn Snippets of Black, Brown, Yellow or White or any color she is wearing (for the Angel’s Hair)
  • Small amount of Polyfil
  • One-8-inch length of twine or string for each angel, for hanger.
  • Wide Cream or Contrasting Colored Raffia or Pulled Crepe Paper (for Angel Wings)
  • White glue like Elmers or any other white craft glue
  • Embroidery Ink for mouth, eyes, eyebrows and lines on legs and arms.
  • Hot glue gun
  • Glue sticks
  • Liquid Embroidery Pens

Doorknob Angels Template


Template for the body of the doorknob angel.

Instructions for Body Template ONLY

  1. Print the templates out on white heavy paper, enlarging them to the size desired. Mine are 7 & 1/2″ L, 4 & 1/4″ W, and wings are 6″ W after assembled. NOTE: You could make the angels smaller for tree ornaments, larger for hanging decorations, or my size for doorknobs.
  2. Lay out brown paper and lay base templates on the paper. Holding the template down firmly on the paper and using pinking shears,  cut SLIGHTLY outside body template edges with pinking shears. Make two of these. When glued these will form the body of the door knob angel.
  3. Trace a thin line of white glue around the upper edges of one of the brown paper base bodies.
  4. Place a small amount of flattened polyfil on the piece, into the head and body, keeping it as flat as possible, yet giving it a slightly rounded look. Do NOT overfill.
  5. Put a thin line of glue around the matching piece of base brown paper body, and put the two pieces together, keeping the polyfil inside where you placed it. Match the edges as closely as possible.
  6. Press firmly all around the pinked edges and allow to dry thoroughly, about 30 minutes. You’ve just finished the base form for your Doorknob Angel.

Let’s Get Her Dressed and Winged

Now comes the fun part. You’re going to dress your angel, give her wings and give her a personality! The remainder of the pieces will be cut with regular scissors. Cut fabric true to the line for the dress, head, hands on the fabric template.

To Assemble:

  1. Cut out fabric with regular scissors, taking care to note how many for each. You will need 1 for the head, (back of head will be covered by yarn) 1 dress, 2 hands, 1 heart, 2 legs, 2 shoes.
  2. Glue ONLY the top of the dress in place since you will need to place her legs under the edge of the dress.
  3. Use embroidery pen to draw sleeve line as shown on the color example.
  4. Glue the head into the curve of the neck of the dress.
  5. Glue on hands as shown in the example.
  6. Glue the heart to the middle of the dress.
  7. Glue legs in appropriate spot, mark with pen to show delineation.
  8. Glue down remainder of dress over legs.
  9. Glue fabric Shoes on bottom of legs.
  10. Allow angel to dry for 2 hours.
  11. Using a glue gun, glue the buttons on shoes, and one at top of dress.
  12. Glue loops or strips of yarn to the head to make hair. Use colors of your choice, but remember that making hair color close to the color of the person receiving the angel is always a nice touch.
  13. Use embroidery pens, gel pens or fine line markers to draw a smiley mouth and eyes on the face. No great artwork needed here, unless you’re really good at that!

Make The Wings and Hanger

Your Doorknob Angel is almost complete. All that’s left to do are the wings and the hanger. Just use the raffia or twisted crepe paper to make a bow and tie tightly with 8″ length of twine, keeping the knot behind the angel’s back and leaving a loop at the top for hanging. Then using your fingers, gently pull and stretch the raffia or paper bow into a wing shape. With the glue gun, glue the 8″ length of twine or string along with the bow you’ve just made to the back of the completed figure. Press down firmly for a few moments and allow to dry completely before hanging. That’s it! You can tie these to a gift package, you can hang them on your tree, you can hang them as decorations, you can hang them on a door knob (after all, they ARE called Doorknob Angels!)

Just about finished with two exceptions, wings and hanger. Here’s how they should look on the back.

back view of the doorknob angels, showing how wings are attached.

Here’s where to find the things you might not have.

If you’re like me, you already have yarn, buttons and maybe even a few paper bags in the house. For that matter if you are an inveterate crafter, you may have glue, hot glue, polyfil, fabric and pinking shears. One thing I didn’t have was the liquid embroidery. If you don’t you probably can use other marking products like those at the bottom of this page. Maybe a gel pen would work for the little that’s needed. But if you plan to make a lot of these angels, you might consider getting some of the kits shown. First, put together whatever you already have, and then order what you still need. Of course, be sure and allow enough material for the amount you plan to make. These little angels will go fast if you’re giving them. I like to tie one onto a gift package as a decoration that can be used on the doorknob after the holidays.

Pinking Shears For Cutting Brown Paper. Soft Grip Pinking Shears I Recommend – They Save Your Hands a Lot Of Blisters

Fiskars soft-grip pinking shears and scissors are the absolute best and I can’t praise them enough. It used to be that any time I needed to do some extensive cutting or cutting something a bit heavy, I got blisters on my thumb where the scissors rested. Not any more, because now I use these Soft Grip ones, and it stops that painful rubbing and blistering effect you get with other scissors and shears. So they come highly recommended from this author.

Fiskars 8″ Softgrip Pinking Scissors,Orange,9.5″ long

Fiskars 01-004761J Softgrip Scissors Straight Stainless Steel, 8 Inch

For making a big quantity of Doorknob Angels, try any of these for the lines you need to draw for her face, hands, arms and legs.