Tabletop Angel

Combine unfinished wood turnings, papier-mache, and paint -- and behold the delightful transformation to shabby-chic angel.

What You Need:

Tabletop Angel A rustic cherub creates a divine
table centerpiece or sideboard

  • 2 woodturnings, one each measuring about 4-1/2-inches x 9-1/4-inches and 3-3/4-inches x 5-1/2-inches
  • Wood glue
  • Hammer and nails; drill
  • 2 wood shapes for wings
  • Celluclay instant papier-mache
  • Waxed paper
  • Dust mask
  • Resealable plastic bag
  • Aluminum foil
  • Crafts glue
  • Spackle
  • Gesso
  • Paintbrush and foam brush
  • Weathered rust paint
  • Crackle medium
  • Acrylic paint: several shades of ivory and dusty rose
  • Water-base satin finish
  • 2 chandelier crystals, about 2-1/2-inches long
  • Fine-gauge copper wire


1. Use wood glue to glue the bottom of the small wood turning to the top of the large wood turning. Nail the turnings together; sink the nails. Drill small holes in the wood wing shapes to hang the crystals. To attach the wings, drill holes in the base of the shapes to accommodate nails. Nail the wings to opposite sides of the small wood turning.

2. Line the work area with waxed paper. For safety, wear a dust mask to avoid breathing papier-mache dust. Mix a quarter of the package of the instant papier-mache with water, following the manufacturer's instructions. Keep unused papier-mache mixture in a resealable plastic bag while you work, and refrigerate the mixture in the bag for future use.

3. For the head, crumple a piece of aluminum foil into a 2-inch to 2-1/2-inch-diameter ball around the top of the small woodturning. Moisten your fingers with water and apply a thin, even coat of the papier-mache mixture to the ball. Allow the mixture to dry. Glue the head to the wood turning. Add more of the papier-mache mixture to build up the head. Pinch the mixture between your fingers for the nose at the center of the face. Use your fingertips to slightly indent oval areas for the eyes and mouth. Let the head dry completely. Drill a tiny hole in the back of the head for the halo.

4. Spackle and fill the nail holes. To create texture, use the paintbrush to apply a haphazard coat of gesso on the wood turnings. Apply a light coat of gesso to the wings and head. Let the gesso dry completely.

5. Paint all surfaces of the angel with the weathered rust paint. When the paint is completely dry, apply an even layer of crackle medium and let dry, following the manufacturer's instructions. Paint all crackle medium surfaces ivory, using the shades randomly. When the paint is dry, apply a coat of satin finish to all surfaces.

6. Use wire to attach the chandelier crystals to the predrilled holes in the wings. For the halo, shape the copper wire into a circle about 2-1/2 inches in diameter, wrapping the wire around about four times. Wrap the circles of wire together by twisting the wire around the circle. To attach the halo, cut an 8-inch length of wire. Secure the wire to the halo with the center of the wire at the center back of the halo and twist together the wire ends. Trim the wire to the desired length and glue the ends in the predrilled hole at the back of the head. Lightly blush the angel's cheeks with dusty rose paint.