3D Lace Angel Tree Topper

3D Lace Angel Tree Topper



Add elegance and grace to tree tops and tables with a freestanding lace angel.

A sturdy cone base means that this angel will be comfortable on the highest bough of your Christmas tree, or as the centerpiece to a seasonal display.

Read below for instructions!

Supplies Needed:

Water-soluble stabilizer (we
   prefer Sulky Ultra Solvy)

40 weight rayon embroidery
   thread and 30 weight cotton
   sewing thread

**Paper towels

**Fabric glue

**Spray starch (we used non-
   aerosol pump spray starch)

**Heat set crystals and heat
   tool (optional)

**Feathers (optional)

Designs used:
3D Lace Angel Tree Topper.  

Special Project Notes:

You can use either 40 weight rayon thread or 30 � 35 weight cotton thread. 

I use Coats and Clark 30 and 35 weight cotton thread. It's labeled as Mercerized ELS Cotton for Machine Quilting & Crafts; Machine Quilting; or All Purpose. I find Coats and Clark cotton thread at JoAnn's. I've also used Madeira Cotona, which is a 30 weight cotton thread.

I use the 30 - 35 weight cotton thread both in the bobbin (I wind my own bobbins) and in the top (needle).

A note about water-soluble stabilizers and needles:

There are many, many different brands of water-soluble stabilizer available. Some are thin and light, some are fibrous, and some are thick and heavy. It can be confusing to pick the right one for your lace project.

We've digitized and stitched thousands of freestanding lace designs, and have consistently excellent results with Sulky Ultra Solvy (the heavy weight water-soluble stabilizer by Sulky) and Vilene, a fibrous water-soluble stabilizer. We order Vilene from www.pointetopointe.com.

Use a sharp needle (as opposed to an embroidery needle) when embroidering onto water-soluble stabilizer - especially if using the "plastic-looking" kind (such as Sulky Ultra Solvy). An embroidery needle has a larger point, which makes larger holes in the water-soluble stabilizer, leading to tearing and misalignment.

Finished size:
Large size: 5.5 inches wide by 7.25 inches high
Small Size: 3.75 inches wide by 4.75 inches high


To embroider the lace, hoop one piece of water-soluble stabilizer (WSS). We used Sulky Ultra Solvy.

Because freestanding lace is double-sided, the bobbin thread should match the top thread. Wind a bobbin with the same thread that you'll be using in the needle. We are embroidering this example with 30 weight cotton sewing thread. This type of thread makes the lace sturdier than rayon embroidery thread and gives it a hearty look and feel. 40 weight rayon embroidery thread also works well, however, the finished lace may need a bit more starch to help hold up the finished angel.


The angel is made up of five pieces. Each piece is labeled "a" through "e". 

Embroider all of the pieces at once. We used a number 11 sharp sewing needle when embroidering free standing lace.


After finishing each design, unhoop the WSS and cut away the excess. Trim as close to the embroidery as possible without cutting any of the stitches.


After all five pieces have sewn...


...soak the designs in hot water from the tap. If using Sulky Ultra Solvy, soak for 15 minutes.


After soaking, blot the lace with paper towels. Then, allow the lace to dry completely.


Now we are ready to assemble the angel! 

Lay the wings (designs "a" and "b") right side up and align the inner tabs together as shown.  The inner edges of the tabs should line up against one another - do not over lap the tabs.


Zigzag stitch the wings together by sewing along the inner sides of the tabs.


Lay the body section (design "c") in on top of the tabs of the wings with the top of the halo aligned with the top of the wings. Align the bottom tab of the body with the tabs of the wings. Pin in place.


Zigzag stitch the body in place by sewing from the center bottom of the tab up to the bottom of the hands.


Lay the dress sections (designs "d" and "e") right side up and align the straight edges together as shown.


Zigzag stitch the pieces together.


Fold the pieces together, right sides facing, and align the remaining straight edges. Zigzag stitch along the straight edges.


Turn the dress right side out.


Lay the assembled wing/body section with the wrong side up and add fabric glue along the tabs.


Insert the wing/body section inside the opening at the top of the dress and...


...lay the angel on its side and press the tab in place inside the dress until the glue holds.


Allow the glue to dry completely. Then, to give the angel more support, spray the lace with heavy starch. Be sure to completely saturate the lace.


While the lace is still wet, you can mold it with your hands.  We molded the wings to have a slight curve which gives the lace dimension. 

Allow the lace to dry completely.


You can add embellishments like feathers and heat set crystals to give the angel sparkle and shine!


Click here for a printable version of these project instructions.

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