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Homemade Christmas Ornaments: Magnolia Pod Angel

Submitted by Ingrid of California

Magnolia pod angel

A friend gave me a bag of magnolia pods because she knows I enjoy working with natural materials. I thought their shape seemed right for an angel ornament. I've listed the supplies and methods I used but encourage anyone who is inspired to craft, to explore their own whims and ideas and see where it takes them. The results will surprise and delight!


magnolia tree pods - if they have stems, leave attached for now
paints - ivory, metallic gold, and glitter paint (I used Delta Ceramcoat acrylic paints and Delta Twinkles glitter paint)
sheer ribbon for wings - I used 3 + 1/2 inch, wired
chenille stems - gold, metallic look for arms and halo
wooden bead - with hole, choose bead size depending on size of pod
narrow ribbon - for neck bow
cording - thin, for ornament hanger
permanent felt-tip marker ~ dark brown color, fine point
paint brushes - assorted sizes for painting and one for cleaning the pods
hacksaw - small size (chain saws need not apply)
glue gun


If the pod has a stem still attached, it will serve as a handle and make painting so much easier. Be sure to use pods that are completely dry. Brush away any dirt, debris, or natural fuzz you may find. (I use an old paint brush to clean them up.)

1. Paint! Paint pod with base color and let dry. I chose to give them a brushed-on look rather than a solid coat. You could use spray paint if you prefer. Then brush on the glitter paint. I glittered the front of the ornament only. Paint the head bead also (I used ivory).

2. Cut! Use hacksaw to remove stem and a small edge of the pod top...just enough to create a flat space on which to mount the head bead. I clamped the stem in a workbench vise to hold it securely while I used the saw. That might not be necessary but I was cutting 50 of them at the time so it made the process easier.

3. Glue! Hot glue the bead (hole side down) to the top of the painted pod. Don’t worry about glue showing. It will be covered up.

4. Wings! Cut piece of wide ribbon, twice the length of the wing span you'd like plus a half inch. Put a line of glue on the edges to attach them, forming a loop. Pinch the loop in the middle to form a wing shape and hot glue into position behind the head bead.

5. Arms! Cut two pieces of gold stem for arms. Coil one end of each or just create a simple bend in the stem to form hands. Hot glue the straight end of each stem along side the bottom of the bead to create extending arms.

6. Bow! Create a bow from the small width ribbon and glue to lower front of head bead.

7. Halo! Form a loop with the gold stem to make a halo and cut it with a tail about as long as the bead. Cut cord for hanger and glue ends of cord with just a drop of glue to the halo tail. Squeeze a bit of hot glue directly into the exposed hole of the bead. Insert halo stem with attached cord into the bead and adjust angle of halo over the head.

8. Eyes! Use permanent marker to add facial features (liner brush and paint works too)....eyes, mouth, etc. I chose two arcs to resemble closed lids. If you turn the ornament upside down, you will have much more control over the painting or drawing of the features and they will appear more evenly aligned.

Hang the ornament (right-side up of course) and enjoy the compliments.

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