Primitive Junk Angel

Primitive, Folk Art, Americana Angel made with recycled materials

If you read Monday’s diy on the driftwood tree, you may remember I said I would be back to show you what finally became of the last birthday present I received from my son Keith. Did you guess angel?

Mind you, my birthday was in August, so it has taken quite a while to figure out what to do with these shiny metal wire thingys.

If this is the first time you’re joining me, here is a quick summary… for my birthday, my son, Keith, bought me 5 objects that he thought I could  upcycle or repurpose.  The other objects became a driftwood tree, lantern, lamp, tiered server and bucket. These metal things were the final present. I was a little stuck, but I’ve finally pushed them off my to do list. At the end of this post, you can check out all my birthday presents.

Primitive, Folk Art, Americana Angel made with recycled materials

Last week, when I shared my shutter lantern with you,  I asked for any ideas about what these strange metal pieces could be repurposed into.  At the time I was thinking that I only had one. It wasn’t until my son, Keith, visited and he told me that he had actually given me two did I realize I actually had a pair.

It really wasn’t quite that easy. I was convinced, his wife was convinced, my husband was convinced that there was only 1.  It wasn’t until he went into the basement and found the other one that we had to concede that he was right.  OK, now I had to figure out what to do with 2.

You guys are a creative bunch. While Lisa did not know what to make out of it, she suggested that it was part of a bathroom shelf. Mare had a few ideas for me, I liked a photo holder the best. Nadine thought it would make a great base for a mobile or a wind chime. Darla was thinking jewelry organizer. I was actually thinking a suet holder and Trish thought it could be an art piece. (I guess you could call an angel an art piece)

I asked Keith, since he had given them to me, if he had any ideas.  He thought that if you held them together they would make a cool light.

I still wasn’t feeling it until someone held them up together, like the picture above.  My husband said butterfly wings, I said angel wings and since it was my project, I made an angel.

Primitive, Folk Art, Americana Angel made with recycled materials

 With a dremel I cut down the metal shelving so it would sit a bit flatter.  Sorry about the blurry pictures, it’s kind of hard to take a picture with one hand while  the other hand holds the dremel and sparks are flying.

Primitive, Folk Art, Americana Angel made with recycled materials

Primitive, Folk Art, Americana Angel made with recycled materials

With junk I found in my rusty parts box, I began to lay out my angel.

Primitive, Folk Art, Americana Angel made with recycled materials

Cedar fencing was added for the wings and the body.  Dowels were cut for the arms and legs.

Used a tabletop scroll saw to shape the dress and the edges of the wings.

Primitive, Folk Art, Americana Angel made with recycled materials

Strips of newspaper were modpodged onto the wings to give a little pattern and color without being too noticeable. I did strips of paper so you couldn’t actually read an article.  I thought an article on sports or politics or Brad Pitt would be kind of distracting.

Primitive, Folk Art, Americana Angel made with recycled materials

Painted her body arms and legs then sanded them down for an aged look.

Any wood that was painted was given a layer of tinted wax.

Primitive, Folk Art, Americana Angel made with recycled materials

Drilled tiny holes for the hair (springs), inserted a dab of glue then stuck in the hair.

Attached a base plate from a doorknob.

Cut out a heart shape, painted, sanded then glued it into place.

Head was nailed and glued into place along with her halo.

Arms were nailed on with finishing nails and legs were attached with a twisted piece of wire.

Primitive, Folk Art, Americana Angel made with recycled materials

I didn’t think the shiny metal of the wire would go well with a Primitive angel so I sanded them down a bit and then soaked them in a vinegar bath for a while. They started to rust up a bit, but not nearly fast enough for my liking so I ended up just spraying them with spray paint and coating with a layer of cinnamon while the paint was still wet. Now she looks rusty and smells good too. 

After the wire was dry the wire wings were glued into place with gorilla glue.

The wings were attached to the angel with a strip of wood across the back.

Primitive, Folk Art, Americana Angel made with recycled materials

Primitive, Folk Art, Americana Angel made with recycled materials

Primitive, Folk Art, Americana Angel made with recycled materials

Recycled tin, angel, shutters, driftwood tree and server

Since this was the last of the gifts my son gave me for my birthday, I thought I’d do a little recap.  Above you will see all the wonderful crap, beautiful items he thought I could do something with.

Recycled tin, angel, shutters, driftwood tree and server

And here are all the fun things they turned into. So what do I have to say to Keith…thank you so much for the thoughtful birthday presents and I can’t wait for my next birthday.  Bring it on!

Junk Jewelry Holder


Almost forgot…as for what happened to the rest of the wings…they do happen to make a great jewelry holder. Thank you Darla.

Shared at Think and Make Thursday, Handmade Hangout Party, Catch as Catch Can, Link Party Palooza,

Funky Junk Party Junk, DIY Sunday Showcase, Silver Pennies Sundays, Amaze me Monday, Thrifty Decor Chick,

Metamorphosis Monday, Show and Share, Inspire me Tuesday, Trash 2 Treasure,

Wow us Wednesdays, Vintage Inspiration Party, Treasure Hunt Thursday,

Friday Favorites, Be Inspired Tuesday,  Wake up Wednesday, and Creativity Unleashed

I was featured at



  • Cheryl says:

    She is so adorable!! I think you should sell it to me lol. What a great job!! Love her!!

    • Joan says:

      Thanks Cheryl, you always have the nicest comments. Didn’t I inspire you to make one for yourself?

      • Cheryl says:

        You most certainly did inspire me. I am already looking for the parts, lol. Love all your projects that you make. You have such a wonderful imagination and creativity. Thanks for sharing with us!

  • Christina says:

    Joan, this Angel is absolutely Divine. 🙂 Sincerely wonderful!! Thank you for the details on how you made her. I am in awe!!!

  • Cecilia says:

    I love it! And I love your son’s creative thinking for your present. What fun!

  • What a fabulous repurpose – I adore your junk angel! I love the way your mind works Joan!

  • Pinned. Love seeing your creations.

  • Alice hanson says:

    She is so adorable ! Love her and your creative genius !
    Smiles, alice

  • Gail says:

    Continue to be amazed with your creative abilities. Are we exchanging gifts for memorial day?

  • Keith says:

    I knew you could do it! You passed the test! Did you ever think you would get those 6 pictures above out of all that crap? I’ll just have to find more challenging stuff for your next birthday…….

  • Tania says:

    Oh my goodness I love this little angel, she’s so sweet! I also thought it was so sweet the presents your son got you… it’s obvious he understands you and supports your love of junk! How nice :o)


  • Rose L. says:

    I Love it!!!!

  • Diane Weeks says:

    I love her! I used to sew primitive angels and dolls and sell them wholesale. Too much work now. I’ve changed my décor since, but still have a love for the primitive stuff…and still have some. Visiting from Silver Pennies. I saw some of your other creations and you are quite talented! Have a great week! Diane

    • Joan says:

      Love Primitive Angels but I find doing things in wood takes a lot less time than sewing. I don’t have the patience to make all my seams perfect and my patterns match. I admire those who can (my mom was one of those with the perfect seams)

  • Jenna says:

    Very fabulous!

  • Christine says:

    That is absolutely adorable…love it!!

  • Lisa says:

    You definitely rose to the challenge on this one. All those disparate parts look like they were destined to be together. I love it!

  • So cool that your son “gets you”. Sweet gifts and the primitive angel is adorable and so fun!

  • Betsy says:

    I love what you did with those thingies! Your angel is so sweet and so creative. Thank you so much for sharing at Vintage Inspiration Party.

  • Diane Carol says:

    Simply gorgeous! I too love to up-cycle and create…..this is a stunning job!!! Thank you so much for sharing, AND giving me a great idea for suggesting my kids do the same for me! Give me a thrift store find, and I’m a happy gal!

  • Marigene says:

    The angel is awesome! So is your creativity.

  • Cindy says:

    Wow! So clever…love your angel!
    Thanks so much for sharing at AMAZE ME MONDAY!

  • Linda Greiss says:

    I love your angel! What are her dimensions?

    • Joan says:

      The main body piece is 5″x 11″.. Legs are 4 1/4″.. Wings are 4 1/2 x 5″. Head is about 2 3/4″. Overall, about 19″ x 15″ (which doesn’t include the metal thingies sticking out on the wings. I hope this helps.

  • Cynthia Johnson says:

    I love her~ Your are one lucky woman to have a son like you do~ xo

  • Sharon @ Elizabeth & Co. says:

    Your angel is just darling and I love her story! Featured you at Be Inspired this morning. Thanks so much for sharing!

    • Joan says:

      Thanks so much Sharon, just got back from joining your party again. I was inspired by that deck you featured.

  • OH my this is cute!!! I love primitive things, and you did a great job with this angel!

    Navy Wifey Peters @ The Submarine Sunday Link Party