Make a Junk Angel with Vintage Hardware
[UPDATED: June 14, 2021]
Hi there! Today I’m sharing one of my favorite projects EVER: how to make a junk angel with vintage hardware.
I collect vintage-y bits and bobs regularly and sort them by “heads,” “bodies,” “wings,” “skirts,” etc. Then when I’m ready to create a new angel, have all the parts necessary to choose from.
You are going to love creating these charming angels, whether you decorate your own garden with them or sell them, as I do. In fact, the angel you’ll be reading about today sold on Etsy in 2019 for $89.99(!).
UPDATE: I’m thrilled to tell you that Country Sampler Farmhouse Style Magazine featured this project on page 102 of their Summer 2021 edition!
I’ve named my junk angel Sheila, and she’s perfect for a fall garden–all rusty and crusty.
Materials for Making a Junk Angel
Here are the vintage pieces of hardware and other worn and rusted thing-a-ma-bobs that I collected to make Sheila:
- Part of a chair leg, spindle, or dowel (for the base–the narrow end makes it perfect for driving into the ground)
- Faucet handle or other round piece of junk (for the face)
- Large hinge (for the wings)
- Wrenches (for the arms)
- Ornate Victorian hinge (for the breastplate)
- Iron rest (for the skirt)
Not shown is a second piece of a chair leg, which I connected to the piece shown above to add needed length to the project.
Other necessary materials:
- Rubber mallet
How to Make the Junk Angel’s Head
To attach the faucet handle and thereby create Sheila’s “face,” I drilled a pilot hole (toward the top of the chair leg) to make it easier to screw the faucet handle in place.
Because the opening in the center of the handle was so large, I used a washer to hold the screw in place. Later I painted the washer and screw brown to match the rusty color of the handle.
When making junk angels, you’ll often find that you have to fix things or make-do with things in creative and inventive ways, often using another piece of junk, LOL.
How to Make the Garden Angel’s Wings
The holes in the hinge were placed perfectly to allow me to screw it onto the back of the leg, creating Sheila’s wings. I marked the screw locations with a pencil, drilled pilot holes, and then screwed it in place.
The iron rest had three 1″ legs on each corner. Where the top leg touched the chair leg I drilled a hole to accommodate it. Using a rubber mallet, I pounded the leg into the hole. This is what held the iron rest in place.
It is extremely secure and makes a lovely “skirt.” Don’t you think? I could also have inserted a screw through the bottom hole, but it really wasn’t necessary.
How to Attach the Breastplate
To attach the ornate hinge and create a sort of “breastplate,” I first inserted a screw through the hole at the top, and then secured it at the bottom (to the iron rest) with a piece of rust-colored wire.
How to Make the Angel’s Arms
Next, I used more of the same wire to attach the two wrenches to create her arms.
How to Connect the Two Chair Leg Pieces
One of the legs had a double-ended screw (or pole joiner), making it easy to connect the two pieces. I simply drilled a hole in the bottom of the other leg and then screwed them together. You can easily find a double-ended screw at a hardware store.
The addition of the second leg allows Sheila to be inserted into your garden. She would be a bit top-heavy if she couldn’t be sunk fairly deeply into the ground.
The Completed Junk Angel Project
I tucked her into one of my planters on our back deck.
And then moved her to the front yard near some greenery and a bird bath. Really, I think she’d look pretty good just about anywhere.
UPDATE: My charming junk angel sold on Etsy in 2019 for a pretty spectacular $89.99!
Junk Angel #2
Since writing this post originally back in 2018 I’ve made several more angels. I thought I’d share another one with you.
Here are the supplies I selected for this one.
Meet Stella! She’s blessed with the most marvelous, antique metal wings you ever did see. She looks like she’s ready to fly away, doesn’t she?
I picked up the heavy metal base recently at an antique shop for the express purpose of holding a junk angel. What excitement to discover that the long darner-looking thingy slid inside perfectly.
I plan to bring her to my antique booth (she’s not a solidly built as angel #1 so I’d rather not ship her) and price her at $40-45. I’ll let you know how she does.
Junk Angel #3
This rustic gal sold for $59.99 in the spring of 2021 after the buyer read this post. She contacted me wondering if I had any in stock. I had just finished this one and she loved it!
At the moment (September 2021) I’m in the process of creating a fourth angel for another customer. They’re kind of addictive to make, and who doesn’t LOVE buying the bits and bobs you need to put one together??
I’m smitten with this junk angel masterfully created by my online friend, JoAnn. And I love the halo!!
Please be sure to check out my Thrifty Chick friends’
vintage hardware posts below. I know you’re going to love them!
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She’s adorable, Diana! Good job!
Thank you Rita!
Oh my goodness…I love her!
She’s pretty lovable, isn’t she, Tania 🙂 Glad you like her!
Sheila is fabulous and so creative, Diana! Love how you married all these junk finds to make her. Would love an adorable junk angel like Sheila in my garden. Pinned to my Outdoor Garden Decor board 🙂
Aww, thanks Marie–so sweet of you to say 🙂 Thanks for the pin!
My goodness, Diana, your angel is truly impressive! You are so talented and creative.
Thank you Janice–you put a big smile on my face with your lovely compliment 🙂
I love love love everything about Sheila, and I definitely need a junk angel like her in my garden.
She’s definitely up your alley, Tuula, but yours will have to hold a bouquet of colorful flowers, or maybe her “dress” could be painted pink?!!
Sheila is as beautiful as junk can be! Love the conglomeration you came up with. She’s perfect watching over your garden:)
Aww, thanks Lora–so glad you enjoyed her 🙂
I love the little angel, and she will bless your garden!!!
Thank you Rose–so sweet of you to say 🙂
I love her, Diana! She’s perfectly perfect and so wonderfully junky! How much would you ask for her if you were going to sell her? I wouldn’t want to sell her if I’d created her.
Aww, thanks for your kind comments, Naomi 🙂 I hadn’t really thought about selling her, but I guess I’d price her at about $35-40.
Sheila is so darling. I love your sweet little garden girl.
I’m so glad, Deborah!
I just love EVERYTHING about Sheila!!
Yay! That makes me so happy Anna–thanks for letting me know 🙂
Your junk angel is heavenly. You are one very creative, talented lady.
Aww, thanks so much Janice for the lovely compliment–it means so much!
Oh my goodness she is so cool. I want one!!!! Pinning this for future reference.
So happy to join the challenge with you!
Have a great weekend!
So glad you liked it, Amber, and thanks for the pin!
Very creative! I love an angel in the garden.
Thanks AnnMarie–I think that’s where she’ll be happiest 😉
Seeing your sweet junk angel, just makes me want to sing: “Junk Angel, Junk Angel, will you be mine? My darling dear, love you all the time I’m just a fool, a fool in love with you” (sung to the tune of Earth Angel by The Penguins)
Ha ha–you made me smile with your junk angel song–thanks for sharing it with us 🙂
She’s darling, Diana! Thanks for sharing at Vintage Charm–pinned!
Thanks Cecilia, and your welcome 🙂
Wow! And you can buy a lot more junk for $89.99! The only thing I would have done differently is use the faucet handle on the back of her “head” for a halo! Wonder can’t wait to see the new one!
Ha ha, you’re right Kathy, I can! Since you wrote your comment, I’ve added a photo of a new junk angel that you might like to see 🙂 I’ve struggled to figure out how to attach a halo securely to my angels, so they are halo-less, unfortunately 🙁
I love your junk angels. I have made some pretty Christmas tress ornament ones with the porcelain heads/hands and wings but never a junk one–yet!
I Got inspired by your first angel and dug around my yard and made a similar one but added a halo. I don’t see where I can add her picture to show you.
I’d love to see her JoAnn! You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org