Make a holly jolly Santa Claus for a Merry Christmas!
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! And this vintage Christmas Santa Claus pattern will help you get an early start on decorating. He’s also great for gift giving and for making your season merry!
When my Australian friend Kerryanne English asked if I’d like to be a project contributor to the Christmas issue of her Simply Shabbilicious magazine I jumped at the chance! I first discovered Kerryanne’s wonderful online magazine on Issuu and it led me to her Shabby Art Boutique blog. It’s filled with lovely ideas and projects as she puts the homemade and home-baked back into everyday living!
I share Kerryanne’s love of vintage styling, so I created this project for her magazine with a Victorian era Santa as my inspiration. I’ve collected antique Christmas books and postcards for years, and the wonderful Victorian Santa images are beautiful and timeless.
If you’re here from the Simply Shabbilicious Christmas magazine link, don’t miss the Santa Claus pattern download at the end of this post. And if you haven’t viewed Kerryanne’s Christmas magazine, make sure and check it out for holiday cheer and lots of wonderful ideas for decor and merry making!
Materials list for making Santa Claus
- ¼ yard red felt
- scrap of black or gray felt for mittens
- Foam cone 6 15/16 in x 2 15/16 in (17.6 x 7.5 cm )
- 11 in x 4 in (27.9 cm x 10.2 cm) piece of faux fur
- Ivory or white wool roving for beard
- Oven bake clay (like Sculpey or Fimo)
- Silver tinsel and beads for wreath
- Mini silver ball for hat (1/2 in or 1.3 cm)
- Craft paints for face and brush to apply
- Glue (dries clear)
- Silver or iridescent glitter
- Mini holly trim
- Needle and thread to match the coat
Santa’s finished size is 11.5 in (29.2 cm) tall.
To make Santa’s head, roll a 2 in (5.1 cm) ball of clay in your hands until it’s soft and pliable and form an oval shape. Roll a small ball of clay for a nose and position it in the upper center of the oval. For cheeks, roll 2 small balls of clay and position them on each side of Santa’s nose. Use your fingers or a sculpting tool to smooth the features into his face. They don’t have to be perfect as clay can be sanded lightly after it’s baked and cooled.
Press two 2 in (5.1 cm) pieces of wire (or a floral pushpin) about halfway into the bottom of the head. After the clay bakes this will make it easy to affix Santa’s head onto the cone. Lightly press the head (with wire) onto the cone to form the bottom of the head to fit.
Carefully remove the head with wires and bake according to the clay package directions, with the wires intact as shown. If they loosen you can smooth the clay around them before baking or secure them with glue later.
While the head bakes, cut the coat and hat from the red felt using the pattern at the end of the post. Wrap the felt coat around the cone and affix it with glue along the back edge.
Cut two 3 x 3 in (7.6 x 7.6 cm) squares of felt to make his arms, or use the sleeve pattern. Loosely roll the felt to form an arm and glue along the edge of each sleeve.
To make fur cuffs, glue a ½ in (1.3 cm) strip of fur around the edges of the sleeves. Cut 2 mittens from black felt, spread glue over the surface and fold in half and let dry to make each mitten. Add a little glue to the top edge of each mitten and tuck them up inside the sleeves of Santa’s coat as shown below.
To make the hat, roll the felt into a cone shape and glue along the overlapped edge as shown above. Cut a ½ in (1.3 cm) wide strip of fur and glue around the bottom. Snip off the pointed tip of the hat and glue on a silver ball dusted with glitter. You could also use a little jingle bell. In case your Santa’s head is larger or smaller you can wait until the last step to make the hat and size it to fit.
Tack the finished arms to the coat with a few stitches, about ¼ inch (0.64 cm) from the top of the cone.
Place Santa’s head (baked and cooled) onto the cone and paint his face with acrylic craft paints. Let dry. I like to position his hat on his head before painting his eyes so they’re in the right place.
Wrap a small piece of the wool roving horizontally around Santa’s head from ear to ear and glue into place. This will form his hair and will be tucked under his hat and collar.
Or you can wrap a piece of roving around Santa’s head as shown on the left. Glue the ends to secure. The roving will form the hair under his hat and the beard and mustache will be positioned over the roving later.
Glue a 1 in (2.5 cm) wide strip of the fur around the neck with cut edge in front to form a fur collar.
Form Santa’s beard with roving and glue into place right under his nose and cheeks. Shape a small piece of roving into a mustache and wind a piece of thread around the center of the mustache several times. Tie a knot in the thread and glue the mustache in place over Santa’s beard. The ends of his mustache can be twisted with a tiny bit of thinned glue to help them hold their shape.
Add a bit of glue around the inside edge of hat brim and place it on Santa’s head. Decorate the hat with mini holly leaves snipped from a holly garland and a red bead for the holly berry. If you can’t find mini holly at the craft store, cut holly leaves from green card stock and dust them with glitter.
To make the vintage look wreath, twist or braid silver tinsel or chenille stem pipe cleaners together and form a wreath measuring about 2 1/2 inches (6.2 cm) in diameter. Glue on mini beads in colors of your choice for ornaments and when they’ve dried, glue the wreath into Santa’s mittens.
Another way to decorate Santa’s wreath is to add a glistening, vintage bottlebrush style tree. For the example above, I used a mini green tree that I purchased at the craft store and I bleached it for an antiqued look. For directions on how to make the tree check out my Winter Wonderland Snowman post.
To give your Santa a sparkly finishing touch, dust the wreath, Santa’s coat and hat with touches of silver or clear glitter, using a glue that dries clear.