Making Santas For My Collection

Scandi-claus/St. Nicholas

I love Santas. I collect Santas. ( A certain person I live with thinks I have collected far too many Santas! ) 16 years ago, I purchased these two Santa heads intending to add bodies and beautiful robes! But to date, they are still hanging in the closet not wearing a stitch. Shameful way to treat a Santa. So - here and now I am putting aside my fears and intimidation (or whatever was stopping me) and, even though I have absolutely no clue about what I am doing, I am making sure that by Christmas, my Santas are more than just heads!

The Santa on the left will be created in honor of St. Nicholas and the Santa on the right - Scandi-claus of course! Don't they each look the part? It is only right that I have Santas that represent two very important influences on my own winter holiday celebrations.

Once I got into this project and figured out a very simple way to create a body to which robes could be attached, it occurred to me that this is totally a project easy enough for kids!

Sadly, retailers have ditched Santa and Father Christmas figures in favor of the more universally sale-able snowman; so it may be difficult to find a Santa head. But children can make their own heads using old socks or papier mache. Glue on roving or stuffing fiber for the beard and hair. Button or painted eyes.

Here is a link for Santa heads, hands and  accessories if you are interested. And I do still occasionally see Santa heads in craft stores.

Scandi-claus/St. Nicholas

The body has been a huge stumbling block. I didn't wish to use or - yikes - make a bendable body armature but couldn't think of a simpler substitute until I spied these cardboard cones at a local craft store. Perfect!

Wrapped in a layer of quilt batting and covered in muslin, the cone makes a great "body" form. Clothing can easily be stitched onto the padded cone and the tip of the cone will tuck right into the opening in the head.

The cardboard cones measure 13" tall and 5" across the base. They are available in other sizes.

St. Nicholas/Scandi-claus

So this is how I worked out covering the cone. Easy and simple - nothing complicated.

Using the cone as a "pattern guide", lay it on a piece of muslin near one edge and tape the edge to the cone. Roll the cone until it is completely covered and there is a 1" overlap.

Mark this edge as a cutting line, unwind the muslin, remove it from the cone, fold it so the edge that was taped to the cone is lined up with the cutting line you marked. Fold in half again to make cutting easier, and then cut along the cutting line.

Lay the cone on the muslin and cut the bottom in a slight curve making sure it is about 1 to 2 inches longer than the cone.

St. Nicholas/Scandi-claus

Use the muslin as your pattern to cut the quilt batting. Trim off about an inch at the bottom edgeso the batting is about the same length as the cone.

Cover the cone with a liberal layer of Mod Podge and place the quilt filler layer onto the cone, pressing to ensure it is bonded evenly over the surface of the cone. Let dry.

Once dry, trim any excess at the "seam" line and at the bottom edge.

Scandi-claus/St. Nicholas

Wrap the cone in the muslin as shown. I simply used masking tape to secure the fabric at the "seams" and inside the cone. If you prefer, tack the muslin seam with needle and thread.

Scandi-claus/St. Nicholas

After wrapping the cone, there is just too much fabric at the point. Pull back the muslin, cut off about 1" of the tip of the cone and then, using the pointed end of a pair of scissors, stuff the extra muslin into the opening. Or cut the excess fabric off altogether.

Scandi-claus/St. Nicholas

I figured out a very simple and inexpensive way to stabilize the body! These little 5"x5" wood bases were on a "sale table" and they are the perfect solution. Once the cone is glued to the wood base, Santa will be able to endure anything but a North Pole Gale!

Scandi-claus/St. Nicholas

And so - there we are - phase one done!!! Sitting on my craft shelf - even in their simple attire - St. Nicholas and Scandi-claus look happier already.

I have gathered most of the fabrics for the garments from my stash.

Scandi-claus will be dressed in a simple homespun cream tunic and a red wool cape made from gorgeous red wool leftover from making Dala. I am thinking perhaps some white fur and felted hearts on that wool cape.

And St. Nicholas - a white satin tunic and light blue brocade fabric. Still searching for the perfect brocade.

Wish me luck!  I still have a long way to go and no road map!

The arms could be smaller

The arms could be smaller cones perhaps made of cardstock..... I know what I will be making this Christmas as I saved all my yarn cones..... Thanks so much....

I hope you will share

I hope you will share pictures!!

Great idea to use a cone for

Great idea to use a cone for the body! I let many projects sit until I work it all out in my head. I used to jump right in but then realized how much waste I had when a project didn't quite work out right. Now I mentally craft things to make sure my idea(s) will work.

lol!  Crafting in my head is

lol!  Crafting in my head is what I do in the wee hours of the night when I can not sleep!

woowww good for you that you

woowww good for you that you have found the courage of those beautiful heads to make a body for, and such a smart way of how you make the body.
I'm impressed, however i'm mostly impressed of you.LOL
Funny that you use the left head for sinterklaas, i had choosen the right for him.LOL
but that's a mater of taste.LOL
Sinterklaas isn't a vet old man, but perhaps he will grow in the width as well now a days.LOL
in my old days he was just an old thin one.LOL
hey it looks like they will be finished in the end , good for you!!!

I chose the santa on the left

I chose the santa on the left for Sinterklass because he resembles the beautiful illustration in my childhood copy of Hans Brinker or the Silver Skates.  But you are right - most images these days Sinterklaas is wearing deep red and looks like the doll on the right.

I am reliving my childhood here - so Sinterklaas will be wearing white, blue and silver/gold. :-)

Looks great!! Yay for

Looks great!! Yay for finishing long put-off projects!! :)

What a great way to start the

What a great way to start the bodies... sometimes you just need to let a project sit, even if it's for 16 years, before the perfect way to do it comes to you. So don't feel guilty about letting them live in the closet. : )

Can't wait to see the next steps. They will be amazing I'm sure.

You know when I first daw those cones I thought they came from the yarn store. (You know the cones they put weaving yarn onto.)

Good Luck moving forward with this my friend!

Funny you should see it this

Funny you should see it this way - the perfect solution ariving after letting the project sit!  I was kinda seeing it that way too.

The cardboard cones are much lighter weight than the ones found at yarn stores but I imagine the heavier cones would work well also.

"project easy enough for

"project easy enough for kids" makes it perfect for me! glad that you are getting those naked Santas covered! :-)

The cone is a great idea for

The cone is a great idea for a body. You're on your way now Pam! Yay for bodies!

So far so good!  Got to

So far so good!  Got to figure out the arms next!