Make a Rustic Santa Craft

Updated on March 4, 2020
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Loraine enjoys making crafts and sharing the projects she’s developed. Her crafts include pictured, step-by-step tutorials and templates.

Rustic Old World Santa Craft

This Santa craft is meant for any rustic Christmas lovers who would like to make a Santa to include in their Christmas decorations.The most difficult part of this project is bending and snipping the wire coat hangers. Once that is done, the remainder steps of making a rustic Santa are really quite easy.

The body of Santa is made using the wire coat hangers to form the body, and then covering it with paper mache. Although this takes a few days to finish, because you have to wait for the paper mache to dry, the time is well worth it. After painting the face, mittens and shoes, Santa is dressed in burlap trousers and a hooded coat.

When completed, you have created a handmade, unique rustic Santa. While you are at it, make two. This is an outstanding gift to give to a Santa collector.

Supplies Needed:

Two wire coat hangers
2 ” Styrofoam ball
Board scrap (mine was a 1”x4”x5”)
Paper mache paste

Prepare the Wire Hangers

Bend the wire coat hangers to form arms and legs. Bend the folded ends of one hanger to form Santa’s feet. Straighten the curved hanger part of the body wire. From the second bent wire hanger, remove the curved hanger part of the hanger.

Form the Santa Armature

Cut the hanger just above the bent end to form the arms. Shape the shoulders and elbows. Wire the two “neck” pieces of the hangers together and push the Styrofoam ball over them to form Santa’s head.I wired my Santa’s feet to a piece of cardboard and later to a piece of wood, but it makes more sense to just staple Santa’s feet to the piece of wood. Reference the photos.

Paper Mache Paste Recipe

Combine 1 cup flour and 2 cups of cold water. Add to 2 cups of boiling waterBring this back to a boil and then remove from the heat.Stir in 2 tablespoons of salt.Let cool.

Paper Mache

Cover the Styrofoam ball with a coat of paper mache paste before adding the paper mache pieces to the head. Using torn strips of newspaper dipped in the paste, glue a few strips over the ball and down the neck. Always smooth the strips well as you go along. Cover the body, arms and legs with paper mache.

Mittens, Shoes, Nose, Eyebrows and Beard

Cover the ends of the arms to form mittens, and the feet to form shoes. Scrunch pieces of newspaper pieces in paste and add to the face to form hair, beard, nose, eyebrows. Let dry thoroughly. This could take a couple of days.Paint Santa’s face flesh colored. Paint his mittens and shoes, black.Optional: Paint eyes on Santa.

Dressing the Vintage Santa in Burlap

I took a narrow strip of burlap, about an inch wide, and starting at the bottom of one leg, glue the end of the wrap at the bottom of one leg and wrap around the leg to form a trouser leg. Do the same with the second leg. Attach the burlap strip to the back of Santa’s body, right above the legs, and keep wrapping to finish dressing the body. Cut two rectangle pieces of burlap, about 6”x8” for the coat sleeves. On the 8” side of the rectangle, fold the piece into a cuff. Overlap and glue the 6” ends and slide the sleeve over the arm. Glue the top, and sides of the sleeve to the Santa body. Repeat for second sleeve.

Cut a rectangle of burlap, about 12” x 12”, Center, and glue the piece, at Santa’s back, the bottom of the coat should just touch, or almost touch, the board. Snip down on the burlap to fit the burlap under Santa’s sleeves and to the front of Santa. Fold back the front of the coat to make a wide lapel, then with any extra burlap, form a tuck next to the sleeve to fit the coat onto the Santa.


Ravel a couple of 3”x 2” pieces of burlap, but leave about ” unraveled, to form Santa’s beard. Glue the beard to Santa’s face. Add a few strings of the raveled pieces to make a mustache and hair. Cut a rectangle of burlap, 4”x 12”, form a cuff on one long edge for the front of Santa’s hood. Center the strip over the Santa head, glue in place. Overlap and glue the back of the hood.Paint eyes on Santa. Google "painting Santa's eyes" images for ideas.

© 2013 Loraine Brummer

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