December Holidays: Day 23 – Just in the St. Nick of Time

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Today’s idea is one of my very own. Every year my mom would make all of us children a new Christmas ornament to add to our collection. This cinnamon stick Santa is one of my very favorites. I’ve made it several times since growing up, as presents for my own children. It’s extremely quick and easy. 

Read more to find out how to make it.

What you’ll need:

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– cinnamon sticks
– paint: red, white, black, “flesh” and, if you choose to make the decorative holly, green
– decorative snow (can find at any Michael’s, Hobby Lobby or other similar craft store)
– paint brushes
– tooth pick
– twine, ribbon or other material (used to hang the ornament)
– hot glue gun

To start off, you’ll paint a band about an inch to an inch and a half of the flesh colored paint. You don’t need to worry about making any lines even as most of it will be later covered by red paint.  You will, however, most likely have to paint several coats so that the cinnamon stick doesn’t show through (unless you like the look of that. Then by all means, only do one coat – I did, as a time saving tool for finishing this post).

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Once your paint is dry, you’ll want to paint a strip of red at the top of your cinnamon stick. This will serve as Santa’s hat. It can be as thick or thin as you want. I usually stick to about a half an inch. Again, don’t worry about clean edges because the bottom of his “hat” will be covered in the fake snow. You’ll paint a second strip of red, leaving enough of the flesh color in between to make Santa’s face. You will want to make this bottom edge as neat as possible because it will show.

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Next comes Santa’s face. I’m of the opinion that Santa looks cuter sans mouth. But, if you’d like, you can paint one on (don’t look at me for options because I don’t have any). Using the opposite end of your paintbrush (the handle), dip it in black paint and dot on the eyes. Spacing is up to you. Repeat the same technique with the red paint for Santa’s nose. An important thing to remember while making Santa’s face is that you will add the decorative snow later to make the fur of his hat and his beard. So leave room where you want it.

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After everything is completely dry (I cannot stress this enough, you don’t want anything to smear), take a toothpick and scoop up a small bit of that fake snow. Dab it around the bottom of his “hat” (as thick or thin as you’d like) and under his face. You can be creative with his beard, making it super long, bushy, swirly, etc etc. Just make sure to bring the fake snow all the way around to the back of the cinnamon stick. You’ll want to cover the exposed flesh paint back there to serve as Santa’s hair.  Unfortunately I don’t have any pictures of this step because when I took my fake snow out it was completely dried up and I did not have a chance to run to the store to pick up more. Sorry!

If you’d like, again once the snow is dry, you can add any decorative touches you’d like. In the first picture there’s a sprig of holly on his hat.  Whatever you choose to do, once you’re done, take your length of twine/ribbon/whatever and make a loop large enough to hang the ornament on the tree.  Use the hot glue gun to secure the ends to the top (you can tuck it into the stick depending on how it’s shaped).

Let it sit for a minute and voila!

The best thing about this craft, besides needing next to no crafting abilities to do it, is letting your children do it along with you. They’ll love mimicking your actions. And once you’re done, you’ll be left with something extra special made by them.

– Stephanie

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