A handmade Christmas ornament can make a wonderful, personal gift for someone. A handmade ornament can also be produced by each member of a family to brighten up the Christmas tree. This Santa ornament is made using Super Sculpey polymer clay, and can be made by even the most amateur ornament maker.
Gather the Supplies
To create this handmade Santa ornament, gather together some Super Sculpey, a wooden clay crafting tool which has both a flat section and comes to a point at one end. Or, if those are not available, try use a popsicle stick and a toothpick. Acrylic paints and brushes, as well as some Warm White, Antiquing Medium, and Sculpey Glaze for finishing the ornament. An ornament hook, or some colored ribbon will be needed to hang the ornament when it is finished.
Begin With the Hat
Pry off a piece of Sculpey approximately 1-12” long, and 3 or 4 tubes wide. Form a cone shape that is 1” wide at the bottom and tapers to a point at the top. The hat should be flat at the bottom, so that it can sit unaided while the trim is applied.
Pull of another tube of Sculpey, and roll it out until it is long enough to wrap around the base of the hat. Top the hat with a round ball of clay, and using the tip of the wooden clay tool, begin to add texture to the round top, and the trim around the bottom of the hat.
When adding the texture, press the trim into the hat with the clay tool, to help it stay well secured. The texture can be made of tiny dash marks pressed deep into the clay, or multiple, overlapping score marks.
Make Santa’s Head
Set the hat to one side, and gather some more clay. Form an oval about the same width as the bottom of the hat, and about 3/4 as long. Press the top of the head into the bottom of the hat. The edges will be covered by hair, so just make sure it is secure, not perfect.
Using the sharp tip of the tool, make two down facing crescents approximately 1/8” below the hat on the face to produce Santa’s eyes. Next, roll out two thin pieces of clay of the same size, and apply them to Santa’s face above the eyes as eyebrows. Use the clay tool to press the eyebrows up into the brim of the hat, and add texture to them.
Take a small piece of clay, about the size of the tip of a pinky finger. Form it into a cone shape that is flat on the back, and press it to Santa’s face for the nose. Take the flat edge of the wooden tool, and press the edges of the cone into Santa’s face. Push the bottom of the cone up to form the bottom, and gently round off the tip.
Next, take two thin pieces of clay, about the size of a dime each, and add them to Santa’s cheeks to fill them out. Use the flat side of the clay tool to press the edges into Santa’s face and smooth them out. Don’t remove every wrinkle, as this will help add character to the face when done.
Roll out a small sheet of clay about 2” wide and 1-1/2” long. Make score marks down its surface and attaché it to the back of Santa’s head under the hat for hair. Trim the edges, and mold the hair to the face.
Take the sharp edge of the clay tool and press the hair up and into the trim of the hat to secure it and create additional texture. This, along with the eyebrows will hide the join between head and hat.
Add Santa’s Beard
Make a long thin triangle of clay, about 4” long, 1” wide at its top and tapering to a point at the bottom. Score it well to produce the texture of hair, and apply it to the face just below the nose. It should wrap around and slightly under the hair on the sides of the face.
Take the sharp edge of the clay tool and press it deep into the beard, just below the mustache line to produce the mouth and secure the beard to the face.
Finish it Off
Drill a hole into the top of the hat with a toothpick before baking the clay to make a place for the ornament hook to fit. Once the clay is baked and cool, use the acrylic paints to decorate the clay. Warm White Antiquing Medium will give the trim on the hat a textured feel. Mix the Antiquing Medium with one drop of medium gray paint to achieve a nice color for the hair and beard, and add one drop of cobalt to a standard red paint to get a rich red for the hat. A drop of red to the Antiquing medium will give Santa a rosy complexion.
Finish Santa off with some glaze for a polished effect. Otherwise, leave him as is for an antiqued look.
Hang Santa from the tree, or give him as a gift to someone special this year. A handmade ornament is always appreciated and sure to add character and life to the Christmas tree.