Today's supply for the 25 Crafts of Christmas is an oldie but a goodie. In fact, I chose it for its very vintage qualities, as you'll see shortly. Pipe cleaners, or chenille stems as they're sometimes called, can be used for lots of good Christmas crafts. Think tri-bead candy canes and wreaths, crystalized snowflakes, and more.
We bought a nice big supply of these sparkly wires for making garland for our tree this year (as my sister was working with them, she exclaimed that she was covered in Christmas!). I'm seriously crushing on glitter pipe cleaners this year. But I chose another type so that we can get back to the vintage I was talking about.
This charming little guy has been sitting in my workspace all year. Yes, all year. And yes, I did listen to Christmas music in the summer. But I digress. I love this elf-ish Santa so much that I decided I needed to try and replicate him. And what is he made from? Pipe cleaners!
The type used in the vintage Santa is the bumpy kind. He was made when pipe cleaners were a lot nicer, and definitely fuller, but the new kind will work well enough. For one Santa, you'll need 2 full bumpy pipe cleaners, plus an extra bump.
You'll also need to download and print out some Santa faces, and grab some craft glue.
Fold one of the bumpy pipe cleaners in half. Pinch the fold a little to form the top of the hat.
At the skinny section, twist the pieces together a couple times. These will be the arms.
Take the second pipe cleaner and fold it in half, twisting it around the "neck."
Fold the head toward the back, then up and around through the two loose stems.
At this point, if the arms seem extra long, wrap each across the front to shorten them a bit. Twist the two loose stems at the skinny point, forming the torso and legs.
Fold the legs toward the back, then through the torso and back into the correct position. I've now made a bunch of these (for our tree!) and sometimes I found that it helped to repeat this step twice to get the the legs looking right.
Fold the ends of the arms back so they aren't pointy, and fold the feet up like little elf shoes.
Take the extra "bump" and use it to fill in the torso. Simply fold the ends to secure it through the hat and between the legs. Pose him to give it some character.
Cut out a Santa face and attach it to the body using craft glue. You don't need much, and I recommend that you put the glue on the pipe cleaners.
If you want this to hang as an ornament, add a string hanger through the hat.
He's part Santa, part elf, part tomten (a Scandinavian thing that creeped me out as a child, but that I love now!), all kitschy cute!
Not quite the same as the original, but I love it's happy Wild Olive face!
And since we're decorating our tree in non-traditional, retro colors, I'm making my Santas in pink! Cute, right? They'll nestle in all over our tree, which is currently waiting outside until we move furniture around. Christmas is coming, and I've got lots of crafting to do!
What's your favorite project that uses pipe cleaners?