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How to Make a Santa's Britches Ornament

Follow these steps from Lois Parks DeCastro to make your own santa ornament.

Materials:

7" x 14" lightweight red cotton fabric, washed to remove sizing
bottle of Beacon Adhesives Stiffen Stuff
bottle of Beacon Adhesives Fabri-Tac
Toner Plastics CraftLace Twister Tool
18" of 18-gauge Toner Plastics Fun-Wire each: candy apple, mushroom
13" of 3/4" coordinating ribbon or trim
2 furry 1" x 7" pieces white craft felt
2 clip-on lever back earring findings with pad
1/2" wide red liner tape or E6000 adhesive
aluminum foil
2 bamboo skewers
5" block (or closest size available) of plastic foam
sewing materials
small bowl

Steps:

1. Print out britches pattern in the PDF Britches Pattern file at the right. Trim off excess paper on guideline marked "1".

2. Fold fabric lengthwise, right sides together, to form a 7" x 7" square. Position pattern on fabric about 1/4 inch below the fold and pin as shown on the pattern.

3. Using a very small stitch, sew seams, stitching right through the paper pattern, following dotted lines marked "2". Reinforce beginning and end of each seam with a lockstitch to hold seams securely.

4. Trim off excess fabric following lines marked "3". Take care not to cut into stitching when trimming.

5. Gently tear paper off stitched fabric and turn britches right side out.

6. Pour Stiffen Stuff into a small bowl and immerse britches for a few minutes. Maximum saturation will give an overall stiffer end result.

7. Make a drying form out of the aluminum foil, skewers and plastic foam as shown in the PDF Drying Form file at the right. Shape three pieces of the aluminum foil as follows: two the size of short chubby hot dogs about 2" x 4" for the legs and one approximately 4-inch ball shape for the tummy. Insert pointed end of skewers into the 4-inch ball and the other end into the plastic foam.

8. Turn Santa's britches upside down and position on the drying structure. Insert the two aluminum foil "hot dogs" into the legs. It's important to keep the garment stuffed open during drying. Don't try to make the wet fabric smooth, flat or straight. The sags and folds will make it look cuter.

9. Dry with a hair dryer. Return the leftover Stiffen Stuff to its spray bottle, spray heavily on britches, and blow dry again. Repeat one or more times. Each repeated application makes the fabric stiffer.

10. Form a waistband and attach with Fabri-Tac. Trim off any excess material.

11. Apply the white fuzzy felt to the pants legs in the same manner.

12. To make the hanger: Following the directions on the CraftLace Twister Tool, twist the red and white wires together. Remove from tool and bend into a hanger shape. I placed bends at 2 inches, 3 inches, 5 inches, 3 inches and 3 inches. (The wire shrinks about 2 inches from the twisting process.) Use the diagram provided in the PDF Hanger Form as a guide. Twist one of the leftover end tails around the other at the neck of the hanger and then bend the remaining end to form a hanger loop at the top.

13. With red-liner double-sided tape or a very small amount of E6000 on the back of the flat round earring pad, secure the pad to the front waistband of Santa's britches. Leave the back "lever" of the finding unglued so it is free to move up and down.

14. When glue is thoroughly dry, open the levers and hang Santa's britches on the candy cane hanger, clipping the lever to the back side of the britches.

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