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How to Make a Santa Doll

Diane Troutman makes a polymer clay Santa doll.

The holidays were always a magical time for Diane Troutman. Her mom and dad would dress up, as elves and grandma would make stuffed animals for her and her brother that would "magically" appear at their bedside Christmas morning. With all this holiday cheer it's not surprising that she loves spreading the magic of the holidays through her art. As a graphic designer she felt bogged down by the day-to-day grind of her job. She longed to devote her self to her hobby and true passion, polymer clay sculpting, full time. And with the support of her husband she did just that. Today Troutman is surrounded by the holidays 365 days a year, creating amazing and life like dolls.


aluminum foil
flesh-tone polymer clay
glass eyes
floral wire
2, 3-inch long dowels with holes drilled on each end
serrated needle nose pliers
sculpting tools
glue gun
white glue
pastels and water base oil paints
Grumtine solvent
8-gauge copper wire, 3 pieces (22-1/2", 17-1/2", 12")
wire crimping tool
electrical splice caps
drilled stained round wood base
natural colored canvas weight fabric
sewing machine
stuffing pellets and polyester stuffing
12-1/2" - 1/2" dowel with a hole drilled in one end
flesh colored nylon fabric
upholstery thread
fabric for gown, robe and hat
thread to match fabrics
trim for robe
fabric glue
metal dog comb
old scissors
greenery and small artificial fruit and leaves
miniature pinecones


1. Create a foil ball for the head. Cover the ball with polymer clay and sculpt the head by first setting glass eyes (figure A).

2. Then add the nose, mouth, eyelids, cheeks and ears (figure B).

3. Create age wrinkles. Bake according to manufacturer’s directions (figure C).

4. Make wire outline of hands for armature using 20-gauge floral wire (figure D). Twist wire at wrist and then glue into one end of a 3-inch dowel. Using a glue gun cover hand armature with strips of foil and then pinch the foil with serrated pliers creating a rough surface for the clay to adhere to.

5. Pose the hands for holding the garland and then add polymer clay to both hands and sculpt the fingers (figure E). Bake according to manufacturer’s directions.

6. Color the head and hands with paints and pastels. Glue eyelashes to the eyelids.

7. Glue the 12-1/2-inch dowel into the base and make a torso armature from 8-gauge copper wire using wire crimps (figure F).

8. Cut out and sew the canvas body. Put the canvas body over the dowel (figure G). Stuff with pellets and polyfill to the top of the dowel. Glue torso armature into the top of the dowel and continue to stuff the shoulders.

9. Sew the body closed at the shoulders (figure H).

10. Place head on the body, add clay and sculpt the neck and shoulder plate, sign your name and make holes in breastplates to sew onto the canvas body. Next lift the head and neckpiece off of the armature and bake according to manufacturer's directions (figure I).

11. Attach hands using glue gun and wrap arms with batting. Sew nylon fabric for sleeve and attach.

12. Attach head to the body by sewing onto the canvas body.

13. Cut out and sew a gown, robe and hat and add trim to the robe as desired (figure J).

14. Comb and trim the end of wool and glue it onto the face and head. Glue on mustache and eyebrows (figure K).

15. Attach a hat to the head using a glue gun. Cut out a piece of fur, glue the edges to the inside and glue it on top of the hat with a glue gun. Glue the tassel to end of the hat (figure L).

16. Make a loop in each end of the greenery to go over each hand. Glue fruit, leaves and pinecones to the greenery with a glue gun.



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