Monday, December 6, 2010

Make it Monday:Starfish Santa Ornaments!

I love my Starfish Santa ornaments!

Mine are about 30 years old. I made 15 to start with and over the years have given them away, one by one.
Each time someone asked for me to make them one, I'd just take it off the tree and give it to them.

Now I have 3 left so thought I'd better make a few more and in the process I'd share how to make them.


  • Starfish: I use small to medium sized starfish. I also look for the shape of the limbs, etc. I want Santas jumping, dancing and having fun!
  • craft paints in red, black, flesh, white and metallic gold
  • gold glitter
  • sponge craft brush
  • small paintbrush
  • hot glue
  • toothpick
  • thread for hanging
  • clear spray varnish

*Note: When 'painting' you are actually going to dab because of all the little bumps on the starfish. Trying to paint a straight line is nearly impossible.

1. Using red and the sponge brush, paint the entire starfish, front and back.
Use a LOT of paint because starfish are porous and will absorb the paint. Use the edge of the sponge to get into the crevices along the back of the limbs.

You will use the paint brush for the rest of the painting... is the fun part! Hold your starfish up and look at the limbs. Figure out what this Santa will do.

will he be swaying to Christmas music?

or jumping and dancing?

Once you decide, don't forget which limb is his head.

2. Using flesh, paint the ends of the arms and the face. Let dry.

When you do the face, you'll just make an oval spot where the face will be.
Don't place it too high because the tip of the head will have white on it.
I place mine about 2/3 of the way down limb.

3. Using black, paint the ends of the feet
and belt. Then using a toothpick, make his little eyes. Let dry.

4. Using white, go over the area where the fur trim would be:
around his face
tip of hat
above the boots
above the wrists.
fill in for the beard and mustache: For the beard, you'll basically make a long oblong shape that ends above where the belt buckle will be.
Then, fill it in with white, leaving a spot of red visible to make the mouth. If you forget and paint everything white, just go back later and make a little mouth with the red paint.
Let dry.

The beauty of this project is it is sooooo forgiving. If you goof up on Santa's face (or anything else) just paint that limb red and then start it over.

5. Using metallic gold, paint the buckle. While wet, sprinkle with glitter if you want and brush off the excess later.

From this angle Santa looks unhappy...but he isn't, just an illusion because of the worries!

6. Spray with clear gloss and let dry. (optional)

7. Now, flip Santa over and give him a spanking glue your thread to hang him by.

Put your thread together and lay it in the natural crevice along the limb.
Don't put a knot in it, the crevice isn't that accommodating because of the bumpiness of the spines.

Then glob on some hot glue.
While the glue is still very warm, carefully press it down into the grooves...careful not to burn yourself though.

Once Santa is dry, he is ready to hang.
Or you can put them in a bowl and take a photo of them...

This one is Kaela's is the smallest (about 3 inches across) and she put it on a little tree in loft.

And this one is my favorite. He is really big, about 7 inches across but I think he looks like he is jumping for joy!

PS....Starfish are VERY fragile so when you store them, wrap each ornament individually in tissue, then put them in a box within the big box of ornaments.


gin said...

very good. Thanks, I must try this..

Ruhammie said...

SO CUTE!! What a great idea, even to do with the kids. Thanks for sharing.

Robin (RsIslandCrafts) said...

I've always loved these Santas. I guess it's about time I made a few for our tree. Thanks for the nudge :)

Tammy@T's Daily Treasures said...

I remember you posting abou these befoe. They are very cute! Hard to find starfish around here. I bet we could make some paper mache starfish. May have to give it a go ... one of these days. Best wishes, Tammy

jillytacy said...

These are so cute. My mom loves the ocean and would love these! Thanks for the tutorial.

amy @ Life in Pink Hi-Tops said...

Those are the CUTEST! I think I saw some starfish at Hobby Lobby the other day....Thanks!

Unknown said...

THANKS! My husband just asked me the other day what I was going to do with a starfish I got in a fishing net I bought (I only needed the net). How wonderful to find this at this time!

Lindsay-ann said...

Hi Val
I LOVE this idea. I will look out for some star fish ready for next year.

hound said...

I am new to this site and the crafts and i must say the star fish look great i am going to try them. Dan

Anonymous said...

just finshed making a dozen. fun, easy,directions were great, I make a ornament for the grands each year.

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