hand painted balsa wood santa

A balsa wood Santa painted by hand.  Use the tips and tricks in this easy to follow tutorial to make your own cool hand painted santa on a balsa board.  The santa can be given as a gift, used as a piece of home decor, in planter as an ornament, or even a package topper.  If you have never worked with balsa it is a really light weight wood and can be found in many craft and hobby stores.

hand painted balsa wood santa

This guy is really not hard to make at all, and he looks equally smashing hanging on the wall, adorning a wreath, or my own personal favorite – smooshed into the tree. I love to hang over-sized ornaments! This Santa is made from balsa wood so he is practically weightless.  Seriously.The content below may have been sponsored, contain affiliate links or free items for use. Know that this will not sway the opinion no matter what. (Even though they may want to!) This costs you nothing and helps pay for this blog's overhead. Click Diclosures to learn more.

Supplies to make the hand painted balsa wood santa:

Affliate links below.

  • Balsa wood
  • Precison cutter
  • Acrylic Paint
  • White air dry clay
  • Red felt
  • Hot Glue Gun and Sticks


Start with a Midwest Products balsa wood board, and used my Midwest Products Easy Cutter Ultimate to cut the board in half.

Base coat the 18″ board with white acrylic paint.

I made a pattern for the mustache by tracing around my board on a piece of tracing paper, and then
adding a hat brim and a mustache.Please ignore the hat brim pattern! Initially I planned to make the hat brim and the mustache out of paper clay, but then I had a better idea … the No-Sew Hat!

Next time I work with paper clay, I’ll make sure my photographer is handy for the step-by-step shots. (sorry!)

I put down waxed paper to work on and pinched off a piece of paper clay, wet my fingers, and patted it nice and flat. Then I placed my tracing paper mustache pattern over the flattened clay, and outlined the mustache with a paintbrush handle; this left the indentation of the mustache in the clay.

Cut the mustache out with a palette knife, smoothed up the edges with wet fingers, and pressed a swirly-design rubber stamp into the wet clay. Allow the mustache to dry thoroughly. (Note: it will have to dry about one day before you can glue it on)

Next, attach a 1/2″ wood button plug to the top center of the board. Paint the top 4″ or so of the board flesh. Use pink powder blush and your finger to swirl rosy cheeks and a pink accent to his nose. Dip a brush handle into white paint for the eyes on the Hand painted balsa wood Santa.

I made a quick pattern of some holly leaves and added swirls to the beard with a liner brush and medium green paint.

Shade the holly leaves with dark green paint and added highlights and more curly-cue swirls with gold paint.I also added gold dip dots along the swirls. Dip a larger paint brush handle into red paint and add holly berries. Allow paint to dry thoroughly.Hand painted balsa wood Santa

A sanding block  was used to lightly sand the entire beard, and to heavily sand the edges of the board. Next, attach the dried mustache to the Hand painted balsa wood Santa with Aleene’s Tacky Glue.

Add smaller dots of black to the eyes. I decided to make a simple, no-sew hat for Santa.

Starting with a 9″x12″ piece of wool felt, I cut it in half diagonally. Then I folded the larger portion into a long thin triangle. Cut off the lower “extraneous” portion of the triangle hat. Starting at the pointy tip, use a hot glue gun to glue the triangle into a cone-hat shape.

Once the seams are glued together, shift the hat around until the seam is in the back. Then roll up the edge of the hat for a brim, and secure with the glue gun. Attach the hat to Santa’s head.

At this point I decided to add some contrasting ribbon trim to the hat brim. This cotton ribbon is fun, and I love the red and white, but I didn’t like it on the hat.

The homespun look is awesom, but this look isn’t right for this particular Santa hat.

I love this ribbon! I reach for it all the time, but I haven’t found the perfect project for it yet.

Now we’re talking! As soon as I held this ribbon up to the hat,I knew it was the right look for this Santa. A little sparkle on the edges, and a green holly print that helps pull in the holly I’ve painted on the beard.hand painted balsa wood santa

Attach the ribbon trim to the hat with glue. I love this pointy hat!  But I decided to turn it into a floppy hat … so I pulled the hat down in the back and glued it to the back. Then I attached a glittery jingle bell to the pointy tip of the hat. Thoroughly coat the mustache and beard with Plaid’s Extreme Glitter in Hologram … and seal the face with the Multi-Purpose sealer.

All finished! Here’s a pic of the hand painted balsa wood santa I painted last year …I cut the corners of the board with the Easy Cutter Ultimate (top and bottom) painted a glittery red hat and used the paper clay for the hat brim as well as the mustache.It needed “something” more, so I used my Crop-o-Dile to punch a hole in the top right corner of the hat,and I put a Christmas poke through the hole, bending the back of the pick and glueing it in place.



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