MindStorm Videos
Home Software Videos Links Contact Us
Polymer Clay Junior Artisans Master Miniaturists Master Dollmakers Testimonials and Reviews Reseller

Other Doll Videos


MD09: Making an Antique 12" Santa

w/ Lee Feickert


video sleeve image

$29.95 + S&H

Table of Contents:

Tools & Materials
Preparing Greenware
Painting Steps:
Body Wrap
Pants, Robe, Hat
Beard and Wig

Approx. Running Time: 111 minutes


Antique 12" Santas:
They're Not Just Dolls, They're An Adventure

When Professional Dollmaker Lee Feickert talks about making Antique Santa Claus dolls, she calls it one of the biggest joys in her life. "Each year I look forward to the adventure of making a new Santa character," she says. Her most rewarding adventure won her the Rolf Ericson Award at the Doll Artisan Guild International Competition For Outstanding Dollmaking.

And now this 16-year dollmaking veteran shares her award winning techniques with you in "Making An Antique 12" Miniature Santa," Volume 9 of The Master Dollmakers Video Instructional Series. This multi-volume video instructional course features expert instruction by some of the country's top dollmakers. In this latest volume you'll also learn how to create a Woodland Santa, transform Father Christmas into the Ice Palace Santa.

The video begins with an in depth look at the tools and materials you'll need. You'll want to pay close attention because the Santa dolls you'll be creating require quite an array of tools and materials, from greenware mold, to paint, to a variety of brushes. And since you'll be focusing mostly on creating a Woodland Santa, you'll also need a series of items commonly found in the woods. If you have trouble finding any of these items, simply refer to the source list provided at the end of this video.

Once you gather your materials, your next step will be to clean and prepare the greenware. Next you'll add age lines to the face, hands, and feet to give your Santa character. While many of the molds you'll be using already have age lines, your job will be mostly to accent those existing lines. But in case you happen to use a mold without age lines, Lee gives you a great tip for creating them from scratch.

It's critical to watch each detailed step in the process. That's why you'll be thankful that the camera zooms in right on the action to let you see exactly what's going on. Throughout the process, Lee reminds you to use a soft touch so as to avoid cracking the delicate greenware.

Once the face is done, you'll work on the hands and knuckles, always remembering to smooth and soften the greenware and remove the harsh lines, using either a piece of nylon cloth or a sponge as you go along. And although you might prefer to put boots on your Santa, Lee says "If you have a Santa who's had a long, hard night you might want to put his bare feet in a tub of water." In that case you'll also want to add age lines to his feet to make them more realistic.

Once the greenware is clean and the age lines have been added, you're ready to mix your paints. Although you can use either oil, water, or glycerin to mix with dry paint, Lee says she prefers glycerin because it allows the paint to move smoother over the doll's surface and it's an easy cleanup.

Painting is done in three steps. The first brings out the details and age lines on the face, hands, and feet. The second highlights features such as eyelashes, lips, and eyebrows. The final painting stage covers the rest of the doll and brings Santa to life.

But couch potatoes beware! In order to paint correctly you'll have to develop hand/eye coordination. And for this you'll have to perform Lee's pull-up exercises to strengthen your hands and fingers. In fact, Lee advises you to do this exercise throughout the day...even while you're at the grocery store.

Besides developing hand/eye coordination, one of the keys to learning how to paint correctly is to relax. "Breathe" says Lee. "It's very important to breathe at this point." And it's also easy to relax when you have a teacher like Lee leading you every step of the way. Her easy going manner and obvious love of her craft are contagious.

Next comes the armature, or skeleton, for your doll. Using wire about the thickness of a coat hanger you'll measure and cut to create the armature. Once the legs and arms art attached to the armature, you'll wrap the body using cotton batting. After the body is completely wrapped you'll use hot glue to attach the head and shoulders. Now your Santa is ready to dress.

But wait! You're not done yet! After showing you how to make a stand for your Woodland Santas, this comprehensive video also teaches you how to cut and sew the clothes with which you'll dress your Santa, including pants, robe, and hat. Then you'll add Santa's signature white hair and beard. From there all that's left are the finishing touches such as Santa's basket and hat decorations.

Once your Woodland Santa is complete, you'll also learn how to create an English Father Christmas, and then transform this Santa into an Ice Palace Santa. "It's very simple to vary your fabrics and your accessories to make a different Santa," Lee says. "Just use your imagination."