Sunday, October 12, 2014

31 DAYS of SANTA CLAUS Day 12 How to make Santa Claus Collectibles for Fun and Profit

When my parents tore down the livestock barn at our home in Choudrant, LA, I saved some of the pieces of wood. I participated in an Arts and Crafts show at Barksdale AFB (around 1992-1994) and I mass produced these very simple Santas out of 1x2s. I sold them for $3 each or 2/$5 but if you made a $50 purchase, from my booth, you got one for free. They sold like hotcakes! My cost and labor were minimal but the money I made off the the dozen or so I sold more than paid for the table fees.

I still have these two because they were the "prototypes" and I tend to save my first of every Santa I market. I will post more of these later.

I also taught a class with kids where they all got to paint a pair of these. So simple a kid can do it...yet still folk arty enough to add to any collection!
Do you ever wonder what to do with ALL those plastic Easter eggs?

I covered one in a paper mulch product and created this clever little Santa ornament. You can also cover both pieces separately and create a little candy box.

This is also a fun and easy project for a class; however, the drying time makes the project last three days.

First you coat the egg with about a 1/4 inch layer of Celluclay (an instant paper mache' product) and let it dry at least over night in a dry area.

Then add the details and let them dry completely (usually overnight) before painting.

I sprayed the completely dried painted piece with an acrylic sealer, then (once that dried) I antiqued it with an antiquing gel product and finished with another coat of sealer. The possibilities are endless.

My Oyster Shell are simple yet beautiful. I've seen others, but I none that are as appealing as my own.

I know, I am being a bit pretentious.

This particular oyster shell was a double and I have saved it for myself. First you have to seal the oyster shells with a good primer that will stick to glass. I used acrylic paints and (in the past) a high gloss glass-like finish sealer, and metallic gold paint. I used to use a gold leaf paint but the calcium in the oyster shells reacts to the copper in the gold leaf creating a beautiful, but not intentional patina. The copper flakes in the acrylic paint do the same, just not as much.

Now, as my luck would have it, I can no longer find my wonderful glass-like finish and this new version of high gloss glaze yellows. DANG IT!
In this badly out of focus photo are some of my other Santas who hang out in studio. Tucked way in the back is a "nekkid" Santa doll I made about over fifteen years ago from an oddly shaped homemade doll body I found at a garage sale. I'm not quite sure about that square head, but one of these days, when I finally make him some clothes, I hope his hat will will disguise it. The round headed Santa (far left) I painted on a strangely proportioned bottle gourd back in 1992. He is one of my first Santa Claus gourds and the only one of his kind. The moon shaped Santa was painted on a wooden salad bowl, one of many I picked up at garage sales, and I sold them at A&C shows. The Celluclay Santa (center) is built up just like the little ornament, except I used a styrofoam cone instead of a plastic egg. This is another fun class project than can be done at the same time as the ornament. The rustic teal adorned Santa was also made from the barn wood. I sold several of these at the same A&C show as the others.
I will be adding more crafty Santas to my keep checking back!