How to Make a Santa From a Shoe Box


Christmas decorations do not have to be expensive, elaborate or store-bought. They can be made from simple household materials. Shoe boxes can be recycled into Santa Claus table decorations with a little effort. Your shoebox Santa can become a pinata or be used as a gift box. Make a Santa that looks like you do by mixing paint colors. Use smaller or larger shoe boxes to make a variety of Santas to place under your tree and along your mantelpiece.

Step 1

Paint the entire box and lid white. Allow to dry. Mix a small amount of red paint into an equal amount of white paint to make a Caucasian Santa. Mix equal parts red, yellow and white paint, and then add a small amount of blue to make a deep mahogany color. Add white or yellow paint to get various skin tones ranging from deep mahogany to cream for international Santas.

Step 2

Paint one third of the box and lid in your chosen "skin" tone. Leave a 2-inch space between the "face" portion and the "body"portion of your Santa shoe box. Paint the remaining part of the shoe box red. Allow box to dry.

Step 3

Turn box over. Paint the bottom of the box red, with no skin color portion. Allow box to dry.

Step 4

Paint the first two inches of the top face portion of the box red, making a "Santa's cap" area and creating a forehead for your Santa. Allow to dry. Glue a row of cotton balls along your Santa's forehead. Give your Santa's face two eyes and a curve for his nose, then make a mouth. Use Santa pictures from Christmas cards to decide how to shape Santa's nose and mouth. Glue two or three rows of cotton balls over the 2-inch wide white-painted area. Give Santa's suit some black or gold buttons. Use real buttons or cut them from Christmas cards.

Step 5

If Santa will be used as a table decoration, carefully glue the lid on using a hot melt glue gun and clear glue sticks. Place Santa upright on table and place garland around the base. Add holly sprigs and a pair of red candles in crystal candlesticks.

Step 6

To use your Santa as a gift box, fill with cookies and Christmas candy. Seal lid with hot melt glue. To use your Santa as a pinata, fill with wrapped Christmas candies and small toys. Seal lid with hot melt glue. Poke two holes in the top of Santa's head and thread a thin nylon rope through the holes. Dangle your Santa from the ceiling while blindfolded children swing at it with a whiffle ball bat until it breaks. Share the candies and toys among all your child guests.

Tips and Warnings

  • Hot melt glue guns can start a fire if left unattended.

Things You'll Need

  • Red, yellow, blue and white poster paint
  • A shoe box with lid
  • Cotton balls
  • Glue
  • Hot melt glue gun
  • Clear hot melt glue sticks


  • Mixing Colors

Who Can Help

  • Santa Suit Shoe Box
  • Christmas Card Shoe Box Dioramas
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About this Author

Jane Smith provided educational supports for 11 years, served people with multiple challenges for 26 years, rescued animals for five years, designed and repaired household items for 31 years and is currently an apprentice metalworker. Her e-book, "Giving Him the Blues," was published in March 2008. She received her Bachelor of Science in education from Kent State University in 1995.

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