Christmas Elf or Santa Crafts for Seniors and Elderly

gourd Santa craft

Santa crafts are perfect winter senior activities during the holidays. And we have several easy projects! Some are also edible holiday treats. The craft materials are easy too. Many of these could be used as elves too!

Whatever craft supplies you don’t have around. you can get most either from a local craft store or even a thrift shop. We also suggest other alternatives you could use.

A few of the ideas here are very easy crafts for the elderly to put together too (some may need extra help). Besides these Santa crafts here, we have lots of other Christmas projects on our page about simple Christmas crafts.

Santa Crafts Selections:

Pear or Apple Santa

apple or pear Santa craft

This cute Santa can be made with either a red pear or a large red apple. I liked the shape of the pear so used it in this sample. I included him in a centerpiece.

These Santa crafts are very simple and are all edible. Well almost – except for the googly eyes! But you can get candy “eyeballs” at most craft stores.

Red pear or large red apple
Small Santa hat (craft store or thrift store)
…OR make a hat from a red felt cone shape – see template below
Frosting in a can, or squirt tube frosting
Small spatula or craft stick to apply frosting; or toothpick
Googly eyes, or candy eyeballs (craft store)
Candy for nose
Edible black marker (baking aisle)
Small jar lid for the small Santa stand (I used red)
1 chocolate wafer candy, or peppermint patty, for shoes
2 small candies to decorate shoes
Candle holder for a base, or a jar, etc.
Large bow with ribbon
Small ornaments or other decorations for the base

I like to use squirt frosting in a tube as “glue.” Or if use frosting in a can, you can apply the frosting/glue to your pieces with a small spatula, a toothpick or even a craft stick.

With the squirt frosting, I attached the googly eyes and the candy nose to the fruit. Then I drew on a smiling mouth with the edible black marker, which you can get in the baking section of the grocery store. I applied several coats so it shows up.

Then I took a very small spatula and applied the frosting from the can to form the beard and sideburns. A half circle of frosting was also applied around the mouth to form the mustache. Now put the Santa aside

Next I made the stand. I just put an old CD on top of a candle holder as a base. You could use a jar or even plastic glass instead. On top of that I laid down a doily. On top of the doily I put the red jar lid to hold the Santa so it doesn’t roll around.

Then I set the Santa onto its red lid and base. Next the feet were put in place. This was simply a flat chocolate candy cut in half. Each half forms a shoe. And each shoe has a small green candy attached to it with squirt frosting.

Lastly, decorating the base. I arranged a large red ribbon with bow around the bottom of the stand, and added a few small ornaments.

These Santa crafts look really cute in the middle of a large candy bowl, a dessert plate, or snack plate too.
P.S. – We also have lots more cute apple ideas on our apple craft page.

Santa Hat Template

Use this easy template pattern to make a cone hat from red paper or felt. Cut at the dotted line, and use the upper shape to form the cone, gluing the edges. Then just decorate it with cotton. Or fake fur if you have it. I white pom-pom is ideal for the top.

santa hat patten

Santa Decoupage Ornament

Santa Gourd

Get ornaments inexpensively from dollar or thrift stores, garage sales, or have people bring in old ones. Ones with a hanger on top work best.  (The one used here did not have a hanger).

Ornament (best if it has a hanger on top)
Santa wrapping paper, or magazine image
Decoupage medium, or glue/water mixture
Water container
Damp rag (optional)
Cord or ribbon
Small bottle caps or egg carton, for drying

Cut out many squares from the Santa wrapping paper, or magazine images – enough to cover the entire ball. Use paper that is thin; not, for instance, a greeting card picture). The main Santa image will go in front.

Brush a coating of decoupage medium or glue mix (4 parts glue to 1 part water) onto an area of the ornament. Then brush some on the back of the image piece.

Position the image onto the ball and press gently with your fingers to get out bubbles and most wrinkles. Sometimes wrinkles can make an interesting texture. Press it gently again with a damp rag if needed, but don’t rub. Do this with all the pieces until the ornament is covered. Paint a very light coat of medium over the whole ornament.

Dry for a couple hours. I like to rest them on a small spice bottle type cap, as a stand. An egg carton may work too, depending on your size. Or if able, hang them to dry. When dry, give it another final coat of medium; then dry again.

Finally, tie on (or glue on with a glue gun) the ribbon or cord.

This whimsical Santa could also pass as an elf. Its head is made from a small white gourd, but it could also be made from a Styrofoam ball, or even an ornament. A wine glass was used for the “body.” Or a basic drinking glass works, including plastic.

Using a glass jar is a fun idea too, because you can put treats in it, decorate it like this Santa, and then give it away as a gift. Or use it as a centerpiece, a game prize, or raffle item.

Small white gourd, Styrofoam ball, etc.
A glass or jar for body
Markers to make face
Santa hat (craft store), or make one from felt or colored paper
1 red pom-pom for nose
2 green pom-poms for on the shoes
3 to 4 cotton balls for beard
Decorative holiday paper napkin
Black construction paper or felt for shoes
Glue gun, or craft glue
Candies to put in glass or jar (optional)

These Santa crafts (or elves) are very easy to assemble. First I cut 2 shoe-like ovals out of black paper, and glued them together at the heels. Then I glued a small green pom-pom onto each shoe.  I placed my wine glass (or glass or jar) on top of the shoes. Depending on what kind of stand you’re using, you could also use a dab of glue to attach the shoes to the stand.

At this point you can put the candies into your glass or jar, if you’re using them. Next I draped a decorative holiday paper napkin over the glass. The type of napkins you use can really change the look of your Santa crafts.

Now the head. I took three cotton balls and stretched them out a bit, then glued them around the chin of my small white gourd. After that I drew on a cute face with red and black markers, leaving room in the middle for the nose. Then glued on the red pom-pom nose.

Lastly, I put on a hat (for my Santa crafts I get hats from the craft store), and secured it in the back with a corsage pin. Now it’s finished!

If you like working with gourds, be sure to see more on our page all about gourd craft ideas.

Wooden Spoon Santa

wooden spoon Santa craft

These simple Santa crafts could also be elves. I show two versions – the second has a felt Santa hat from the craft store added on for fun. (But you can see that he can easily be made without one).

The materials are easy – paint and a pointed wooden spoon. After the varnish is thoroughly set and dry, it is food safe according to FDA government standards (Code of Federal Regulations Title 21)  and can be used for serving. Or use him as a decoration: a planter stick, in a centerpiece, or as a gift. A Mr. and Mrs. pair of these Santa crafts would make a great serving gift. And you can make them as any ethnicity that you like!

Wooden spoon with point (point not necessary if you’re using a hat)
Acrylic paints: red, green, white, skin color (pink, tan, brown, etc.)
Black fine tip marker for eyes and mouth
Water based polyurethane craft varnish (VOC of 50 g/L or less)
Water container and rag
Paint brushes: pointed tip and flat tip
…Optional for just a decorative Santa:
Red pom-pom for the nose
White pom-pom for top of hat
Googly eyes
Cotton balls or roll cotton for hair and beard
Ribbon and small buttons
Glue gun or craft glue (like Tacky Glue)

With a pencil, generally block out the various areas you will be painting: face, hair, beard, hat, hat rim, the bottom, etc. Then just begin painting in the areas. You may need to do 2 coats, drying thoroughly in between. When the face color was dry, I drew in basic eyes and smiling mouth with the black marker.

Varnish – If you’re just making a decorative Santa and not using it for serving, you don’t necessarily need to apply varnish.

Otherwise, when your spoon is all painted and completely dry, the varnish can be applied. If you are going to use these Santa crafts for serving, I suggest at least 2 or 3 coats (I used 3) to make it durable. Be sure to follow the product directions, and allow the appropriate amount of drying time between coats.

Before using for food, the varnish must be allowed to set for one or two weeks until any solvents are gone and the varnish is polymerized. (If you can smell the finish, it is not completely cured yet). Then gently wash the surface before using. Again, be sure to follow product directions!

Santa Marshmallow

For festive yet easy Santa crafts, decorate marshmallows! This one could also be an elf.  And he’s all edible (except for the hat of course). The face is made with edible marker.

He stands in a very easy-to-paint small clay pot. Or put several of these Santa crafts in a small, narrow vase, ready to serve.

Jumbo marshmallow (jumbo size is easier)
Long kabob skewer
Mini Santa hat from craft store
…or made from felt or paper
Edible dessert markers for face
Squirt or tub frosting
Toothpicks or craft stick to apply frosting
Red or green ribbon
Stand: clay pot to paint, or narrow vase
Acrylics, if painting: red and white
Brush, water container, rag

If you’re painting a pot, do it first and set it aside to dry.

Paint any decorations on it that you like (I just made white dots), or add holiday stickers.

I like to keep the faces for my Santa crafts basic. I drew easy eyes and smiley mouth on the jumbo marshmallow with the edible markers.

Then I applied the frosting hair and beard all around the bottom and sides of the head like a U-shape.

It’s easiest to use a toothpick or craft stick for applying. Also add a little mustache if desired.

Tie a ribbon onto the skewer. Slide the marshmallow head onto the skewer.

If you’re going to add a hat on top, slide the marshmallow down so that about 1 1/2 to 2 inches of stick is above the top of the head. This will hold the hat on.

Place the Santa crafts in your stand(s), and you’re done.

Ribboned Santa

ribboned Santa craft

Having several of these Santa crafts of different heights together in a display or centerpiece is very attractive. The secret is in the ribbon.

Cardboard tube (toilet tissue, paper towel, oatmeal box, etc.)
Styro ball for head
3 to 4 balls of cotton
Googly eyes
Red pom-pom for nose
Wide, wired holiday ribbon
Several flat thumb tacks and straight pins
Glue gun or Tacky Glue
Acrylic paint: black and red
Small paint brush, water container
Small Santa hat, or red felt to make one
2 pinecones for feet
Real or artificial evergreen

First I made the head. Glue on the googly eyes and nose. Then paint on the eyebrows and cheeks. I chose not to make a mouth. Instead, I glued on a lot of cotton. I pulled several cotton balls and stretched them out before gluing on the beard and hair.

Santa crafts can either have a hat from a craft store, or make your own with a small cone out of red felt or paper. Instead of gluing on the hat, I kept it on with a couple of straight pins, front and back.

Next I took a toilet tissue sized cardboard tube and wrapped it with a length of my wide holiday ribbon, which had the wired edges. I used thumb tacks on the back to keep it in place.

Now it’s time to attach the head to the tube body. I made a line of glue around the top rim of the cardboard tube covered in ribbon, setting the head onto the tube. Let the glue dry well. Also attach the pinecone feet with glue, if you are using them.

You can also make these Santa crafts in a taller size using a paper towel tube. Or a make a wider, larger Santa using an oatmeal box. It’s fun and eye-catching to have a variety of different ribbons to wrap them in. I got my ribbon cheaply at a thrift store. Put your Santas on display in a grouping with evergreens or other decorations around them.

Wrapping Paper Santa

These whimsical Santa crafts are made similar to the example above, but do have a few differences. This time I did use a tall paper towel tube; an oatmeal box would also look great.

Paper towel tube

Fake spider webbing, cotton balls, or roll cotton
Small piece of white paper
Black and red fine markers
Red pom-pom for the nose
Piece of colorful holiday wrapping paper
Glue gun or Tacky Glue
Larger sized Santa hat, or red felt to make one.
Decorations for base of Santa (i.e. bells, little ornaments, evergreen, tinsel, red beads, etc.)

First cut a length of wrapping paper to size to wrap around the paper towel tube, then glued it on.

Next make the face. Cut a large oval shape from the white paper (or use tan or brown for different ethnicity) and draw on easy cartoon type eyes and a smiling mouth.

Glue the face onto the wrapped tube about 2 to 3 inches down from the top, leaving room to add the hat later. Attach the pom-pom nose too. 

Santa crafts could have several possibilities for the beard. I used some fake spider webbing from Halloween – I wanted a wispy look. But you could also use cotton, stretching it out. Glue on the beard and hair around the sides of the face. Then just put the hat on top of the head.

Then I made an arrangement around the base of the Santa, standing him in a small glass dish and adding colorful bells all around. You can use whatever you have.

Pinecone Santa

Learn to make a cute Santa or elf similar to the one here. Depending on the shape of your pinecone, you can get a variety of looks. Make several and do a grouping.

This one also uses basic craft items, a cardboard tube, and colorful paper such as wrapping paper. Complete with a long, trailing beard. And bells on his toes. See the details at Easy Pinecone Crafts.

Chocolate Strawberry Santa

These cute little Santa crafts or elves are both treat and decoration all in one. They’re simply strawberries dipped in melted white chocolate, with coconut added on the beard, a few candies, and be also added googly eyes for fun.

But you can make him all edible by using candies for eyes instead. Learn all the details on our page about how to make chocolate covered strawberries.

Our Craft Books!

“Easy Crafts and Gifts”
…With more Santa crafts, ornament and other holiday ideas! Why hunt all over our web site. Get them consolidated in this e-book, PLUS dozens of new projects too!

More than 120 projects. Plus, it’s bundled with a FREE booklet of template patterns.
Two books for one!

Also see:

Holiday Treats for Seniors – Besides Santas, see trees, snowmen, gift and cookie ideas.
Winter Senior Activities – By the Month
— Lots more to do than just for the holidays! Complete with calendar dates and special monthly commemorations. For all winter months.
Winter Holiday Activities for Seniors
– Lots of things to do throughout the winter holidays, no matter what your traditions.
Perfect Party Theme Ideas – Try something new for your holiday parties. See lots of possibilities on this page.

to Easy Craft Ideas

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