Introduction: Tree Stump Santa

Picture of Tree Stump Santa

This project is one I modeled after a similar one my crazy father-in-law made for my wife years and years ago. But since my boss was retiring near Christmas time (and she is a little wild and crazy herself) I thought this would be the perfect gift.

Here are the things you will need (I made this for around $18.00)

Santa hat

short log or stump with the bark on it (around 18" tall, around 8" in diameter) The size of this can vary, but the Santa hat must fit around the top of the stump. The stump must also stand somewhat straight, so be prepared to cut it if necessary to level it off. If you are having trouble finding one, do what I did and post what you need on Facebook and see if your friends can help (in my case, one magically appeared on my front patio within 24 hours!).

1.5" googly eyes (2 of them of course)

2" or larger red pom-pom for the nose

Thick cotton mop heads (not the stringy ones, but the thick ones). The number needed for this varies based on what size mop head you can purchase. I used 8 cheap deck mops from WalMart (see http://www.walmart.com/ip/Mainstays-Home-Cotton-Deck-Mop-1-ct/12444508). These were $1.72 a piece, so the cost wasn't so bad. I probably could've done this with a little fewer but I wanted the beard/hair to be thick!

Hot glue gun- and LOTS of hot glue sticks.

Scissors

String (cotton twine)

Step 1: Prepare the Stump

Simple enough- cut the stump so that it sits level and is about 18" tall (could be a little taller without a problem).

Step 2: Position the Eyes

Picture of Position the Eyes

Choose a suitable place on your stump about 3 inches down from the top. Use hot glue to affix the first eye- use lots of hot glue! Then attach the second eye about two inches apart from the first. Once again, use lots of hot glue- as much as you can without it leaking out from around the edges of the eye!

The Santa hat in this image is just for reference- do not do anything with the hat yet!

Step 3: Beard Underlayer

Picture of Beard Underlayer

Position the pom-pom where you would like the nose to be- but DO NOT glue the nose on yet! Draw a line at the bottom of where the nose will be- straight across the stump, about the width of what a mouth would be.

Cut 10 strands from your mop about 7" in length. Then using hot glue, glue the tops of each strand on the log even with the line you drew as shown here.

Side note: The deck mops that I bought at Wal Mart and used for this project provided me with 20" strands. I removed (by breaking with a screwdriver) the plastic piece holding the strands to the head of the pole.

Step 4: Mustache

Picture of Mustache

Create your mustache strands:

Shorter strand:
Lay out six 8" strands  in one bunch, even at the ends. Use the cotton string and tie the bunch together in the middle of the string so that 4" are hanging off each side of the knotted middle.

Longer strand:
Lay out four 10" strands  in one bunch, even at the ends. Use the cotton string and tie the bunch together in the middle of the string so that 5" are hanging off each side of the knotted middle.

Affix the strands to the Stump
Starting with the longer bunch, place a good amount of hot glue on the tied middle section of the bunch, then glue it to the stump at the top of the straight strands already attached to the stump in the previous step. This position should be just under where the nose will go.

Next, take the shorter bunch, place a good amount of hot glue on the tied middle section of the bunch, then glue on top of the longer bunch you just affixed to the stump.

Step 5: Strands Beneath the Eyes

Picture of Strands Beneath the Eyes

Lay out seven 16" strands  in one bunch, even at the ends. Use the cotton string and tie the bunch together in the middle of the string so that 8" strands are hanging off each side of the knotted middle. Place plenty of glue on the knotted middle section of the bunch.

Then affix the bunch to the stump by positioning the knotted middle (with the glop of glue on it) just below the eye- and so that the top half of the bunch folds over (toward you) to hide the glue and knot.

Do this for both sides of the face!

Don't worry if there are strands hanging off at the bottom because they are longer than the stump- you will give him a "haircut" at the end!

Step 6: Strands Adjacent to the Eyes

Picture of Strands Adjacent to the Eyes

Just as in previous steps...

Lay out seven 20" strands  in one bunch, even at the ends. Use the cotton string and tie the bunch together in the middle of the string so that 10" strands are hanging off each side of the knotted middle. Place plenty of glue on the knotted middle section of the bunch.

Then affix the bunch to the stump by positioning the knotted middle (with the glop of glue on it) just to the side of the eye- and so that the top half of the bunch folds over (toward you) to hide the glue and knot.

Do this for both sides of the face!

Don't worry if there are strands hanging off at the bottom because they are longer than the stump- you will give him a "haircut" at the end!

Step 7: Strands on the Temples of the Face

Picture of Strands on the Temples of the Face

Up to this point, we have been using bunches of strands folded in the middle to make a double-layer of 14 strands in each bunch. This double layer makes the hair and beard appear full.

At this point, my strands were no longer long enough to cover the entire length of the face when strands were folded in half. So here is where I shifted into making bunches of 7 strands, tied together at the ends of the bunch instead of the middle.

Lay out seven 16" strands and tie them together near one end (leave about half an inch or more left over after the knot- you can trim this with scissors before attaching). Repeat this three more times until you have four of these 16" bunches (2 for each side of the face).

First, glue one bunch to the temple area by placing lots of glue on the knotted end, letting the strands hang down. Fix it to the stump so that the tops of the strands (not the knotted area) are about midpoint of the temple.

Next, glue the other bunch using this method: Turn the bunch upside down so that the knotted area is at the bottom. Place plenty of glue on the knotted area. Affix to the stump so that the little (1/2") strands below the knotted area meet up with the little (1/2") strands from the bunch already glued on. Then the rest of the top bunch folds over (toward you) to hide the glops of glue and the section where the two bunches meet.

Don't worry if there are strands hanging off at the bottom because they are longer than the stump- you will give him a "haircut" at the end!

Step 8: Full-length Hair Strands All the Way Around

Picture of Full-length Hair Strands All the Way Around


Lay out seven 18-20" strands and tie them together near one end (leave about half an inch or more left over after the knot- you can trim this with scissors before attaching). Repeat this a hundred more times until you have enough of these to go all the way around the stump. OK, not a hundred- it took me 13 bunches- since these were double-layered, that means 26 of these bunches of seven strands.

First, glue one bunch about 1 1/2" down from the top rim of the stump by placing lots of glue on the knotted end, letting the strands hang down. Fix it to the stump so that the tops of the strands (not the knotted area) are 1 1/2" below the edge of the top rim.

Next, glue the other bunch using this method: Turn the bunch upside down so that the knotted area is at the bottom. Place plenty of glue on the knotted area. Affix to the stump so that the little (1/2") strands below the knotted area meet up with the little (1/2") strands from the bunch already glued on. Then the rest of the top bunch folds over (toward you) to hide the glops of glue and the section where the two bunches meet. Be sure to leave a little (1/2" or so) for the Santa hat to be glued directly to the stump later!

Repeat this procedure until all strands have been affixed.

Don't worry if there are strands hanging off at the bottom because they are longer than the stump- you will give him a "haircut" at the end!

Step 9: Affix the Nose

Picture of Affix the Nose

Use plenty of hot glue and affix the pom-pom nose to the stump. The bottom portion of the pom-pom will meet the upper portion of the mustache and may be glued directly to the mustache as well. Use as much glue as you can without it leaking out the sides!

Step 10:

Picture of

Give your Santa a haircut.

Set your Santa on a stool or bowl so that the extra long strands can hang down all the way.

Pull up the outer layers of strands and out of the way as shown.

Cut the ends of inner layer strands so they are even with or just above the bottom of the stump. They don't need to be the same length- and it actually looks better if they vary in length slightly.

Repeat this cutting with the outer layer of strands, being sure to vary the lengths slightly.

Step 11: Sign Your Handiwork.

Before putting on the Santa hat, use a Sharpie marker to sign your name and date on the bottom of the stump. You have worked this hard on it- whoever you give this to will treasure it for years to come. Don't forget to sign it!

My father-in-law (who made our original stump Santa) did not sign it. He passed away a few years ago- and how I wish he had signed that!

Step 12: Affix the Santa Hat

Picture of Affix the Santa Hat

Depending on the Santa hat you get, you may need to cut out the lining of the hat if there is one. These linings prevent the hat from stretching like you need.

Be sure to cut out the lining without messing up the seam. Most of the time, these linings are sewn into the seam of the hat as well so beware! No one is going to see the inside of your hat, so leaving edges of the lining on the seam is OK.

Use lots of hot glue and attach the hat to the top rim of the stump. Affix the front side of the hat, then the back. Move on to each side. Then fill in the gaps with as much glue as you can manage without making a huge mess!

Comments

ClaireNasa (author)2015-08-24

Thanks to you and your father in law, I have another amazing gift idea

ChrysN (author)2012-12-13

That is really cute!

Penolopy Bulnick (author)2012-12-13

That is hilariously cute!

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