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How to Make a Paper Santa With Your Kids

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There are many different versions of the origami Santa online. Some are very elaborate full body Santa figures that include arms, feet, and moveable parts. Others, like the Santa design in this tutorial, are intended to be simple projects for children to enjoy during the month of December. This is a Santa design I created with the steps consolidated to make it suitable for even the youngest paper folders. You should be able to complete this easy Christmas origami project with your child in 15 minutes or less.

1. Choose Your Christmas Origami Paper

origami Santa
© Dana Hinders

To make this origami Santa, you’ll need a square of origami paper that is red on one side and white on the other. Having paper that is the proper color is vital for this project. If the paper is red on both sides, Santa won’t have a distinct beard or face when you are finished folding your Christmas origami.

This origami Santa Claus was folded from paper that measured 6 inches by 6 inches. He is approximately 4 ½ inches tall when completed. If you’d like to make a larger Santa, look for larger origami paper or cut a square the desired size from a roll of red and white wrapping paper.

Start your project with the white side of the paper face up. Fold along each diagonal corner of the paper, then unfold so your paper looks like the origami project in the photo to the left.

2. Fold the Sides Into the Center

Origami Santa
© Dana Hinders

Turn the paper 90 degrees, then fold the lower two sides into the center as shown. Make crisp creases for the nicest looking origami Santa Claus design.

3. Make the Brim of Santa's Hat

origami Santa
© Dana Hinders

Fold the top of the triangle down so it is just touching the red flaps you created in Step 2. Fold this small triangle halfway back, then tuck it behind the top of the paper. When you’re finished, your Santa Claus origami should look like the project in the photo to the left.

4. Make Santa's Hat

origami Santa
© Dana Hinders

Fold the very bottom tip of the triangle so it is behind the white side of your paper. This will be Santa’s hat. The size of his hat doesn't really matter, but keep in mind that a larger hat will leave less room for Santa's beard.

5. Fold Back the Side Flaps

origami Santa
© Dana Hinders

Flip your paper over and fold the flaps back along the sides of the triangle. Flip the paper over once more when you are finished.

6. Decorate Your Origami Santa

origami Santa
© Dana Hinders

Fold back the corners of the front triangle flaps to make Santa’s beard. If desired, tuck under the bottom left and right corners to give your Santa face a slightly rounder look.

Your Santa origami figure can be decorated in several different ways. Google eyes, available at any major craft store, make a fun accent for Santa’s face. You can also use fine tipped markers or colored pencils to add features to your project. Cotton balls can be used to accent Santa’s hat and beard, if desired. Encourage the young paper folders making this Christmas origami project to be as creative as possible when choosing how to make Santa’s face come alive!

7. Find Christmas Origami Project Ideas

origami Santa
© Dana Hinders

Your Santa origami figure makes a cute embellishment for a handmade Christmas card. If you wish, you could also try gluing Santa to a sturdy backing to make a Christmas tree ornament, bookmark, or gift tag for one of the packages beneath your tree. Adult paper folders who are making this easy origami Santa could try attaching the design to an origami gift card envelope or origami wreath. Use a glue stick or scrapbooking glue dots, however. Liquid glue is likely to wrinkle thin origami paper.

If you fold the figure from green and white origami paper and alter the face slightly, you can create an origami elf to accompany your paper Santa design.

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