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Clown Figure

A spry clown ornament plays on the German cotton-wool Christmas figurines of the late 1800s.




  • Two Styrofoam balls (one 1-inch and one 2-inch)
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Cotton batting
  • Craft glue
  • Water
  • Paintbrush
  • Scissors
  • Pins
  • Permanent marker
  • Floral pip
  • Hat template
  • Patterned paper
  • 1/4-inch pom poms
  • Collar template
  • Red honeycomb paper
  • Tweezers


  1. Step 1

    Mix 2 parts craft glue and 1 part water. Tear a few small pieces cotton batting; press around a 1-inch Styrofoam ball (for head). Using a flat paintbrush, saturate batting with glue mixture, pressing onto foam. Repeat with a 2-inch ball (for body). Let dry 1 hour. Repeat process to apply a second layer.

  2. Step 2

    Cut 4 strips batting: two 1 inch wide (for legs) and two 2 5/8 inches wide (for arms). Brush 1 strip at a time with glue mixture, and wrap end of a cotton pipe cleaner twice; trim excess. Trim leg pipe cleaners to 1 3/4 inches. Trim arm pipe cleaners to 3 3/4 inches. Attach head to body with 1 1/4 inches of pipe cleaner, leaving a 1/2-inch neck (use a pin to make holes in body). Attach arms and legs; cover seams with more batting and glue.

  3. Step 3

    Draw face. Insert a trimmed floral pip for nose (we painted ours red). Trace hat template onto patterned paper. Cut out; use craft glue to secure at seam. Glue a 1/4-inch pom-pom to hat, then glue hat to head. Glue 2 more pom-poms to body.

  4. Step 4

    Trace collar template onto red honeycomb paper (position paper so that its lines are perpendicular to dotted line on template). Cut out; place double-sided tape on 1 side. Unfold; fasten around neck, pinching closed with tweezers.

Martha Stewart Living, December 2006



Reviews (1)

  • Anna_Marie 28 Apr, 2008

    I think this would work great to make vintage snowmen. Just replace small twigs, or bent pipe cleaners wrapped in brown floral tape for the arms. Leave off the legs and mount large "body" ball on some type of platform, so it will stand upright. You could dust it with crystal clear "glitter" while it is still wet, if you wanted more sparkle. The authentic, old snowmen are expensive and hard to find at flea markets. Thanks for this great craft idea!