Santa Lucia Dolls

comments: 93

Finishedlucias9Thank you for your commiseration on all the barfing and the volume, etc. "Bearing witness" took on whole new meaning there. Uncle Andy seems all better now, thank goodness. It seems salmon is, in fact, officially crossed off the list of Things He Loves, alas. . . .

Tomorrow is Santa Lucia Day. I made some little Santa Lucia and attendants dolls for a very special person who loves Santa Lucia Day. Unfortunately, I didn't get them to this very special person in time for Santa Lucia Day, but . . . she knows me. I'm always late with the really good presents. And I must say, this is a goodie.

I decided to go with fabric dresses instead of the paper-pleated ones I was thinking about because a) I didn't have the right paper at home and b) I felt like these little faces were pretty playful, and the paper flowers were pretty sophisticated, so those'll be for something else, perhaps over the mantle after all.

If you'd like to make some little Lucias (or angels or flower girls or ballet dancers or whatever you want), here is what you'll need:

Doll pins, 3 3/4"
Doll-pin stands, 1 1/8" x 1/2" round
Doll head beads, 1 1/4" (with hole in bottom big enough to fit over your pins)
Acrylic paints
Assorted paintbrushes
White pipecleaner, cut in 6" piece (for arms)
Silver pipecleaner, cut in 2" piece (for wands)
Green pipecleaner, cut to fit around head (for wreathe)
Flame-colored glitter or glitter glue (for candletips)
8" square pieces of various cotton fabrics, starched and ironed (for dresses)
Scalloped scissors or pinking shears
Upholstery thread
Embroidery floss (for sashes)

I had a lot of this stuff already, but you can get almost all of it at JoAnn's. Or just do a Google search and order it on-line wherever's best for you. You just want to make sure that your heads fit on the tops of whatever pins you use, since their little tops are different sizes depending on what brand you find. (I may put together kits of all this stuff if there is interest.)

Lucia3So, paint your pins and stands. I painted the tops of the pins peach, and the "feet" and stands white (for stockings) for all the attendants, and red for the Lucia.

Lucias1_1Then, paint the heads. I did mine peach all over, with two coats over the face. Use an extra pin to hold the heads while you are painting and while they are drying. When dry, do the hair and then the face. When all painting is finished and dry, coat the heads with varnish. (I didn't bother varnishing the pins or stands, but you can do that if you want.)

Lucia2Next, trace the pattern on the wrong side of your fabric with an air-erase marker. (Lucias typically wear all white dresses with red sashes, but I went with calico for the attendants, and white eyelet for the Lucia.) Cut out dress pattern with scallop shears (Fiskars makes these) or regular pinking shears on the outside of the lines (see pattern), and cut along line with straight scissors from hem to neckline. Make tiny holes at markings with embroidery scissors. With upholstery thread and using a running stitch to gather, stitch around neckline of dress, leaving long ends (no knots) at either edge of dress opening.

Lucia4Slide piece of white pipecleaner up through opening in pin, leaving about 1" of pipecleaner hanging out right side of pin, and, from the wrong side, poke the left side of the pipecleaner through the small hole on that side of dress. Really. Just try. It's easier than I'm making it sound, I promise.

Lucia5 Curve pipecleaner around front and poke it through hole in right side. Join to other end of pipecleaner by twisting ends together, and slide the joined part into the opening of the pin. This is all much, much easier than it sounds, I swear. You're basically making a ring of pipecleaner and hiding the joined part within the clothespin.

Lucia6Then stick the pin up through the neck opening of the dress, and tie to upholstery thread tightly around the groove in the pin neck. Spread gathers out equally around neck. Can you see the little white pipecleaner, coming out from either side of the pin, and going out through the holes?

Lucia7Smooth the dress down. Then just play with the arms until you get a nice, smooth circle.

Lucia10_1 Then stick her head on. I didn't glue mine, so that I could move them to imply different attitudes, but you could add a drop of glue to them when you find what you like.

Lucia12_1 Though Santa Lucia's attendants are supposed to carry candles, mine have silver wands — you can just clip them short and add a little dot of flame-colored glitter glue. Just bend up the bottom of the wand a bit and squeeze it onto the center of the arms. Use a piece of embroidery floss (all six plies) and tie it around her waist (under arms) and make a bow in the back. (Upholstery thread is pictured here, but on the finished dolls I used floss.) Smooth out gathers and then fluff up skirt. (Starching fabric before making dress helps it keep a poufy appearance.)

To make the Lucia's wreath, just use green pipecleaner to make a ring that will fit her head, and cut five 1"-pieces of white pipecleaner for "candles." Fold and pinch ends of candles around wreath, then add dabs of glitter to tips of candles and let dry.

You're done! Now set them up and take pictures of them, of course!




Finishedlucias6Happy Santa Lucia Day, everyone. I wish you love and light. 


Adorable! Any chance we could beg/plead/bribe you to make kits we can buy for next Christmas? Your cleverness and creativity knows no bounds. Happy Santa Lucia Day to you, thanks for sharing the love and light. xo

These are too darling --on parade! The sweetest faces. You are right, definitely a GOODIE! One should go live at Jenny B's pink dollhouse at allsorts. Made for each other...thanks for sharing the lovely details. Glad Andy is better today.

Kits -- I was thinking the same thing, if there is interest. . . .

So charming. You must have a steady hand to paint such delicate faces.

Those are simply amazing! I've never been informed of Santa Lucia Day so I must do some research. I am also sitting in front of a steaming bowl of Irish oats with half & half and brown sugar. I saw your method and had to try it. So divine and I will never eat rolled oats again!

They are simply adorable! Love-love-love the little faces. I forsee a trip to the craft store today. I must get some handsewing done today and painting could be done too, while loafing in front of the TV. That's my plan you see... Loafing and crafting. Thanks for sharing your lovlies!!

these are the cutest things- EVER

These are the sweetest dolls. I am so in-love wiht them. Thank you for sharing how to make them.
Happy Saint Lucia Day Clarice

oh jeez, those are the cutest little faces in the world!
i love them!
happy st lucia day everyone!

the dolls are lovely. and the last few photos are just wonderful.

OMG!!! These are sheer perfection! Thanks for the tutorial!

you are so generous.
i want to post money to your PayPal account.

Those are so sweet..... I may just have to try my hand at making these, um, next Christmas.. I have no time right now.. but they are sure adorable...hmmm, how about a Wee Wonderful "Olive" with blonde hair, in a white dress with a crown...hmmmm.... darn it! I do not need anything else to do .. oh well....

I am glad Uncle Andy is feeling better. It stinks he has to cross salmon off his list, but I know how that goes. My hard rock cafe Rasberry Chicken salad is what gave me food poisioning oh so many years ago, and I have never even been able to tolerate the thought of eating it again (and this was 15 years ago).

Oh, so adorable! Thanks so much for the tutorial - my Swedish, err, stepnieces would love those!

(Is there such a thing a stepniece, I wonder. I have a Swedish Stepfather with grandchildren..)

divine - completely and utterly divine. And yes kits do sound like a very good idea.

These are so cute...I'm dying over here. I want to look like the black hair/blue eyes/pink bow doll. =) Maybe I'll try to make a little Shim family...

kits!? yes please! and thank you thank you for these-the photos are making smile so big.

and again-regarding barf-we can't stop talking about it. and laughing. poor andy and funny you.

SO lovely! I loved Santa Lucia as a little girl...the best friends of my family were a Swedish family who only ended up living in the states for about 5 years. It's a good thing they showed me so many lovely things while they were here :)

big time xo,

Cute dollies!

Poor Andy. That's the same way I swore off tequila. :-)

Those are adorable. I can remember in elementary school they always picked the prettiest blond girl to be Santa Lucia and at six I knew, tragically, that I would never, ever be picked (dark hair). Now at least I can make my own. :o) Thank you.

Incredible. You are the just the most gifted girl ever. Please think more about the kits.

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About Alicia Paulson


My name is Alicia Paulson
and I love to make things. I live with my husband and daughter in Portland, Oregon, and design sewing, embroidery, knitting, and crochet patterns. See more about me at