Make your own Boho Santas That Run Rings Around Stick-On Bows – Literally!

Before we start, I must tell you I did not come up with this idea on my own. I found it on a Google search for gift embellishments and put my own stamp on it.

I originally intended to make up a bunch of these and use in this very way, but by the time I got around to making them, I’d already wrapped and decorated most of my gifts. Mostly I love my gift-wrapping efficiency, but sometimes I can be in too much of a hurry. I should have waited because these were so fun to make and are really, REALLY cute.

So packages aside, I decided to use them as Christmas Day dinner table favors instead to lend a bit of panache to my non-traditional color scheme. They’d also be cute as tree ornaments or hanging in windows or on doorknobs! And they’re a great way to use up leftover yarn.

Here’s what I started with…

This is the idea photo I found on Google search. I can’t credit who came up with it because the photo didn’t take me back to a tutorial. (But I’d be happy to ADD a credit if that person contacts me.)

It looked straightforward to me: Knot yarn on rings, half white for the beard, half red for the hat, then knot the red to make a hat and add a hanging loop.

I decided to change mine up by increasing the size of the ring and playing around with yarn colors used for the hat. I’m guessing this is about a 1.5-inch ring. I wanted mine a tad bigger and ordered rings along with some other craft items from an online site in 3-inch diameter. The larger size worked, but I would eventually like to try 2-inch and 1.5-inch sizes as well.

ANYONE can make these, they don’t get your hands dirty, and they go together quickly even in 3-inch size.

Everything you need…

  • White yarn for the beard and whatever colors you want for the hat
  • Craft ring(s) in desired size (3 inches is shown)
  • Scissors
You also might want to grab a book or piece of cardboard for cutting your yarn more quickly. I wound mine around the narrow end of a clipboard, then cut the loops at both ends.

I did this for both the white (beard) and colored yarns (hat).

Planning your Santa’s ‘wardrobe’

For most of my Santas, I used the variegated yarn shown here.

In some, I rotated the lighter pink and peach strands with the darker, rosy-colored strands (left). In others I used only the pink/peach strands (middle). And I did one with a solid dark rose yarn (right). You could also use bright red or any alternative color scheme you prefer—for the hat, that is. Santa’s beard needs to be white regardless of hat color, don’t you agree?

Making ‘knotty’ nicely

You only need to know how to do one basic knot to make this Santa. In macramé circles, it’s called a reverse lark’s head knot, which makes it sound a lot more complicated than it is. All you have to do to make it is:

  • Fold your cut strand in half and tuck the loop under the craft ring (left).
  • Then bring the two end strands over the top of the ring and through the loop (middle).
  • Finally, pull the ends tight (right).

If you look at the other side of your ring, you’ll see what a lark’s head knot without the reverse looks like. Both are made the same way; you just decide which side you want as the front.

  • Keep adding knots in your hat color (photos 1 and 2) until you fill up half the ring.
  • Then switch to white knots for beard (photos 3 and 4) and keep knotting until you fill the rest of the ring.

The number of strands you need and the number of knots you make will vary based on the thickness and loft of your yarn, as well as your own personal preference. I prefer to err on the side of fullness. And since my beard yarn was thinner and less fluffy than my hat yarn, I needed more beard knots. My 3-inch rings required around 35 to 40 knots for beard and for hat.

You should end up with something that looks like this.

‘Tying one on’ for Santa

The variegated yarn I used had a blue-violet strand to it. I didn’t want that in the hat itself, but thought it would work to tie the hat and make a hanging loop. Plus, since I’d already cut it out of the portions I used, I didn’t want to waste it. I cut a nice long strand of it and placed it underneath the hat portion of my Santa ring (right photo). Then I simply worked the hat strands into a clump I was satisfied with, pulling the blue tie strand tighter and tighter. Pardon me for not picturing this part, but I couldn’t do it AND photograph it.
I ended up with something like this. When I was satisfied with my “clump”…
  • I tightened the tie strand and knotted it (left).
  • Then I flipped Santa over, pulled my tie strands around, tied and knotted tightly again (middle—note the visual difference of the lark’s head knots on the back).
  • Finally, I made another simple knot in the tie strand to create a hanging loop and cut off the excess (right).
Lastly, I trimmed Santa’s beard and tapered it along the sides. Leaving him a little scraggly is okay, too. The hats may have needed a stray yarn strand trimmed, but mostly I thought they looked best a little irregular. There are no hard and fast rules, so do it to please your own eye.
And do it in the color combo you prefer. My all rosy-red one got attached to a basket of cookies I gave my cleaning lady before I finished these and took this photo. Next year, I’d like to try some in more alternative color schemes—teals, purples and lime greens maybe—and use on gifts instead of ribbon and bows, like I originally planned. Given this year’s track record, I guess I better get started!

For now…

I will have a few this year to use on some last-minute wraps (this one’s a sweater for my grand-puppy, Millie), including that last item for daughter Erin that Urban Outfitters may not get here on time (grrrr). Instead of ribbon to surround the package, I used extra yarn and tied the Santa ring onto it with a simple bow.
But gifts aside, I LOVE how they look as part of my table setting.

When we down-sized five years ago, we got rid of a lot of stuff, including the Christmas china. No room in a 1,400-square-foot condo for a service for eight that gets used only once a year. I even gave away the Christmas napkins and tablecloth! Now I use basic white dishes and table linens that work with my decor. That has meant I must find easier-to-store methods for making the table merry and bright for the holidays. This year, these sweet little Santas do that very trick for me.

If you give this project a try, I’d love to see how you make it your own. Feel free to post your photos in the comments section. And don’t forget to have a very Merry Christmas!

XOXO, Susan


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