How to make life-size Christmas Santa dolls

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Embrace the festive spirit and get creative this Christmas by making your own life-size Santa doll to decorate your home.

You can put him at the front door to greet -- or scare -- your Christmas party guests or transform a corner of your house into a grotto for the kids with Santa Claus taking pride of place in a chair surrounded by presents. Making your own doll is not as challenging as you may think. All you need is a mannequin, a Santa suit and some artistic licence.

Find a full-size second-hand male mannequin. Try searching at eBay or Gumtree and purchase one online. Or visit your local department store and ask whether they have any old mannequins to give away, sell or even rent.

Purchase a human-size Santa suit from your local fancy dress shop or online costume shop. You can also try Amazon. Try to find one that comes with the jacket, trousers, boots, beard and hat in one. Choose the largest size so that you can pad it out.

Purchase the remaining Santa accessories such as the wig, beard and boots if they don't come with the costume. They will most likely be available from the same shop where you bought your Santa suit.

Buy a fat suit to put on the mannequin under the Santa suit to make him look big and round or, if you're on a budget, buy lots of cotton stuffing from a local fabric shop.

Dress the mannequin in the jackets, pants, boots, wig, beard and hat. Stuff the arms, legs and body of the jacket and pants to fatten it up.

Paint the cheeks of the mannequin red with face paint to give Santa a rosy glow. Place your Santa doll in the appropriate place in the house.