Clothespin Toy Soldier Ornament Tutorial


I was looking for a small gift to give a large number of people. After quite a bit of shopping and thinking I decided to “make” something. I had one ornament that was an angel made out of clothespins. That was the inspiration for this toy solider!

It was easy and fun to make, once I got started I kept adding details, but you could make it very simple and I think it would be a fun project for children.

Materials needed:

Clip clothespins (one for each ornament, I found these at the Dollar Store)

Craft glue (white, I did use a glue gun to attach the ribbon to hang it with)

Pompoms, a small bag of assorted colors or black, seems to run about 99 cents (again Dollar Store)

Acrylic paint (red, black and blue, and gold) and small brushes, I experimented with markers and that worked well also, (this might be a better option for children?)


Popsicle sticks

Sharpie markers (in black and red)

Sequins (I also picked up a small package of these at the Dollar Store 99 cents

Very small amount of black felt, one sheet is plenty (optional)

Ribbon or thread to use to hang your ornament

1. Take your clip clothespins and take them apart.


Use your white craft glue and put the two pieces of the pin together with the flat sides facing each other. This forms the head and body of your solider.


2. Get you paints or markers out and start painting! It is easier to start with the hair and shoes, then move on to the clothes. I choose red for the shirt,and blue for the pants. (I learned this from several sets of soldiers and a lot of smudging of paint)


You can add a space for the ear when painting the hair if you want, and then add the boots, then let this dry before moving on.


3. Then I painted the shirt on all of my soldiers then the pants. I used my black sharpie to add the belt, which covers any uneven painting.


Using your sharpie markers, I made the eyes and mouth.

4. Now get your craft glue and pompoms, I added a big blob of glue on top of each head and stuck the pompom on, hold this for a bit before putting down.


While you are waiting for these to dry, take your popsicle sticks and cut them a good length for arms. Now you can paint them the same color as your shirt, I then used my sharpie to add the cuff.


5.Optional step: I took a piece of black felt and cut a very small strip for a band around the pompom hat. About 1/4 of an inch and glued this around the base. I think it made the hat look cute.

6. Take your black sharpie and make an “X” on the front and back of the soldier's shirt.

Now get the white glue and sequins out. Add one to the front of his shirt, and one to his hat.

We can also glue the arms on. I liked the effect of putting them on so he looked like he was walking, one slightly farther out in the front than the other.


7. I decided to add a thick band of white paint to the tops of the shoes to make it look like fur. I experimented with gluing a piece of yarn on here, but that was hard to do.

I also took a toothpick and dipped it in my gold paint to add a belt buckle, and used the small end of the tooth pick to add small dots on the “x” straps on the front and made three dots up the front of the boots, I also added gold dots on the sleeve trim and the tops of the arms (in the shape of a triangle, for the epaulets)

8. Last step is to add your hanging thread or ribbon. I ended up hot gluing a ribbon to the back of the soldier.


This one below was done with markers instead of paint. I think if has a “stained or older” look to it.


Happy Holidays!


  1. What a clever idea! Definitely doing this for next Christmas.

  2. Dear Vicki,
    Always your craft works are beautiful, very clever and heart warming. You're truly amazing. Thank you for sharing them and visiting my blog this year. May 2011 will be a wonderful year for you!!
    Love and smile,

  3. So cute! Thanks for showing the process.


  4. Oh cool! If I'm still here at the coo-coo library, I'll do that with the kids next year :)

  5. Vicki,
    Those little Toy Soldiers are adorable. I remember one year I made one out of clay pots. I like yours better.


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