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Easy Frosty Upcycled Ceramic Thrift Store Santas

Thrift stores can be such a great way to decorate for the holidays inexpensively while getting a little crafty. So many items have great bones, and just need some simple and fun updating. One way to create a new decor item from something at the thrift store is by painting it. These easy frosty upcycled ceramic thrift store Santas are a great example of making new Christmas decor out of something old with paint and glitter!

Upcycled Thrift Store Ceramic Santa with Glitter and paint on a mantel with white glittered bottle brush trees and two brass deer sitting on each side

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It’s amazing what you can do with some white spray paint, craft glue and white glitter. This was a project I made for my Christmas craft book  Creatively Christmas.  I found these various ceramic Santas  and I knew they needed a makeover. You can watch a video of the process or continue to the step-by step tutorial below. Find the supplies to make this project here.

Santas collected form the thrift store

While on their own they were fine, they just didn’t go together as a group. Though some of their faces are a little scary. The ceramic Santa on the far left looked really worried, and the one on the  far right had a rabid-looking reindeer.

Thrift store ceramic Santa

See, totally not kidding. The two in the middle just seemed to be happy to be rescued from the cold wire shelves next to a bunch of wooden nutcrackers with missing arms.

Thrift store santas spray painted white

I first gave them all a few coats of white spray paint. The video shows using craft paint. Either will work, the spray paint version needs an extra step as detailed below. The ceramic Santas already look better with a coat of white paint. They are so much more cohesive now that they are all one paint color. Upcycling thrift store decor can be so satisfying.

Grouping of thirft store santas paintd white and glittered

Upcycle it: Paint Upcycled Rainbow Thrift Store Ceramic Cottages

Paint a coat the santa in white craft glue

Since the spray paint dried fast I coated each one with white craft glue and immediately sprinkled on super fine, white glitter. Martha Stewart has one called Carrera Marble that I like a lot. If you use white craft paint, you can sprinkle the glitter on while it’s still wet, the paint will act as an adhesive.

Pretty thrift store santa makeover with glitter and white paint

I let them dry. I love the effect, they  look like they are made of sugar! The easy frosty upcycled ceramic thrift store Santas now look pretty and brand new  and are neutral enough to go with almost any Christmas decor. This treatment can be done to almost any ceramic figurine including reindeer, snowmen or Christmas cottages. I’ve also used baking soda paint. You can find that link after this image.

Santas spray painted and coated in white glitter

The reindeer is not as scary either, and I don’t see Santa’s crazy eyes anymore.

Paint: Baking Soda Painted Christmas Trees

Sprinkle santa with white glitter to make a thrift store santa new

It’s such a transformation. I love how the details remain and Santa looks frosty and glittery.

Ceramic Thirft Store Santa with paint and glitter

I paired one with some fun white bottle brush trees and brass reindeer.

Thrift store santa painted white and glittered with white bottlebrush trees and brass reindeer

You an visit the other bloggers projects at:



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You can find my book on Amazon!

Creatively Christmas by Jennifer Rizzo full of holiday decor, inspiration and holiday decorating projects and ideas.

Faux sugar Santa DIY


  1. Love your Sugar Santa idea! Their features came alive in white. Before the colors were distracting. Thanks for sharing and can’t wait for the tour to begin.

  2. A few days ago I purchased some small angels from the Dollar Tree and your idea has helped me to decide what to
    do with them. Thanks !

  3. I loooooove this idea so much!! I have so many santas that belonged to my mother that I have in storage because they just don’t work in my home. I am usually good at repurposing things but I never would have thought of this! Thank you!

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