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Wednesday, November 30th, 2011

St. Nicholas Craft: Your Own Krampus to Keep Kids in Line


Krampus, the “devil of Christmas,” is believed to accompany St. Nicholas/Nikolas in December in the Alpine regions. Krampus is depicted as a horned devil figure, often in chains, with black fur and a long red tongue. Krampus threatens to whip children who misbehave but can also take back their presents, throw them in a sack or carry them off into the woods to eat them. You can read more about Krampus here, with pictures too!

You can easily make your own little Krampus in a few moments out of wired chenille (pipe cleaners). He can be placed in strategic areas around the house (think toy box, shoe/jacket organization, etc.) where a reminder of Krampus and his intended punishments might be necessary!

3 black pipe cleaners
1 red pipe cleaner
1 brown pipe cleaner

1. Take a black pipe cleaner, and loop it in the center, securing it once or twice.
2. With a quarter-length of red pipe cleaner, add horns to the suggested “head” shape. Tuck the cut ends in on themselves so they don’t scratch.

3. Half of the remaining black length will be held straight to begin to create the body. With the other half, begin wrapping around your loop shape, tightening and smooshing a bit to create a head.

4. Take a new black pipe cleaner and cut in half. With one half, fold in half and make legs with folded-in “feet”, attaching this to the remaining length of “body”. Fold the body up on itself so that the legs are secured. (They will move easily, and your Krampus can actually sit!)

5. With the second half, attach arms. Make folded-in hands so the cut edges are not scratchy.

6. With another whole black pipe cleaner, begin wrapping the body. Leave a nice length in the back for a tail. If you don’t want your Krampus to be thin and wiry, use two pipe cleaners to fill him out a bit.

Cut a brown pipe cleaner into quarters to make his birch switches, and put them in his claw!

Festive…yet terrifying.

Wrap him anywhere where a little reminder of Krampus is needed! He’s like elf on a shelf only MUCH cooler.

© 2011, Amber Dorko Stopper. All rights reserved.

More Great Stuff You'll Love:

The African Guide to Co-sleeping

10 must-read tips on co-sleeping from Africa

How My Chinese Mother-in-Law Replaced my Husband

And why this is the number one fight in our household


Amber Dorko Stopper is a writer, knitter and mother in Philadelphia. She blogs at

Leave us a comment!

  1. Commentsthe inaugural krampuslauf philadelphia — a joy!! | voluptuous stoicism   |  Saturday, 24 December 2011 at 5:02 pm

    […] here’s our quickest, easiest, cheapest krampus craft! and that craft is of course permanently linked here as […]

  2. CommentsKRAMPUSLAUF PHILADELPHIA « krampuslauf philadelphia   |  Wednesday, 18 January 2012 at 7:14 am

    […] read about why krampuslauf philadelphia founder amber dorko stopper feels that krampus is good for children — in this article in inCultureParent magazine. then try her super-simplest krampus craft of all time! […]

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