Ornamental Separator

A Toy for the Tree

This 19th-century novelty marches from our collection to your holiday tree

After guests enjoy the German Toys in America exhibit at the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum, they can re-create one of the displayed toys in the form of a holiday ornament. A crank-toy drummer serves as the inspiration for a felt ornament designed by Christina Westenberger, the assistant manager of museum education.

The crank-toy, made between 1840 and 1870, is made of wood, papier mâché and paint and stands on a hollow wooden base. A thin wire crank controls the drummer’s arms so he appears to be drumming. The drummer is on view at the Joanne L. and Philip D. Wolfe Gallery.


Pink Pencil




Marking Pens: Black, Red, Brown, Blue

" Hole Punch

Tacky Glue

Copy of Patterns

Heavy Duty Felt: Blue, Black, White, Brown, Yellow and Cream


Mini Pom-pom

Mini Brads




Step 1

Pin the patterns to the heavy duty felt and cut the body, two arms, two legs, two shoes, two hands, visor, face, hair and drum. Punch holes as marked by dots in the body, arms and legs.

Step 2

Test marking pens on scrap of felt, then draw eyes, nose and mouth onto face, using the photo as a guide.

Step 3

Cut pointed ends off toothpicks. Glue cut toothpick to the arm and glue hand on top.

Step 4

Using the picture as a guide, glue the shoes, hands, face, hair and visor in place. Embellish soldier and drum with felt scraps. Glue ribbon to back of drum.

TIP: When using tacky glue, gently push the pieces together and let dry.

Step 5

Attach arms and legs to the back of body with mini brads, pose soldier and secure brad.

Step 6

Thread twine through the top of soldier hat with needle and glue on pompom. We added a star brad to the center of the hat.

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