Our Lady of Grace, Displayed by Ray

Recently we shared some photos that Ray sent us for his Our Lady of Fatima. We now have photos to share of his Our Lady of Grace, which is made from the 31″ Grey Santos Doll. We think he chose a very beautiful doll to start his project with – she has a beautiful, ethereal face. Ray has added extensive lace work and beading to her dress and veil. Click the photos to enlarge them, so you can see the beautiful detail that he has given the Santos!


Thank you for sharing your photos, Ray! We hope we can see your next project!

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Central American Folk Art Statues in Traditional Home Mag

We are so happy to see a plethora of Santos statues in one beautiful magazine spread! Traditional Home Magazine (June 2011 Issue) has done a piece on the home of Charles and Jane Forman, who live in a gorgeous home in Nantucket. Their house is decorated with a lot of great folk art, including many Santos cage dolls and other Santos figures. We are disappointed that for the most part, the dolls were not referred to as Santos dolls – that will definitely make it harder for people to find what they are looking for. A search on Central American Folk Art Statues will yield very different results from the Santos dolls in this home.  A couple of the figures are Central American in design, but in my opinion, about half of her collection is  Southern European.

Regardless of the origin, her Santos collection is gorgeous – I believe most of it to be antique, if not all. We do have dolls that are extremely close in reproduction to her dolls.


On page 114, she has a beautiful collection of turquoise Santos – turquoise and bright blue are very popular colors with antique Santos – and the one on the desk in front of the window appears to be a custom painted version of our 20″ Mauve Santos Cage Doll, found in our store here. I have to say, turquoise is definitely a good color on this Santos lady! Please pick up a copy of the June 2011 magazine and see their beautiful home.

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Amanda’s Display

Amanda, of East Sussex, dresses her Santos according to the seasons and holidays. Here’s the fantastic 27 Inch Cream Santos Cage Doll (our most popular doll) holding a tattered heart.

Amanda has a very creative store across the pond at Maygreen Fairies. There, you can see her new creations of vintage style goods, feather fascinators, handmade jewelry and more! We’ll be happy to share more decoration photos of Amanda’s as we get them. 

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Our Lady of Fatima, Displayed by Ray

Ray, a very gifted tailor, has dressed some beautiful Santos in to various apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Here, she is dressed as Our Lady of Fatima. Ray has chosen fine lace and added his own custom beading to bring the perfect look to the dress as he has envisioned it. Ray is working on more Blessed Virgin Mary’s, and we hope to be able to share pictures of all of them as we receive them. He has chosen the 27 inch Cream Santos to make this. 


Here you can see an up-close view of the lace and beading.


And here is another closeup shot of her face, surrounded by a lace veil.


We look forward to sharing more of Ray’s displays! 

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Rosemary’s handmade crown and dress

I recently stumbled upon a blog called Ozma Of Odds. It was love at first sight! On the top of her page, was our Cream and Taupe 27 Inch Santos Cage Doll , but all dressed up and ooooooh so divine!!


Here’s what Rosemary says about dressing her doll:


* Her crown is made from twisted wire, austrian crystals and rhinestones and pearls and is actually a necklace for me, and when I’m not wearing it…she is ~ as a crown!!!
~ My mom loved it as a crown sooo much I actually made her one but in a silver tone!!

* She wears a skirt made out of fabric strips cut from brown toile de jouy fabric, vintage lace and hand stamped strips of muslin with frenchness words!! ~ and a satin creamy sash finishes it off, as one can never be tooo elegant, can they be?!

* She has a collar around her neck and cuffs around her wrists. The collar is made out of coffee filters and the wrists are cupcake liners of all things!! I just love the way they stand stiff and can be seperated to appear full and fluffed out!!

* In her right hand she holds a bouquet of vintage flowers that have been grunged and tipped with silver glitter and tied off with vintage seam binding ribbon. She also holds an altered art tags that I simply made out of burlap, brown tissue paper and a french fabric image. In her left hand she holds the perfect shade of blue/green vintage rosary.

Combine these lovely things all together and Viola!! There you have it ~ my santos!!


This has to be not only the most original Santos dressing that we’ve seen, but also one of the most beautiful! Check out the closeups…

The back of her dress is topped with a beautiful ribbon sash…

Her tiny bouquet of flowers and wrist cuffs made of miniature cupcake liners!


Her skirt is made from strips of fabric.


Be sure and check out Rosemary’s blog at Ozma of Odds - she has a ton of beautiful things to look at, including her Santos Paper Dolls, which we talk about here. 

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To Dress or Not to Dress

Beauty springs out from the simplicity of each piece, so dressing is not required. In fact, by collectors, dolls are most commonly presented in their natural, carved state, so all can see the charm that has been displayed in the craft. If you do choose to dress your doll, it’s traditional to cover the parts of the doll that have been painted (modest undergarments!).

Santos are frequently dressed for religious purposes, and many collectors like to mimic the fashion. Santos cage dolls were historically used in holiday celebrations and religious processions. The Santos were sometimes grandly dressed and decorated. It wasn’t uncommon to dress the dolls in crowns and elaborate gowns that were created for the special holiday or event. This inspired more details in the construction, including movable and jointed arms and legs, to more easily dress the dolls. Some Santos dolls are one piece carvings, others are articulated mannequins, and some are even jointed and attached to a caged frame, referred to as a bastidor (Spanish for frame).

Today, some Santos collectors dress their doll in gowns, dresses, robes or scarves, complete with crowns, wreaths, and sometimes even with scepters,      or halos and wings. The doll can be sprinkled with jewelry, or simply just hold a sprig of dried herbs or small dried flowers across her arm. If you have a cage doll, you can place trinkets or objects inside the cage, like birds nests, rosebuds, smaller dolls, crowns, doll heads, bird figurines, trinket boxes, ornate jewelry, or dollhouse objects.

Dressed or undressed, Santos dolls will match beautifully with antique decor, vintage decor, religious relics, European, South American, Central American, or Shabby Chic decor. It will also fit in with an ultra modern decor as a softer touch. If you don’t blink, you’ll even see one in the movie Twilight.

We’d love to see how you have your doll displayed! Email your photos to shop@santoscagedoll.com . With your permission, we’ll share it with our readers and link to your blog, if you have one.

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