Ever since Clement Moore composed the classic poem “A Visit from St. Nicholas” way back in 1822, reindeers have featured prominently in Christmas stories and decor. Sadly we don’t see them here in South Africa, which makes me wonder. How does Santa deliver all those presents? Maybe he uses a taxi 🙂 Oh well, be that as it may, I thought it would be fun to make a rustic wooden reindeer family using our pallet scraps and repurpose a few of those rusty nails that hold the pallets together at the same time.
The reindeer family looks cute enough to use all year and you can keep them plain to celebrate that lovely worn, weathered wood, or you can dolly them up by doodling a design on the sides. They would look lovely painted too.
What you need
The reindeer family was quite literally “born” out of our pallet scraps. Their bodies are made from a well-worn and weathered piece of pallet wood. It’s thicker than normal so I’m guessing it was the running board on a Stringer pallet. The legs are the rusty nails we removed when we took the pallet apart.
You’ll also need:
- Leather or fabric scraps
- 100 grit sandpaper
- Wood glue
- Jigsaw and Drill
- Jewelry wire or a Branch
- Reindeer family template
How to make the wooden reindeer family
These little guys take about 30 minutes to put together and they’re really easy to make. Start by tracing the reindeer family template of the mommy, daddy and baby reindeer onto a piece of wood. You can freehand your own version too. They’re basically just blobs with heads, which is probably why the hubby calls them “Mr. and Mrs. Blob and their son Bob” 😀 No respect I tell you 😉
Cut the reindeer blobs out using a jigsaw. If you’ve never used a jigsaw before, here’s a handy guide to get you started.
Sand the edges lightly to get rid of any rough bits and cut out two ears and a tail for each reindeer.
To form the reindeer ears, cut a small slit at the bottom of each ear and fold and glue the slits together as shown below.
Putting everything together
To put the reindeer family together, drill four holes in the bottom of each reindeer blob. Make sure the drill bit goes in the same depth otherwise you’ll end up with a reindeer family that looks like they had way too many beers 😀
Add a small drop of glue to the tips of the rusty nails and push them inside the holes.
Make some horns by rolling a piece of jewelry wire around a pencil, drill a small hole on top of the reindeer’s head, and insert the horns. If you don’t have any wire, small twigs will work too. Glue the ears and the tail on and your reindeer family is done.
If the legs are a little wobbly or uneven you can bend the nails slightly until your little reindeer is stable.
Don’t you love how comical those rusty nail legs look?
And how the wood of those rough, weathered pallets adds to their charm.
I really had sooooo much fun posing these little guys and taking photos of them.
And if you look at the baby reindeer from the front he almost looks like he’s smiling? Or am I just imagining things?
If weathered pallets are not your style, you can get creative and paint them or doodle some squiggles and patterns on to create that Scandi chic look. My doodling skills suck 😀 so I printed some gorgeous watercolor wildflowers on clear sticky paper and stuck that on one side instead. You can download them here.
So now I have two versions of the same reindeer family. The doodle version ………
………. and a plain, weathered, pallet version.
Which version do you like more?
If you like the idea of making a rustic reindeer family from pallet scraps don’t forget to pin it for later.
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And as always, wishing you a wonderful, crafty week filled with lots of love. Thank you for popping in for a visit.