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DIY a Rustic Wooden Reindeer Family

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.

Easy DIY Rustic, repurposed Reindeer Family Ornaments - a lovely way to use up those old rusty nails and add something special to your festive decor Great gift idea too! #woodenreindeer #DIYReindeer #DIYRustyReindeer #RustyNailrepurpose #acraftymix # Reindeerdecor #reindeertemplate

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.

Easy DIY Rustic, repurposed Reindeer Family Ornaments - a lovely way to use up those old rusty nails and add something special to your festive decor Great gift idea too! #woodenreindeer #DIYReindeer #DIYRustyReindeer #RustyNailrepurpose #acraftymix # Reindeerdecor #reindeertemplate

Okay, before we get to the tutorial, be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram. And don’t forget to subscribe so you’ll never miss a post!

What you need

The reindeer family was quite literally “born” out of our pallet scraps. Their bodies are made from a well-worn and weather piece of pallet wood. It’s thicker than normal so I’m guessing it was the running board on a Stringer pallet and the legs are the rusty nails.

What you need to make the reindeer family #woodenreindeer #DIYReindeer #DIYRustyReindeer #RustyNailrepurpose #acraftymix # Reindeerdecor #reindeertemplate

You’ll need four nails that are the same length for each reindeer. We have a huge bucket full of them that we save to make pear stalks or wire woven crosses.

A tin full of rusty old nails that need to be repurposed

You’ll also need:

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 😀

Use the template to draw some reindeer blobs on the wood #woodenreindeer #DIYReindeer #DIYRustyReindeer #RustyNailrepurpose #acraftymix # Reindeerdecor #reindeertemplate

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.

Using a jigsaw is easy

Sand the edges lightly to get rid of any rough bits and cut out two ears and a tail for each reindeer.

All the pieces for the easy rustic, repurposed Reindeer Family Ornaments - a lovely way to use up those old rusty nails #woodenreindeer #DIYReindeer #DIYRustyReindeer #RustyNailrepurpose #acraftymix # Reindeerdecor #reindeertemplate

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.

How to make the ears and tail #woodenreindeer #DIYReindeer #DIYRustyReindeer #RustyNailrepurpose #acraftymix # Reindeerdecor #reindeertemplate

Putting everything together

To finish off, drill four holes in the bottom of the reindeer blobs. 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 😀

Drill four holes in the bottom of the shape #woodenreindeer #DIYReindeer #DIYRustyReindeer #RustyNailrepurpose #acraftymix # Reindeerdecor #reindeertemplate

Add a small drop of glue to the tips of the rusty nails and push them inside the holes.

Put a small drop of glue on the tip of the nails and glue 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.

The reindeer horns are made by twisting wire around a pencil #woodenreindeer #DIYReindeer #DIYRustyReindeer #RustyNailrepurpose #acraftymix # Reindeerdecor #reindeertemplate

If the legs are a little wobbly or uneven you can bend the nails slightly until your little reindeer is stable.

Love the look of the rusty nail reindeer legs. Too cute #woodenreindeer #DIYReindeer #DIYRustyReindeer #RustyNailrepurpose #acraftymix # Reindeerdecor #reindeertemplate

Don’t you love how comical those rusty nail legs look?

Another look at the rust nail legs. #woodenreindeer #DIYReindeer #DIYRustyReindeer #RustyNailrepurpose #acraftymix # Reindeerdecor #reindeertemplate

And how the wood of those rough, weathered pallets adds to their charm.

Easy DIY Rustic, repurposed Reindeer Family Ornaments - a lovely way to use up those old rusty nails and add something special to your festive decor Great gift idea too! #woodenreindeer #DIYReindeer #DIYRustyReindeer #RustyNailrepurpose #acraftymix # Reindeerdecor #reindeertemplate

I really had sooooo much fun posing these little guys and taking photos of them.

Easy DIY Rustic, repurposed Reindeer Family Ornaments - a lovely way to use up those old rusty nails and add something special to your festive decor Great gift idea too! #woodenreindeer #DIYReindeer #DIYRustyReindeer #RustyNailrepurpose #acraftymix # Reindeerdecor #reindeertemplate

And if you look at the baby reindeer from the front he almost looks like he’s smiling? Or am I just imagining things?

Front view of the baby reindeer. #woodenreindeer #DIYReindeer #DIYRustyReindeer #RustyNailrepurpose #acraftymix # Reindeerdecor #reindeertemplate

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.

Another take on decorating the reindeers. #woodenreindeer #DIYReindeer #DIYRustyReindeer #RustyNailrepurpose #acraftymix # Reindeerdecor #reindeertemplate

So now I have two versions of the same reindeer family. The doodle version ………

Easy DIY Rustic, repurposed Reindeer Family Ornaments - a lovely way to use up those old rusty nails and add something special to your festive decor Great gift idea too! #woodenreindeer #DIYReindeer #DIYRustyReindeer #RustyNailrepurpose #acraftymix # Reindeerdecor #reindeertemplate

………. and a plain, weathered, pallet version.

Easy DIY Rustic, repurposed Reindeer Family Ornaments - a lovely way to use up those old rusty nails and add something special to your festive decor Great gift idea too! #woodenreindeer #DIYReindeer #DIYRustyReindeer #RustyNailrepurpose #acraftymix # Reindeerdecor #reindeertemplate

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.

Easy DIY Rustic, repurposed Reindeer Family Ornaments - a lovely way to use up those old rusty nails and add something special to your festive decor Great gift idea too! #woodenreindeer #DIYReindeer #DIYRustyReindeer #RustyNailrepurpose #acraftymix # Reindeerdecor #reindeertemplate #foundobjectart

Sharing is caring 😉

Easy DIY Rustic, repurposed Reindeer Family Ornaments - a lovely way to use up those old rusty nails and add something special to your festive decor Great gift idea too! #woodenreindeer #DIYReindeer #DIYRustyReindeer #RustyNailrepurpose #acraftymix # Reindeerdecor #reindeertemplate

Oh and if you’re looking for some of the things we used, we’ve got you covered Disclosure: Clicking on the links below, means we may receive a commission from Amazon. But don’t worry it won’t come out of your pocket, and it helps us come up with more amazing craft ideas to share with you 😉

Tattoo Transfer Paper - CINRA 30 Sheets Tattoo Stencil Paper Tattoo Supplies for Tattoos …
Solid Bare Copper Round Wire 5 Oz Spool Dead Soft 12 To 30 Ga (20 Ga / 108 Ft)
Rustic Farmhouse Reclaimed Barn Wood Bundle | 36 inch | Wood Plank | Wall Panels | Remodeling | Weathered | DIY | Repurposed | Decoration | Shiplap | Craft Wood | Pack of 6

And if you prefer to buy rather than DIY

N&T NIETING Handmade Christmas Reindeer Doll Decoration, 16.5Inches Linen Deer Reindeer Toy Xmas Ornaments Santa Gifts for Kids Girls Boys
Department 56 Possible Dreams Accessories Santa's Reindeer
Sale VIAME Handmade Reindeer Christmas Ornament, (“18 Inches) Rudolph Reindeer Christmas Decoration, Deer Ornament Hanging Toy Doll for Christmas Tree Decorations

And as always, wishing you a wonderful, crafty week filled with lots of love. Thank you for popping in for a visit.

Made with love by a Crafty Mix

Categories:   Craft Tutorials, Holiday Crafts, Home Decor Crafts, Pallet Hacks, Quick & Easy Crafts, Trash to Treasure, Wire Crafts

Comments

  • Posted: November 30, 2019 19:17

    Claire

    These are so gorgeous and cute.
    • Posted: December 1, 2019 04:33

      acraftymix

      Thanks so much CLaire 😊
  • Posted: November 29, 2019 13:55

    Marie

    Come on, the cutest little reindeer EVER! Brilliant using the rusty pallet nails for the legs. They would make such fun hostess gifts.
    • Posted: November 30, 2019 03:41

      acraftymix

      😃 Those little reindeer blobs are getting a lot comments from our friends here at home. I'm guessing I'll be cutting quite a few more 😉
  • Posted: November 28, 2019 11:23

    Anita Holland

    Oh my, these gave me such a giggle. They are so adorable, I would love to see what your house is like.
    • Posted: November 28, 2019 11:33

      acraftymix

      Not so sure you want to see what our home looks like right now Anita. It's one big chaotic mess with all the craft projects we have going on 😃
  • Posted: November 28, 2019 01:29

    Audra @ Renewed Projects

    These are adorable! I love the repurposed materials used to make this sweet family! The artwork on the side is amazing!
    • Posted: November 28, 2019 05:23

      acraftymix

      Thanks so much, Audra. I really enjoyed making these little guys, it was such a quick and easy decor project
  • Posted: November 26, 2019 10:55

    Linda D Keesee

    These are adorable! These are so much cuter than the ones seen in stores. Last week I tore a pallet apart for making signs but threw out the thicker pieces. :(
    • Posted: November 26, 2019 13:25

      acraftymix

      Oh dear, sorry to hear that Linda, but the thinner pieces should work too.
  • Posted: November 26, 2019 03:18

    Brooke

    These are so adorable! The rusty nails as legs really make them look so original. No reindeer in South Africa, not even Rudolph?
    • Posted: November 26, 2019 05:23

      acraftymix

      Nope sadly not even Rudolph, but we do have lots of other buck types here and the only one I know of that has horns similar to a reindeer is the fallow buck.
  • Posted: November 26, 2019 01:42

    Kim

    Michelle, these are just the most darling reindeer! You are so creative my friend. I love them.
  • Posted: November 25, 2019 22:34

    ROBIN LAMONTE

    Such a fun DIY project! You come up with the best ideas! Hugs, Robin
    • Posted: November 26, 2019 05:25

      acraftymix

      Thank you Robin and hugs right back at you 😘
  • Posted: November 25, 2019 19:17

    Lori Nell

    These are so darling. The instructions are excellent, Michelle!
    • Posted: November 26, 2019 05:25

      acraftymix

      Glad you like the tutorial and the reindeer Lori, thank you
  • Posted: November 25, 2019 15:56

    Mary Kalpos

    Michelle only you can come up with ideas to repurpose old rusty nails. And what a fantastic idea it is. Love these cute little reindeer. Why should Santa get all of the spotlight?
    • Posted: November 25, 2019 16:11

      acraftymix

      😂 Yes!!! Santa gets enough love, it's the reindeer family's turn
  • Posted: November 25, 2019 12:27

    Lynn Spencer

    Oh Michelle, these reindeer are adorable! And what fun you had making them! You are my kind of people reusing scraps and bits and bobs. Well done! Thanks for the inspiration. Hugs, Lynn
    • Posted: November 25, 2019 12:36

      acraftymix

      😍 You're most welcome Lynn and so happy you like the reindeer family.

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