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 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.

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. They can be used in so many different ways, like 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, which is probably why the hubby calls them “Mr. and Mrs. Blob and their son Bob” 😀 No respect I tell you 😉

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 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 😀

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 Transfer Paper Tattoo Thermal Stencil Paper 4 Layers 8 1/2' x 11' Tattoo Copy Carbon Tracing Paper for Tattoo Transfer Kit Supplies
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 Planks

And if you prefer to buy rather than DIY

N&T NIETING Christmas Ornaments, Reindeer Plush Toy Christmas Pet Stuffed Animals Plush Toy Plush Puppets Plush Standing Rustic Moose Figurine Decor for Christmas Decorations
Department 56 Possible Dreams Accessories Santa's Reindeer
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