Christmas Tips & Fun

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DIY

Make a Mini Version Of A Log Reindeer

A

grownup project – and some of you may remember the much larger cousin of this woodsy symbol of the Christmas season.

This involves getting some tree branches of the right diameter, and the barkier the better. But it’s more size that matters rather than the barkiness.

(This is for a smallish deer. If you find a larger branch adjust the proportions accordingly.)

You want a segment of a branch that’s about an inch in diameter and about 2 inches long. That becomes the body of the reindeer.

A smaller segment, cut to about a half-inch becomes the head.

A one-eighth-inch dowel will serve as feet and neck.

A couple of twigs will work for antlers.

Cut 4 1-and-a-half-inch long dowel segments for feet and drill holes for them in the body and glue them in place. Be very careful with this step and remember the power tool cautions you’ve heard on This Old House.

Cut a half-inch dowel segment for the neck and drill a hole in the body so that the head will be at a slightly elevated angle. Glue that end in place. Drill a similar hole in the middle (not an end) of the head and insert the dowel but don’t glue it – so the deer can look around and move its head.

Drill (or, by this point, just use an awl) holes in the head for the twig antlers.

If you have a couple of wooden matchsticks you could clip about a quarter-inch and use the awl to make holes for the reindeer’s ears.

Finally (almost) you could glue on a couple of those plastic eyes with the movable irises so that when the deer moves his (or her) head the eyes move appropriately.

Finally (again, almost) you have a couple of options for the deer’s tail. You could replicate the ear procedure or you could take a short length of cotton twine or that brown hemp version and using the awl again not only to make a hole for the tail material but to help insert it – after first inserting a drop of glue to hold it in place.

Finally (for sure this time) give your deer a Christmas bow around its neck – and even, perhaps, add a small jingle bell. Then insert a cup hook or small “eye” screw to attach an ornament hanger to – or leave that off and just let your deer romp on the dinner table as a part of your Christmas feast.

Written by Dianne Weller
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