Introduction: Miniature Reindeer

About: ...after 30 years of becoming corporately numb, my dreams of not working (for pay) and instead creating with my hands has become a reality. Life is grand!

An eco-friendly Festivus doo-dad that can be used as a decorative ornament or a simple gift, sure to be appreciated by both the giver and recipient!

Step 1: Gather Your Materials

- a branch/twig approximately the diameter of your thumb/index finger
- a means to cut thru the branch
- a drill and a narrow drill bit
- white glue
- 1" of wire (if interested in hanging as an ornament)

This Instructable used an oak branch but any type of branch will work.

Step 2: Cut the Branch Into the Necessary Lengths

The reindeer consists of the following proportionate body parts:

- the BODY is approximately the thickness of your index finger, cut into a 2" length. So the body does not appear too boxy, cut the length at a slight outward angle at both ends, One end will be the HINDQUARTERS (with a slight angled appearance) and the other is the CHEST, reflecting a slightly larger (30-45 degree) angle.

- the HEAD is about the thickness of your smallest finger, cut into a 1" length. Again, to not to make the segment appear too boxy, cut one end with a minor angle (30 degree) to create the front of the face.

- the NECK, LEGS and ANTLERS are made from the part of the branch where new growth appears. Cut one length 3/4" for the neck and 6 lengths that are 2" long for the legs and antlers. The knobbier the new growth, the more interesting the reindeer!

(Because my cuts are not always ideal, I cut several of the same item and will assemble/create several reindeer using the various body parts.)

Step 3: Dry Fit the Pieces and Redrill Holes If Necessary

With the longer section of the BODY representing the back, drill one hole for the NECK, then the turn the BODY section over and drill 4 holes to accept the LEGS.

Next, drill a single hole on the underside of the HEAD to connect the NECK. Turn the HEAD over and drill 2 more holes to accept ANTLERS. (The neck and antlers holes will be on the opposite side of the mouth)

Dry fit the various pieces to decide if you are satisfied with the appearance/gait of the reindeer. If not, now is the time to redrill holes.

Step 4: Glue All the Pieces Together

Glue all sections together and set aside to dry. Because some of the holes may be deeper than others, plan on trimming the legs/antlers to balance the ornament later.

(If you decide to hang the reindeer as tree ornament, create a loop of wire to insert near the reindeer's neck. The head/antlers can create a top heavy ornament, so experiment to find the best location.)

Step 5: Save or Give Away...

...but only to someone that appreciates the love you made!

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