How to Make a Popsicle Stick Sled Ornament for Under $2




Handyman, tech-nerd, and traveler. I love to explore new ways of thinking about problems, and the...

Why make your own ornaments?
Making ornaments at home is a great project for the kids at Christmas. It is easier than you think and will give you (and the kids) a sense of pride in making it yourself. They are absolutely great for ornament exchanges, and make wonderful gifts for Christmas (and they are under $2!). Which is why I chose to show you how to make a Popsicle stick sled ornament for my first Instructable.

You can modify my design (there are dozens of variations) and make it yours! The most important thing to remember is to be creative and have fun.

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Step 1: What You Need

Parts, Materials, and Tools
6 Popsicle sticks ($0 if you have some, but you can get a pack of 50 for under $1 at a craft store)
Scissors ($0, assuming you have these)
Glue (around $0.69)
Acrylic Paint (around $0.54)
Fine sandpaper or file (around $0.65)

Total: $1.88

Step 2: Shape the Popsicle Sticks

The first step is pretty easy. I recommend some scissors and some fine sandpaper or a file to taper and round the edges of the Popsicle sticks as shown in the picture.

Step 3: We're Painting the Popsicle Sticks Red!

OK, now that you have the Popsicle sticks shaped the way you want, it's time to paint them. Lay down some newspaper or paper towels and get out your acrylic paint and paintbrush. You want to paint one side at a time and then let that side dry for about 30 minutes (or however long it says on the paint) and then paint the other side (don't forget the edges!). Let this dry for a couple hours (overnight is best).
When you are done they should look like the picture below.

Step 4: Gluing It Together

Get your glue ready and put a small amount in the sections highlighted in the picture. Wipe the excess glue off with a paper towel. Allow the glue about 10-60 minutes to dry (depending on what kind of glue you use).

Step 5: Gluing the Runners On

Now that you have your cross-sections glued on, it's time for the runners. Take the two runners you made and place them with the side that has the point facing up. Apply some glue on the two cross sections and lay your runners on the glue. Press firmly and make sure that they are both at a straight 90° angle. you may have to hold them in place for a minute or so while the glue sets if they refuse to stand on their own. Let the glue dry for the period specified on the bottle (usually around 20 minutes or so.)

Step 6: Making It Your Own

Now it's time to decide how your new sled ornament is going to look. You can paint it, add decals, or other creative things to make it look cool. This is the funnest part of the process and you should be creative. I have a picture below that is my final version.

Optional: After you finish painting it, you can tie a loop on the sled with some thread or string to hang it on the tree.



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    7 Discussions


    8 years ago on Introduction

    I found your sled ornament instructable while looking for popsicle stick craft ideas.  I made one with my daughter and featured it here (linking to your article). In your pictures I couldn't tell about the runners - how to put them up or down. Take a look at the one we made and please leave a note if you are able to stop by. I added the date on the runner with a thin paintbrush and white paint.

    1 reply

    What an awesome article, I really liked some of the other ornaments! I guess you instinctively put the edges the same way we've always done it (with the flat edge up). Thanks for linking to my Instructable, I like your article so I'll link to it in my post. Happy Holidays!

    Bosun Rick

    8 years ago on Step 4

    Ummm, I'm thinking it would easier to glue it all together, then just spray paint it as a unit. Would the old fashioned "White Out" pens work for lettering?


    10 years ago on Introduction

    I did something similar to this with Cub Scouts and they loved it. I painted a bunch of sticks ahead of time to fit the project in our time limit. They glued winter themed foam thingies on the sleds. We also used gold and silver pens to write on them.


    11 years ago on Introduction

    The detail is very cool! Now, time to make a HUGE one, and ride it down Mt. Everest...


    11 years ago on Introduction

    Nice. I like the date detail - the endless conversations we have every Christmas about who made what when...

    1 reply
    The Uber MakerKiteman

    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks, I like to add the date so that you can easily remember when you made it. And if you make a tradition out of making one every 5, 10 years or so you can look back and go "whoa, mom made one in 1978, and 1988, and I made one the next two decades."