Plywood Reindeer




How about a big reindeer decoration for Christmas ?

It is 1.8m length and 1.7m heght in 100% scale.

8 feet x 7feet in 126% scale.

You can use both indoor or outdoors.

If you fold it in the barn during the off season, you can use it next year.


    • Plywood or OSB (Print "patterns" in following scales) ... 2 boards @$10-20

    [100%] t12mm x 900 x 1800 mm

    [100%] t15/32 (≈ 11.91mm ) or 1/2 inch(≈ 12.7mm) x 3 x 6 feet

    [126%] t19/32 inch x 4 x 8 feet (19/32 inch ≈ 15.08mm)

    12mm x 126% = 15.12mm

    [ 67%] t1/2inch x 2 x 4 feet (slit must be adjusted)

    The original pattern size is for t12 × 900 x 1800 mm (About 3 x 6 feet)

    Chose water resistant board for outdoor use and pain properly.

    • Carbon paper ... 2 sheets or more @$1 or less
    • Paint (necessary for outdoor use) $10-20/deer
    • Papers for copy (as large as you can print on your printer)

    Total: $30-60 / deer

    Working hours

    Design: 2 weeks (You don't need this if you use patterns below)

    Copy : 1 hour

    Trace : 2~3 hours

    Cut :2~3 hours

    Paint :1 hour

    Total: 6 - 8 hours (exclude design and shopping)

    One day is enough to make. but might be exhausted nice.

    Design is already done for you . Just make it ^_^


    • Printer (or use print service for A3 or larger size print)
    • Ruler
    • Jigsaw
    • Jigsaw blade for curved cuts
    • Ruler
    • Goggles
    • Mask
    • Sand papers #80-160 , # 180-240

    Teacher Notes

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    Step 1: Print Patterns

    1. Print PDF Pattern files for outline

    • Use Acrobat reader for printout
    • Use " Poster" in print menu. That will automatically print it on multiple pages
    • set scale 100% for 900 x 1800mm board,126% for 4 x 8 feet. 67% for 2 x 4 feet.

    2. Number it for layout.

    3. Draw a 100mm grid ( same size of grid on printed paper) on plywood by pencil softer than B. You can clean it with eraser after cut.

    4. Pin the pattern paper with carbon paper on the grid.

    5. Trace with ballpoint pen .

    Step 2: Cut

    Cut using a jigsaw.

    It doesn't matter if the outer lines are cut slightly out of line. It is a wild animal.

    The most important part is the slit to be combined with other boards.

    Please cut carefully so that the width of 12㎜ slit comes out exactly.

    I think that it is also good to make a jig from the unused part of the board ,and redraw the slit line according to the board width. Especially when using a board other than 12mm.

    Please check clearance when you cut first slit, and adjust. Cut other slits as same as first one.

    Sand the cutting edge # 180-240 with paper before assemble, if you prefer to do.

    Do NOT round cut surface of slit , that make wobble structure. Sand there flat.

    Safety precautions

    The most important thing is not to cut any part of your body.

    There is only one point. Do not take your finger, hand or others in the direction of the blade.

    And watch your children keep safe.

    Be sure to wear goggles. Sometimes jigsaw blades break and fly.

    So you need some spare blade. I used 3 blades for one set.

    And wear mask.


    When cutting small parts, it is easier to cut them into rough parts first.

    If the board hangs down and pinches the blade, or if the material is going to break under its own weight, escape from the cutting line and cut off the material.

    Step 3: Assembly and Setting

    Just assemble like puzzle. Pay attention to the orientation of Antlers.

    There is no need to glue.

    If it is too tight, adjust it with a file or sandpaper #80-160.

    File flat as possible for avoid wobble.

    If you set a reindeer on outdoors, take measures to prevent it from falling.

    Use four camping pegs on the ground and tie the legs down them.

    Please paint it with your favorite color. Clear is nice too.

    And add a Christmas decoration light.

    Step 4: Postscript

    [3D print version]

    You can get small 3d print version from here

    This is made for verifying design by myself before wood working.

    [3D print sleigh]

    [Plywood sleigh]

    This is just a drawings. I don't have made yet and will not make this year 2019.

    Please try it before me , if you want.

    Two kids or slim adult can ride it ,but can not slide on snow ^_^.

    It was designed seriously, but please try with your own responsibility for strength or other problems. Please check for safety very careful and add metal fittings if needed.

    It is difficult to use trace technic , because slit pitch must be precise than reindeer. For precision cut, you had better to re-measure and redraw the lines with straight ruler after trace.

    Board size is t18 x 1230 x 2440 mm , almost same as 23/32inch ( ≈ 18.26mm) x 4 x 8 feet.

    3 boards ( A layout x1 , B layout x 2)

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      20 Discussions


      1 day ago

      Any suggestions on how to print to scale without Adobe? I have a Mac and when I open in "Preview" to print I don't see a poster size. Thanks! This looks like a fun project.

      1 reply

      Reply 15 hours ago

      I had uploaded PNG now, but instructables convert it to jpg.
      Excel can be used for muli page print for large photo . Just paste and print . Print one page first and adjust scale please .
      If you done , please show me the photo of big brother ^_^


      16 days ago

      Outstanding plan! It is everything I am looking for: its BIG, it takes apart for easy storage, and it's easy to reassemble. Thanks for the information on sizing the pattern and providing both metric and imperial measurements.

      1 reply

      Reply 15 days ago

      Thank you.
      I added a "sleigh project" as Postscript.
      This is too big for my house or yard. So I do not try this.
      If you want one more something big to try, challenge this before I make.


      18 days ago

      ooohh great idea. Will try to make at least one for Christmas !

      2 replies

      Reply 18 days ago

      Thank you .
      Please take photo and let me see , when you made it .
      That will make me feel happy ^_^


      Reply 19 days ago

      Thank you. Please try !

      Design: 2 weeks
      Buy : 1 hour
      Copy : 1 hour
      Trace : 2~3 hours
      Cut :2~3 hours
      Paint :1 hour

      Without design , one day is enough to make.
      And might be exhausted .
      Design is done for you make it ^_^


      Reply 18 days ago

      I made this in a much smaller version. I wanted to give a 3D puzzle to my niece and nephew so that they can paint it and take it apart as needed to store it. It is about 5 inches from head to tail.


      18 days ago

      Thank you for the detailed cutting patterns - quite the achievement creating those!

      2 replies

      Reply 18 days ago

      Still have a month till December ^_^
      I have uploaded data instead of precise instruction how to design this for making quick.
      It is hard for me to write Instruction of design .
      I am not an artist but an engineer .


      18 days ago

      Wow... brilliant idea!!! And way of making it also awesome!!!!

      1 reply

      19 days ago

      Those look nice. We made a bunch of them 30 years or so (used English measurements) ago and sold them.

      1 reply

      Reply 18 days ago

      Thank you .
      I thought I would be sued when I started reading.
      Approval desire or monetizing.
      To make people happy or to be happy. Volunteer spirit or making money.
      I want to balance them.
      Temporary, this is free now.^_^