Craft Products - Clothespins, Googly Eyes, Paint and Glue
Simple Reindeer Crafts
If you want to have a fun time creating some reindeer figures or images with your children or grandchildren, I've included several projects that can be quickly completed for most of the children who participate. Even the majority of those with extremely short attention spans should enjoy doing these craft projects.
Even though these are very quick and easy, the age of a child and their development will play a role in how they interact and respond with these reindeer craft ideas. Just take into account where their levels are at in order to eliminate or reduce the potential frustration level of a child ... and yourself of course.
With the designing of a reindeer using hand and footprints, it's more having the child simply place their hand down and having it traced around by an adult, or if their old enough, they can do the tracing themselves.
The point is to give even a little child some ownership in a project. So you could do the tracing for the younger or less developed children, and remind them how their hand print has become the antlers of a reindeer, and their footprint the head.
For those using the clothespins as the tools to create the reindeer, those with the springs in them are especially easy, so with a little instruction and demonstration, a child can quickly figure out how to put them together to build the reindeer body.
Patient adults can work with children with the other type of clothespins that don't have a spring as part of their design. In those cases some glue would be needed, as we'll look at in a moment, and so a little guidance will be needed there for those children that haven't used glue to put things together.
Again, you could do the gluing yourself and let the child place the clothespins together. All children like to have a little role to play in the creative process, and it's a great opportunity to bond at the different stages of their growth.
Let's look at the different reindeer craft ideas now.
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Make Reindeer with Hand and Foot Tracing
It doesn't get much easier to make a reindeer using construction paper than this example below shows.
You just trace out the hands of your children, or if they're old enough, have them trace out their hands, and you have a set of antlers ready for your reindeer. Next trace out the foot of the child, and you have a reindeer head to place those antlers on.
When tracing out the foot, you can bypass the toes and just go around them. You don't want them looking like the fingers of the hand, as you can see below.
You can see how you can easily make the eyes and nose once you put the head and antlers together.
One thing I've learned when making a reindeer like this, if you want it to look less like a moose, as the one below does, is to put the antlers a little closer together by placing them more on top of the head. Another tip would be to put the antlers on with the pinkie fingers on the inside. That dramatically changes the look and shrinks the antlers to more of a deer look.
Of course if this is being done with little children, it won't matter that much. But for those children that are a little older and may prefer a little more realistic reindeer, that's the way to do it using this particular craft design.
Although this is done in paper, with only a little more work, you could use felt or some other material to create the reindeer.
Finally, if you want to display the work of your proud crafting little person, you could add a hole near the top and hang it on the tree with some string or other means of doing it. If you want it to last if you use it as an ornament, add something around the hole so it doesn't tear through too easily.
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Homemade Reindeer Using Clothespin and Craft or Popsicle Stick
Next we have a really easy to make reindeer using a spring-loaded clothespin. The actual steps to make is are about as easy as it gets, as far as designing the body. If you want to add color to the clothespin, there will be that additional step, as well as if you want to add a couple of googly eyes and a nose. The design below is how it would look put together and painted brown. From there you could add whatever additional elements to spruce it up a little.
All you need for the basic reindeer is three clothespins and a craft or popsicle stick.
You take them, as the photo shows, and simply clip two of them near the ends of the popsicle stick to create the legs, and for the head of the reindeer, clip it on the end of the popsicle stick at a slight angle.
If you're going to paint the clothespins and popsicle stick brown, do that before putting it together of course.
For a Rudolph looking reindeer, you could add a red bead or pom-pom to produce the desired effect. Even a red piece of paper made using a paper punch would work, although the three-dimensional nose delights children more and looks better too.
As mentioned, you can also add the googly eyes to make it look more realistic.
Once you have the reindeer completed, you can then add other accessories like ribbon, bells, or whatever else you our the children you're working with want to in order to make it more dazzling and compelling.
But as for the making of the body, it's very fast and fun; something most children will eagerly participate in. You can have them help paint and/or make the bodies, while you complete it later with the other accessories.
For older children, once the reindeer are made, that could be an even more fun activity.
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Push Pin Reindeer Craft
In this example we're moving from the spring clothespins to the push pin clothespin. While there is the additional step of having to glue the clothespins together to create the reindeer, it's still very simple and easy step to take; one that older children can easily accomplish, or one you can do if working with younger children.
The first photo shows how an individual reindeer is designed suing three push pin clothespins. You glue the first two together in exactly the same position to create the body of the reindeer, and then turn the third push pin clothespin upside down to make the head and antlers, Very simple and cute looking.
Again, remember if you want reindeer with a body of brown or another color, do that first, Sometimes it's very easy to forget that step if you're working with children. But if you do forget, it's not that big of a deal to cover it later on. The time it would be a problem is if you put the eyes and nose on, and then remembered you needed to paint it. You could still do it, but you've made your job a little harder than necessary.
You don't see it in these photos, but another thing you can do for fun is to take a puffball and attach it to the back of the reindeer for a very cute result. If you are making several reindeer, the bottom photo shows how you can make them with a dark nose and leave only one for the red nose of Rudolph so the children can differentiate and delight in the unique reindeer.
As for other creative things, you can add just about any type of accessory to complement the reindeer. Besides those already mentioned above, you could also include Christmas stickers, individual designs from the children, or any number of other things to make it stand out for the individual designer.
If you didn't notice it, the way these are designed make them into tree ornaments that can be pushed down on the branches. They can also be used to stand up around the house for your proud children or grandchildren to point out as to the fact they're the one's that made them.
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Making Reindeer with Two Push Clothespins
The final reindeer craft is similar to the previous one, with the major difference being that it is made from two clothespins instead of three.
It's not easy to see, but what you do with these is paint the clothespins first, covering the entirety of one clothespin with brown, and only part of the second one, as you see in the photo below.
The head of the clothespin on top is actually where the green bow is located, and not where the natural color of the clothespin meets the brown head of the reindeer.
With this reindeer you glue the two tops together to create the body, head and antlers.
The major reason for making this type of clothespin reindeer is it would be only used for a tree or other type of ornament. I say other type of ornament because you could push it down on any thin wire or line if you want to make a string of them. It wouldn't only have to be a tree they're placed on.
These would be very difficult to get to stand up, so if you want to place them on flat surfaces in the house, the above reindeer would be better designs and projects to incorporate for that purpose.
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Reindeer Crafts for Christmas
I've named this article reindeer crafts for children, mostly because of the ease of making any of these projects seen here. But for those adults who aren't very crafty, it's also a great way to introduce yourself to the craft world, as well as being able to participate in it with your children or grandchildren. I'm sure most adults could do any of the reindeer craft projects shown above, to one degree or another.
And don't worry, your children or grandchildren will come up with plenty of ideas once you get the basic shape of the reindeer completed. You can just sit and watch and see their creativity spring forth.
Even if you made a simple reindeer without any bells and whistles, it would be a great time by all spent together, and that, after all, is really what it's all about for the Christmas season.
Ankith on May 20, 2016: