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My Projects

"Santa Sleigh and Reindeer yard Art"

Nov 25, 2006

We made this for a family member who lives nearby. I sell the downloadable templates at my online store. Click here to view information about the plan or to purchase. For this project I did the cutting and Gina did the painting. She had A LOT more work to do. It took me about 2 hours to cut and assemble the project. It took Gina over 25 hours of painting.

The plan contains full sized templates that are tiled. This means they are edited to print onto standard 8-1/2 x 11 inch paper, then you match the pages to make the templates. Its easy to figure out. Then just tape them together to make the full sized patterns.

In the photo below I am cutting out the sides of the sleigh. Since there are two sides to the sleigh I cut out the two sides at the same time. I stapled the pattern to the plywood in a couple of places just to keep it from moving around while I cut.

In this picture below I am finishing cutting the sleigh sides. While the plan calls for 4 sheets of 1/2 inch plywood based on the template layouts given in the instructions, I managed to use 2-1/2 sheets by cutting out the reindeer legs from the waste board above the sides of the sleigh.

In the picture below is the completed reindeer. Very easy to put together. The only tools I used so far were a jigsaw and a screwdriver. I screwed the legs on in case the owner wants to disassemble later.

Below are pictures of us installing the sleigh on site. We used two lengths of lights to act as reigns for the reindeer and to outline the sleigh. I determined the halfway point of the first set and placed the middle light on the reindeer's nose. Gina thought it would be  a good idea to put in a red bulb. Great idea! We changed up the bulbs on the reigns so they were all green, the bulbs outlining the sleigh were assorted colors and bulbs inside the sleigh are a frost white.

Its quite windy in this location so we weighed down the sleigh with two concrete brick. I then attached some strapping to the reindeer feet using small 90 degree angle brackets, then weighed down the strapping with fireplace bricks. We kept the reigns fairly snug so that they don't blow around in the wind so much.

If you haven't already noticed, the Santa in the project we made is different from the one on the plan. In the plan, Santa stands upright and for our project we adjusted the pattern to have him sit in the sleigh. We also painted both sides of Santa. To accomplish this, once Gina traced the Santa paint lines onto one side, she took the paper template and held it up to a window with the template facing outwards. She could then trace on the back of the template while easily seeing the pattern lines from the light of the window. Then, with this mirror image now on paper, she proceeded to carbon trace the lines on the second side. Her main tips for painting is to paint the whole Santa in white, then trace the pattern onto the white because its easier to see. Then paint in the colors and finally finish with black outlines using a permanent black felt wedge tip marker.

This last one is a bit blurry and I managed to get the truck taillights in the pic too. Not the greatest pic but I figured I'd show it anyway.