Sunday, December 6, 2009

Reindeer Games

Candy Cane Reindeer

What would Christmas be without reindeer? Bring Santa’s team to your party or table display with just a few minutes work. They are also adorable peeking out of Christmas stockings.

This is another of those projects I’ve been doing for nearly 40 years and don’t remember where I first learned it. Have fun!


* Full-sized, individually shrink-wrapped candy canes (approximately ½ ounce each and measuring 5 to 6 inches long) – 1 per reindeer (but get a few extra to allow for breakage)
* Pipe cleaners, aka chenille strips, in a shade of brown – 9 to 10 inches per reindeer
* Glue-on eyes – 2 per reindeer
* Chenille poms – 1 per reindeer (I like the 10mm size)
* School glue or craft glue
* Scissors or wire cutters
* Ruler

Step 1

Cut the pipe cleaner into three pieces: one measuring 5 inches and two measuring 2 to 2-1/2 inches each. These will be the antlers. Bend each piece in half.

Step 2

Place the bend of the 5 inch piece of pipe cleaner under the crook of the candy cane. Bring the two free ends of the pipe cleaner above the candy cane and twist tightly together where they cross the cane.

Step 3

Place the free ends of the pipe cleaner horizontally at 90 degree angles to the pipe cleaner. Bend the ends up by 90 degrees to form the antler base.

Step 4

Twist a 2 inch piece of pipe cleaner at the bends of the antler base. Bend each of those ends to 90 degrees, at a 90 degree angle to the base.

Step 5

Glue two eyes on the short side of the candy cane, about ¾ of the way to the curve. Glue a chenille pom for the nose.

Miscellaneous tips:

The pipe cleaners I bought were about 12 inches long. So cutting 5 and 2 inch pieces gave me two 5 inch and one 2 inch piece, or six 2 inch pieces per strip. Mix and match as necessary to get the most without waste from your pipe cleaners.

Poke holes in a piece of Styrofoam or the back of the empty candy cane box to stand your reindeer for safekeeping as the glue dries.

The antlers don’t have to be perfect – if you have children helping you with this project, don’t get hung up on the angles.

Chenille poms come in all sorts of combinations. I had a bag of assorted colors and sizes from other projects, and I purchased a bag of the 10 mm black poms.

Because of the small pieces, use caution around very young children. You may prefer to dab eyes and a nose on the wrapper with acrylic paint for little ones.

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