Saturday Morning Workshop: How to Make Plywood Reindeer

Add some DIY festivity to your yard this holiday season with these flat-pack plywood reindeer.

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A few hours






Everybody loves to decorate their yards with some festive adornments. These plywood reindeer will add that necessary holiday spice with just 3-hours’ worth of work. The most important part of this project is the creation of the template. The downloadable PDF attached to this story prints 21 sheets of 8-1/2-in. x 11-in. paper. Before printing, be sure to select the “poster” option, set the scale to 100% and select the “large print area” option (if applicable) in the page setup menu.

Tools Required

  • Jigsaw
  • Marker
  • Printer
  • Utility knife

Materials Required

  • 3/4”x4’x8’ CDX exterior plywood (for two reindeer)
  • Painter's tape
  • Printer paper

Project step-by-step (4)

Step 1

Create the template

Plywood Reindeer

After printing the 21 sheet template, double check that the notches are 3/4-in. wide once printed to ensure that the template is the correct size. Tape the paper together to make a full-size template. Cut out the parts with a utility knife or scissors.

Step 2

Trace the parts

plywood reindeerFamily Handyman

Tape the paper templates to the plywood and trace the parts with a marker. Remember to trace pairs of front legs, back legs, antlers and shoulders per reindeer.

Step 3

Cut out the parts

plywood reindeerFamily Handyman

Set the plywood on sawhorses and cut out the parts with a jigsaw. Clamp the parts to the workbench and cut out the notches. Test fit the notches with a scrap piece of plywood for perfect sizing.

Step 4

Sand and paint the parts

plywood reindeerFamily Handyman

Smooth all the edges, sanding just up to the lines.  Paint the parts whatever color you like, using exterior paint. We used this exterior enamel spray paint.

Family Handyman

Next, check out another favorite outdoor project you can build.