Cinnamon Stick Reindeer: Christmas Ornaments

Azia's finished ornament hanging on the tree.

(I make a different handmade ornament every year. For the last 10 years or so I've made an ornament for all my nieces & nephews and a handful of good friends' kids, since I can't afford to buy them all presents. I have more than 20 nieces & nephews! It used to be a much smaller project, but everyone keeps having children. I think I made 38 this year.)

Here's what we used:
  • Felt (amount depends on the size reindeer you want to make)
  • enough stuffing to fill reindeer
  • 2 brown pipe cleaners (antlers)
  • 2 black beads (eyes)
  • small red poms (nose)
  • 4 cinnamon sticks (legs)
  • wire (to attach legs to body)
  • small bit of ribbon or Christmas fabric (scarf)
  • Jingle bells (if wanted for scarf)
  • Cord or ribbon (for hanging)
  • computer-printed iron on (if you want to add a name)
  • *a drill & sewing machine make this much easier!

I created a basic body/ head shaped pattern and then cut matching front and back pieces out of felt for every ornament I needed to make.  After everything was cut out I just used iron on transfers to put kids' names on the front with the year.

My assistant crafter. Azia loves stuff like this and she's actually getting big enough that she's really a bit of help. Probably in the next year or so she'll really be able to do like half of it for me. That's what I'm hoping anyway so I can try to get them to everyone before Christmas.
After all the pieces were cut out and lettering ironed on, we had a few simple steps to turn them into reindeer.

First, we sewed little black beads on the each front piece for eyes. (Hot glue would work, too!) Then, just followed these steps:
1. Match the right sides together and sew from one bottom corner, all the way up and over the head and down to the other side.
2. Turn your pieces so they're no longer inside out. 
3. Take one long brown pipe cleaner and poke it down into the body of the unstuffed reindeer (at the seam works best) and then pull it back up through the seam again till it pokes out the other side.
4. Tightly twist shorter pieces on each horn to add antler points. (You can add a little hot glue to make the short pieces stick, but if you twist them on tightly they also seemed to stay!)
5. Stuff your reindeer.
6. Sew up the bottom to keep the stuffing in.
7. Tie/ glue on a scarf. Maybe a couple bells, too.
8. Drill holes (your smallest bit that's still bigger in diameter than your wire) near the end of each cinnamon stick.
9. Poke wire through the front of the felt reindeer body (wherever you'd like the leg attached) then through the hole you've drilled in the cinnamon stick. Twist ends of wire tightly to attach leg. Repeat for other 3.
10. Sew or hot glue the red pom for the nose
11. Lastly sew the loop for hanging. (This is where I did this step, but I think it would work even more smoothly, if you just sewed a loop right into the seam directly on top of the deer's head as you are doing step #1)


My herd of reindeer...after I'd already mailed a dozen or so...

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