Thursday, December 15, 2011

Tutorial: Reindeer Necklace

I'm excited to share with you a fun holiday craft that my mom lovingly made for her daycare kids for years. She had some hand-written instructions and craft supplies leftover, and she remembered some of the details too. I wanted to document the process in an online tutorial so we can always refer back to it.

Plus, I was a little bit excited that after Googling and searching Pinterest, I couldn't find any other reindeer necklaces just like these. Maybe it's because they were around WAY before Pinterest! At any rate, these necklaces received rave reviews from both the daycare kids and their parents year after year. I encourage you to give them a try - they're very cute and your kids will love them. Thanks Mom!

I just finished creating 18 of these babies for the lucky kids in Tyson's preschool class for their Christmas party next week...


Supplies needed for 1 necklace: (the cord and ribbon colors can vary based on personal preference)

  • Tan and pink felt scraps
  • Brown pipe cleaner
  • 16mm gold-tone jingle bell
  • 1/4 in. diameter red pom-pom
  • 30 in. gold cording
  • 10 in. of 1/4 in. wide green satin ribbon
  • 2 - 8mm googly eyes
  • Hot glue gun
  • Scissors
  • Reindeer head & ears pattern (PDF)


Ready? Gather your supplies!

I do NOT recommend tacky glue! A hot glue gun is much more effective.

If you haven't already, print and cut out the reindeer head & ears pattern. Trace the head onto tan felt and the ears onto pink felt. I found it easier to fold the head pattern in half at the dotted line and place on a folded piece of tan felt, lining up the folds so you are cutting through two pieces of felt at the same time. Makes for less cutting and a more uniform reindeer shape!

Here are the supplies for one reindeer necklace:

And 18 of them if you are a crazy person like me:

As shown above, prep your pipe cleaner by threading one end through the jingle bell. Move the jingle bell to the center, bend the pipe cleaner in half, and give it a couple tight twists to keep the bell in place.

Lay one reindeer head flat and determine placement of antlers and cord. Feed the pipe cleaner down through the center opening of the head so they form a "V" and the bell hangs down just below the reindeer's chin.

Take both ends of the cording and feed them down inside the "V", as shown below.

After you've done a couple of these, you won't need to do the step above because you will already know where the glue is supposed to go.

But if you've already laid your pieces in place, now is a good time to move them a bit and apply a couple V-shaped strips of hot glue.

Put your antlers and cording back in place, and stick them down to the glue you just applied. Then apply another strip of glue all the way around the outside, making a triangle shape.

Fold the top portion of the reindeer head down, sandwiching the pipe cleaner and cording inside. Secure all around the edges and apply hot glue to any areas you may have missed. Don't burn yourself!

Now is the fun part where you get to give the reindeer some features!

Glue down his ears (two tiny pink felt pieces), googly eyes, and red nose.

Put a small drop of hot glue between his nose and bell, and tie the green ribbon around it, forming a bow and cutting the ribbon ends at an angle.

Bend the pipe cleaner ends to make them look like antlers.

And you're done! That was fun and easy, right? Go give one to your favorite child... and make a few more for their friends!

Hope you enjoyed this tutorial. Merry Christmas!

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Sweet Shot Day


  1. So cute! I think I will make these with my 4 yo tonight! She will love these!

  2. i love them. I will have to remember this for Chandler's kindergarten class next year!

  3. I am going to have to do these next year. Thanks for the great idea.

  4. Love this -- going to do this one! You are just the most crafty Mama! I don't think I will get this done by Monday, last day of preschool for Maddie until after the new year… but maybe for Kindergarten! Thanks for sharing. I love the tutorial. You have a lot of great stuff you do… can't wait for more tutorials.

  5. Every year I make ornaments for my grandkids. I made this EXACT same reindeer this year but made it into an ornament instead of a necklace. I will have to look back through my craft books for the original pattern because I actually started these several years back for a home daycare that I used to operate....that was over 20 years ago so that pattern has been around for awhile. They are very cute!! Pretty simple to make too.

    1. Carol, that's so funny since my mom also made these for her home daycare kids years ago!! She originally found the pattern in a craft magazine, but we could never track down the original source. She had most of the supplies saved from each year, though. I'm glad someone else enjoyed them! Thanks for commenting! :)


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