Wooden Santa & Reindeer

SET THE STAGE FOR SANTA’S arrival with these simple I slot-together wood figures. I Our Western Santa and his reindeer are cut from pine 1-by-12s, with notches that let you slip the fig­ures together for quick display.

To make the figures, you’ll need heavy paper; a saber, jig-, or band saw; a drill with a 1/2-inch bit; sandpa­per; and wood (about 4 feet of 1-by-12 per figure if you cut all pieces so they run with the grain, less if you cut smaller pieces across the grain). Our Santa’s arms pivot on a piece of 1/2-inch dowel, but you can glue them onto the body if you prefer.

Enlarge pattern on paper so each square equals 2 inches, then outline on wood. Make notches no wider than wood’s thickness so figures stand properly. Cut pieces, drill ‘/2-inch holes for eyes and arms, and sand. Sand as needed to widen notches.

Finish the figures with paint or stain, or leave them natural. We painted the white beard on our Santa. For his clothes and cowboy hat, we applied red paste shoe polish to let the grain show through. Use masking tape to keep lines precise.

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