DIY Cardboard Reindeer Head

Got a spare cardboard box? You can use it to deck the halls with this whimsical DIY Christmas decoration.

a clever cardboard reindeer


  • Utility knife
  • Corrugated-cardboard box, at least 16" x 16" x 16"
  • Needle-nose pliers
  • Craft knife
  • Pencil 
  • Bone folder or butter knife
  • Glue gun
  • Dinner plates
  • Wire
  • Masking tape
  • Template (download at
  • 2"-diameter unbreakable ornament in red (32 cents;
  • Giant chenille pipe cleaners in red ($1.12;


1. Cut cardboard so you have one piece (with no printing on one side) that folds like a greeting card. Set aside remainder. 

2. Place template on cardboard so tab on nose touches fold. Trace around. Open cardboard and cut out deer head (don’t cut fold, which is where the two heads will be joined).

3. Fold cardboard closed and trace around deer head, using deer head that you’ve just cut as template. Cut out second deer head. 

4. Fold tab in two places, about ½" apart. The tab will look like the spine of a book. 

5. Lay entire head flat and make a dot just above center of tab. Start a hole where dot is, first with a craft knife, then with a pencil, wooden spoon handle and marker, widening hole until base of ornament
fits in snugly. 

6. Use bone folder to score (on the outside) and fold inward each neck tab.

7. Cut chenille pipe cleaners: two 24" pieces and four 6" pieces. Fold over each cut end with pliers to prevent fraying. Curve a long piece into a C shape, then attach two short pieces by twisting them tightly around long piece. Make second antler to resemble first. 

8. Position antlers inside deer head. Use glue gun to attach.

9. Using cardboard you set aside, draw 10"- and 12"-diameter circles (trace around dinner plates or bowls). Cut out. Center smaller circle on larger circle and glue in place. Center an 8" piece of wire on back of plaque near top. Tape each end in place.

10. Place head on plaque, with folded neck tabs flat against smaller circle. Use glue gun to attach. Hang decorations around neck if desired.