A Rustic Trio for Holiday Cheer

Christmas Trio

Tom and I went to a lively office gift exchange last year where these little guys were the hit of the party.  Simple and rustic, they seemed straightforward enough that we decided to make our own, and came up with a fun little design for “Rudolph” with ears on hinges.

The set was fun to do together on a warm November afternoon, and we gave a few sets as gifts as well as keeping one for ourselves. We were trying to figure out Rudolph’s antlers when we tripped across existing unpainted wooden deer head plaques on clearance at Michael’s one day.  Tom sawed off the antlers and ears from the plaque, I sanded them and we had our antlers and ears in an instant, instead of designing an antler cut-out and using the Dremel tool to delicately shape them instead. (I think he was a little disappointed!)

It does not look like Michael’s is carrying the deer head plaques this year, so I just did little searching for you. I found these deer head plaques on Etsy which would work. Ours were about  7″-8″ high prior to removing the antlers and ears. You can choose to go the route we did, which is to paint the face on the 4″x4″, cut off and “hinge” the ears; or just stain, paint and glue the cut-out to the 4″x4″ instead.

I used scrap yarn to make simple little crochet beanie for the snowman.  You can go that route or perhaps find a cute little black hat ‘topper’ next time you’re at a craft store – maybe even catching one on Halloween clearance.

Each set is 14″, 12″ and 10″, but you can adjust the size to your liking. I do recommend varying the sizes if you can and not making them the same. We were able to get 3 sets out of one post.

These were very economical, easily spending less than $10 per set. I hope you enjoy making these as much as we did, and that they brighten your holiday season.


1 standard 4″x4″ wooden post (always available at Lowe’s or Home Depot)
Acrylic paints – white, black, red, pink, green and brown
Wipe-on wood stain
Small flat and round brushes
Small hinges
Antler cut-outs (make your own or modify existing from a wooden reindeer plaque)
Scrap yarn for a quick crochet beanie (Snowman headgear)


  1. Safely cut/ saw the 4″x4″ into desired lengths.
  2. Sand each post well.
  3. Cut the antlers and ears off of the deer head plaques. Sand them as well. paint them brown, let dry.
  4. Lightly design your post in pencil (if working on the Santa or reindeer).
  5. Paint the base coat in acrylic paint. Wait until dry and paint a second coat.
  6. Paint on your designs. Don’t forget Rudolph’s little tail on the back side.
  7. Attach small hinges to the ears and to the reindeer post by lightly hammering (tapping) the tacks included with the hinges into the ears and post. Now they’ll move – so adorable!
  8. Top your snowman with a hat or beanie.

Enjoy your new holiday buddies!

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