How to Build a Horse Sleigh

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A sleigh is a popular Christmas decoration that will bring the holiday spirit to your own front lawn.
Image Credit: christiannafzger/iStock/GettyImages

Things You'll Need

  • Picture of a sleigh

  • 2 sheets of plywood

  • Pencil

  • Saw

  • 2x4-foot lumber (at least 6 boards)

  • 2x10-foot lumber (at least 2 boards)

  • 1x2-foot lumber (at least 1 board)

  • Power drill

  • Interior and exterior screws

  • Paint (color of choice)

  • Bells

  • Holly

"Oh, what fun it is to ride in a one horse open sleigh." These are famous words from the popular holiday song "Jingle Bells" written by James Lord Pierpont. Add an iconic Christmas decoration to your front lawn this winter season by building your own sleigh from materials that can be found at your local hardware store. Entertain your family and friends with this inexpensive project while getting everyone in the spirit of the holiday.


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Step 1: Find a Picture of a Horse Sleigh

Search for a picture of a one horse open sleigh on the internet or in a Christmas magazine to inspire the shape, color, and design you'd like your sleigh to be.

Step 2: Sketch and Cut

Outline your desired actual size for one side of the sleigh on two separate sheets of plywood,


Step 3: Cut Out the Sketch

Use the saw to cut the drawing out of the plywood.

Step 4: Cut and Drill the Lumber

Cut two pieces of 2-inch by 10-inch lumber, each between 30 and 35 inches long, to serve as the braces for the bottom of the sleigh. Use a drill to screw each brace to the bottom of each plywood side securely. Ask someone to hold the wood in place while you do this, if necessary.


Step 5: Create the Bracing

Cut out four 2-inch by 4-inch pieces of lumber to serve as the sleigh's front and back panel braces. Screw two braces to the front of the sleigh and two to the back of the sleigh, attaching each top-to-bottom and directly across from the other on each plywood side.

Step 6: Make the Sleigh Seat

Form the seat of the sleigh by cutting a piece of plywood the same width as the sleigh's bottom braces. Cut a brace for each side of the seat from 2-inch by 4-inch pieces of lumber, attaching each to the plywood front-to-back and directly across from the other.


Step 7: Fabricate Front and Back Panels

Create the sleigh's front and back panels by making two equally-sized cuts of plywood that are the same width as the sleigh.

Step 8: Attach the Panels

Attach the front and back panels to the corresponding ends of the sleigh using exterior screws.


Step 9: Attach the Seat

Mount the seat to the sleigh using exterior screws and attach a 1-inch by 2-inch brace to the runners.

Step 10: Paint the Sleigh

Paint the one horse open sleigh with the colors of your choice and allow time to dry. Decorate the sleigh with bells, holly, and any other festive materials you may have around your home.

Step 11: Position Your Sleigh

Choose a location in your front lawn to place and display your sleigh and position it accordingly.


Wear protective eyeglasses and gloves when working with wood and power tools.

This sleigh is for decoration only and is not designed to support an actual horse or passengers.