How to Make a Cardboard Sleigh

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Things You'll Need

  • Cardboard box

  • 4 drinking straws, bamboo skewers or wooden dowels

  • Acrylic paint

  • Paintbrush

  • Scissors

  • White glue or hot glue

  • Pencil

  • Sleigh stencil (optional)

A cardboard sleigh made from a box can be large or very small.
Image Credit: AndreaAstes/iStock/Getty Images

Fun, inexpensive holiday decorations can be as close as the pantry. Cardboard boxes from tissues, crackers or plastic storage bags can be cut out and painted to create a sleigh for Santa or an old-timey winter village scene. Add some batting for snow and paint cardboard reindeer or horses for a complete winter scene. Santa's bag of toys can be crafted out of rolled-up holiday tissue paper and tossed in the back of the sleigh. The sleigh is simple enough to get the kids involved or an elaborate adult-only project.


Step 1

Place the box open-side up. Trace the outline of the sleigh on the bottom half of the box with the pencil. Use a stencil or draw the sleigh freehand. If the box is rectangular use the long sides of the box for the sides of the sleigh and the narrow ends for the front and back.

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Step 2

Cut around the sleigh with scissors.

Step 3

Measure the width of the sleigh. Trace seats for the sleigh by adding 2 inches to the width and using that measurement for the long sides of a rectangle. Cut out the seats and measure 1 inch on each end of the rectangle. Fold down and use the flap to glue the seat into the sleigh.

Step 4

Cut two straws to match the width of the sleigh, and two straws to match the length of the sleigh.


Step 5

Paint the sleigh, seats and drinking straws with the acrylic paint. Allow the paint to dry completely.

Step 6

Turn the sleigh upside-down. Glue the width-length straws 1 inch from the back and front of the sleigh. Glue the two long straws to the shorter ones just inside the edges of the sleigh. The straws now form the runners of the sleigh. Allow the glue to dry completely before turning upright.


Stencils can be found on the Internet by searching for “sleigh stencils” or “sleigh cut outs” and sized to fit the box.

To make sure both sides match when drawing the sleigh freehand, cut out one side of the sleigh and use it for a stencil on the other side, lining up the top corners of the box.

Painted cardboard reindeer or horses can be harnessed to the sleigh with embroidery thread or braided cord. Toy animals can also be used to pull the sleigh.

If the seats are to be painted a different color than the sleigh, the parts can be painted before gluing the seats in.


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