Friday, October 17, 2014

DIY Kids Reindeer Rocker

How to build a kid size reindeer rocker.

diy kids reindeer rocker

Another new gift build has been added to the handmade holiday series!  Today Ana White and I are sharing this reindeer rocking chair that any kid is sure to love.

handmade holiday build series

diy reindeer rocker
If you enjoy using a jig saw then this build is especially for you.  The reindeer side pieces are a bit organic but that's the fun of building your own rocker - you can make the shape however you want!
We choose a reindeer in keeping with the Christmas theme but I painted it turquoise to keep it fun throughout the whole year.

reindeer rocker seat

reindeer rocker rockers

The rockers are cut with a jig saw too, if you want 'more rock' simply make your arch more curved.  This reindeer rocker rocks back and forth just enough for a young child without being dangerous.  It's best suited for 2-4 year olds but my 8 year old daughter was loving it too!

diy reindeer rocker seat view

The seat is 12" wide and about 12"high.

rocker seat detail

diy kids rocker shaped like reindeer

Be sure to add a fluffy tail to your reindeer and take care to sand all edges super smooth.

diy kids reindeer rocker seat and back

diy kids reindeer rocker side view

diy reindeer rocker antlers

Every reindeer must have some antlers, a bright red nose and a jingle bell of course.

diy reindeer rocker nose

The nose is my favorite part.  I cut an old wood curtain rod dowel into thin slices, painted it bright red then glued and nailed it in place.  It adds the perfect finishing touch.

diy reindeer rocker nose detail

How to build a reindeer rocker:

Cut list:
2 - 1/2" mdf @ 24" x 24" (reindeer cutouts & antlers)
1 - 1x3 @ 12" (seat apron)
1 - 1x10 @ 12" (seat)
1 - 1x6 @ 12" (seat back)
2 - 1x4 @ 26" (rockers)

reindeer cut from mdf

Step 1: Sketch out the reindeer on one piece of 1/2" mdf.  I used mdf because it cuts smoothly with a jig saw making for a nicer shaper.  Once you're happy with the sketch cut out the reindeer using a jig saw.

trace reindeer cut from mdf

Step 2: Take the first reindeer and place on top of the second piece of mdf and trace.  This will ensure two identical reindeers.  Cut out the second reindeer and sand all edges smooth.

attach rocker seat

Step 3: Predrill seat pieces with pocket holes, glue and screw (or attach but countersinking screws from exterior).  The seat apron should be inset 3/4" from edge of seat.

attach rocker seat using pocket holes

attach reindeer side

Step 4: Attach seat pieces to other side of reindeer.

cut rockers

Step 5: Cut out rockers.  Clamp together and sand smooth.

Step 6: Cut antlers using scrap mdf from between reindeer legs.

attach rockers with clamps

Step 7: Attach antlers from interior using 1" screws.

spray primer on rocker

Step 8: Prime and sand reindeer.  Paint as desired.
Stain rockers.

attach reindeer sides to rockers

Step 9: Attach reindeer legs to interior of rockers using 1" screws.

reindeer nose from dowel

Step 10: To make nose cut 1/4" slices from 1 1/2" dowel and paint red.
Glue and finish nail in place.

kids size reindeer rocker


  1. Oh my!!! I LOVE this! what a great idea

    Yay for you and Ana White

    Much love for this little reindeer, very cute

    Sarah @ Edea Smith

  2. So adorable! I cannot believe I missed this before. Incredible job.

  3. Greetings from Brazil! Thank you for this lovely project! I've been wanting to share my own version of the reindeer and now I that I have taken some pictures I don't know if there is a way to upload it here :(
    I built this rocker for my newborn nephew. Since reindeers are not so popular among kids' toys here, I decided to go with an elephant shape. It turned out really good, specially given that it was my very first project on wood. The instructions and pictures were very helpful and I found it quite easy to built. I guess the most dificult part for me was the sanding and painting - I opted for a chevron pattern in gray and cream. The inside was green, to match his bedroom. I guess Gael will be able to seat in a few months... can't wait to see the rocker in action!
    Thanks for sharing this adorable project!