Friday, December 7, 2012

Popsicle Stick Sled Ornament Tutorial

After my husband and I got married, my mother-in-law gave us a whole bunch of old Christmas ornaments. Included in the bunch was a little red sled made out of Popsicle sticks. I was more than a little excited that she gave it to us because I'd been eyeing it for several years :) I've always wanted to recreate it, and this month's Point of View theme "Ornaments" gave me a good excuse to give it a try.

I'm so happy with how this turned out. And since I'm feeling a little sad about not hosting my annual "Haul Out the Holly" holiday series this year, I thought I'd put together a tutorial for this ornament. Hope you like it :)

  • six 4.5" Popsicle sticks (Although I should probably be saying "craft sticks" since Popsicle in trademarked.)
  • three 2.5" matchsticks (toothpicks would also work)
  • XACTO knife
  • ruler
  • glue gun
  • acrylic craft paint
  • Mod Podge
  • small paint brushes
  • 8" of embroidery floss (for hanging)
  • sandpaper (optional)

Step 1: Take one craft stick and cut it in half at a 45 degree angle. To do this, measure and mark the middle of your craft stick (2.25"). Mark a 45 degree angle through the center mark (I eyeballed it).

Lay your ruler along the angle mark and use it as a guide to cut through your craft stick. Take your time!

You should end up with two equal pieces with angled ends. If you'd like, gently sand the cut ends. Set these two pieces aside.

Step 2: Take another craft stick and cut it to 3.5" long with the ends cut at 45 degree angles (see photos below).

If you'd like, gently sand the cut ends. Set this piece aside.

Step 3: Cut all three matchsticks (or toothpicks) to 1.75" long each. Set aside.

Step 4: Take two whole craft sticks and the two angled pieces from Step 1. Set them up like so...

The entire width should be somewhere between 1.75" and 2". Evenly space the four pieces. The angled side pieces should be placed about 1/4" up from the bottom of the two center craft sticks.

Get out your glue gun and two of the matchsticks from Step 3. Glue one of the matchsticks to all four craft sticks near the bottom of the sled. Glue the other matchstick to all four craft sticks near the middle of the sled...

Step 5: Take your 3.5" piece from Step 2. Center it underneath the two center craft sticks, about 1/2" down from the top. Glue in place.

Step 6: Take your third matchstick from Step 3. Glue it to the two center craft sticks across the top of the sled, centering it horizontally.

Step 7: Last construction step! Time to add the sled runners. Take one of your remaining whole craft sticks and glue it standing on edge on top of all three of the matchsticks on the far left side of the sled.

Repeat with your last remaining whole craft stick on the far right side of the sled.

Step 8: Time to paint! Paint the entire sled (glue and all) with acrylic craft paint. Let dry. Embellish as desired. You could decorate it with washi tape, ribbon, stickers. I just painted on some little white snowflakes. Let dry. Mod Podge the entire ornament to seal it. Let dry.

Step 9: Take your 8" piece of embroidery floss. Glue it to the back of your sled at both ends of the 3.5" piece from Step 2.

And now you have a super cute sled ornament for your tree!

The XACTO knife and glue gun don't exactly make the construction part of this project kid friendly, but I made a couple extra and gave them to my girls to paint, which they loved. If you're looking for a fun Scout project or something to do with a small group of kids, you could easily put these together ahead of time and have them paint and decorate the sleds.

Hope you enjoyed this tutorial. If you try it out, please add pics to the Gwenny Penny Flickr Group... I'd love to see how they turn out! Happy Holidays!


Amy at Ameroonie Designs said...

I love it Gwen! I'm going to miss having you as part of Point of View- your projects are always so beautiful.

Jonie Marie said...

I love the way these turned out Gwen! I think the fact that they are red is my favorite part.

I am like Amy and will miss you being a part of POV. Your projects are always well thought out and beautifully executed. Thank you for being a part of the party.

chris said...

Super sons would love to make one of these.

Meeling said...


Katie said...

Very cute sled Gwen!

Unknown said...

Such a sweet sled ornament Gwen. I love how easily it comes together! Beautiful!

Unknown said...

We liked these, especially the design. My wife and I made 30 sleds as a little gift for members of a club we belong to. I made a fixture to make alignment and gluing easy.

Unknown said...

You are so kind to give the measurements and directions. I love your design and everything about your sled. I based a whole lesson around your sled for school.
Thank you so much.I'm a senior single without any tools . I was so happy to see all I needed to get was an Exacto knife.
Today is Thanksgiving- I am sure giving thanks to you! <3

Gwen @ Gwenny Penny said...

@linda smith - This makes me so happy! Thanks for the kind words :)

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