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How to Make a Sleigh Out of Popsicle Sticks

Harness your creativity and embark on a delightful crafting journey as we explore the enchanting world of popsicle stick sleighs. This step-by-step guide will show you how to transform simple wooden sticks into a charming miniature sleigh that will add a touch of festive cheer to your holiday decorations. Get ready to unleash your inner artisan and bring the spirit of the season to life with this fun and engaging DIY project.

Materials Needed

  • Popsicle sticks (regular or jumbo size)
  • Craft glue or hot glue gun
  • A pair of scissors
  • Paint (optional)
  • Paint brushes (optional)
  • Embellishments (e.g., ribbon, mini bells, faux fur, beads, etc.)
  • Clear Lacquer or Sealant (Optional)

Step-by-step instructions

Planning Your Design

Before diving into the building process, take a moment to visualize your ideal sled design. Think about the size, shape, and overall aesthetic you want to achieve. You can choose to replicate a classic sleigh or let your imagination run wild with unique variations.

Build the base

Start by building the base of the sleigh. Lay two popsicle sticks parallel to each other, leaving a small gap between them. Apply a thin line of craft glue or use a hot glue gun to attach a third popsicle stick horizontally across the two parallel sticks. This will form the base of your sled.

Construct the sides

Take two popsicle sticks and measure and cut them to the length of the base. Attach these sticks vertically to the ends of the base to form the sides of the sled. Use glue to hold them in place. Make sure the sides are lined up and perpendicular to the base.

Add the sleigh runners

To make the sleigh runners, cut two popsicle sticks to the desired length. These sticks should be longer than the base so that they extend outward and curve upward like the runners of a sleigh. Glue them to the bottom of the base, one on each side. Make sure they are evenly aligned and have a gentle curve.

Reinforce the structure

Place additional popsicle sticks horizontally across the sides of the sled to reinforce the structure and add stability. Glue them in place at regular intervals, making sure they are parallel to the base.

Finishing Touches

Once the basic structure is complete, let your creativity take over. Paint the sled in your favorite colors using acrylic or craft paint. You can also add embellishments such as ribbon, mini bells, faux fur trim, or beads to enhance the sleigh’s appearance. Allow the paint and glue to dry completely before proceeding.

Optional Varnish or Sealant

To protect your masterpiece and give it a polished finish, consider applying a clear varnish or sealant. This step will help preserve the colors and materials used. Follow the instructions provided with the varnish or sealant product for best results.

Experiment with different popsicle stick sizes

While regular-sized popsicle sticks are commonly used for crafting, don’t be afraid to explore jumbo-size sticks or even mini-sticks for your sleigh. Different sizes can add variety and uniqueness to your design.

Personalize with paint and patterns

Get creative with paint by adding patterns, stripes, or intricate designs to your sleigh. Use multiple colors or create a gradient effect for a visually stunning display. Consider using metallic or glitter paint for a touch of sparkle.

Add details and accessories

Take your sleigh to the next level by adding small details and accessories. Add tiny bows, miniature gifts, or even a faux wreath to the front of the sleigh. You can also add small figurines, such as miniature reindeer or Santa Claus, to complete the festive scene.

Explore different finishing techniques

Instead of traditional painting, try other finishing techniques like decoupage or wood staining to give your sleigh a unique look. Decoupage allows you to adhere decorative paper or fabric to the surface, while wood staining can give the popsicle sticks a rich and polished look.

Create a sleigh display

Build a complete holiday scene by creating a popsicle stick sleigh along with other complementary elements. Consider making miniature trees, a snowy landscape, or even a tiny gingerbread house to go with your sleigh. Display them together on a mantle, as a centerpiece, or as part of a holiday-themed diorama.

Incorporate lights

Add a touch of magic to your sleigh by incorporating small LED lights or string lights. Carefully weave them through the structure of the sleigh or place battery-powered lights inside the sleigh for a warm and inviting glow.

Share the fun

Making a popsicle stick sleigh can be a wonderful activity to enjoy with family or friends. Get everyone involved, gather different supplies and decorations, and let everyone’s creativity shine. It’s a fun way to bond and create lasting memories.

Add a seat or sleigh bells

Consider using extra popsicle sticks to create a small seat or bench inside the sleigh. This can give your sleigh a more realistic and detailed look. You can also add small sleigh bells to the sides or front of the sleigh for a fun jingling sound.

Create a scene

Use cardboard or foam board to create a scenic backdrop for your sleigh. Paint a winter scene or cut out snowflakes and attach them to the backdrop. This will add depth and context to your sleigh and make it the centerpiece of a larger holiday display.

Go vintage

If you’re going for a nostalgic or vintage look, distress the popsicle sticks with sandpaper or use a technique called “dry brushing” to create a weathered look. This can give your sleigh an antique charm.

Add faux snow

Add a touch of winter wonderland by applying a layer of faux snow to the bottom and runners of your sleigh. You can use cotton wool, white glitter, or even fake snow spray to achieve the desired effect.

Build a matching sled

Expand your craft project by making a matching sled to go with your sleigh. Use similar techniques and materials, but adjust the size and design to make it different from the sleigh. This allows you to create a cohesive set for display.

Personalize with monograms or names

For a personal touch, consider adding monograms or names to the sides of the sleigh. You can use adhesive letters, paint stencils, or even write them by hand with a fine-tipped brush.

Create a miniature gift display

Turn your sleigh into a festive gift display by placing tiny wrapped gifts or gift boxes inside. You can make them out of colored paper, ribbon, or even repurpose small jewelry boxes.

Display with lights

Highlight your popsicle stick sled by placing it in front of a backdrop of twinkling lights. String fairy lights or Christmas lights behind and around the sled to create a magical glow.


Making a popsicle stick sleigh is a wonderful way to celebrate the holidays and show off your artistic skills. By following these simple steps and letting your imagination run wild, you can create a whimsical piece of decor that will capture the hearts of all who see it. So gather your supplies, unleash your creativity, and enjoy the magical experience of making your very own popsicle stick sleigh. Happy crafting!


How do you make a sleigh out of Popsicle sticks?

To make a popsicle stick sled, you will need a hot glue gun or glue, popsicle sticks, and optional decorations such as paint, ribbon, or miniature figurines. Start by making the base of the sled by gluing popsicle sticks together in a rectangular shape. Then attach two longer sticks vertically across the front to form the sleigh’s runners. Connect the front and back of the sled by adding diagonal sticks to create the sides. Secure all joints with glue and let dry. Once dry, you can paint the sled, add decorations, and personalize it to your liking. Finally, allow the glue and paint to dry completely before displaying your popsicle stick sled.

Remember to use caution when using a hot glue gun and to supervise children if they are involved in the crafting process. Feel free to get creative and experiment with different designs and embellishments to make your popsicle sleigh unique and festive.

What kind of popsicle sticks should I use to make a sled?

You can use either regular-size or jumbo-size popsicle sticks, depending on the desired size of your sled. Regular-size sticks are readily available and work well for smaller sleds, while jumbo-size sticks can be used for larger or more elaborate designs.

What kind of glue should I use to assemble the popsicle stick sled?

Craft glue or a hot glue gun are both good options for assembling your popsicle sleigh. Craft glue provides a strong bond and is easy to work with. A hot glue gun provides a quick and secure bond, but requires caution due to the high temperature of the glue.

Can I paint my popsicle sleigh?

Yes, painting your popsicle stick sleigh can add a vibrant and personal touch to your creation. Acrylic or craft paint works well for this purpose. Before painting, make sure the glue is completely dry and consider lightly sanding the sticks to create a smoother surface for the paint to adhere to.

Are there any other finishing techniques I can use besides paint?

Absolutely! In addition to painting, you can explore other finishing techniques such as decoupage or wood staining. Decoupage involves applying decorative paper or fabric to the surface of the popsicle sticks using a special glue or decoupage medium. Wood staining can give the sticks a richer, more polished look.

How do I add decorations to my popsicle stick sled?

There are many ways to decorate your sleigh. You can add ribbons, mini bells, faux fur trim, beads, or even small figurines to enhance the overall look. Get creative and experiment with different materials and embellishments to make your sleigh unique.

Can I make the sled stronger and more durable?

Yes, you can strengthen the structure of your sleigh to make it stronger and more durable. One way is to place additional popsicle sticks horizontally across the sides of the sled at regular intervals. This will strengthen the overall structure and prevent it from easily coming apart.

Should I apply sealant or varnish to protect my popsicle sled?

Applying a clear varnish or sealant is optional, but can help protect your sled from dust, moisture and general wear and tear. It can also give the surface a shiny or matte finish, depending on the type of sealant used. Follow the instructions provided with the sealant for best results.

Can I customize the design of my Popsicle Stick sled?

Of course you can! Feel free to design your sleigh any way you want. You can experiment with different shapes, sizes, and decorations. Let your creativity shine and make your sleigh uniquely yours.

Can I get kids involved in making a popsicle sleigh?

Making a popsicle stick sled can be a fun and engaging activity for children. However, adult supervision is recommended, especially when using a hot glue gun. Encourage children to explore their creativity, help them with the assembly process, and let them add their personal touches to the sleigh.

How do I display my finished popsicle sleigh?

Once your popsicle sleigh is complete, you can display it on a mantle, as a centerpiece on a table, or incorporate it into your holiday decorations. Consider creating a scenic backdrop, adding fairy lights, or placing the sleigh among other holiday elements to create an eye-catching display.

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