Christmas Reindeer

Made by Sue Dobson

A time consuming obsession, but worth all the hard work. Made with ideas, advice and tutorials from Ultimate Paper Mache! Painting it was harder than making it. Don’t know where I am going to put it, as it’s life size!

Face of a Paper mache lifesize Christmas Reindeer

Paper mache lifesize Christmas Reindeer

25 thoughts on “Christmas Reindeer”

  1. O, I’m in love with this deer – it is so perfectly made! The (jingle) bells are a great detail on them! The paint job is just spot on too.
    Great piece of art!

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  2. Sue, that reindeer is wonderful beyond belief. It looks so realistic! Does he/she have a name? How did you get the eyes to look so realistic?

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    • Hi Joan, thank you for your lovely comments. I have changed his eyes a few times and think thet were better before I changed them! I watched Jonni’s tutorials on making and painting eyes and looked at images of deer eyes. It’s all about painting in the reflectio, which brings the eyes to life, then I put a coat of clear nail varnish over to give them a good shine ( but haven’t done that yet). I haven’t given him a name yet, any ideas? Merry Christmas to you and happy model making!

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  3. This sculpture actually took my breath away when I saw it. Stunning! Just stunning! I love the fur on his neck and your paint job is flawless! Don’t change a thing! Just gorgeous! Happy Christmas!

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    • Thank you very much, Eileen. I feel tempted to make another one, as they look nice in pairs. Maybe, in a different stance, but I don’t know where I’d put them for the rest of the year – probably in the bedroom! Merry Christmas to you. Sue

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  4. Wonderful reindeer, I keep saying every year I am going to make one, but it has not happened yet, it is so great you followed your heart and did it, such a great accomplishment!!

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  5. Simply amazing in every way! I love the tiny bells hanging from the antlers. Did you make the halter and harness yourself? Just wow.

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    • Hi Rhonda, thank you for your comments. I thought he looked a bit plain without any harness, so I cut an old leather belt in half (lengthways, so it was narrower) to make the head collar, using fittings from an old handbag and bought a couple of old leather belts for his harness from charity shops, then stuck on studs with ‘superglue’. How about you, do you make paper mache models? I love looking at all the wonderful things people make with it. Have a merry Christmas, Sue

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      • Very creative use of second hand stuff. I do some paper mache, mostly small stuff, but hope to do larger stuff in the future. This site is wonderful inspiration. Merry Christmas to you, too.

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  6. Yeah …wow what an achievement. It looks real too.
    I’m absolutely speechless…great work. How long did it take and what was your painting technique?
    Keep it up

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    • Thank you Jessie. It took me probably about 5 weeks, working on it for a few hours most days. This was largely because I kept painting it and didn’t like the finish. It is a large area to keep painting with ‘dabbed’ on paint with a small artist’s paint brush, so each effort was very time consuming. I watched a video on how to paint fluffy, clumpy fur (on a wolf) and it was marvellous, but I just couldn’t replicate it. I made his body surface textured using some kitchen roll, which looked better than smooth. Lots of ideas from Jonni have been a great help to me and got me into a great hobby! Hope you have a great Christmas. Sue

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  7. Wow! Wow! Wow! Love your reindeer Sue! I love the way the antlers look like they’ve grown on his head, the realistic look of the antlers, how did you get that bone look? The fur on him is so thick! Please don’t touch his eyes, they have that wariness look! As if he’s checking you out to see if he should stay or run! Did you use Jonni’s pattern for his head? Lovely sculpture.
    Your next project is building a barn for him to stay in until next Xmas!

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    • Hi Pauline, thank you for your lovely comments, you made me laugh! To make him, I looked at lots of images of reindeers and red deers. Reindeers are actually very cow like and can be quite ugly, so his head is more based on a red deer. I made his head starting with 2 pieces of cardboard, bulked out in the middle with foil, then built on that. I bought a very small drill, which is great for hollowing out things like nostrils. I realise I haven’t given him a mouth yet! The most time was spent trying to get a natural looking paint finish. I ended up just dabbing my brush on with various shades of acrylic paint, once one layer had dried. The antlers, I did the same. This way it was easy to darken or lighten the shade in a more subtle way than a block colour. Your comment about building the barn made me laugh! I would try to build a barn if I had the space, but I’d fill it with donkeys! Merry Christmas to you, Sue

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  8. You amaze me Jonni! Every time I get a notification from you it is something even more realistic and wonderful. After the new year begins and I slow down, I am going to be doing some of your projects. I got the horse and dragon patterns from you and haven’t done them yet, but I will be trying them in 2023. Thank you for your inspiration and talent, you are a blessing to many.
    Happy holidays to you and your family!!!

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    • Thank you, Rachel. But I didn’t make this wonderful reindeer – but I agree with everything you said about it. Sue definitely inspired us with her reindeer. (I’ll take credit for the horse and dragon, though – thanks for your nice comments. 🙂 )

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    • Thank you Corinna. It took a few weeks of trial and error. Started with a big cardboard box and built on that. I’m glad it’s more or less finished as I have got so behind with all my jobs in the house! How about you, do you make paper mache models? Anyway, thanks again for your comments. Merry Christmas, Sue

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  9. The Christmas Reindeer by Sue Dobson is absolutely incredible! I was stunned by the detail and realism. Such amazing talent! Love, Love, Love it!!!!!!!!

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    • Thank you so much, Anne. I have said every Christmas I’m going to make a reindeer, but I’ve done it at last! My husband gets a bit fed up of me being in the kitchen surrounded by paper, cardboard, glue and foil etc, every day, but now I’ve had a good clear up! I’ve put the reindeer next to the Xmas tree and will finish him off after Christmas (I’m going to repaint his eyes and varnish him). Hope you have a very happy Christmas, Sue

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      • Well, it was more than worth the messy kitchen! lol. It is stunning. I showed it to my daughter and she fell in love with it. Have a wonderful Christmas and please keep posting any new creations.

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