How to make log deer lawn ornaments from fallen trees
My log deer after 3 years
Handmade craft to keep or sell!
Log deer are not only a fairly easy craft project to do, they are also cheap to make, and look really good paired together or by theirselves. This project is also a great way to clean the fallen trees off of your property and make some extra money if you had several trees down at once.
There was a really bad storm here while back and 2 pine trees (about 5-6 inches in diameter) fell over on my mom's property and this gave me enough materials to do 2 log deer and build a frame out of the trees to hang the swing on.
Basically your materials consist of trees, limbs, and 7 double end screws (known as lag screws). You will need some sort of a saw and depending on how big you want your deer is to how long you will cut your pieces. I will give you some basic dimensions and you can take it up or down from there. You could even make a log deer family once you get the hang of how they are made.
There are 7 body parts needed for the log deer with the body being the largest piece. For the body of the deer, a tree about 5-7 inches in diameter needs to be cut down to about 2-3 feet long. There are 4 legs (3-4 feet each) and the neck (3-5 inches) that can be cut from thick tree limbs. The head needs to be anywhere from 4-5 inches in diameter and about 6-10 inches long.
Attach the legs to the body
Now that your log deer body parts are cut and ready to go together, it is time to assemble your deer. It is easier to start with the 4 legs because once they are attached you can stand your deer up and get a good idea where the neck and head needs to go. I used double ended screws to attach the body parts to the main body, but you could also use dowel rods or whittle your pieces to fit into pre-drilled holes. To make the job a lot easier it is recommended to pre-drill holes into the leg itself and where the leg will attach to the body of the deer. Take a pair of pliers and screw the double end screw into the leg and then screw the leg itself into the pre-drilled hole in to body.
The head and neck
After your 4 legs are attached flip your log deer upright and locate the position for the neck and head and pre-drill a hole into the body. Pre-drill a hole in the bottom of the neck and the top of the neck so it can be attached to the head and then to the body of the log deer. After you screw the double end screws in you can attach the head to the neck which then can be attached to the body of the deer. Then just turn the head of the deer in whatever direction you want.
The tail, ears, and antlers
All that is left is the finishing touches and you will have a log deer. For the tail I used a small flat piece of wood (I found on the ground) and screwed it into the rear end in a straight up position with a regular one ended screw. The antlers of the deer are just small stick limbs with branches that look like antlers. The best way to attach the antlers is to pre-drill two holes in the top of the log deer's head, squirt some wood glue into the holes, and insert the antlers. If you want ears on your log deer there are a few options you can use. You can either find some small flat pieces of wood and attach them to the head or you could use leather strips to form the ears. On my log deer, the piece I used for the head had two branches sticking out so I had instant ears, and no work on my part.
You can decorate your log deer with the seasons or holidays. I showed mine plain to give you an idea of the basic construction of the log deer. So go ahead and try this natural craft and put your personal touch on this basic design.
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