Rudolph The LED Nosed Reindeer
For day five of our 12 Makes of Christmas we made Rudolf the LED nosed Reindeer. Follow our step by step guide and build your own out of laser cut parts.  rudolf-the-red-nosed-reindeer-12-makes-of-christmas-main-1000 The build also includes a simple conductive copper tape circuit to light up an LED for Rudolph's nose. We also have two ways of completing the project, you can either build just the head or the full head and body. Let's get making!  

You will need:


Rudolph The LED Nosed Reindeer:

rudolf-the-red-nosed-reindeer-12-makes-of-christmas-render-1000 In the above render, you can see how the individual pieces relate to each other. In the steps below you can see how to make the simple circuit and how to put all of the pieces together.  

Step 1:

rudolf-the-red-nosed-reindeer-12-makes-of-christmas-parts-1000 Cut the parts using the DXF files on a laser cutter, or print out the templates for use with cardboard. Keep note of the part numbers.  

Step 2:

rudolf-the-red-nosed-reindeer-12-makes-of-christmas-head-1000 After cutting all of the pieces, take the body and fit the LED into the slot in the nose. Gluing this in place may help but is not essential. Make a note of which side is positive/negative (The longer pin is positive). NOTE: These instructions are for the full reindeer – if building the head only, follow the instructions the same, ignoring step 13 and glueing the shield pieces in place last.  

Step 3:

rudolf-the-red-nosed-reindeer-12-makes-of-christmas-tape1-1000 Using the copper tape, create a solid path on one side of the body leading from the LED to the circle cut-out. This is where the battery will go.  

Step 4:

rudolf-the-red-nosed-reindeer-12-makes-of-christmas-tape2-1000 Repeat the previous step on the opposite side, but do not cover the cut-out yet. rudolf-the-red-nosed-reindeer-12-makes-of-christmas-tape3-1000 Insert the battery into the hole, with the positive side facing to the same side as the longer pin on the LED.  

Step 5:

rudolf-the-red-nosed-reindeer-12-makes-of-christmas-tape4-1000 Finish the circuit by placing the tape over the battery. Check the LED is on and has a solid connection. If the LED is not on, check the tape is stuck down fully and check the battery is the right way round.  

Step 6:

rudolf-the-red-nosed-reindeer-12-makes-of-christmas-tape5-1000 Begin slotting pieces 1-6 onto the body, glueing each one in place. You may need to sand the first 2 parts slightly to fit over the LED pins.  

Step 7;

rudolf-the-red-nosed-reindeer-12-makes-of-christmas-assembly-1000 After glueing the pieces 1-6 onto the body, you can add a switch to the circuit. If you do not want to add a switch, ignore steps 9-12.  

Step 8:

rudolf-the-red-nosed-reindeer-12-makes-of-christmas-assembly1-1000 Take piece 7 and add some copper tape on one of the inside edges of the slot. For the switch to work best, this piece needs to fit snug – I added a few extra strips of tape for a better fit.  

Step 9:

rudolf-the-red-nosed-reindeer-12-makes-of-christmas-assembly2-1000 Cut a small slit in the copper wire in line with the slot behind the ears. This break in the circuit will be joined with the copper tape on piece 7 when slotted over.  

Step 10:

rudolf-the-red-nosed-reindeer-12-makes-of-christmas-assembly3-1000 Slot piece 7 back in with the copper tape covering the gap in the circuit. Make sure the LED lights up and the piece stays in place - add extra layers of tape if the piece is loose, but do not glue as removing this piece acts as a switch.  

Step 11:

rudolf-the-red-nosed-reindeer-12-makes-of-christmas-assembly4-1000 Continue fitting and gluing pieces until you reach the battery. Do not glue pieces over this as you will be unable to replace the battery.  

Step 12;

rudolf-the-red-nosed-reindeer-12-makes-of-christmas-assembly5-1000 Continue fitting the pieces in place after the battery hole. Leave the pieces missed out on the side for now. rudolph-the-led-nosed-reindeer-12-makes-of-christmas-step-12-cont-1000  

Step 13:

rudolph-the-led-nosed-reindeer-12-makes-of-christmas-step-13-1000 Glue the back legs in place as shown. rudolph-the-led-nosed-reindeer-12-makes-of-christmas-step-13-cont-1000  

Step 14:

rudolph-the-led-nosed-reindeer-12-makes-of-christmas-step-14-1000 Slot the pieces back over the battery hole and fit the legs into place. You may want to glue one leg to the already fixed pieces however you should leave one side so you can replace batteries if required.  

Step 15:

rudolph-the-led-nosed-reindeer-12-makes-of-christmas-step-15-1000 Finish by glueing the rest of the antlers on.   This concludes the fifth of our 12 Makes of Christmas, we'll be back tomorrow with another festive making activity. You can check out the other Makes of Christmas, here.


Mark Donnison

Mark Donnison

Hi Carl, Thanks for the heads up, I've re-uploaded the zip file and it seems to work as exp0ected now.

Carl St. James

Carl St. James

When I download the file windows says it cannot open it because the zip file is empty. Can you sort this? Ta.

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