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A 1:9 or 1:12 Scale Printable Paper Sleigh
This scale model sleigh is easily made from lightweight printable card or photo paper, using your printer. Alternatively, you can print off the pieces and use them as templates for wooden sides to make a stronger sleigh. Either way, it will fit a 1:9 model horse scene or 1:12 scale dollhouse scene, and makes a great decoration!
A 1:48 or quarter scale version and a 1:24 or half scale version are also available. It can be left as is, or you can decorate it with glitter and snow. The sleigh can be filled with lightweight contents for a table decoration. It will hold two average seated dolls house dolls or a chubby Santa.Continue to 2 of 10 below.
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Materials and Printable Parts Needed for a Printable Miniature Sleigh
The sleigh can be made from lightweight wood if you wish, baltic birch plywood, sometimes sold as 'aircraft plywood' is a good material for wooden versions.
Printable Miniature Sleigh Materials
- Photo Weight Paper or lightweight card stock suitable for a computer printer. The 1:12 scale sleigh will need four sheets of letter-sized paper to print the parts. You will need seven sheets of paper or lightweight card to print the 1:9 scale parts.
- PVA (white) Glue
- Glue Spreader
- Straight Edge or paper scorer/bone folder to make folds
- Sharp Scissors or a sharp craft knife and cutting mat.
Printable parts for the miniature sleigh are available as PDF (Acrobat Reader files). You will need to print off the following:
For a 1:9 Scale Sleigh
- Two sets of the left sleigh side.
- Two sets of the right sleigh side.
- Two sets of the sleigh floorboards.
- One set of the sleigh benches and upholstery.
For a 1:12 Scale Sleigh
Continue to 3 of 10 below.
- Two sets of the 1:12 scale sleigh sides.
- One page with the center frame strip or sleigh floor.
- One page with the sleigh seat.
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Assembling the Printable Miniature Sleigh Parts
Cut out four side sections, two floor or center frame sections and an interior seat assembly from the PDF files listed on the materials page. If you print the parts on strong card, or photo paper or glue sheets of lighter weight paper to a card backing, you can cut out the spaces between the runners if you choose to.
Prepare the Sleigh Sides
Glue the sides together to make two sides which have a printed front and back. If you are going to cut out the spaces between the runners, cut out the main sleigh body, glue two pieces together to make one sleigh side which is printed on both sides, then cut out the runners from the side which will face out on the sleigh. That way any misalignments of the runners will be less noticeable.
Prepare the Sleigh Frame or Floor
Carefully trim the top and bottom of the two floor or center frame sections, line them up and glue them together so that both sides of the floor are colored and the top and bottom tabs match up. After you have glued the pieces together, cut out the remainder of the tabs so that no white edge shows on one side. This will be the piece on the inside of the sleigh.
Prepare the Sleigh Interior
Cut out the sleigh seat assembly leaving the white edge of the page at the top and bottom of the seat assembly. Do not trim this away. Cut out the tabs on the long side of the interior assembly and fold the piece on the solid brown lines. Roll the paper gently above the diamond pattern on the back of the main seat (double set of diamond patterns) and again at the top edge of the seat interior where the largest diamond pattern occurs. Fold under the white edges at the top and bottom of the interior, and fold all small side tabs under using a straight edge so that the folded edges are straight.Continue to 4 of 10 below.
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Fit The Printable Sleigh Sides to the Main Sleigh Body
If you want a particularly neat finish at the front of the sleigh, trim 1/8 of an inch from the front interior section of the doubled card frame, and fold the longer uncut edge over the cut edge and glue it so that it makes a neat join on the interior side of the frame. This step is not necessary but does finish the front edge.
Line the front edge of the sleigh frame up with the curve at the front of the sleigh and test fit the frame to the red edge on the interior of one of the side pieces. The frame piece should end evenly at the front and back. If it does not, adjust where you will start the sleigh front.
Turn all tabs to the inside of the sleigh, and glue the side which will lie against the side of the sleigh. Fit the frame carefully in place, following the curving red line on the front of the sleigh as shown in the photo. Set this aside to dry.Continue to 5 of 10 below.
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Glue the Remaining Sleigh Side to the Sleigh Body
When the glue is fully dry from your previous step, add the second sleigh side to the sleigh body. Fold all the remaining tabs on the second side to that they will fit neatly against the body of the sleigh. Apply glue to the tabs.
With the sleigh body lying on the already glued side, line up the remaining side so that the runners will be even. Carefully lay the remaining sleigh body on top of the tabs and gently adjust the sleigh frame to fit the remaining side. Check that the frame is not skewed and that it stands evenly on the runners.
Set the sleigh aside to dry.Continue to 6 of 10 below.
06 of 10
Trim and Test Fit the Interior of the Printable Miniature Sleigh
Take the seat assembly you folded in step three and test fit it into the sleigh body once the glue is fully dried. The white tab you left at the bottom of the seat assembly (below the two diamond sections and the small plain section) will be glued under the seat bench against the floor. The tabs will be glued to the sides of the sleigh inside the interior trim so that they are not seen. Fold the tabs out of site when you test fit the bench assembly.
The front seat folds back over the plain bench support and the back of the seat; the larger diamond section of the two rolls over, then falls in a gentle roll to the floor to make the cargo area. The large diamond section forms the padding at the back of the cargo area.
The fold at the base of the diamond section is glued to the floor at the back of the sled and the diamond section comes up and rolls over the sled frame back, covering the back seam. The white paper edge you left as a tab at the top of the diamond section when you cut it out is turned under and glued to the outside back of the sleigh, creating the effect of a roll of upholstery.
Make sure all your folds are made and your interior fits well before proceeding to the next step of gluing it in place.Continue to 7 of 10 below.
07 of 10
Glue the Sleigh Seat and Interior to the Printable Miniature Sleigh
When you have the interior successfully folded and bent to fit the inside of your sleigh, run glue along the white tab at the base of the front seat, fold it under the seat and glue it to the floor. Press it gently in place. When it is dry, apply glue to the side tabs and fold the seat and seat back into position, pressing the sides of the sleigh against the glued tabs. Do not glue the sides until the front tab glue is dry.
Run a bead of glue along the fold line at the base of the back diamond section and glue the fold to the floor at the back of the sleigh. Glue the side tabs to the sleigh sides as much as you can.
Apply glue to the top edge of the diamond pattern (on the white section you left from the border) and fold the white tab over to glue against the outside back of the sleigh, rolling your interior upholstery over the back edge to cover the tab and the back of the sleigh.
Set the upholstered sleigh aside to dry.Continue to 8 of 10 below.
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Ways to Decorate a Finished Miniature or Dolls House Scale Sleigh
If you wish you can fill the back of your printable miniature sleigh with a piece of foam cut to fit and cover the top of the foam with parcels and toys. You can make a toy sack and place it in the cargo section of the sleigh.
Although it is made of card, the sleigh bench should support the weight of one or two dolls house dolls. You can use half dolls if you cover the area where their legs should be with a sleigh rug.Continue to 9 of 10 below.
09 of 10
Linda York's Wooden Santa Sleigh
Linda York built the Santa sleigh using wood instead of card. To make the floor, she used thin birch veneer, which she wet and bent to fit. Rather than cut the runners out of wood, she soldered wire and metal strip together and added a matching scrollwork design to the side of the sleigh. She used the printable patterns given for the card sleigh to make the body of the sleigh in 1:9 scale so it will work with her model horse collectionContinue to 10 of 10 below.
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Interior of Linda York's Wooden Version of the Santa Sleigh
Here you can see a closer view of the interior of Linda York's version of the Santa Sleigh.She made the bench seats from ultra suede, filled with fiberfill and tufted. The interior of the sleigh is also lined with ultrasuede.
Tip: If you want to 'button tuft' the interior lining of the sleigh, you can use the interior template to make a card template trimmed 1/8 inch inside the outlines of the printed template. Attach a thin section of foam or quilt batting (roughly 3/32 inch thick) to your trimmed section of card with the diagonals marked for the button tufts on the side opposite the side you attach the foam to. Now you can set thin leather, ultrasuede, microsuede, or another leather-like fabric over the foam and using tiny buttons made of polymer clay or epoxy putty, you can tuft the fabric for the sleigh interior.
When you have finished all the tufting, turn the edge of the fabric over the back of the card, and glue the card to the interior of the sleigh. For a sample of simple button tufting, see the instructions for the French memory board, but work it over lighter weight card, instead of bookboard, and use thicker foam (and no ribbons!).
If you want to be even more authentic, you could try diamond button tufting.