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Upcycle a paper towel roll into an adorable paper roll reindeer. This is a fun and easy recycling Christmas craft for kids which includes a free printable template.

You might also like our printable paper reindeer

paper roll reindeer craft with free printable template

Many years ago when I first began blogging (way back in 2012 in fact), I made a toilet roll reindeer as one of my very first crafts. It might have even been THE first.

I didn’t know anything about blogging back then, and the article includes just a single sentence of intro, a numbered list of instructions and one process photo taken with a dodgy old phone camera on our family dining table. 

I’d like to think I’ve come a long way since then, and I wanted to update that old article and craft but I just can’t bring myself to delete it. It’s history, a reminder of where I started and how much I’ve learned since then. Plus, the new reindeer are cute, but they’ve turned out completely different to the first pair which I have a sentimental attachment to. It’d be kind of like deleting my babies.

So… why not have both?

paper rool reindeer recycled Christmas craft for kids

This time around I’ve made the template an all-in-one flatten and pop-out shape, with just a pair of antlers to glue onto the back of the head. It’s super easy to make, but younger kids will probably need an adult to do the cutting out and tracing for them. Flattened recycled rolls are stiffer to cut out than paper and the shape is a little fiddly for small hands.

Let’s get started…

How to make a paper roll reindeer

You will need

  • A recycled paper towel roll (at a squeeze, you might get the template to fit on a toilet roll but it could be a little too long so you might need to shorten the legs if using a TP roll)
  • scissors
  • paint in brown and white
  • paint brush
  • a scrap of white paper for the eyes
  • glue stick
  • hot glue gun
  • cotton ball
  • optional mini pom pom for the nose – you could alternatively paint or draw a nose on with black marker
  • The free printable template (enter your details into the box provided and it will be emailed to you)

How to

Print and cut out the template shape.

printable template to make paper roll reindeer craft

Trace the outline onto a flattened paper roll and cut it out.

cut out the reindeer shape

Pop the shape into a 3D reindeer shape. Bend the head forward and the tail back.

pop reindeer into shape

Paint the reindeer and his antlers.

recycled reindeer craft steps

You can lean the antlers on a skewer while they are drying to stop the wet paint from sticking to the paper.

paint antlers white

Use a cotton ball to dab a bit of white paint on the reindeer’s chest and the back of his tail.

paint chest white with cotton ball

Draw some eyes onto paper and glue them on with a glue stick. Hot glue the antlers on and a little mini pom pom nose.

paper rool reindeer recycled Christmas craft for kids

Your cute little reindeer is done! They even look cute from behind.

paper rool reindeer view from back

paper rool reindeer recycled Christmas craft for kids

Reindeer books for kids

More reindeer crafts for kids

paper roll reindeer craft with free printable template