Reindeer Automaton

My wife brought with her the tradition of Christmas crackers during the holiday. This year she found some delightful reindeer crackers that were too adorable to recycle after we popped them. I kept one and please my wife by recycling the rest.

I thought an automaton would be a fun way to upcycle the cardboard head. I used Tracy's 3D printed cardboard clips to quickly assemble my box from cut cardboard pieces.

I used a different technique for the crank and cam that worked well.

I used a 3D printed pivot that I designed in Tinkercad for other automata. It attaches to a push pin that I trimmed the point and covered the stump in hot glue.

I measured and cut a square dowel to establish a minimum and maximum height for the reindeer's travels.

A roof line cut from a corner of a box flap helped conceal the linkage and cemented the automaton's narrative.

Cardstock snow and a window completed the design.

This project took me about three hours from start to finish. I made things up in my head as I went and transfered the ideas to cardboard, which I hand cut with a retractable snap-blade knife. I used hot glue for cardboard and wood attachments and a cold glue stick for the cardstock. I think I will pack it away for next December!