Sleighing Off the Beaten Path

Being a recent Glowforge convert, I have been looking for projects. I loved @visuplayer’s sleigh and reindeer so went and bought the designs from his Etsy store – thank you for a great design!

My original intent was to build sleighs for my staff at work (I always try to do something that shows I put some personal effort into it) and fill them with goodies and a personal message of thanks as an end of year thank you to the team. I did that–note the hexagon opening vice the round circle as our organization has a hexagon shaped logo-- and they are now in need of a card, wrapping and my delivery.

My wife, seeing the result, asked me to make a large sleigh (13+ inches) to use as a roll basket for our Christmas dinner table and then wanted miniature ones to put on our Christmas breakfast plates (yes, my wife likes to dress up the table over the holidays, no matter what meal). But, breakfast table has silver and white color theme so she wanted them in clear acrylic not wood.
As I was working on adjusting the design for the smaller size I had the idea of customizing them for each person who would be there. As my family has spent a lot of our lives in South Asia and the Middle East I decided to use iconic Indian and Arab icons (lotus flower, Arab coffee urn, clay lamp, Ashoka wheel, cow) where the circle on the sleigh is and revector the reindeer design to Indian and Middle Eastern animals (elephant, camel, mule, rhino, and cow).
The designs adopted well, though I simplified them on the animals themselves as the cutouts didn’t work well at that scale. Pics show: the original reindeer next to the new cow cut from 1/8th inch cherry-stained Baltic birch plywood;

An early cardboard prototype of the miniatures:

What the camel looks like finished (I’m not much of a photographer so couldn’t do it justice in photos):

An acrylic prototype of the sleigh (the final product will use 1/4th inch clear acrylic to reduce the number of layers) with the coffee urn being pulled by a camel;

The production line of the acrylic animals.

My wife warns me she has other ideas for these as well!

As a newcomer I’ve been inspired by this forum and learned a lot from others (especially Tips and Tricks) that have made my learning curve much faster so wanted to give back a little by sharing some of my early journey as well.

Happy Holidays and happy forging!


I like this entire project and appreciate the amount of effort it took to write it up.

What would you say was the trickiest part of re-scaling the designs?


You have really taken this design and made it your own. Thanks for sharing your journey with us. I also learned an awful lot at the beginning of my journey by working to alter files shared by members of this forum.


Trickiest part of resizing was probably ensuring the spacing remained right and not have lines so close they blended together. Didn’t apply to the acrylic because I eliminated the living hinge, but when resizing for the bread basket the trickiest part was ensuring the slots for the living hinge to fint into were the right size. Overall, redoing the collars to fit very different size necks probably took the most effort to look right.


This looks great. I have cut this sleigh as well and love it! Love your acrylic version!


Love how they all turned out! Your family and friends will be very impressed!


Wonderful job, taken my design to another level. I love all the new animals you designed, and how you customzed for your employees! Great job all around!


Wow, what a wonderful series you have made out of those designs! I can’t decide if I like the wood or acrylic better.


really cool


wow! Top notch work. Wish I had the imagination and skill you have.


You are doing great creating visions of Christmas! Enjoyed your write-up and your heartfelt giving.