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Free Pattern: Reindeer Finger-Puppet

I shared a reel on Instagram showing my reindeer finger-puppet toy, and then realized I never shared the pattern here! It still exists on my old blog, but I'm posting it here too, so everything is together. Also, I really like finger-puppet toys, and should make more someday...

(The pattern below is copied from the original 2014 blog post)

Here's a cute little project that you can make in those little bits of time you always have during the holidays: chatting with family at parties, waiting for a school pageant to start, watching Christmas specials with your kids for the 12th time.

It's a fairly easy knit, so if you can knit, purl, increase, decrease, and change colours, you should be fine! I've made the antlers from felt, but if you hate hand-sewing, and your kids are a bit older, you could use pipe-cleaners (chenille wires) instead. Wouldn't your children be so pleased to find one of these in their stocking?

Reindeer Finger-Puppet

Materials: 15 g of worsted weight yarn in light brown (MC), 5 g of worsted weight yarn in white (CC), pair of 4 mm (US size 6) knitting needles, two 4 mm (US size 6) double pointed needles (dpns), pair of 6 mm safety eyes or beads, stuffing, yarn to embroider the face, tapestry needle, brown felt plus hand-sewing needle and thread

Gauge: 22 sts and 32 rows per 10cm (4”) in st st

Size: 8 cm (3”)


CO 34 sts with MC.

Row 1: P6, bind off 8 sts, p6, bind off 8 sts, p6. (18 sts, the bound off stitches make the legs)

Row 2: K5, ssk, k4, k2tog, k5. (16 sts)

Row 3-7: Work 5 rows in st st.

Row 8: K5, ssk, k2, k2tog, k5. (14 sts)

Row 9-11: Work 3 rows in st st.

Row 12: K4, k2tog, k2, ssk, k4. (12 sts)

Cut MC. Change to CC.

Row 13-14: Work 2 rows in st st.

Bind off. Using a length of your MC yarn, sew the tops and bottoms of the feet together with a few whip stitches.

Arm (make 2)

With dpns and MC, cast on 3 sts. Work in I-cord for 5 rounds. Cut yarn, thread end through remaining stitches, and pull tight to gather.

If you don’t want to work the arms as I-cord, cast on 4 sts, and work in st st for 5 rows. Cut yarn, thread end through remaining stitches, and pull tight to gather. Then sew arm seam towards cast-on edge.


Start at back. CO 6 sts with MC.

Row 1: Purl.

Row 2: k1, [m1, k1] x 5. (11 sts)

Row 3: Purl.

Row 4: k2, [m1, k1] x 8, k1. (19 sts)

Row 5-9: Work 5 rows in st st.

Row 10: k3, ssk, k1, k2tog, k3, ssk, k1, k2tog, k3. (15 sts)

Row 11: Purl.

Row 12: k4, k2tog, k3, ssk, k4. (13 sts)

Cut MC. Change to CC.

Row 13-15: Work 3 rows in st st.

Row 16: [k2tog] x 3, k1, [ssk] x 3. (7 sts)

Cut yarn, thread end through remaining sts, and pull tight to gather. Attach safety eyes or beads, or embroider eyes with black yarn. Sew seam, leaving an opening. Stuff head, then sew closed. Embroider a nose and mouth.

Ear (make 2)

CO 3 sts with MC.

Row 1: Purl.

Row 2: K1, m1, k1, m1, k1. (5 sts)

Row 3-5: Work 3 rows in st st.

Row 6: K1, ssk, k2. (4 sts)

Row 7: [p2tog] x 2. (2 sts)

Pass first stitch over second. Cut yarn, pull end through rem st, then thread yarn end along side of ear to cast-on edge. Sew cast-on edge of ears to head, then weave in yarn ends.


Sew cast-on edge of arms to body, then weave in yarn ends on WS of body. Sew body’s back seam from cast-on edge to bound-off edge, leaving the bound-off edge open, for sewing to the head.

Make antlers from felt: cut out 4 pieces of felt using the photo below as your pattern*. Matching 2 pieces together, sew around outside edges with a blanket stitch. Sew antler base to the head, just above one ear. Repeat for the other antler. (Another method of making antlers is to use pipe-cleaners or chenille wire, but this is not recommended for young children)

Sew head to open bound-off edge of body. Weave in yarn ends. If you like, add a bow and jingle-bell.

*You should be able to click on the photo above, save it, and then print it. I have tried to make the photo so that it will print at the correct size to use as a pattern for cutting out your antler pieces. But if it's not the correct size, just use it as a guide for the shape. All reindeer have different antlers anyway!

P.S. If you want to make a whole family of finger puppets, the body from the reindeer will work with any of the heads from my Wee Wuzzies pattern. You'll just need to knit it in the colours to match the animal.


[ ] x N = repeat sequence in brackets N times ("to end" means to repeat until the end of the row)

CO = cast on

I-cord = a method of knitting a small number of stitches in the round on two dpns

K or k = knit

k2tog = decrease 1 stitch by knitting 2 together

m1 = increase 1 by picking up loop between stitch just worked and next stitch, from front to back, and knit into the back of this loop.

P or p = purl

p2tog = decrease 1 stitch by purling 2 together

ssk = decrease 1 stitch by slipping 2 stitches purl-wise, then knit slipped stitches together

st or sts = stitch or stitches

st st = stockinette stitch

WS = wrong side


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