Chestnut animals are popular with young and old alike. For beginners and children, they are quick and easy to make and look really good. But there are versions for the more accomplished craftsperson, where adults can let their imagination run free and creates a "wow" effect for visitors.
For the easier animals, you just need chestnuts, matches and/or toothpicks. For the more advanced animals, you will also need a knife, borer, glue, googly eyes, fur, wool etc. Here, fantasy knows no bounds.
So let's go! First of all, you need to decide what animal you want to make.
An easy animal would be a giraffe, for example. For this, you will need a fairly large chestnut to use as the body. Make four holes in the bottom of the chestnut, two at the front and two at the back. Put a match or toothpick in each of the four holes to make the giraffe's legs. Now find four small chestnuts of similar size. These will be the feet. Make a hole in each of these small chestnuts and then place these feet onto the matchstick legs. Then make another hole in the top half of the body so that you can insert a toothpick to make the giraffe's neck. Lastly, make a final hole in a smaller chestnut and place it on the neck. This will then be the head.
The chestnut snake, which is also an easy animal, can be made without matchsticks. For this, you need to put chestnuts with holes in them onto a thread, as if you were making a chestnut chain. When making the snake, you should make sure that the chestnuts used are threaded according to size. Put the biggest chestnut on first and then thread the others in descending order of size. To make it really look like a snake, you can paint on some eyes and stick on a red paper or felt tongue.
For the more advanced animals, there are no instructions or limitations: Anything goes as long as it is fun and looks good. Let your imagination run wild.