DIY Lady Nutcracker
I know what you are saying, but Halloween was just last week. Yes, but Christmas is my absolute favorite and the prep season starts NOW. I’ve been looking at fun ways to customize Christmas decorations and the first thing I though of were those crazy tacky nutcrackers. Where have all the girl nutcrackers been? I mean girls, nut-crackers? It seems like there should be more of them, especially in today’s times. Cute, snarky and a fun pop of color for the mantel. I’m breaking the boys rooms rules and taking this little wooden classic into 2018. Maybe Target or Anthropologie will take notice and help me bring this idea to life for next year.
The steps to paint are really easy. I used colors I love, that I actually decorate with and used them for the clothes. Instead of a gal with a jacket and leggings, which would be just as fun, I decided to give her a mini skirt and bright green wellies.
You will need to choose colors for your lady nutcracker. Think about hat, jacket, skin tone, hair, makeup, skirt, and boots. I tried to keep my colors to a minimum, just enough for fun but every thing wasn’t a different color. I think it helps it look more cohesive, but go wild. Add leopard print if you must (which when I make myself for our family collection, it will be.)
I wish I could make a non-sword holding weird soldier hat nutcracker myself but I am not at that level yet. I’m on the lookout for suppliers that make custom wood nutcrackers for painting. So instead I had to work with the soldier hat, the shape of the jacket and sword holding hand. The first thing I did was twist off the top of the sword. This should be easy, a simple twist while holding the nutcracker steady, just enough to break the glue hold on it. It should pull right off. What remained was a nail and the base of the sword (like a giant pushpin.) I needed to use a small pair of pliers to pinch and twist the base/push pin part. Once the glue snapped loose, it pulled right out. There are now holes in her hand, but depending on what you have her hold, you can choose to fill or not fill them. I would just put a little wood glue in the top (or hot glue) then sand and paint over.
I’ve added my process at the bottom of this post for painting, but just use this as inspiration. You can customize and create a truly personal Christmas with anything you see at the craft store. Or You don’t have to always follow the rules or use traditional colors. Crack some nuts and go wild.
For all sections of the girl nutcracker, I used at least two coats of paint. **TIP** I was very careful to “stay in my lines” and at the edges of all of my colors (ie jacket to skirt or boots to base) I used a tiny brush and tried hard not to go over the line. If you do it is totally ok. Don’t freak, you can paint over it, it is just extra work and if you have light colors next to bold colors it might take a few tiny layers of white over the bold mistake to cover and make painting the lighter color easier.
I first painted her skin; her head, legs and hands. Her jacket is easy to paint, choose a base color and then a color about 2-3 shades lighter than the base. Once the base was painted with two coats, I added the accent lines with the lighter color. If you have white you can also just lighten the base color by mixing it with white and using that instead.
With her clothes done, I went on to add her face and hair. First, I painted two pointy ovals for her eyes with white, big enough for her eyeshadow. I added two circles in pink for her cheeks. Then, I added white where her teeth and lips will go. Once her eyes and lips had two coats, I added eyeshadow and lipstick as shown. Once her makeup is dry. Outline her eyeliner and lashes using a black permanent marker, I use Faber-Castell Pitt Artist pen in size M. Add her hair and some earrings.
This DIY is easier than it looks, I love the idea or adding something unexpected to your holiday décor. I usually end up making things that I just can’t find anywhere. That’s where this lady nutcracker came in, I couldn’t find any cute girl nutcrackers to add that didn’t look like Glenda the good witch or Mrs. Claus. My holiday color palette is always a bit brighter than most, so I decided I should just make my own. I hope you use this to infuse a little personality into your holiday this year.