If you have a European heritage in your family, chances are you may have grown up with Nutcracker dolls put out at Christmas time.
As a child, I didn’t understand the history of the Nutcracker, but my English born grandparents always had their Nutcracker dolls out. Whenever I see one, they prompt a much-loved childhood memory of Christmas time.
The toy soldier figurines originate from Germany and are traditionally brought out at Christmas. While the dolls are part of German folklore and symbolise good luck, they are primarily used to decorate homes for Christmas. And despite their namesake, they are not able to crack nuts.
Our fascination with the Nutcracker has heightened from watching the movie The Nutcracker and the Four Realms, which has now become part of our Christmas movie playlist on the school holidays.
This Nutcracker craft, using wooden pegs, is an easy project to make. The pegs can be used to decorate gifts or hang Christmas cards on string. It’s an ideal craft for the classroom or playgroup too as the materials used are cost-effective in bulk.
- Wooden Pegs
- Black Cardboard
- Black Paint
- Red Paint
- Blue Paint
- White Paint (we used white nail polish)
- Fine Paint Brushes
- Googley Eyes
- Black Pipe Cleaner
Decide how you’re going to use your peg as this will determine which end will have the face and hat. I decided to put the hat and face on the top edge.
- Paint the body blue – so half way up the peg.
- Paint a black belt above the blue section.
- Paint a red suit top which will be 1cm in height
- Cut a top hat out of the black cardboard and glue to the top end of the peg.
- Glue two googley eyes underneath the hat.
- Cut the end of a black pipe cleaner and glue this under eyes for the Nutcracker’s moustache.
Make a few pegs so they can be used to decorate Christmas gifts or attach cards to string for a Christmas card display.