DIY Nutcracker decorations

Inspired by The Nutcracker ballet, I’ve been making festive peg doll deocrations to hang on our tree.  Requiring little more than a steady hand and an array of paints, it’s a lovely thing to have a go at on a darky and rainy night – or around the kitchen table with restless children who are done with school for the year but still have way too many Big Sleeps to go until Christmas (though only 7 now!).

You’ll need:

  • A pack of wooden clothes pegs; I used these
  • Wooden hats (optional); I used these craft ‘candle cups’ which have ahandy hole in the top for threading
  • Selection of paints; the tiny tins designed for model-makers are ideal, found at all good craft shops.  You’ll need red, white, blue, black and gold. (Red and white mix to make pink for the skin tone, or add brown to your list if you prefer).
  • Brushes of varying thickness, but make sure you have a very fine brush for the facial features.
  • Fluff!  For the hair… I used a few strands of quilt batting leftover from this project, but any good fluff or fibre will do…
  • Thread for making a hanging loop.

Nutcracker decorations

  1. Start by mixing your pink paint for the face and brush that on; don’t worry about neatness.  Peg your dolls around a mug rim as they dry
  2. Now the black; paint the legs to the waist, and also paint your hat.
  3. White next! paint a tent-shaped triangle above the waist, as if the jacket is cut away to reveal the white shirt.  Add two circles for eyes on the peg head, and a rectangle for the teeth (you’ll add the definition later).
  4. And now red for the jacket; cover the rest of the top half of the peg doll, carefully edging around the white shirtHow to make Nutcracker peg dolls
  5. Gold accents next; brush two stripes around the cuffs of the legs, and a wider band around the waist for a gold belt.  Do the same around the neckline and add a few swooping semi-circles to mimic gold chain across the jacket front.  Do the same across the front of the hat, and add a gold band rim.
  6. Now the face, and the trickiest bit.  Examine your hand carefully for steadiness, and rest it on the table as you paint.  If all else fails, just repaint a new layer of pink to cover up any mistakes.  Start with the black paint and add chunky eyebrows and a moustache.  Now blue dots for the irisis, and a red mouth with your thinnest brush tip.
  7. For the hair, cover the sides of the peg head with glue and press on a fingertip’s worth of fibres, which you can trim to shape and style later.
  8. Finally, thread a knotted cord through the hat to make a loop before glueing the hat to you doll’s head.  Ta-da!!  Job done…
  1. A set of DIY Nutcracker peg dolls  Nutcracker Peg Dolls

We’ve hung ours on the Christmas tree, and mighty fine they look too.

We’ve a busy weekend ahead; we throw our doors open tomorrow to family and friends for our annual Open House of eating, drinking, dancing, gossiping and general chaos.  Father Christmas usually wanders up the lane as darkness falls, adding an additional buzz of excitement.  I am hopelessly behind in my preparations, though the beauty of having good friends come is that a lack of perfection is easily forgiven;  mulled wine, a real fire and festive cookies will go a long way to being all we need.

Have a wonderful weekend wherever you are and whatever you’re up to!

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