I was immediately inspired to run out and grab a couple of nutcrackers myself, but along the way, they morphed from being sweets inspired to something I could adorn my walls with.
I thought you guys might like them, so I’m deviating from sweets and treats today to share with you how I made these fun pieces of art.
Now, before I get into the tutorial, I just wanted to share some slightly disparaging news. My camera, Nichelle, is broken. As evidenced by the photos above, she’s having some trouble with focusing right now.
Listen, I know how she feels. I have times when I just can’t focus either, but seriously, she needs to get it together.
About 70% of the photos taken lately have been completely out of focus like this. Fortunately, we know it isn’t the lenses, but it’s still a major issue, so she’s going away for a little while. To get some much needed rest, I suppose.
I’m just telling you this because there are some less than ideal photos happening here. So…you know…show some sympathy for Nichelle.
Listen, these guys are a dollar. One dollar. Don’t go into the store expecting high quality and excellent craftmanship, k?
Case in point, the guy on the left clearly has some head issues, while my right hand man up there is a bit of a leaner.
A dollar. I’m not complaining.
Plus, crown, hello? Must have.
First thing’s first, pull off their hair. You can pitch it, if you want, but I actually used one of them to give my guys refurbished beards. You can see above that the beards are pretty rough and scraggly. These guys had nice, decent hair, though, so it worked perfectly for fresh beards (which you’ll see later).
Now, where I deviate from Jen’s tutorial is that I want these guys stuck on the wall, so they need to be flat on the back. You don’t need to cut them completely in half; that would suck, be super hard, and they have pins and nails in them, so…no.
You really just need to take off the back part of the base, right up to their heels.
Yes, you could completely remove the base, but their feet aren’t actually attached to their legs, so if you remove the base entirely, you’ll have to glue their feet back on somehow. I wasn’t confident that they would stay attached through the years, so I kept the bases on.
As you can see from this full shot, their arms and legs are left alone, mostly. I know this isn’t the neatest job, but I didn’t do it…and neither did the Hubster. When it’s not your project, I guess neatness is less important.
Oh well. That’s what sandpaper is for, amiright?
And you’ll definitely need sandpaper, because the finish on these little guys is super cheap.
Give everyone a good rub down with the sandpaper, smooth out flaws as best as you can, and clean them up for painting.
I decided that I wanted a bit of sparkle for my nutcrackers, but I wasn’t feeling the whole glittered nutcracker thing, so I glittered my canvases instead. I got both of these canvases at Michaels in a two pack. Better yet, they were buy one get one free, so I ended up with four of them for eight dollars. Not too shabby.
To glitter them, I just slathered them with some glue, and sprinkled with an extra fine white glitter. You could do any color you want, but I wanted it to be more subtle so I stuck with white. While the canvases are drying, you can paint your nutcrackers.
I suggest spray paint, if you can find the color you want. As it was, I couldn’t find my colors, so I handpainted my nutcrackers. It took, like, five coats, and eleventy million hours.
Still worth it.
I love the subtle glittery background and the clean, modern look melded with the traditional shape and feel of the nutcracker.
I attached the nutcrackers to the canvases first with glue and allowed them to dry completely. Once they were dry, I secured them further with some shorter staples from my handy dandy staple gun. You really only need one or two in their backs, but you could skip them altogether, if you want. They’re pretty secure without them.
Besides having to hand paint them, these were crazy easy to make. Paint, glue, glitter, done.
My tree kills me. I’m completely smitten.
It’s white, you guys. Beautiful, snowy white.
And I got my very own sweet Hedwig to perch atop it. Nothing could have made me happier.
Owls and snitches, cupcakes, robots, and fairies…all glittery and pretty…could there be a better tree? I think not.
I made a lot of the other decorations, too, but a lot of it came from some of my favorite shops.
This is our stupid TV taking up most of the mantle, but you’ll also notice a tall, pastel, and handsome cupcake nutcracker on the left. He goes by Phillipe.
As for my NOEL banner, I made that with some light colored burlap, a little tiffany blue paint, and some twine. Easy peasy.
I don’t like a cluttered coffee table, so I kept things nice and clean with a simple strip of burlap and a vintage silver cake stand topped with fun, glittery trees, and a sparkly garland. I also lit the trees by putting flameless tealights inside.
Now, since I had four canvases, I decided to make another piece of wall art. This time, I was inspired by Kellie from Nest of Posies, who had this Christmas Gallery Wall on Tidy Mom a few days ago. I instantly fell in love with her entire art wall, but the reindeer outline was my favorite. When I went to Michaels for supplies, this little wooden guy was sitting unfinished on a shelf for a buck. Yep, another one dollar item put to great use.
I painted him with the same blue as my nutcracker above, sanded him down a bit for a little age, and adorned him with a little garland and pink, puffy nose.
All is merry and bright here, and I’ve created a glittering winter wonderland.
I’m so happy every day when I see everything, and even happier that most of it cost less than $5 to make, or even buy (yay clearance!)
What about you guys? Are your decorations up? Any crafting going on? What links have inspired you this week? I’d love to hear from you!