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Picture of Life-Size Paper Nutcracker

After seeing a performance at school, watching one of the Dolan twins receive one of these things for Christmas on YouTube and pretty much loving this musical for my whole life, I haven’t and I mean HAVEN’T stopped blabbering about how much I want a giant nutcracker! I mean seriously, it’s the first thing I think about when I wake up, “ah what a beautiful day, but it’d be even more beautiful with a life size nutcracker.” And because of this, I decided to make just that... A life size nutcracker!

I of course needed some inspiration on how I'd like to make this, and fortunately got some amazing ideas from Animplates' Giant Nutcracker, which you should definitely check out here:

With this idea in mind, I had to set a few goals for how I’ll make it:

  1. As inexpensive as possible (I'm a teenager so don't have a lot of money!)
  2. As quick as possible (just to stop nagging my family about it haha)
  3. As beautiful as possible

This nutcracker was made with the most inexpensive items I could possibly find, ranging from local dollar stores to recyclable items I found in my home. I incorporated some paper mache techniques in it, making it a pretty fun process. So sit back, relax and let’s start this very Christmassy and budget friendly instructable.

*Side note, I’m only human and in the project I’ve made 2 minor mistakes in the first couple steps but easily fixed them! As long as you don’t do what I did, you’d save just a few minutes of time!*

Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials

So of course, the first thing you need to start the project are your materials. Arranged by body part to make this step a lot easier, you will need:


  • 2 Construction papers (your choice of colour as these are the pants, I got black ones) - Dollar store
  • 2 Cardboard Wrapping paper sticks - Walmart (Which were recycled from previous wrapping paper I’ve already used out)


  • 2 flower pots - Dollar store
  • Recyclable fabric/clothing - (originally I tried to design the torso with paper but I made a little mistake so instead I replaced paper for an old red dress I had from Halloween)
  • Cardboard - dollar store (or recyclable like mine)


  • 2 Construction Papers (your choice of color as these are the sleeves, I got red ones) - Dollar store


  • 2 Styrofoam balls - Dollar store


  • Any pair of shoes you have (I used some rain boots)


  • Flower pot (your choice of color, I got black) - Dollar store


  • 24 inch balloon - Party City
  • White hair (this is optional)


  • Old newspaper - Found some at bus station
  • White glue and Water (paper mache) - Dollar store
  • Paint (brown and white) - Dollar store
  • Styrofoam ball (nose) - Dollar store
  • White construction paper (Mustache) - Dollar store

Overall Design:

  • Paint (your choice of color: white, brown, gold) - Dollar store
  • Scotch tape - Walmart
  • Belt - From H&M but had them in my closet anyway
  • White bristle board paper - Dollar store
  • White synthetic hair (this is optional if you'd like your nutcracker to have hair) - BCI Beauty (But you can get this at any beauty supply store)


  • Scissors - Dollar store
  • Pencil or pen - Dollar store
  • Glue gun + glue sticks (of course) - Dollar store
  • White Bristle board - Dollar store
  • Ruler - Dollar store
  • Paper clips (just to hold some things into place) - Dollar store
  • Rubber bands (just to hold some things into place) - Dollar store
  • Knife (or something sharp) - Your kitchen
  • Printer + printing paper
  • White glue - Dollar store
  • Glue stick - Dollar store

Last but not least:

  • Patience

Now you can always scale down or scale up your items depending on how big or small you’d like it or change the designs and colors. With the flower pots and Styrofoam, measuring might not be needed because you can always pick the sizes you want by eye.

Below are the templates for the eyebrows, eyes, mouth and mustache:

randofo5 months ago
I think I would be too scared to have one of those in my apartment. It might come to life or something. :)