DIY Lifesize Nutcracker

Ahhh.. the holiday spirit of Christmas season. It can make you do some crazy things! This year I have thought of all kinds of ideas for decor around the house. All of which my husband would think is “going overboard”. I just love Christmas decor and the feeling you have when lights are up all around the house, the smell of a Christmas tree, holiday movies playing on the TV, and a fire going in the fireplace. It really is a season of peace.

As most of my family and friends know, I have been searching for 6′ nutcrackers for a long time and when I actually found them in stock, I never could make myself pay the price for them. They are expensive! I had a thought to make my own. I wasn’t sure if it was going to work at all, or if it did work, I was afraid it wouldn’t turn out as I hoped. Well, after a lot of planning and stress, I’m pretty proud of myself for making my plans come to life! Keep reading below to see the process..

What you’ll need:

  • Flower pots
  • Spray paint, craft paint
  • Ribbon
  • Sticky fake diamonds
  • White fur
  • Styrofoam spheres
  • PVC, 2 caps
  • 2x4s, 1x4s
  • Gold cord
  • Fringe trim
  • Santa belt
  • 4′ dowel and finial
  • Round board
  • Threaded rod

To start I had to make sure all of my flower pots worked together for the body. I used a 14″ flower pot for the waist down, 10″ for the head, 12″ for the neck, 12″ for the upper body, and a 6″ for the hat.

After I got an idea of how the body would be put together, I taped everything up and started painting the body parts. I used 4″ PVC cut to 4′ pieces for the legs.

It may trigger some people from the fact that I spray painted right on the grass.. I was running out of patience and did not have any cardboard. 🙂 The grass will grow and be cut anyways.

For the arms I used 3″ PVC and used the caps for the shoulders. This is a detail shot where you can see my awesome spray paint skills!! If anyone can let me know how to keep spray paint from dripping.. please let me know. I did spray lightly and it still ran down the sides. I’m glad it’s not perfect thought because I made this and I didn’t necessarily want it to look straight out of a factory.

Here is the head before I painted the face. Yes, he has a little bit of wrinkles. 🙂 I added the leg warmers I purchased from amazon for the hair.

We came up with a few ways to secure the flower pots together and they all include cutting the wood and screwing through the pots.

We used a threaded rod to secure the arms to the body.

We screwed L brackets to either side of the angled arms to secure the two pieces of PVC together.

For the feet, I cut a sour cream container in half for the boots and also cut 4″ styrofoam spheres in half for the rounded toe of the boots. I also used whole styrofoam spheres for the hands and secured them.

Watch the process reel below and save it for later!

And this was the final product. I am so happy I built this instead of buying one! I had fun putting it together with my dad and my grandpa! We named him Buddy from Elf. Lol. I have stared at him ever since we finished him and it makes me smile.

If I inspired you to create a life-size nutcracker, tag my Facebook page @Kaytlen Young or my Instagram @kaytlenpyoung, I would love to see it!

Merry Christmas everyone!



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