DIY Dollar Tree Snow-White Nutcrackers -

DIY Dollar Tree Snow-White Nutcrackers

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These beautiful and elegant snow-white nutcrackers are an easy Dollar Tree DIY that will fit in with any seasonal decor, from traditional to modern.

DIY Dollar Tree Snow-White Nutcrackers -

During one of our last (approximately) 72 Dollar Tree visits since October. my babes bought a handful of plastic nutcrackers.

I’m a smart man, so I didn’t comment on the obvious absurdity of buying 4 more nutcrackers, considering the (approximately) 74 nutcrackers of all sizes, shapes, colors and nut-preferences we have loitering in almost every room this Christmas Season.

We even (still) have the one that was decapitated in The Great December Windstorm of 2016!

broken nutrcacker

I managed to patch him back together, but he’s never really been the same. He used to chomp Brazil nuts like a champ, but now he can barely crack the shell of a soggy peanut.

Anyway, my point is, we have nutcrackers coming out the wazoo, and trust me, that’s not a place you want nutcrackers anywhere near!

So when I saw my beloved babes plopping more nutcrackers in her Dollar Tree cart, I just pulled my best Sergeant Schultz and slowly backed away.

When we got home, she began to reveal her plan.

First, she wanted me to spray paint them white.

I waited for her to tell me about the rest of the project as a defendant awaits a judge’s sentence.

Gah, woman! I can’t take it any longer!” I fairly screamed at the silence hanging in the cool kitchen air. “What’s next, dammit???”

“Huh?” My babes looked up from the laptop that had since absorbed her attentions. “What are you on about, my babes? That’s it! Just paint them white!”

Wide eyes darted this way and that, as my brain juggled relief and disbelief.

I performed a quick mental calculus of the situation and deemed it best to flee before she changed her mind and started complicating this gloriously simple project.

DIY Dollar Tree Snow-White Nutcrackers -
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Without thought or plan, I grabbed a nutcracker by the head and galloped down to the basement, whereupon I snatched up a can of Rustoleum Linen White Chalk Paint and headed outside to paint. First I covered his hair and beard as best I could with painter’s tape. Then I plopped the pint-sized pistachio-puncher on a piece of plywood and commenced spraying.

The force of the spray paint launched him backwards, and he tumbled unceremoniously onto onto the wet lawn.

“Rats!” I said to no one in particular as I bent down to retrieve the wayward walnut-wacker. I sprayed more carefully after that, and after a few coats, I had him pretty well covered.

But the hair…

Spray paint and hair just don’t mix. This holds true for humans as well as nutcrackers. The tape helped, but paint still seeped in.

painted nutcracker
painted nutcracker

Okay, not a big deal. That’s why we start with a test subject (may he RIP).

Now I knew what to do.

DIY Dollar Tree Snow-White Nutcrackers

DIY Dollar Tree Snow-White Nutcrackers -


Here’s what I started with. They were colorful, shiny and entirely cheap and plastic-looking.

3 dollar tree nutcrackers

Since taping the hair didn’t work, the only other option was to lop it off and reattach it later.

3 dollar tree nutcrackers

To prevent the force of the spray paint from blowing them to the ground again, I used some Dollar Tree poster tack to keep them secured to a piece of scrap plywood.

DIY Dollar Tree Snow-White Nutcrackers -

Magic! This actually serves two purposes.

  1. It keeps them from blowing over
  2. It allows you to easily spray the undersides without getting paint all over yourself.
nutcrackers secured toa board for painting

These little guys will take at least 3 or 4 coats of paint. Remember – multiple thin coats are much better than one or two thick ones.

spray painting 3 nutcrackers

Tilt the board to get underneath.

spray painting 3 nutcrackers

The beauty of spray paint (and something that most people don’t know) is that if you only apply very thin coats, as shown below, you only need to wait 2 minutes between coats!

That’s it!

But if you glop it on, it literally can take hours for each coat to dry.

Not what’s more time-efficient?

spray painting 3 nutcrackers

After 4 or 5 coats (I didn’t count), I left them to cure overnight.

The hair I had cut off was looking a little shaggy. It may have passed muster in the 1970s, but I thought it was time for a little trim.

nutcracker hair
trimming nutcracker beard

Much better!

trimmed nutcracker hair

I ran a line of hot glue around the edge of the hair. By the way, I’m about 3 or 4 projects in with this Gorilla hot glue gun, and I love it. Easily the best small gun I’ve used, and well worth the money. Buy it if you’re in the market.

putting hot glue nutcracker hair

And then I glued it onto the little nut-nosher.

gluing hair onto a nutcracker
gluing hair onto a nutcracker

Looking good from all sides!

gluing hair onto a nutcracker
gluing hair onto a nutcracker

Finally, a little dot of glue in his beard-hole…

gluing hair onto a nutcracker

And this snow-white nutcracker was ready for display!

gluing hair onto a nutcracker

So it turns out that we’re not the first to think of this idea. Sometimes, Handan gets inspired to make a knockoff when she sees something in a catalog with a ridiculous price tag on it. But this time, we made something first, and then searched to see if we could find it online.

Lo and behold, West Elm sells a shiny, hairless version.

west elm modern nutcrackers

That little one (about the size of our Dollar Tree beauties) is currently on sale for $24, down from an original price of $40.

Can you imagine? $40 for a dinky white nutcracker!

I’ve said it before, madam, and I’ll most certainly say it again: Jeezum Crow!

Well, enough of my gum flapping – let’s get on with the white nutcracker beauty shots!

DIY Dollar Tree Snow-White Nutcrackers -
DIY Dollar Tree Snow-White Nutcrackers -
DIY Dollar Tree Snow-White Nutcrackers -

I’m really happy with how they turned out – getting rid of the color and the shine was the key.

DIY Dollar Tree Snow-White Nutcrackers -
DIY Dollar Tree Snow-White Nutcrackers -
DIY Dollar Tree Snow-White Nutcrackers -
DIY Dollar Tree Snow-White Nutcrackers -

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DIY Dollar Tree Snow-White Nutcrackers -
DIY Dollar Tree Snow-White Nutcrackers -
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  1. Awesome idea! I just love you both! Thanks so much for the spray paint tip, Iโ€™m definitely was doing wrong all these years! Thank you

  2. Rustoleum, I believe, has come out with a new Diamond Dust Spray Paint. The clear has very fine glitter that sparkles even in low light. Can you imagine how gorgeous these would be with a layer of that on the white?! They also have it in colors like Cherry Bomb (red). The glitter stays on and doesn’t get all over everything.

  3. The more nutcrackers the better this year! Good thinking Handan on gathering yourself a full army!!! …” According to German folklore, nutcrackers bring good luck to your family and protect your home. A nutcracker is said to represent power and strength, serving somewhat like a watchdog guarding your family against danger. A nutcracker bares its teeth to evil spirits and serves as a messenger of good luck and goodwill.

  4. These are just the ticket for my decor…
    I come for the stories and get my chuckle in for the day
    Your simple ideas and supplies are fabulous without looking gaudy
    A wonder filled holiday to you all

    1. I’m so happy you think that, because it’s what we strive for, Edy: good looks without the gaudy. Happy Holidays to you and your family!

  5. I love your Nutcrackers!!! But I would have to say that I like them better without the hair….makes them kinda creepy! lol But you have given me an idea for next years Christmas decorations. And thank you for the chuckle you give me every time I read your posts. Love you guys! Merry Christmas!

    1. LOL, I thought of leaving the hair off, too, Michelle, but there’s a really ugly and noticeable seam running around the head that the hair hides!

  6. These Snow White Nutcrackers are just beautiful! I may have to go to the closest Dollar Tree. I love shopping there. I always spend too much money though. LOL I buy all my blanks for my Cricut there. Well, and Dollar General. I bought some wooden trays and put permanent vinyl on them. These are Christmas gifts. I do love all of your projects! You are both so talented! I love it!

    1. Thank you, Deborah! Yeah, this is one of my favorite Dollar Tree crafts we’ve done! I hear you about the money – those carts fill up fast, lol!

      1. Never been a Nutcracker fan- well, except for the shiny plier types that serve to open nuts! However-these fellows have changed my opinion, and they may very well find their place among our Christmas decor! I also like how you’ve recreated their hairstyle- much better!

  7. I always thought Nutcrackers were creepy, but painted white really takes the creep factor out. I really like this version?

  8. Love, love, love this!! They look so upscale and elegant!! I also love, love, love your humor and writing style!!

    Thanks for both the idea and the fun read!!

  9. Love them, but too late for this year. Too cold to spray outside. Christmas Blessings to your family, stay safe to be well.

  10. Iโ€™ve been obsessing over nutcrackers this year. Never before now, and Iโ€™m not sure why! I actually like the hair on these guys. I love all of your ideas and your posts, and โ€œbeard holeโ€ just makes me laugh.

  11. As always, I love your projects. Did you have the directions for the Merry Christmas building in the background of this and the yarn tree photos? Made the yarn trees last year, but didn’t notice the building until just now. Getting your posts are often the highlight of my quarantine week. Merry Christmas to you and the family!

    1. Hi Bonnie, thank you so much! We didn’t make that building – I think it came from Hobby Lobby. Happy Holidays to you and your family! ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. These are so cute. Sure made those cheap nutcrackers look so much better. Plus I loved your running commentary. Always makes me laugh to read your posts. Thanks & Merry Christmss!

    1. Thank you, Carla! Yeah, those West Elm ones are missing something. Hair, for starters. But I think the glossy paint does them a disservice.

  13. Great, just simply great!
    love both of y’all and all of your crafts and stories; however, must say you have gotta be the best hubs ever!!
    Happy Holidays!

  14. Spray paint is my best friend. Wanted black/purple berry picks for the festival of all hallows, so I sprayed some old gold Christmas pics black and some purple and tossed a sh!* ton of glitter on them and voila! Seasonal berry picks from my stash. Love the post. Well done!

  15. I read your blog post for these adorable nutcrackers! I stopped at the DT on my way home, picked up three of them and recreated your project!! I absolutely love them on my hearth!! Your posts are so entertaining – and your projects are fun! Thanks for the inspiration!

  16. I love solid color nutcrackers! I spray painted mine last year along with my cheapo nativity set in a champagne color since that’s one of the 4 colors in my theme. I did add small touches of Pebo antique gold gilding wax (I think it’s called King Gold or something like that). Even my poinsettias got a coat of champagne paint. My friend was so impressed she spray painted hers also but did them in black & added the touches of antique gilding wax! At first I was giving her the side eye. Black?? I asked but they turned out gorgeous & fit perfectly with her black, white, antique gold, crystals & touches of red Christmas theme.
    In any color, solid color nutcrackers are a standout moment in any Christmas decor theme. I admit after seeing yours I do love the simplicity of them in white. Maybe mine will get the same treatment next year!

  17. I made your white Nutcrackers before Christmas and I really like how they turned out. I bought the little wooden Nutcrackers from DT in a 6 pack. None of them had hair so I didn’t have to deal with that. After a couple of layers of spray paint I let them dry completely. Then I used black paint and I went back and painted their hats (or whatever they had on their heads). I loved the contrast!! I also spray painted the plastic village pieces from DT white and made a village with those and the soldiers standing around them. I really like the look. I’m going to go back and paint the roofs on the buildings a black or dark gray. Thank you so much for all the ideas you post! I am in the process of making many more of your ideas!