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.
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!
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.
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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.
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
Here’s what I started with. They were colorful, shiny and entirely cheap and plastic-looking.
Since taping the hair didn’t work, the only other option was to lop it off and reattach it later.
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.
Magic! This actually serves two purposes.
- It keeps them from blowing over
- It allows you to easily spray the undersides without getting paint all over yourself.
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.
Tilt the board to get underneath.
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!
But if you glop it on, it literally can take hours for each coat to dry.
Not what’s more time-efficient?
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.
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.
And then I glued it onto the little nut-nosher.
Looking good from all sides!
Finally, a little dot of glue in his beard-hole…
And this snow-white nutcracker was ready for display!
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.
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!
I’m really happy with how they turned out – getting rid of the color and the shine was the key.
What do you think of our Dollar Tree Snow-White Nutcrackers? Let us know in the comments!
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