How to Make a Christmas Nutcracker Using Cardboard Tubes

With Christmas around the corner, it is now that time where we all start to think about our decorations. We are all familiar with putting up lights and a Christmas tree, but one of the greatest decorations are the Nutcrackers that have been popular for over a century now. It may be commonplace to be able to buy these festive joys, but where is the fun in that? We’re here to show you how you can make your own Nutcracker out of old cardboard tubes that you may have lying around. Alternatively, if you want to buy new tubes for this DIY venture, you can check out this full Nutcracker cardboard tube setwhich will cover your needs completely.

What is a Nutcracker?

A Nutcracker doll is a doll that represents a toy soldier and is closely related to Christmas. In German culture, they are believed to be symbols of good luck, offering spiritual protection. Despite the name, there are very few of these dolls in recent years that are actually capable of cracking nuts, they are more commonly used instead for decorative purposes. However, in the early 20th century, nearly all of these Nutcrackers were fully functional.

How to Make The Nutcracker

You may have recently seen this Pinterest post as well as some Facebook posts (like this one covered by the Daily Mail), showing the creation of a Nutcracker out of cardboard tubes. This is what inspired us to relay the information so you can reuse products to create something incredible and save money. 

  1. You will need a variety of cardboard tubes for the basis of the Nutcracker. The easiest way to begin this is to create a platform for the Nutcracker to stand on, which is also a foundation to make it stand straight. This should have 2 holes in it for the legs to be placed in.
  2. You will then require long cardboard tubes to use for the legs, which you can then plant into the holes. You’ll want to hold on to another 2 cardboard tubes of the same length to use for the arms later. Attached to the bottom of the legs, you can cut an old yoghurt pot in half to create the feet of the Nutcracker.
  3. After finishing the legs, you will require a wide diameter industrial cardboard tube for the torso of the Nutcracker. This will be the widest cardboard tube of all. It should be understood that for attaching each piece together, you can use what you prefer, although we believe strong glue should be perfect.
  4. Attached to each side, you can use the 2 long cardboard tubes you set aside earlier. If you want to create hands, one of the best looks is to manipulate some old cardboard into a cube-like or spherical shape.
  5. For the head, you again want a large cardboard tube, but you want it to be slightly thinner and shorter than the torso. You will then, of course, attach this to the top of the torso. Some people choose to just use a styrofoam head, but a cardboard tube as the head allows for easier and better looking decoration.
  6. Then, the last cardboard tube you should need is for the hat, and this should be slightly wider but around the same height as the head.

Decorating The Nutcracker

This is where the Nutcracker comes to life and it is completely up to your discretion to decide how to decorate it. The best advice we can give for this is to make sure that colours are well-coordinated, whatever you choose. Commonly, you will see black shoes, blue legs, with red arms and torso. Then you will, of course, have a skin colour for the hands and face and a black hat on top of the head. You could choose to buy custom cardboard tubes so that some can be already coloured to your satisfaction, saving you some decorating time.

When decorating the face, you want to make sure the features are easily visible. You could just draw everything on if you believe you have the ability.  However, some people create facial features from other parts of the cardboard and stick them on, which is yet another completely valid method. You will also need paint in order to make these colours really look fantastic on the Nutcracker.

Start creating your Nutcracker today, make a family activity out of it! However you choose, we can guarantee that making a DIY Nutcracker is not only a rewarding experience, but it is sure to give your home that extra Christmassy feel. Happy Holidays!

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