A DIY Christmas - Nutcracker

Hey friends!  I hope you enjoyed your holiday festivities.  Now that Christmas is over, I can finally share some of the DIY Christmas gifts that Cora and I made without tipping off the receiver of the gift.
My dad collects Nutcrackers so I thought it would be a fun idea for Cora to paint one for him. I've had this idea for a while, but I kept forgetting to pick up a Nutcracker at the store.  By the time I started looking they were practically impossible to find (how is that possible a week before Christmas?!).  It seemed like Target had a couple good options to pick from... until I got to the store and this was the last Nutcracker that would even work for my project (the other ones were mostly cloth).  I hurried home and got started.
1. Peel off all of the hair, fur, and accessories.  Make sure to take a picture for later reference.
2. Tape off the face and hands so I could paint everything white and give it a nice base.

3. Take off all the tape to make sure the paint didn't bleed all over. It was this point that I realized the nose is crooked.  Think it's too late to return it to Target?
4. Retape the face and hands and wait for little child to be ready to paint.

5. Let child go hogwild with paint.  Cora did 100% of the painting.  We encouraged her to fill in some of the blank areas by telling her to write her name in those spots (something she loves to do), but she took complete ownership of this step and scolded us if we even came close to touching the paintbrush.

6. Remove tape and wonder if this was a good idea (I don't think I've ever had a project where I didn't have this thought at some point)
6. Add doodles and embellishments with paint pen... continue to wonder if this was a good idea.

7. Hot glue the fur, hair, and accessories back on.

I couldn't decide if I wanted to put the brown shawl back on, but ended up opting out.  Without it on, you can see more paint and details which is really the whole point of this present.

I'm loving the final piece!  My dad really enjoys adding this to his collection and I know he'll love pulling out year after year.  I'm all for gifting children's artwork in a practical way and this is perfect.

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