Sunday, July 26, 2015

My step by step DIY Life Sized nutcracker How To:  pots, planters, valve box, PVC and simple wood design on a Budget.


The first day was going to Lowes and shopping for shapes and practical application for mounting and stabilizing the self standing Nutcracker I had been imagining in my head. See the laid out pieces above on first page. The PVC I used was 3" for the arms and 4" for the legs at two feet pre-cut lengths. 




I screwed the large valve box and large potter together.  This was a nice bonus because the valve box's top was movable so I get a quarter twist with the nutcracker--so he can rotate his body to the left a little.  Some day I may be adventurous enough to put a motor in him so he moves his upper body to the left and his left arm moves forward and back as well.



Arm support is a 1X4 piece of wood to strengthen the hollow potter and also for a place to receive the attachment of the arms.



Here is the rough assembly at the end of day one with the future position he'll be standing guard at at Christmas time.

The hands and feet and nose are foam balls or partial ones I bought at a craft store. And the staff is just a fancy chair leg and wood decorative finial I bought at Lowe's.



Let the Painting begin!!!

It's important to note that I treated the seams and covered the screws with a few layers of lightweight spackle sanding in between layers with a final sanding of 220 grit sand paper.


Just basic spray paint of Krylon and Valspar--gloss with a lot of taping and masking between colors.  I should have at least primed the PVC or used a better paint that was specific to plastic, cause the red pealed off with tape on one of the arms.  Use a low tac painters tape.


Air brushed rosy red cheeks and nose.


Hand pained face using reference from several different classic nutcracker designs.


Adding the "Bells and Whistles" courtesy of JoAnne's (tassels, ribbons, rhinestones, etc...)


The hair was bought at Party City and was just some white Leg Warmers.


Here he is for his guarding duties to the Christmas 2015 season.


20 comments:

  1. Wow this is amazing!!! I want to try! Thank you for sharing!!! I may have some questions :)
    Lou

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  2. Thanks! It was a lot of fun and not to difficult. Feel free to ask me anything.

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  3. I think it is brilliant! Could you generate a parts list for the structure? It's hard to see all the pieces on the ground...

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  4. Lowes parts numbers: 166924, 212416, 645548, 485128, 21580

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    1. Im still looking for the pots/planters part :( apparently hard to find in winter here (Canada)

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    2. This is absolutely brilliant! Thank you so much for sharing the directions. I have always loved nutcrackers and have a big collection in the house and on the tree but I've always wanted one for the door. This is great.

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  5. So awesome!!! I am totally doing this for next year!! Thanks for the great visuals.

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  6. Just what I was looking for....thank you so much!

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  7. Awesome nutcracker and I can't wait to try it myself. What is the clear plastic wrapped around the waist and what lengths were the legs and arms cut at?

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  8. The arms and legs we're precut pieces at 2 feet. The clear plastic was clear plexi I bought at hobby lobby.

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  9. I enjoyed looking at all the pictures you posted. I've always wanted to make a couple of those for each side of my front door. Great job!!

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  10. I enjoyed looking at all the pictures you posted. I've always wanted to make a couple of those for each side of my front door. Great job!!

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  11. Hi ya, thisbis truly stunning. Im in Ireland and dont have lowes coukd you give me an idea of sizes? Also what glue or tools did you use to attach arms etc did you cut hoke in the pot for the neck which allows the head through. Omg I love it snd really want to make one.

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  12. Hi James, He is awesome. Are the pieces above the chest area just glued together? If so, what kind of glue did you use? Thanks!

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  13. How did you fill the holes at the bottom of the valve box?

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  14. You are awesome. I have been picking up the little sample paints for a dollar because I was going to try to figure out how to make a couple nutcrakers. Thank you for the detailed instructions. These guys a running thousands of dollars for life size nutcrackers.

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  15. Thank you for your great instructions. You inspired me to make a life sized nutcracker for my daughter. Turned out terrific, she is thrilled.

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  16. About how much do you think you spent on it time and money?

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