Turn a wine cork and a clothespin into an adorable nutcracker ornament for the Christmas tree. This easy Christmas craft is perfect for kids of all ages to make for your own Christmas tree, or to give in sets as a homemade gift this Christmas.
You’ll also love our painted clothespin ornaments.
I am SO excited to share this homemade nutcracker craft with you!!
Guys. These are literally the cutest, easiest nutcrackers ever. All you need is a regular wooden clothespin and a wine cork to make them.
Ok, you need a glue gun and some paint too, and some craft jewels if you want to add some bling to your nutcrackers, but honestly, have you ever seen such an adorable craft made with so few supplies?
I got the inspiration when I was decorating my Christmas tree last weekend. My store-bought ornaments always inspire so many of the Christmas crafts that I do with my daycare kids.
I was hanging the wooden nutcracker ornaments you see in the right-hand side of this next pic, and I got to wondering how we might be able to make a homemade version with items we have on hand.
I studied the ornaments for a minute, and it came to me; we could use a clothespin for the body and legs, and a wine cork for the face and hat.
Over the course of the weekend, I painted the clothespins and the corks, and then last night, I varnished them (to make the colours pop), and glued them together.
GAH! Aren’t they just too cute?
I’m going to hang our nutcrackers on our Christmas tree, but this would be a great gift to make if kids are giving homemade this year.
Give them individually or in sets
You could package them up and give them in sets, or give them individually. They’d make great gift toppers, or you could hang your ornament over the neck of a bottle of wine that you’re giving as a gift. (That’s what we did last year with our cork angel, snowman and reindeer ornaments.)
Not just for older kids
And don’t think for a minute, that this craft is just for older kids. Toddlers and preschoolers can totally make these. In fact, their quirky, wonky nutcrackers would be far cuter than any of the ones that I made.
Let’s get crafting!
How to Make our Cork and Clothespin Nutcrackers
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- wine cork
- wooden clothespin
- acrylic craft paint
- craft varnish/sealer
- craft jewels
- cotton ball
- glue gun (low heat so kids can use)
- sharp knife (for cutting cork base)
- metallic thread for hanging
Wine and Cork Nutcracker How-To:
- Base-paint Cork
Paint half or slightly more than half of the cork black, and the other half flesh-coloured. Depending on the opacity of your paint, you may need two coats. Set aside to dry.
- Paint Clothespin
While your cork dries, paint your clothespin. I stuck with solid colours and divided my clothespin into 3 fairly equal sections: bottom-boots, middle-pants, top-jacket.
- Add Details
When your cork is dry, paint the features of your nutcracker’s face. Remember, eyebrows, moustache and teeth are a must for a nutcracker.
Tip: To make the eyes, you can dip the handle of a paintbrush into some paint and press it to the cork. Let dry.
- Varnish Pieces
Brush some craft sealer/varnish over the head and body to protect the paint and to make the colours really pop.
- Glue Together
With a low heat glue gun, glue the cork head to your nutcracker’s body.
- Add Extras
Glue a small piece of cotton ball beard to the bottom of your nutcracker’s chin and add a craft jewel or two to the hat and body.
- Make Base
Every nutcracker has a wooden base, so grab an extra cork and slice it into thin disks. Paint and varnish the disk and glue it to the bottom of the clothespin.
- Add Thread for Hanging
To hang your nutcracker, tie a 4-inch length of metallic thread into a knot and glue it to the top of your nutcracker’s hat.
Now… go and hang your adorable nutcrackers on your Christmas tree, or package them up and give them to someone special this Christmas!
More wine cork holiday crafts:
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Jackie is a mom, wife, home daycare provider, and the creative spirit behind Happy Hooligans. She specializes in kids’ crafts and activities, easy recipes, and parenting. She began blogging in 2011, and today, Happy Hooligans inspires more than 2 million parents, caregivers and Early Years Professionals all over the globe.