How to Paint a Cute Gingerbread Nutcracker For the Holidays

Kiki DiY's
by Kiki DiY's
5 Materials
1 Hour

Nothing says holidays like a cute nutcracker and some gingerbread. If you want to add a sweet touch to your decor, this DIY gingerbread nutcracker is the project for you!

The best thing about this craft is that you can find these wooden nutcrackers almost anywhere, and then customize them to your decor. I'll show you how to paint a nutcracker to look just like gingerbread.

They come in many sizes, so you can make a whole nutcracker family. Let's start crafting!!

If you want to make more gingerbread DIYs, and learn how to make any wooden design look like a gingerbread cookie, this video is the one that shows you how. Here I made the gingerbread nutcracker, as well as some other gingerbread cuties.

How to paint a nutcracker to look like gingerbread

These are super cute, they are small enough that you can fit them on a tiered tray, but you can also add them to a shelf. With these, the sky is the limit, as you can find them in many styles and sizes.

Wooden nutcrackers

First, grab your supplies. I used these nutcrackers from Amazon that are almost 6". You can use the size you want to make these cuties.

Painting the wooden nutcrackers brown

1. Paint the nutcrackers brown

Now, with your cinnamon brown paint, paint it completely. Take your time, and paint every nook and cranny. That adds to the magic of a gingerbread nutcracker.

Painting the nutcracker's hands and feet

2. Paint the faces and hands

Then take your tan paint, and with that, you'll paint the faces and hands of your cute nutcracker.

As you see, I have covered them completely with cinnamon brown paint, but I gave them 2 coats of tan paint, and it covered the brown paint.

Painting red details

3. Paint red details

It's time to add details. Take your red paint and paint the cuffs, the shoulders, the top of the boots, and the details you want to add to its staff (or what he's holding in his hand).

Painting white details

4. Paint white details

With your white paint, make a triangle on the bottom of his shirt, paint his eyes, and give him a cute mustache, and some eyebrows. Also, add a little white to the staff, or what he's holding in his hand.

Some nutcrackers come with swords, some have like a finneal, etc. You can make that look like a candy cane.

Painting the eyes

5. Paint the eyes

Now it's time to give him a cute set of eyes.

Painting the eyes green

With your green paint and a small paintbrush, you'll paint two small dots on his eyes. That will make his pupils, and you'll have finished his face.

Placing the faux fur on the table

6. Add faux fur

This is the faux fur. Make sure you have the back of it facing you and the hairy part facing your table. This makes a cleaner cut, and you won't have jagged edges on the fur.

Cutting the faux fur shapes

Now using an X-ACTO knife or a box cutter, carefully cut a small rectangle. Big enough to fit the back of the head of your nutcracker.

Also cut a small square, that is the size of the beard (the part that opens to crack the nuts). You can give the fur a "haircut" if needed.

Then glue the rectangle of his hair to the back of the head, and the square to his beard.

Gingerbread nutcrackers

Look how cute they are!! You can stop now if you don't want a gingerbread nutcracker. But if you do, adding more is the way to go. With these, the less is more rule won't apply!

Adding details with puffy paint

7. Add puffy paint & sprinkles

Time for puffy paint! Here you can add as much, or as little as you want. Everything goes; swirls, triangles, dots, hearts, anything your heart desires.

I added some peppermint sprinkles to his boots, using the puffy paint as glue, and painted some drips on his hat.

Adding the peppermint sprinkles

Then add some more sprinkles to his hat, add as many as you want. I added just one peppermint to the center of his hat.

DIY gingerbread nutcrackers

DIY gingerbread nutcrackers

Now you have finished, and they should look like a mix between a nutcracker, and a gingerbread house. That's how you know you achieved perfection.

They look so cute as part of your gingerbread decor, or just to add some sweetness to your existing decor.

DIY Christmas Decorations

For more festive decor projects, discover Hometalk's best Christmas nutcracker crafts.

Suggested materials:
  • Wooden nutcracker   (Amazon)
  • Fake sprinkles   (Amazon)
  • Cinnamon Brown, Red, Tan, Green and White paint   (Walmart)
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  • Holly Harbison Holly Harbison on Nov 21, 2022

    You do such a good job explaining your projects! Love these!!

    • Kiki DiY's Kiki DiY's on Nov 21, 2022

      These are one of my favorites Holly!! You are the sweetest. When I'm speaking on the video sometimes is harder to remember the exact words for everything, there's where the thingies are born😂. Here I have time to think and really explain myself better!! Love you my dear friend 😘