Friday, December 20, 2013

How I Customized a Christmas Nutcracker with Mod Podge and Paint

My son loves football and this Christmas I wanted to make him a little something special to celebrate his teams championship win this season!
When they won, he was one happy kid for sure! I know championships don't come around for a kid every year, so I've been looking for that little something special for him, but was having no luck.

Recently one evening while browsing through my Joann's store, I found this white and gold football player nutcracker on clearance (maybe left over from last year?) for only $4.99
There was nothing broken or missing on him, and thankfully in the store I had a "light bulb moment" and thought of exactly how I could customize this guy for my son.

I was lucky because this guy was white and made from wood, but you could probably give this project a go with any color base if you prime it first as long as it's a wood nutcracker.
I didn't sand him or anything, but painted right over his existing paint.

  • Paint in your color choices
  • Mod Podge
  • Team logo printed from your home computer

First, I painted the parts of his uniform in the navy blue and gold to match my sons uniform, and let it dry.

I knew I didn't want to tackle the project of trying to paint on his team logo, so I simply took a picture of his actual jersey and helmet, uploaded the images into a pages document, and sized the images to the small size I needed them to be. 
Then, I printed and cut out the jersey numbers, team name, and logo images.

With Mod Podge, I applied those images onto the nutcracker. 

I let them dry, then recovered most of the painted area with clear glossy Mod Podge for a protective coat.
Last, I wrote #1 with a sharpie onto the flag. 
You can see in the upclose images I didn't get the paint just right, there are a few spots I missed, but the overall final product really looks great. 


I gave him the nutcracker on the first day of December, a little tradition I stared with the kids a few years ago. A special something to kick off the Christmas season. 

I can honestly say his reaction shocked me. For a tween boy, who is all boy, rough and tumble, football player, he was actually so thrilled with his gift. I don't think I've seen him react to a gift like he did since he got the Wiggles on VHS when he was three years old. 
And that my friends, was perfect.

Like what you've seen? Follow along

6 comments from creative friends:

Good Time Charlie said...

This is so adorable, and the story is even cuter!! I have a 12 year old boy, and a 12 year old girl too! I think my boy would adore this, but it would have to be a hockey player! Thank you for sharing at Redoux, have a wonderful Christmas!

Miranda @ Someday Crafts said...

What a cool idea! I know quite a few football fans that would love something like this customized for "their" team. We'll be featuring your nutcracker over at Someday Crafts tomorrow! :)

Marvelous Mommy said...

Wow great job! It's looks amazing!

the cape on the corner said...

super cute and creative!

Carrie from Carrie This Home said...

I love this idea! I can't wait to do things like this for my son as he grows up! Thanks so much for sharing this with my Frugal Crafty Home Blog Hop readers! I hope to see you back at the next hop tomorrow night!

Tonna Peters said...

Great idea! Your nutcracker looks great! Thanks for sharing at Submarine Sunday!!

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