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.

For a complete list of materials and detailed instructions click HERE