Kid Made: Clothespin Nutcracker Ornaments

4 December 2014

Today I am excited to share a super simple, kid made project:  Clothespin Nutcracker Ornaments.

What could be filled with more imagery than a story with tutus, candy that dances and dramatic music at Christmas time?  I have beautiful childhood memories of the Nutcracker and I could not wait to introduce it to our kids, too.  Listening to the music and making an ornament along with reading the story in picture book form is one of my favorite ways to build up the atmosphere of the season. (The ballet is a perennial favorite here, too, in Stockholm but, I’m going to have to come back to that another day. I was so surprised the first time I attended it here…)

… leap me below

… full post, tutorial for super, simple, Clothespin Nutcracker Ornaments and my favorite Picture Book Author’s version of the Nutcracker.

The Nutcracker by Susan Jeffers is my favorite picture book version of this story. Jeffers picture book unfolds like it’s choreographed. Her illustrations are almost pastels and it’s light, candy, atmosphere makes it a book I loved at bedtime.
The page which reads: “The Sugar Plum Fairy led the Prince and Marie to the seat of honor. Coffee, Chocolate, Chinese Tea, Marzipan, and Mother Ginger and her Polichinelles danced for them.” The page is one filled with details that make beautiful dreaming” is a beautiful place to explore the details and a source for inspiration.
Before getting started I wanted to add that recently I’ve been been out and about sharing some handmade projects with groups of small kids. I’ve heard parents repeat:
1. A wish to create with their kids but a feeling of time constriction.
2. A wish for projects with everyday materials.
3. Projects that can be made in a short time span + cleaned up with very little mess (— while at the same time leaving a lot of room for creativity.)

These ornaments fill these shoes. Everything in this project can be found at home or the grocery store. and it can be done in one quick session. Make more characters or variations, if looking for a bigger project. There are so much to choose from in this story. The ribbon can even be replaced with fabric + ribbons that you already have at home or recycled elements of clothing that’s become too small.

I replaced my original idea for paint with ordinary permanent pens which worked perfectly but, make much less of a mess and clean up quickly.  If you do have more time and would like to use paint, then, by all means: do! There are so many ways to embellish and, as always, I’d love to see what you do!

Willowday Wishes!

Let’s start making:
The classic clothespin doll for a classic story.

Wooden Clothes Pins
Permenant Markers
Tulle or similar fabric ribbon
ribbon or string
Glue Gun (or fabric/wood glue or double sided tape with very small children)

Make:1. Draw details on clothespins to creates figure with permanent pens.
2. For Sugar Plum Fairy:– Add skirt to the wooden pin by cutting length of fabric tulle ribbon that will wrap around the wooden pin one time.
– Place a ring of glue around the wooden pin at the waistline.
-Press fabric ribbon into place.
3. Place a dot of glue on the back of the head of the wooden peg doll and attach the ribbon. This ribbon is for hanging the doll as an ornament.
Thank you Melissa, mama miss, for including me in this wonderful 10 Days of a Kid-Made Christmas: Ornaments Inspired from Books series.

If you’re at home, making these with a group or classroom, this pairing is natural. Read this beautiful version of the Nutcracker, listen to the music, hand out these very simple supplies and start creating your own ballet. (And, if you are lucky enough to go to the Ballet for a production, these little ornaments could easily be a doll that that slips along in a pocket to share the fun.) Sugar Plum Wishes to you all.

Today in the series:

Living Montessori Now
Here Come the Girls
Crystal’s Tiny Treasures
Kid World Citizen
The Fairy and The Frog
The Educators’ Spin On It
Lemon Lime Adventures
WillowDay (that’s me!)

More: Mama Miss Kid Made Christmas Pinterest Board for all 70+ ideas in the series