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Dollar Store Crafts: Christmas Nutcracker Makeover

How to give some cheap plastic dollar store nutcrackers a completely updated and modern look that will beautifully complement any Christmas decor with matte white spray paint!

Yay! I’m so excited that the holidays are just around the corner! Although many of our US friends wait until later this month to start getting their homes ready for Christmas, here in Canada we celebrated our Thanksgiving the second Monday of October. Which means that as soon was Halloween is over I starting thinking about Christmas. Okay, we started playing the Pentatonix Christmas album in the car two weeks ago.

It was actually a bit hard to hold off this year from putting up a tree in October. Truly, the weather where we live has been SO rainy and dark; it’s the wettest Fall that I remember ever having. Wet, dark weather just makes me want to get all hygge.  And what’s more hygge than Christmas lights?! Not much!

So even though November is usually one of my least favourite months due to the long dark and rainy days we are notorious for in the Pacific Northwest, I’m gonna zoom right through to Christmas decorating to keep our spirits up around here. Today I’m sharing my first little DIY project of the holiday season. It’s a super simple dollar store craft where I gave some cheap, plastic nutcrackers a whole new look with some matte white spray paint!

Dollar Store Nutcracker Makeover graphic.

Today I’ve been joined by some of my talented blogging friends who are also sharing their adorable Christmas DIY and Christmas craft ideas with you for the kickoff to this year’s Seasonal Simplicity Holiday Series!

10 Fab Holiday Crafts To DIY graphic.

I found these little guys at my local Dollar Tree the other day and immediately thought they’d be super cute with a little paint makeover…

Little tin soldiers on the table.

I was going to use a chalk spray paint (like Rustoleum “chalked” spray) but couldn’t find any locally so I bought some matte white paint instead. I definitely wanted to get rid of that shiny shine shine…

A can of spray paint.

I started by removing the hair and beards from the Nutcrackers, as I knew that it would not mix well with the spray paint.

One tin soldier and scissors on the table.

It was pretty easy to pull it out of the sides of the head and then cut it off. I put it aside in case I decided to glue it back on after (which I ended up not doing, but you definitely could add it back!).

Removing the faux beard from the soldiers.

To keep them upright while spray painting I simply looped some packing tape and attached them to a box by their bases.

The little soldiers on cardboard waiting for the spray paint.

I sprayed a couple of coats waiting between sessions based on the spray paint instructions. I then had to move them into a new position to get other areas that I couldn’t reach.


The soldiers painted white.

I decided not to glue back on the hair and beards at this point, because I like the modern look of them without it.

White tin soldiers beside bottle brush trees.

I think they now resemble these ones from West Elm

Up close shot of one tin soldier.

Fun, right?! And so much less expensive! Check your local Dollar Tree and make your own!

Dollar store DIY Christmas Nutcracker Update graphic.

The white nutcrackers lined up beside the trees.

As I mentioned, today I’m joining some of my talented blogging friends who are also sharing their Christmas DIY and Craft project ideas with you. Be sure to visit their posts by clicking on the links below the images!

Dollar Store Crafts: Christmas Nutcracker Makeover at The Happy Housie

Anthropologie Inspired Colorful Holiday Doormat at Tatertots and Jello

DIY Mini Jingle Bell Wreath at Simply, Marie Designs

DIY Moon Shaped Christmas Wreath at Life is a Party

How to Make a Christmas Wood Bead Garland at She Gave it a Go

How to Make a Beautiful DIY Christmas Cloche (Ikea Hack) at The DIY Mommy

DIY Felt Gingerbread Man Bunting at Clean & Scentsible

DIY Wood Bead Garland at Maison de Pax

DIY Orange and Cinnamon Stick Napkin Rings at A Pretty Life

DIY Sleigh Bells at Zevy Joy


I’ve also shared these great little Christmas DIY and craft ideas in the past, like these cute crafts made with vintage style Christmas Tree Lights…

Or these great free printables for the holidays!




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  1. These are fantastic Krista! I love nutcrackers but the colours don’t always go with my decor, so painting them is such a great idea!! Thank you again so much for hosting your Seasonal Simplicity hops!

  2. I’m usually good for spray painting many things from garage sales or stuff around the house. I bought three of these guys from Dollar Tree and surprisingly did not think of spraying them. What I have done, however, is taking black/white checker Duct tape and wrapping it around their legs to give that MacKenzie-Childs trademark look! Love it!! lol

    1. Hi Julie,
      That sounds brilliant! What a fun idea to add the checkers – I bet they look adorable!

  3. Krista, I love what you did! Nutcrackers are so fabulous to decorate with for Christmas, and love they are white to go with my more neutral Christmas color palette. Thanks so much for sharing and of course your hosting our Seasonal Simplicity hops.

    1. Thank you Brendt!
      I’m getting excited about getting out my Christmas decor and figuring out where everything will go in our new house! Thanks for joining me:)

  4. This is such a cute idea, Krista! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve come across nutcrackers that don’t work with our homes decor or color scheme. This is a great solution! Thank you so much for hosting this fun hop!

    1. Right?! I just saw some big wood ones at Walmart yesterday though that would go beautifully with our decor…for some reason nutcrackers are really appealing to me this year. Thanks for joining me, Amanda!

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