When I was a child, my grandmother decided to start a nutcracker collection for each of her grandchildren. Year after year, she would buy us a new one to add to the collection. I’m older now, and my grandmother is no longer with us. Every year, at Christmas time, my family gets out that nutcracker collect and I smile. I smile at the memories and the love. Our nutcracker collection has sparked an interest in the Nutcracker Ballet, from books to the music to the nutcrackers themselves
This year, we got out our copy of The Story of the Nutcracker Ballet by Deborah Hautzig. It’s a well-loved copy that came along with a nutcracker one year. To go along with the book, we made a couple of keepsake Fingerprint Nutcracker Ornaments.
Materials Needed to Make these Nutcracker Ornaments
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Small batch salt dough
How to make these Keepsake Nutcracker Ornaments
Begin by making a small batch of salt dough.
The following recipe will make about four of these Nutcracker Ornaments. Double or triple the recipe if you need more.
Small Batch Salt Dough Recipe
1/2 c salt
1/2 c flour
1/4 c warm water
Mix the salt and flour together. Add the water and mix until it starts coming together. Use your hands to finish mixing by kneading for a few minutes. Your ideal salt dough will feel similar to play dough.
Roll out your dough with a rolling pin until it is about 1/4-inch thick. Use a dinner knife to cut rectangles approximately 2 inches across and 4 inches long. If you’re working with little-bitty fingers, you may want a shorter rectangle.
Making the Nutcracker Ornaments
Have your child press their entire index finger into the dough, so you have a nice imprint of the length of the finger. Lift up their finger carefully so you don’t make any more indents in the dough.
Use a drinking straw or a pen to make holes in the top of each ornament.
Lift the dough carefully and place it on a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Place in a 225 degree F (around 100C) oven for 30 minutes at a time to harden.Check on your dough after each 30 minutes. Once it’s hard, you can remove it from the oven. Our ornaments took an hour in the oven. You could use the Quick Salt Dough Recipe here on Rainy Day Mum paying careful attention to 10 seconds at a time and it will reduce the drying time.
After you remove them from the oven, flip them over to make sure the bottom is hard too. If not, let it air dry for awhile.
When your ornaments are cool and dry, it’s time to paint. We usually wait until the next day to paint, but as long as your salt dough is cool and dry, you can start decorating.
Use the joint lines on your fingerprint for a guide. The top section will be your nutcracker’s face. Paint this section in a flesh color.
Paint the next two sections red, green, or blue for the nutcracker’s uniform.
Add a little square of black to the bottom for boots.
Paint a simple hat on top of the head in a color of your choice.
Paint the background if you desire. We had some glitter paint so we added a sparkly background.
After the paint is dry, use the Sharpie to add a simple face and details to the uniform.
String twine through the hole at the top so you can hang your ornament on your Christmas tree.
Don’t forget to use the Sharpie to write your child’s name and date on the back.
Won’t it be fun to pull these out in 10 years and smile at the memories of these Fingerprint Nutcracker Ornaments?
Out Now! – Countdown to Christmas Ebook
When life gets hectic in the lead up to Christmas wouldn’t it be great to be able to spend a little time with the family creating gifts for others, food to enjoy together and traditions that make magical Christmas Memories?
But what actually happens is you spend hours searching through Pinterest looking for ideas and realise halfway through saying you are going to start that you have only 1 thing on the materials list!
I’ve been there!
So that is why we’ve put together our 24 favourite Christmas Activities, Crafts and Recipes with full materials lists and step-by-step instructions so that you have everything at your fingertips.
Produced as a PDF you can download, print and use these ideas throughout the festive season with your children and families.
Find out more as we share with your our Favourite Ways to Countdown to Christmas.
More Salt Dough Christmas Crafts for Kids
- Christmas Scented Star Garland
- Simple Salt Dough Decorations for the Tree
- Gingerbread Man Pattern Garland
You can find Terri at Creative Family Fun, where she shares fun learning ideas, crafts, and activities for kids and their families.
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