Novelty Nutcrackers, Dollar Store Style

West Elm has the cutest Novelty Nutcrackers!

Only problem is, they are TWENTY NINE BUCKS!


And if you want the jumbo one it’s $59! Ouch. I’m not cheap, I’m thrifty!


I {lurve} them though.

So I plotted a scheme to get me surme o’ those there nutcrackers.

I found these hideous things at the Dollar Tree.

I don’t think “hideous” is a strong enough word to describe…

The hair! The hair is what kills me.

I ripped that hair off quicker than you can say “holy-hell-that-looks-horrible” and gave them all a good coat of spray paint primer.

Then I took one of them and coated it in Krylon silver:

And I gave the other two a coat of Krylon white:

(These two got an additional coat of white after I took this photo.)

Now I’ve got three totally adorable West Elm Knock-Off Inspired Novelty Nutcrackers.




Before and After:

All for three bucks and some left-over spray paint.

That’s my kind of Christmas decor.

Have you made any Christmas decor Inspired by a favorite store?


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  1. Oh my!!! Those are fabulous!! Well done! So much nicer white and silver! They sure were hideous before! Ha!!

  2. Awesome job! They look terrific!

  3. Those look awesome!!! Your’s look better than the ‘real’ ones..seriously – they do!
    Shantel 🙂

  4. they are so much better after! nice touch!

  5. OH MY GOSH! I was just at the dollar tree last night1 I’m goin’ back! thanks for the idea!

  6. I love these! The hair on the originals weren’t what was killing me- it was those faces!! Great job!

  7. Utterly Disheveled says:

    Have you seen the plain unfinished wooden ones at Hobby Lobby? You could have just painted those and not had to mess with the horrible hair and paint!

  8. That is awesome! I might just have to “steal” your idea! Great job!

  9. m @ random musings says:

    sooo cool! I’ve been looking for something to use the leftover metallic paint on (and an excuse to visit the dollar store)

  10. has anyone ever told you that you’re a genius? The before and after are really pretty amazing! Love these!

  11. WOW – I love this and have some ugly ones that don’t even make it out of the box!

  12. Those are amazingly better! I still need to make a dollar tree run soon!

    I did make a pottery barn knock-off NOEL sign. Saved $100!

  13. Wow, I have never been a nutcracker fan, but yours are amazing at the perfect price, next to nothing.

  14. bestest sister ever says:

    Oh so cute! I may have to copy. However, you do realize that part of that $29 probably went to helping young children tackle cancer? I mean, what else could “St. Jude” mean, really? But, if you’re not really in the “saving little children” mood this Holiday Season, why not go for the $3 kind. lol. =D love ya!

  15. I was just at dollar tree yesterday, but I am going back today to do this project! They look awesome! Great idea!

  16. LOVE it!! I have always had a love/hate relationship with nutcrackers. LOVE the idea, but their faces seriously. But these little faceless guys are PERFECT. Heading out to the dollar tree today!!!

  17. Helen Howard says:

    Great job…. and I dig the photo shoot as well…very pro lookin…
    as usual…u rock!

  18. Haha oh those were adorable before hehe. You haven’t seen hideous nutcrackers until you see them 7ft tall & painted with a mean face lol. I’ll make a trade with ya, you send me some of those gorgeous Target $1 ornament balls & I’ll send you an authentic German nutcracker. Or are you a Paris girl? lol

  19. Allison! Those are the CUTEST. What a makeover – kind of shocking, really!

  20. I love these! Ill be stopping by the dollar store today for some of these ugly little guys and they’ll be much happier with some spray paint.

  21. Christie Morrow says:

    I wasn’t planning on going into town again today…. but looks like I need to now!
    Awesome idea!!!

  22. One day I want to be like you when I grow up… I want to be able to take something ugly and make it beautiful, all while being a mom and maintaining a house and doing all that you do! I LOVE your blog and all your projects!

  23. Oh my stinkin’ heck! Those are so cute! Putting those on my to do list. Thanks for sharing! Angie

  24. You are a hoot!!! And what did you do with the hair? Your nutcrackers are a great knock off.

  25. LOL, youre funny lady. great idea too.

  26. Oooh la la!!! I love those!!! So wonderful!

    Do tell though… what did you do with the hair?

  27. sherri anderson says:

    Just got home with 6! Can’t wait to transform! Thanks!

  28. very professional looking background! however, i think i prefer seeing them in your home more! love your blog!!

  29. Seriously – you are genius!!! I totally just showed this to my hubs! You rock!!! My daughter has been desperate to own a nutcracker (the irony that she’s allergic to nuts) .. but I’ve not wanted to spend the money, b/c I don’t like them .. but for $3 and I’d have to buy spray paint .. but SURE!!! Thanks for the idea – LOVE!

  30. What a great transformation! Need to hit up the dollar tree. It’s been too long!

    Blessings and thanks for sharing!

  31. Way to make use of the dollar store!! They were truly awful. I love that you left one of them silver. But, lets not paint my collection of nutcrackers, ok?

  32. yours look as good if not better!

  33. How totally outrageous are these?! Love them! I need to think outside the box and grab some spray paint!

  34. As I began reading your post I thought, I HAVE A WHOLE BOX of these in assorted sizes (3″ to 24″) in our storage! I haven’t put them out in years b/c I sorta lost interest in them.

    I just might have to dig them out and upscale for the 2010 holiday season, THANKS for sharing this idea.

  35. These look super cool!

  36. I have these on my mantel. Kinda bummed you think they’re hideous. I have a little boy, he loved them, and I thought they seemed a little vintage. Definitely doesn’t go along with the ‘classy’ christmas that everyone seems to be going for now… but works just fine with the bright red Santa’s and multicolor lights on the christmas tree. Maybe I’m just tacky?!

  37. Wow, I picked these up from the Dollar Tree a few days ago with the idea of painting them white. The ones they had are twice as hideous. I had missed the ones at West Elm but we had the Idea. Thanks for posting them up. They came out looking Fabulous – even better than the ones from West Elm. Great Job, I cant wait to paint mine in the next few days 🙂

  38. Totally just got back from the Dollar Tree and can’t wait to transform these dudes!

    Thanks for the great inspiration (again!)

  39. Love this idea!! Totally running–not walking to the dollar store! Thanks for sharing!

  40. Clark Hudson says:

    Been doing hand painted nutcrackers for years, do a couple of dozen for Christmas gifts every year. Don’t like my choices of venders, as of now its Hobby Lobby or Michaels. Will you sell the unpainted ones? I prefer those around 12 inches.

  41. What did you use to get the hair/glue off?

  42. i cant lie totally gonna have to copy this lol thanks for sharing

  43. OMG how cool is this! I just did the exact same thing to some from the Dollar Tree! I love that you did one in silver, so cute!!!

  44. Or, if these alternatives never appeal, you could often make your own variation.

  45. How did you get rid of the glue where the hair was attached?


  1. […] by Darla Last week, my friend Jen, over at Epbot, posted a super fun and easy tutorial for a Nutcracker Redo (she was originally inspired by House of Hepworths tutorial). […]

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