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Giant Nutcrackers Around The World

Here is a map showing the locations of the people who took up the challenge to build a Giant Nutcracker. Where available, I have added a picture of their nutcracker.  If your nutcracker picture isn’t here yet, please leave a comment below and attach your photo!

To protect your privacy, the map only shows first names and approximate locations. If you want to correct your data, or if you want to be removed from this map, just let us know.



It had long be my dream to build a nutcracker bigger than myself. I had started collecting big cardboard tubes, and I even bought a big construction tube that I was going to use for the body of my giant nutcracker.

Then last year in the summer, I decided to go ahead with my project. I thought I would get an early start on Christmas, and I am glad I did. Because I had to keep the other Animaplates projects coming as well, it took me until November to finish it all.

Right from the start, I had decided that I would make not one but two nutcrackers, and donate them to the Trees of Hope charity that I had worked with in the past (see here). That also solved the problem of what I would do with my creations after Christmas, since I don’t really have enough room at home to store two life-size nutcrackers.

Of course, I had filmed and photographed every stage of my work, so that I could share my experience with you, the members and visitors of the Animaplates website. This year, I am publishing the explanations for my first nutcracker, inspired by the ceremonial guards in London and Ottawa.


  • Actually made two of them for outside my front door. We’ll see how the paper mache responds to the weather. Thank you joelle!

    • It’s beautiful! You could protect the paint with a clear waterproof (not acrylic) varnish. I don’t know about the fur, though. Do you have a picture of the two nutcrackers outside your door?

  • Here they are guarding our front door. I made a few changes to the plans, using plywood instead of cardboard for the shoes and inside the torso. I cut keyhole slots at the top of the arms and dropped them onto exposed bolt heads at the top of each torso. The hats are made from wire fencing. The mouth is a separate piece of wood so it looks like an actual nutcracker mouth. The cuffs are extra pieces of pvc tubing slit and glued over the sleeve ends. Your plans were excellently done. Thank you. Biggest problems I had were making the heads and finding the correct tubing for the legs. 6″ DWV PVC pipe was all I had so I cut 1.5″ slits lengthwise and compressed the pipe to a smaller diameter. I screwed the edges to a length of wood inside the pipe. I attached a screen door spring to the top of the hat and threaded a wire from the spring to a hole i drilled in the bottom of the torso floor. I pulled the wire tight and fastened it. The hat and head then became fixed by the spring loading. They can be positioned easily and will not blow off.

    • Wow! What a great idea to make two. Thank you for explaining all the things you did to adapt the design to your materials. Interesting way of attaching the head; I didn’t have to deal with that problem since mine were for indoor use.
      Thanks again for the pictures. I put this one on the map.

  • Hi Joelle,
    I didn’t see my pair of nutcrackers on the map.
    I’m in Old Tappan, NJ 07675 USA.
    Larry Mastropolo

    • Sorry about that. You were on the map, but somewhere in New Hampshire πŸ™‚
      I have corrected that now. Thanks for pointing it out.

  • Hi I’m from Auckland New Zealand and I made two nutcrackers for different parts of my house at Christmas. It was hard to get everything that you used because is New Zealand not everything in available. The hardest thing to find was the cardboard tubes because builders don’t use them here so i had to use very thick cardboard tubes that had to be cut with a electric saw.

    • Hi Rochelle! I am glad that there are now two giant nutcrackers in New Zealand! I love your two nutcrakers….especially the pink one with the top in a silvery colour. Very original! I am sorry that you could not find the construction tubes. I suppose that from one country to the next, construction techniques vary. In Canada they use those tubes to pour concrete for fences for example. Would it be possible for you to send a bigger picture? Thank you!

  • Hi here’s a bigger picture, the pink nutcrackers top is chunky pale pink glitter mixed with mod podge (looks pinker in real life)

    • Thank you! They’re really beautiful. (Click on the picture to see them full size). I added you to the map.

  • Here is one of the nutcrackers, since i have a huge garage i am making three. Two the same color and one blue and white. This may be used for a union party hosted by the mill close to here. What fun it is to make. Now how about a giant balerina??

    • Thank you for sharing one of your nutcrackers with Animaplates. I hope that you will be able to use your three nutcrackers for your union party πŸ™‚ You can find a pink (with glitters) nutcracker in the pictures shared by someone else…so you could try a ballerina πŸ™‚ I can’t wait to see a picture of your three (or more) nutcrackers when they are all finished! Please share πŸ™‚
      PS : we have also a French website (Animassiettes).

  • Hi, I come from Croatia, I and my daughter 4 years old have been making nutcracker, it’s hard to find the material because we do not have to buy it, but we hope you like it πŸ™‚

    • Thank you for sharing your picture! The nutcracker is very beautiful πŸ™‚ I suppose that your daughter enjoyed working with you on this big project!

  • Thank you for the wonderful directions. Here is my nutcracker. So proud of him!

    • Thank you very much for sharing your beautiful nutcracker! Can you tell me in which city you live so we can add your picture on the map of the nutcrackers around the world πŸ™‚ I wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

  • I was going to make two nutcrackers but decided to made a nutcracker and a mouse king. They turned out much better than I anticipated.

  • Captain Clarence was sooo much fun to make! He is bravely standing guard in Ridge Manor, Fl. Thanks

  • Here is the nutcracker I made last year πŸ™‚ I plan on making a small one again this year. I live in Starkville, Mississippi

    • Thank you very much Vicki for sharing a picture of your giant nutcracker. He is beautiful! I love the round base you create to ground the nutcracker. Looking forward to see your small version πŸ™‚ I am working on and off myself on two new nutcrackers. I hope to finish them before Christmas πŸ™‚ Stay safe and have a nice Christmas.

  • My wife Beth and I built this giant nutcracker using your videos as guidelines. He is now posted as a guard for our foyer Christmas tree in our home in Bedminster, Pennsylvania. A great pre-holiday project. We will probably make another one to match and then another one as a U.S. Marine in dress blues for her father. Thanks for your help with the project.

    • Hi Thomas and Beth, that’s a beautiful nutcracker! I added him to the map. Be sure to post pictures of your next nutcrackers as well! Thanks.

  • This Nutcracker was finished the day before Christmas and will hopefully be with us for many Christmases ahead.
    /Kristina in Ronneby, Sweden

    • He’s great! Congratulations for finishing him before Christmas, I know that can be a lot of stress.
      He’s our first nutcracker on the map of Sweden. Thanks for the picture.

  • I am in the process of making a second head for my giant nutcracker. The original was made 4 years ago. The head collapsed on itself from moisture in storage. I would like some suggestions on how to manage this problem.Has anyone stuffed the head with poly fill to hold its shape?
    Thank you in advance for your suggestions

    • Sorry that your first head has collapsed. I think it’s always important to try to keep anything paper in a dry place. The head is definitely more fragile. I would recommend to make as many layers as possible to obtain a sturdy head and you could buy a package of silica at Michaels and place the silica in small organza fabric bags. Place the little bags in the head; that should keep it dry.
      Your idea of filling the head with poly fill is a good one…but I can’t imagine the weight of the head after that.
      Some people are using big balls instead of a balloon; that might be another option for you.

  • Very pleased with my effort. Made it for a theatre production but will use it for xmas decoration.

  • I made the Nutcracker King for my daughter. Your directions made everything much easier. I covered the body and hat with plastic to weatherproof the nutcracker. The head is a ball that I bought at Fivebelow. The base, shoes and interior structures are wood not cardboard for weatherproofing. The base is made with 2×8 lumber and is attached to 2x4s in the 4″ legs. The top of the legs are attached to a 3/4″ plywood circle that is recessed 6″ into the body. The body will lift off the nutcracker for storage. (34″ leg length – 6″ recess into body = 28″ exposed legs) The nutcracker is decorated with a red fleece coat and cape trimmed in faux fur, blue flannel pants and leather boots instead of paint. I was afraid the paint would be scratched off with use. The nutcracker will be displayed in Bryans Road, Maryland just south of Washington DC.

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