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When a nutcracker has a headache

What to do when a giant nutcracker has been spending many Christmas seasons outside and its head begins to collapse?

This is the story of Larry, one of the first builders of my nutcracker model. Actually, I should count him double because he made not one, but two giant nutcrackers that stand guard on either side of his front door every year, from mid-November to mid-January.

Larry’s nutcrackers in 2015

Because Larry lives in northern New Jersey, his “boys” are subjected to cold temperatures and snow or rain each year throughout the Christmas period. After five years of being outside for the holidays, the paper mache heads of his nutcrackers started getting soft and collapsing.

The paper mache heads damaged by the weather

Rather than trying a temporary fix, Larry decided to make new heads that would last for a LONG time. He bought 16″ EPS (styrofoam) balls from a company called Shape Innovations.

That wasn’t a cheap solution, but he says : “when I thought of how much work it was to make the paper mache heads and that the foam heads should last much longer than five years, it made sense.

The new styrofoam heads

Larry’s neighbours all like his nutcrackers. Many have asked him to make one or two of them, but he prefers to refer them to the Animaplates website. (Great idea!)

He usually announces on Facebook in November that “the boys are back in town” with a photo of them at the door. He always gets a positive response from his friends and family. And that’s well deserved!

Larry’s new nutcrackers in 2020

Joelle (with many thanks to Larry!)

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