Wooden soldier-shaped nutcrackers originated in England and France in the 14th century. The colourful soldiers are also featured in "The Nutcracker" ballet. They have become a favourite decoration for the Christmas season and are made from a variety of materials. A popular Christmas soldier craft is one that is made from clay pots. The number and arrangement of the pots vary, but the stiff, mustached man standing proud in his colourful uniform is the main component of the craft.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Things you need
- Clay flower pots
- Clear spray paint
- Acrylic paints, blue, red, cream, black, gold
- Hot glue gun
- Glue sticks
- Craft fur, white and black
- Gold buttons
- Gold ribbon
Spray five same-sized pots with clear paint to provide a base coat that will help acrylic paints adhere to the clay. Let the clear paint dry before continuing. Write a number from one to five inside the rim edge of each pot.
Paint pots No. 1 and 2 blue for the soldier's trousers. Use red paint for pot No. 3 to make a soldier's coat, cream for a head on pot No. 4 and black for the soldier's hat on pot No. 5.
Begin to stack and glue the pots together from the bottom, working from pot No. 1 at the bottom to pot No. 5 at the top. Place pot No. 1 on the work surface with the open end facing downward. Spread hot glue on the closed end of the pot. Press the closed end of pot No. 2 into the glue and hold for 10 to 15 seconds until dry.
Put a bead of glue around the edge of the open end of pot No. 3 - the soldier's coat - and place the glued edge on the open end of pot No. 2. Hold for 10 to 15 seconds.
Spread hot glue on the closed end of pot No. 4, the cream-coloured one that will be the soldier's head, and press it onto the closed end of pot No. 3. Hold for 10 to 15 seconds before gluing the open end of Pot No. 5 to the open end of Pot No. 4. Again, hold for 10 to 15 seconds until dry.
Stand the soldier upright, with pot No. 1 at the bottom and No. 5 at the top.
Paint a black rim at the very bottom of the stack to form boots. Create a red line down the left and right sides of the trousers. Form two pant legs with a black line of paint down the centre front and back of blue pot No.1.
Create a black belt with paint around the bottom rim of the red coat on pot No. 3. Form two arms with a think line of black paint on the left and right sides of the red pot, if desired.
Put a face on cream-coloured pot No. 4 using black paint for eyes and eyebrows. Paint on a red mouth and red, rosy cheeks.
Paint a gold buckle on the belt, the rim of the black hat and the front of each boot. Paint gold epaulettes on the shoulders of the coat, if desired.
Glue on a small strip of black or white craft fur to form a moustache on the soldier's face. Glue some black or white fur along the sides and back of the head just under the black hat to simulate hair. Glue gold buttons on the soldier's red coat.
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