I honestly thought I’d painted all the unusual things by now…… but apparently that wasn’t so!
This week I got to paint a SEVEN FOOT tall NUTCRACKER! Enjoy this nutcracker makeover!
If you prefer to watch the process, check out the YouTube video here! (and be sure to subscribe for one every week!)
My client was not a fan of the greens or purples on his clothing. She has incorporated a large amount of MacKenzie-Childs beautiful work into her Christmas decor…. and was hopeful that I could change the overall color of the nutcracker’s uniform to be more cohesive with her style.
Slick Stick to the rescue once again! This nutcracker surface is glossy and slick…. and finding any detail paint to adhere to it for lasting durability would be a tough call without the use of a good primer. I primed every area where I planned to change the colors….. with two coats of Slick Stick. I painted almost all areas of this project with multiple crafting brushes. You can see me painting the buckle/straps of his boots below.
I primed his pants, bootstraps, belt, cuffs, shoulder pads, and hat brim. I then covered all primed areas in Dixie Belle’s Silk all-in-one paint in Salt Water (white). He actually looks pretty good here! The canvas was now ready for multiple black and white patterns!
I used a Sharpie marker to begin drawing my designs. I striped the space on the top of his boots. I checked the horizontal bootstrap….. and I offered a horizontal stripe to the front boot panels.
I used the shape of the star on the shoulder pads to lay out the design for the surrounding check. Then drew out tiny checks on his cuffs.
I used a tongue depressor to measure off the stripes on his hat brim.
And now it was time for paint therapy…… I mean….. painting alllllll the tiny shapes! I used oil-based black pens in many sizes to do these patterns. I tried to use paint and a brush like on most of my checkered projects…. but the sheer capacity and size of this project….. proved to need a faster route! Check out the before and after of the two boots below!
You can see a shoulder pad drawn…. and a shoulder pad painted here. The checks really do look better in my opinion!!!
How about the hat brim painted versus unpainted! I love seeing the before and afters side by side!
And finally…… I drew out the pattern on the pants…. which would be the pattern most seen. I chose the harlequin stencil by Dixie Belle…. to create this look. I didn’t use it to paint the pattern though…… only to draw it. You can see how I traced out each diamond on the pants here.
With each diamond fully painted…. I chose to use gold dots to connect them. I created these dots using my fingertip!
Here’s a photo of one leg with dots and one without.
Many many many many hours later…….. the seven-foot-tall nutcracker makeover is complete! I think he looks fantastic!!! I have to agree with my client….. the green and burgundy wasn’t really doing it for me either! I really like the contrasting crispness of the black and white patterns. He seems lighter…. and happier! Maybe it’s the less serious whimsical flair!!
Remember….. paint changes everything! You can paint ANYTHING as long as you’ve done your homework and understand what products will offer you a successful finish! If you have home decor of any kind that just doesn’t work with your color scheme….. paint it!!!
Can’t wait for you to watch this full process on YouTube!