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Don’t recycle your toilet paper rolls just yet – save them for this simple toilet paper roll nutcracker craft! With just a touch of paint, some colorful paper, and a few stickers, toilet paper rolls get a whole new life as these festive nutcracker decorations.

RELATED: Popsicle Stick Nutcracker

Nutcracker Paper Roll

Toilet Paper Roll Nutcracker Craft

These nutcrackers are a simple and fun project to work on this holiday season. Not only are they a fun activity that kids will love, but they can be put up on windowsills or bookshelves as decorations.

Recycled Nutcracker Craft

They could even be used as toys in the lead-up to Christmas. Try lining a few up together like bowling pins and using a ball to bowl them over! Or kids can take turns hiding the nutcrackers around the house, for a holiday scavenger hunt. Print off our scavenger hunt cards here.

You can also add little treats inside and give them as gifts – like candy canes.

And if you love nutcrackers – give these popsicle stick nutcrackers a try.

Nutcracker Toilet Paper Roll

Supplies Needed

  • Toilet paper rolls (or paper towel rolls cut down to size) – 1 per nutcracker
  • Acrylic paint – for the nutcrackers’ faces. This set has a lot of different paint options.
  • Paintbrush – medium-sized works well
  • Colored paper or cardstock – white, black, yellow, pink, red, green, and blue. This set of colored cardstock has the full assortment needed.
  • Clear tape – for taping down the paper decorations
  • Yellow office stickersthese ones are 8mm across
  • Holepunches – a larger one to make 3/8″ holes and a smaller one to make 1/4″ holes, for the eyes. Or you can paint the eyes on or use googly eyes.
  • Printable template for the hair – get the printable template at the bottom of the post
Recycled Toilet Paper Roll Nutcracker

How to Make a Toilet Paper Nutcracker

1. Paint the toilet paper rolls.

Paint the top third of the toilet paper roll whatever color you choose for the nutcracker’s face. Paint all the way around the tube and set aside to dry.

If your paper rolls are brown, you may need to do more than 1 coat of paint.

Painting toilet paper roll

2. Make the paper jacket.

Cut a piece of colored paper or cardstock into a 6″ by 2 3/8″ rectangle.

Cut paper jacket

Roll the paper around the bottom of the toilet paper roll, so that it lines up with the bottom edge.

Use tape to secure the paper in place.

The spot where the tape is will be the back of the nutcracker for the remaining steps.

3. Attach the hat.

Cut a piece of black paper into a 6″ by 1 1/4″ rectangle.

Tape one end to the toilet paper roll so that about 1/2″ extends past the top of the roll, as shown. This will make sure you have enough space under the hat for the nutcracker’s face.

Taping on paper hat

Wrap the black paper rectangle all the way around the toilet paper roll and tape the other end in place.

Taping on hat

4. Decorate the nutcracker’s hat.

Cut a piece of yellow paper about 1/8″ wide and 6″ long. Use a tiny line of tacky glue to secure it to the bottom edge of the hat.

Wrap the yellow paper strip all the way around and use a piece of tape to secure the ends at the back.

Gluing on hat trim

Repeat this step for the top edge of the hat, but this time use a yellow paper strip that is about 1/2″ wide and 6″ long.

Glue and tape to secure in the same way.

Finishing paper hat

5. Make the nutcracker’s hair.

Use the printable template (you can get the template at the bottom of this post) to cut out 2 hair tuft pieces per nutcracker.

Fold along the dotted line.

Cut paper hair tufts

Apply tacky glue to the folded paper flaps and then secure to each side of the toilet paper roll.

Gluing on paper hair

6. Make the nutcracker’s face.

For the eyes: use a jumbo hole punch to make 2 3/8″ white circles and use a smaller hole punch to make 2 1/4″ black circles. First glue the white circles onto the face with tacky glue, and then glue the black circles on top.

If you don’t have hole punchers of this size, you can paint the eyes on instead or use googly eyes.

For the nose: cut a small triangle from pink paper and glue between the eyes.

For the moustache: cut a 5/8″ circle from black paper and then cut in half. Glue the two semicircles onto the face forming a moustache.

Gluing on face

7. Add the jacket details.

Cut 3 pieces of yellow paper that are about 1 1/4″ long and 1/16″ wide.

Use tacky glue to attach all 3 onto the jacket.

Gluing on jacket details

Attach a small yellow office sticker to the end of each yellow strip, to look like buttons.

If you don’t have small yellow stickers like these, you can use a hole punch on yellow paper to make circles to glue on instead.

You can also glue on small little yellow buttons.

Sticking on button stickers

Make as many nutcrackers as you’d like, using different colors for their jackets.

We used red, green, and blue here but you can use whatever colors you’d like.

Kids will love creating these colorful nutcrackers this holiday season!

Paper Roll Nutcracker

Free Printable Nutcracker Hair Template

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