Nutcrackers, according to German folklore, were believed to bring good fortune and protection to the households they belonged to. The tradition of giving nutcrackers as gifts began in Germany about 300 years ago. Nutcrackers became prevalent in the United States about 50 years ago. Homemade nutcracker ornaments and decorations are easy and inexpensive to make. Before beginning a nutcracker project, look in books or on line to see pictures of traditional and modern nutcrackers. This will give you inspiration in your design.
Use scissors to cut red felt into a 6-inch-by-4-inch strip. Cover one side of felt with craft glue and wrap around the top portion of the canister. Use rubber bands to hold felt in place while the glue is drying.
Cut a strip of black felt 5 inches long and 6 inches wide. Cover one side of the felt with craft glue and wrap the glued side around the canister. Use rubber bands to hold in place while glue dries. Make sure the red and black felt meet to form a seam.
Glue a 5-inch piece of yarn to the black felt to separate legs. Repeat this step on the back side of the nutcracker. To create arms, roll a small bit of red felt and attach with glue. Hands may also be added in this fashion.
Cut a oval shape of skin colored felt for the nutcrackers face. Glue into place. Use craft paint to create eyes, nose and mouth. Use craft fur or cotton to add hair to the nutcracker. Glue hair into place.
Glue on strips of braids, feathers and buttons, in desired style, to complete the nutcracker's trim.