We are all about The Nutcracker this year after listening to (affiliate link) it and learning more about it. When the library put out their Christmas books this year, Ella Bella Ballerina and the Nutcracker caught our eye and we brought it home. It was just perfect for making crafts for our participation in this year’s 10 Days of a Kid Made Christmas.
Ella Bella Ballerina and the Nutcracker by James Mayhew is a lovely introduction to The Nutcracker. Ella Bella is a ballerina and they have been practicing the Nutcracker this year. After practice she goes back to get the music box to bring to the class party. She opens it and listens to the music which results in her seeing Clara asleep under the tree. Then the story of The Nutcracker begins, with Ella Bella right in it!
We actually have 2 crafts to share with you for this book as Kallista and Tristan each chose a character to made from it using clothespegs. (affiliate links are used below)
What they used
- Clothespegs with stands
- Felt-tip markers
- Pipe cleaners
- Cotton ball
- Embroidery floss
- Piece of silky fabric
- Needle and Thread
- Glitter Glue
Sugar Plum Fairy
For Kallista’s sugar plum fairy, she coloured her clothespeg pink to make it look like it was wearing a leotard. Then she drew in a face.
The next part was a little tricky, but she did a great job. A rectangle of fabric was cut out of a dress-up tutu that Kallista didn’t want any more. I was going to donate it to charity, but thought we might just be able to use it for something, and this was it. Kallista chose to use the inner silky part of it rather than the netting part of it.
Kallista made a simple line of stitching along one long end of the fabric and then pulled the thread to gather the fabrick into a skirt. She put the skirt on her clothespeg to get the right tightness. Then she sewed up the back of the skirt. I added a little fray check along the bottom so the material didn’t fray out before she was done the craft.
A happy accident occurred when a bit of the fray check glued a bit of the skirt up. When we tured the skirt right-side out so that the stitching in the back was hidden, the ‘accident’ gave the skirt a beautiful up in front, down in back, design.
For the hair, a little black embroidery floss was wound around my thumb and then glued to the top of the clothespeg. Kallista added some pearl bead stickers for eyes, and drew on a nose and mouth.
She made a little crown by cutting a piece of silver pipe cleaner and winding it into a circle for the Sugar Plum Fairy’s head.
Kallista needed a little help with the wings, but she told me what to do. She wanted 2 colours and one wing bigger than the other. I was able to twist the pipe cleaners into wing shapes and then held them in place around the clothes peg’s waist, which came in hand when the wand was added.
The little wand was simply a cardboard star that had fallen off of something else, glued onto a a coloured matchstick.
Tristan has been all about nutcrackers the past 2 months! He’s been looking up images of them on the internet so he can craft and draw, and even try to dress up like one himself!
Tristan used markers to colour his nutcracker from boots to head. He was so quick this is the only photo I was able to take.
He used a bit of a cotton ball for some hair, and then today decided his nutcracker needed to have a sword, so I couldn’t post this craft until it was ready!
He found some black construction paper in the craft cupboard, cut out a little rectangle, and taped it around a bit of silver pipe cleaner. He wanted it to stick diagonally which caused him some grief, but in the end, he used tape to hold it in place.
The children are very proud of their very own creations, and they’re now sitting on a table in the front room where they can see them and make up new adventures for them to go on. We recommend Ella Bella Ballerina and the Nutcracker as a book, and for crafty inspiration.
This year’s 10 Days of a Kid-made Christmas is back with over 70 book-related craftsfrom members of the Kid Blogger Network.
Please stop by these other great book-inspired crafts that are being posted up today:
- Personalised Name Ornament for Kids by The Educators’ Spin On It
- Yeti Ornament by House of Burke
- Guess How Much I Love You Ornament by Emma Owl
- Owl Moon Ornament by Freshly Planted
- Witch’s Broom Ornament by Great Googa Moogas
- Grinch’s Heart Ornament by Adventures in Wunderland
- Rainforest Diorama Ornament by The Natural Homeschool
- Non Toy Gifts