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Holiday Blizzard 2011: Nutcracker ‘Sweets’

Nutcracker ‘Sweets’

Nutcracker Sweets Main imageRegena, Artistic Guide

 Finished size:  10.75 x 9 x 7.5”.

Nutcracker (Personal Stamp Exchange (PSX))
Clear Alphabet Sans Serif Font (Martha Stewart)
Small Clear Christmas Phrases (Martha Stewart)
Corner Stamp from Nutcracker Set (Recollections)
Half sheet of Matte Coated White cardstock (Marco’s Papers)
5 Glossy White ATCs (2.5 x 3.5”) (Marco’s)
Glitter Paper in Silver and Gold (Michaels) 
Versafine Onyx Black (Tsukineko)
Copic Markers – Lipstick Red, Moss Green, Sepia, Yellow Ochre, Maroon (.too inc)
Colorbox Olive Green Chalk ink (Clearsnap)
Coral Red Ancient Page (Clearsnap)
9.6 x 5.25” 3-opening Black Collage Frame (Michaels)
Detail Black Embossing Powder (Stampendous)
Heat Tool (Milwaukee)
Alcohol Ink Blending Solution (Ranger)
Felt Applicator (Ranger)
Cutterbee Scissors (EK Success)
X-Acto knife (Optional)
Dimensional Stickers (Recollections)
Diamond Stickles Glitter Glue (Ranger)
Scotch Quick Dry Adhesive (3M)
Silver and Gold Gel Pens (Marvy)
Acrylic mounting blocks 


  1. This little project is sort of a play on words.  I love nutcracker images and I thought about ‘The Nutcracker Suite’ as the theme for it but with candy images surrounding them, hence, the ‘Sweets’! This particular image is one I’ve had for years and it’s actually discontinued (PSX went out of business years ago, much to my dismay!) There is a very nice one by Recollections but it’s much larger and wouldn’t fit on an ATC.  However, it could be used for a larger version of this same project or as a single image matted and framed.  This particular collage frame and mat was perfect for what I wanted to do because the openings fit ATCs.
  2. The first thing we’ll do is stamp the nutcracker with Black Onyx 3 times on the matte coated cardstock and emboss with detail black powder. Color their uniforms with the red and green Copic markers as shown. The beard and crown combos can be whichever you want.  These are just the colors I used. 
  3. Color the trim and swords with the silver gel pen.  Add Diamond Stickles to the hair, beards and mustaches and their ‘hands’. Set aside to dry.
  4. The backgrounds are made by simply scribbling the red and green Copics onto the glossy ATCs, and then using the Blending Solution and applicator to create the texture.

    You’ll do two with opposite diagonals in red, one with both colors done half and half (carefully) and two with just the green.  These can be made using regular Alcohol inks too.  I just wanted to see how it would work with the Copics.
  5. The green ones will be cut in half diagonally and the appropriate half will be attached to the white portion of the diagonal red ones (refer to the Main photo).  NOTE: Make sure you cut the green panels in opposite directions so the angles work! Alternatively you could do both colors diagonally like the center panel, using two less ATCs.  The glitter strip would cover the ‘seam’, but there’s the chance of blending the two colors too far with the Blending solution and applicator because it’s a little tougher to control doing it diagonally.
  6. Cut 2 silver strips and one gold strip to cover the seams and trim as shown.

    Set the panels aside.
  7. Stamp the nutcracker 3 times again, but this time on the chipboard, using any dye ink. Cut out your embossed images trimming closely.  You’ll then cut out the chipboard images, but cut inside the lines so they don’t show from the front.  These will add dimension to the colored images. Apply Quick Dry Adhesive to the stamped side of the chipboard images and attach to the backs of the Nutcrackers as shown.
  8. Remove the mat and glass from the frame. You don’t need the glass; it won’t fit back in the frame with the stickers on it anyway.  Lightly sponge Coral Red ink randomly all over the mat.  Stamp the words with Olive Chalk ink and the corner elements with the Coral Red.
  9. Attach the ATC panels with a light bead of the Quick Dry Adhesive only at the top of the panels, carefully centering each. Put a light bead of adhesive on the Nutcracker images and center them on the panels (with the gold crowned one in the center).  Decorate with the dimensional candy stickers as desired.  Sign your work, put the mat back in the frame and you’re done!



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6 Responses »

  1. This is such a wonderful decoration and could be a great gift too! I love the background technique and appreciate your detailed instructions! I'm not sure it will be created this year, but is definitely on the list for next year!!

  2. Thank ;you Regina for such a great tutorial!
    Must try it!

  3. This is wonderful--love the colors and that it came with a frame!
    Happy Thanksgiving, Nola

  4. Aborable!! Wonderful gift to give someone. Your coloring is stunning and I love all the sparkles. This is very nice.

  5. this would also make a great card! Really sparks the old creative juices.

  6. This is absolutely gorgeous. I love things that are hand crafted and can be brought out year after year for the holidays. Linda