Seasonal Crafts

Nutcracker Dolls Tutorial


Nutcracker Dolls Tutorial

Maker Team member Joana of @critterwood.creations.patterns is taking center stage with her newest pattern for Nutcracker Dolls! These felt dolls make whimsical Christmas decorations, but can also be held and played with by little ones – a showstopping combination. Whether you're a seasoned crafter or a beginner looking for a festive project, Joana provides clear instruction and shares all her tips to ensure a beautiful finished project. Let’s start the show!

Welcome to the enchanting world of Nutcracker dolls! Originating from German folklore and immortalized in Tchaikovsky's "The Nutcracker" ballet, these figures have become a symbol of holiday magic. From selecting materials to adding intricate details, this tutorial will guide you step-by-step through the process of making your own dolls.

Skill Level: Intermediate
Time: 3 hours per doll

Shop Supplies

Additional Supplies:

Nutcracker Dolls Pattern (click to download)
Red Coloring Pencil


1. Print the Nutcracker Dolls Pattern above and cut out pattern pieces. Trace pattern onto corresponding felt and cut.


2. Blanket stitch around arms and body with matching thread. Stop before completely closing to add stuffing and then finish stitching closed.

Blanket stitching around body

Stuffing body with Polyfil

3. To attach arms, start on one side of the body (right under neck) and insert needle all the way to other side. Attach first arm. Pass needle back to the starting point and add second arm. With a back and forth motion, sew on both arms and tie off with a knot under one arm.

Stitching arms onto body

4. Untwist skein of pearl thread. Place the threads on top of Clara’s head. Find middle of head and sew the thread on by sections using back stitch. Sew a little to the front of head to frame face. Cut extra strands to desired length.

Attaching hair to Clara doll

5. Using an erasable pen, draw the eyes and mouth onto face. Satin stitch the eyes and cluster stitch the whites of eyes and mouth.

Drawing and stitching face on Clara doll

6. Blush the cheek with a red coloring pencil.

Adding rosey cheeks to doll face

7. Use a few stitches to secure some strands of hair where the ears would be. Tie hair back with a ribbon.

Styling hair on Clara doll

8. Make the dress by straight stitching sides and shoulders as marked by the dotted line. Turn inside out.

Stitching dress for Clara doll

9. Put dress on Clara. Add a ribbon around the waist and tie in the back with a bow.

Adding bow to dress


10. Glue boots to the legs and legs to the torso. Blanket stitch around the perimeter, changing thread to match each section of felt. Add stuffing before stitching closed.

Gluing Nutcracker body components together

Stitching around Nutcracker body

11. Glue hands to the arms. Glue hands together and blanket stitch around the perimeter of the arms only. Add stuffing before stitching closed.

Stitching Nutcracker arms

12. Glue six sequins (three on each side) to the front of the jacket. Using gold pearl thread, sew through the center of each pair of sequins leaving the thread loosely hanging between.

Adding decoration to Nutcracker jacket

13. Glue the jacket pieces to the upper part of the body and blanket stitch along the sides.

Attaching jacket to Nutcracker torso

14. Glue black belt to the front and back of jacket.

Adding belt to jacket

15. Attach arms by sewing them to the torso. Pass the needle back and forth a few times before tying off.

Attach arms to torso

16. Whip stitch the brim to the hat. Next, straight stitch the long sides of the hat together making it into a cylinder with open ends. Turn it inside out and decorate it with sequins and gold thread. Glue the circle to the top of the hat.

Assembling Nutcracker hat

17. Using an erasable pen, draw the eyes onto face. Satin stitch the eyes and cluster stitch the whites of eyes. Glue on the nose and the mustache.

Decorating Nutcracker face

18. Take some roving wool and stretch it out so the edges are ragged. Glue it to the back and sides of the head for hair.

Making hair from wool roving

19. Finally, blush the cheeks with a red coloring pencil.

Adding blush to Nutcracker face

Your Clara and Nutcracker dolls are ready to take the stage! I hope you've enjoyed making them with me. Happy Holidays!

Finished Nutcracker dolls

Thanks to Joana for designing and writing this tutorial! You can follow her on Instagram @critterwood.creations.patterns or visit her website. Stay tuned for more tutorials from the Benzie Design Maker Team!