Nutcracker Craft for Kids: Free Printable Ornaments

Make these simple ornaments as a fun Nutcracker craft for kids this Christmas!

For me, the best thing about the holiday season is making new memories with the kids.

When I started homeschooling our two youngest, I would try to come up with easy Christmas crafts for kids in the weeks leading up to Christmas.

Simple paper crafts became a staple for us, because they don’t require many materials or prep time.

This year, we made these adorable Nutcracker ornaments, which were also a great introduction to the story of the Nutcracker ballet.

Clara and Nutcracker ornaments on white wooden background with text overlay "Nutcracker Christmas Ornaments- free printable craft templates"

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Activities for Nutcracker Christmas Craft

If you’re like us and probably won’t make a trek to see the Nutcracker live on stage, you might want to watch it on TV instead.

This one is a classic adaptation in movie form, with set designed by Maurice Sendak (author and illustrator of the children’s book Where the Wild Things Are).

The Sendak version is supposed to be very close to the original story by E.T.A. Hoffman, The Nutcracker and the Mouse King.

For younger littles, you might enjoy this animated read-aloud on YouTube.

Fun Facts

The French version by Alexandre Dumas is a little different than the original, and the most modern Nutcracker ballets are adaptations of his book, along with other artistic influences. It’s a little less “dark” than Hoffman’s story.

You can read both versions in this book, or read about the evolution of the Nutcracker in this post, if you’re really curious.

One thing I learned is that the little girl’s name in the original Hoffman book is Marie, and it was changed to Clara later in the ballet productions.

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Nutcracker Christmas Craft for Kids: More Ideas

If you have a little girl like mine, she might prefer to play with her Nutcracker people instead of hanging them on the tree. 😉

You might even encourage your kids to act out a scene from the show or ballet.

Completed Nutcracker craft ornaments on white wooden background.

(A fun way to “narrate” what they’ve learned.)

We decided we should also make extras to bring to Grandma’s Christmas tree this year. My mom loved them!

We hope you enjoy making this Nutcracker paper craft as much as we did.

You can find the free printable templates in the How-To Card below, and you can print the instructions as well.

Yield: 2

Nutcracker Craft for Kids

Nutcracker and Clara ornaments hanging on lighted tree

Use these free printables to make your own easy Nutcracker craft with your kids this Christmas!

Prep Time 5 minutes
Active Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes


  • Cardstock paper
  • Twine or ribbon
  • Full size candy canes
  • Tape, hot glue and/or small rubber bands
  • Ornament hanger (optional)
  • Crayons, markers or colored pencils (optional)


  • Color Printer
  • Scissors
  • Hole punch (optional)


  1. Print the instruction sheet and templates here. Print as many as you need. More detailed instructions are also included below, and you can print this entire tutorial card if needed (see the teal "print" button above).
  2. Color the blank set if desired with crayons, markers or colored pencils.
  3. Cut out all parts of the Nutcracker and Clara templates.
  4. Arrange candy canes with backs facing each other and glue or use rubber bands to attach them together. (*See #6 for Nutcracker.)
  5. Position candy canes behind Clara so that the "arms and legs" line up in the correct places.
  6. For the Nutcracker, you may want to adjust candy canes so that the "legs" are angled out a little. This will make it easier to attach his shoes.Nutcracker ornaments with candy cane arms and legs.
  7. Use glue or tape to attach the candy canes to Nutcracker and Clara. Leave a little space between the Nutcracker body and shoes.
  8. You can use something sharp to poke a hole in each ornament and attach with an ornament hook, OR use a hole punch and a piece of ribbon or twine to hang your ornaments.Finished Nutcracker craft ornament with twine.
  9. Hang on the tree and enjoy! Nutcracker and Clare ornaments hanging on tree

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