Friday, November 20, 2015

Nutcracker 3d Figure

This magical star of the well-known Christmas ballet
stands almost 14" tall. Assembly is facilitated by
section assembly. Optional 3/4" dowel sections in leg tubes
add weight and strength. Details include: soldier hat with side punches
to attach optional chain section, optional wood cabinetry "button" nose
and faux fur hair and goatee, epaulets with paper fringe,
laced boots, layered sword to fight off that Mouse King.
Considerably assembly is involved.
(Not a beginner project.)

1. Identify and cut the shapes:
A hat crown
Crown layers: B bottom, C middle, D top
E brim rims       F brim bill
G faux "cracker" mechanism
H face shapes (6) [difficult to see here]
I face assembly     J torso    K arm rod
L jacket front and contrast
M epaulets & fringe   N sleeve with cuffs
O hands     P belt   Q jacket skirts, contrast
R sword layers and shapes
S buckler sash            T leg tubes  
U legs platform
V boot uppers   W  shoes    X shoe buildup
NOT SHOWN: prong cover circles (2) and hat cockade jewel oval
OTHER SUPPLIES: faux fur strip for goatee and hair, hat chain, 3/4" dowels, 
3/8" nose cabinet wood "button"
2. Prepare leg shapes by bending on all vertical perforations lines, 
and bending top narrow tabs back slightly.

3. Form the leg into a tube to bring the straight edge to overlap the opposite long tab, 
adjust ends to be even, and glue edge in place. 
NOTE: it may be helpful to use the 3/4 dowel (uncut or cut to length) 
inserted into the tube to provide a "press against" surface for gluing the seam.
4. Prepare the shoe shape by bending all perforation lines and tabs back.

5. Turn the shoe shape face down. Glue the three "build up" shapes together, taking care that all edges line up as exactly as possible.
Position and glue in place a build-up unit on the backside of the sole portion, 
angled edges lined up with corresponding edges of shoe shape.
6. Bend shoe front panels upward to bring the short vertical edges 
to overlap the adjacent wedge tab perf lines and glue in place.

Line up and glue the bottom side straight edges even with the side tab perf lines.
7. Bend the front extension into position to line up the segment straight edges 
with the corresponding side tab edges, and glue each in place. 
Finally, fold the top into position to line up octagon straight edges 
at the corresponding segment tabs, and glue each in place. 
Use the octagon hole as finger access to help apply pressure to edges being glued.
8. Apply glue at the edges of the build-up octagon inside shoe, then insert non-tab end of leg into shoe upper opening. Adjust and push until the bottom edge of legs inserts fully into the build-up recess, adjust to ensure legs are perpendicular to shoe bottom . . .
. . . and push against shoe bottom until secure.
Complete two legs (each can be used as left or right.
9. Cut a length of contrast perle cottom or twine, thread a medium size darning needle, then complete lacing detail on each boot upper. Hide ends on the underside, and tie to secure ends in place. Clip excess.
10. Form the upper into a tube to bring the straight back edge to overlap the opposite tab perforation line. Adjust upper and lower edges to be even at seam, and glue in place.
11. Match the front of the show to the front of the upper (where the lacings are) and slide the upper tube over the leg tube. Slide it completely down until they touch, then glue the upper in place, including bottom edge. Push edges together to avoid "show thru" while the glue is securing.
12. Prepare the legs platform by bending back on all perforation lines.
Shape the platform by forming a "tray" to bring the straight side edges to overlap the adjacent tab perforation lines. Adjust for edge and perf line match up, including the wedge tab at the corner angles, then glue in place. Complete the four corner seams.
NOTE: the platform shape has been modified in the final cut file from what is shown here. The front lower edge includes a drop-down shape.
13. Bend the leg tube top tabs inward slightly to allow tube end to be inserted through bottom of platform opening (make sure the front of the platform is rotated toward the forward part "toe" end of the shoes). Apply adhesive, then bend the leg tabs back and attach to top face of the platform. Attach both legs.
14. To reinforce the legs, provide some weight and stability, it is recommended that a length of 3/4" diameter wood dowel be cut to insert into each leg tube.
Measure the dowel length to match leg tube, without the top tabs.
Glue dowels in place once you know they fit properly.
15. Prepare the 6 head shapes by bending back all panel sections as the upper and lower horizontal perf lines, and three side tabs.
16. Organize the panels in order, with the narrower side shapes on each side of the wider front (shown here with wood button nose punch hole) and back (top tab includes small circle cutout). Join 2 sides to front, 2 sides to back. Line up the corresponding edges, overlapping straight edge to tab perf line, adjust top and bottom, and glue in place.
17. Bend on the perf lines to bring the upper (and later the lower) straight edge and corresponding tab perf line together, and glue in place. Repeat for the lower seam. Add the second side section in the same fashion
18. Join the front and back head halves by lining up the seams and gluing following a similar procedure. Use the top and bottom openings to help access the seam area to apply pressure to the seams as needed.
19. Bend down the top tabs and glue together where they overlap.
20. Prepare the torso shape by bending back on all vertical, horizontal, and tab perforation lines, except bottom connected tabs, which will bend slightly outward.
21. Form the shape into a tube to connect the side edge and opposite tab.
22. Bend the top tabs inward, fold the top platform "octagon" into place, and glue, adjusting to match straight edges and each tab perf line. NOTE: it may be helpful to line up the "back" long seam first, then adjust the tube shape to help the remaining side edges match.
Use the neck opening as a finger hole to help apply pressure to the seams.
23. Apply glue to the neck tabs of head, insert neck into opening (NOTE: be sure to rotate the head to make sure that the nose opening faces the front of the torso - that is, where the large finger opening is.)
On the inside of the torso, use finger hole to help press neck tabs into place to attach to the underside of the top torso platform, inside the tube.
24. Apply glue to torso bottom tabs undersides, then insert the legs unit, adjust so that corner bends align, and glue in place. NOTE: it may help to attach the front and back tabs first, then the remaining tabs. Reach fingers or narrow tool such as the eraser end of a new pencil under the legs platform to help apply pressure to attach the torso tabs in place.
25. Prepare the jacket skirts by bending vertical perf lines back slightly, top tabs outward slightly, and back "turn out" corner back.
26. Position and attach the contrast corner shapes in place. Attach mini brad through punch holes. Cover the brad prongs on backside with optional circle shapes (found near bottom of the cut file as it opens).
27. Position and attach each skirt, overlapping top edge to torso bottom tab perforation lines, and matching angle perf lines. NOTE that the front has a triangular shape to allow part of platform to show thru. Back tab edges should come close to touching.
28. Prepare the faux cracking mechanism shape by bending perf lines and tabs back, except top end which appears to be a tab, remains un-bent.
29. Form the shape into a tube to bring together the lower portion of bottom straight edge to line up at corresponding tab. Adjust and glue this seam.
Bend tab at bottom of opening back and glue to inside of shape.
Bend the top segments into position, with tab perforation lines to match up with the angled edges of the center portion. Adjust and glue each "facet" edge to corresponding tab.
30. Position the mechanism at the torso back, then insert the two side tabs into the torso slots while allowing the top "tab" extension to slide into place on top of the torso platform.
Apply glue to attach top tab. On the inside of torso, bend the tabs outward and glue in place.
31. Prepare arm shapes by bending back on all perforation lines and tabs.
Form into a tube to bring side seam edge and perforation lines together. Align and glue in place. NOTE: it may be helpful to insert a long tool such as a pencil into the tube to provide a "press against" surface while joining the seam.
32. Bend the top extension into position, tabs bent inward to align edges and tab perf lines, tuck side top tab inward, and glue each in place, taking care to adjust for edge alignment.
33. Prepare the hand by bending on vertical, end and tab perf lines.
Form into a tube, adjust and glue side seam.
Fold end tabs inward, tuck tab inside top of tube, and glue all in place.
34. Apply glue to the end flanges, then insert hand into arm tube (this will be a tight fit)
until the sleeve edge stops at the dash cuts on hand.
35. Bend the cuffs on perforation lines to form a tube.
Match the "left" or "right" cuff to the appropriate arm assembly,
wrap around so that tab will overlap on the outside facet as shown,
then glue in place.
Attach optional stud over tab hole punch.
36. Form the arm rod by bending on perforation lines.
Overlap the straight long edge over the opposite tab, and glue in place.
37. Insert (and glue) rod into one arm unit. 
Determine arm orientation (hand angle should be toward figure's back)
then insert rod end into torso . . . 
. . . and through and out the opposite triangle opening.
Insert and glue to opposite arm unit.
Apply a dab of glue between torso sides and arm inside surfaces
to help attach arms in place further.
38. Position and attach the "mechanism" hollow front panel 
(intended to imply the space in an actual nutcracker where the handle moves)
in place on torso front, bending the top tab into place on torso platform face.
Position and attach the button front panel to match contrast panel edges.
Glue a button circle in each position
(or attach optional nail head accents).
39. Prepare the epaulet shape by bending on perf lines and tabs as shown.
Bend top panel back, adjust and attach tabs at edges.
40. "Ruffle" the fringe shapes to separate each strand.
Bend the center (largest) fringe shape, then attach under the rim.
Attach side shapes in place.
41. Position and attach each epaulet over top of arm and torso platform.
42. Prepare hat crown shape by bending on all vertical and tab perforation lines.
Form into a tube, line up side straight edge at side tab, adjust and glue in place.
43. Insert 5 tabs into slots of TOP brim shape . . . 
. . . while wrapping back 3 tabs around angled edges of brim. 
Bend rounded tabs outward, back tabs inward, and glue in place.
44. Layer and glue together brim rim shapes. Align and attach
at side and front edges of top brim shape, taking card to match as exactly as possible.
NOTE: this "build up" will allow the angled bill brim to stay in place.
45. Bend the brim bill back on perforation lines.
Insert center tab into middle slot. Bend upward on inside of crown and glue in place.
Insert side tabs, bend upward, and glue in place.
"Pop" front edge of bill inside rim build up, first lifting bill edges as possible
to apply glue just inside the rim edge, then pressing edge to attach.
46. Prepare the bottom brim by bending inner tabs upward.
Layer and attach the middle and bottom brim shapes,
matching the outside edges as precisely as possible.
47. Position and attach lower brim assembly to crown assembly,
matching edges.
48. Position and attach front cockade decoration.
Attach side brads (with optional length of chain).
49. Apply glue to top tabs, press crown "lid" into position, adjust edges
and perf lines to match up, and glue in place.
Use the hat's underside opening to reach seam edges to apply pressure.
It may be helpful to employ pencil eraser end.
50. Prepare the "buckler" sash by bending back at perforations, then
position and attach shorter end over bottom extension.
51. Position sash over torso front, bend to wrap at top platform, around side, and to back.
Trim back end if necessary at edge of faux mechanism. 
Glue in place at ends, or other strategic places as necessary.
52. Prepare the face elements by layering eyes and teeth/mouth shapes.

Position and attach features to face area, beginning with nose.
Paper layered shapes are shown here. Or . . . 
. . . use the optional 3/8" wood cabinet button plug instead.
Here you can see the face elements in place.
53. Layer the sword shapes (whole base, contrast "show thru" blade - red here,
top blade - silver here, contrast "jewels" show thru - yellow here,
guard, handle).
NOTE: cut a second set of shapes (excluding base)
to create a matched backside for sword which will be seen.
54. Position and attach sword between right hand and body.
55. Apply quick-grab glue to the bottom brim flanges of hat,
then position over head and press into place to attach.
56. If desired, cut a small section of faux fur for goatee beard 
(approx. 3/4" x 1 3/8" long) and hair (approx. 1 1/2" x 5 1/2" long).
When cutting, take care to cut ONLY the knit backing, not fur.
If backing shows at edges, roll back slightly and glue to create
a furry "clean finish" edge.
Position and attach goatee beard fur under "chin" area.
Position hair with edge tucked under hat brim and attached there, 
and at head surfaces.
Here is the model, finished.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  3. Replies
    1. Yes, it is available as part of a set on, and as a single design through