The toy soldier (and friends)

Rather close to Christmas, the girl and her daddy went to see Santa and she asked very seriously for a toy soldier. We knew that what she wanted was a toy soldier as seen in the Nutcracker ballet which has been very popular in our house this fall. I had already looked everywhere for a set of Nutcracker dolls or ornaments and while there were many sets out there, nothing seemed quite right. Or affordable for that matter.

So I added another project to my list and worked surreptitiously in my notebook (lots of math) and on the miter saw in the basement. The dolls are made of wood and the style is influenced by old-fashioned clothes peg dolls but made mostly with dowels and wood pieces I already had on hand.

wooden toy soldier with working drawings

Later I completed a few more of the characters—Clara, Nutcracker Prince and the Mouse King—and she got them on New Year’s Day when we shared Christmas with my parents. The girl and her brother have been merrily humming Tchaikovsky and acting out bits of the Nutcracker ever since. What more could artistic/musical parents want?

Clara, Nutcracker Prince and Mouse King wooden ornaments

I may need to add wood-working as a category to my blog, I enjoyed this project very much (except for those pesky safety goggles). I could probably use some earplugs and a shop vac as well.



  1. Kiki’s avatar

    They bring back memories of the clothespin dolls I made back when I was 9, 10 years old. Which reminds me of the Babushka dolls WE made at 11, 12. I still have mine!

  2. jan’s avatar

    How nice to have a bona fide reason to do crafting! They turned out wonderfully. Wood working is another of those most satisfying things.

  3. annie’s avatar

    amazing! i’m sitting here grinning from ear to ear. as you might imagine… (please be careful)

    1. Cindy’s avatar

      Bwahaha! I promise to be careful!

    2. livnletlrn’s avatar

      Those are in-freaking-credible! Family heirlooms, right there!

      Classical Kids has an excellent series of CDs about composers, but here’s an especially fun one that might be in your library system:

    3. Andi’s avatar

      These are amazing – wow!

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