It’s a tradition in my family: the women, young and old, attend The Nutcracker Ballet at Christmas time. This year, at the tender age of (nearly) 4, my daughter will be attending and I wanted to make her a first Nutcracker ballet keepsake to commemorate the occasion.
Our Daughter’s First Nutcracker Ballet
To say my daughter is over-the-moon excited would be an understatement! For her first Nutcracker ballet, Elise is ecstatic, overjoyed, a big, pink, ball of bouncing anticipation…
She’s always loved The Nutcracker book and when she became old enough for television, watching the ballets on YouTube became a favorite past time of hers. Her favorite part? The land of the sweets in the second act, go figure.
Real talk: am I worried how she’ll do during an entire performance, complete with the backing of the Pacific Northwest Ballet’s fabulous (and loud) orchestra? You bet. But worrying about it now is borrowing trouble, and I just don’t see the point.
Jeff and I think she’s ready and our seat selection will allow for a discreet, brief respite if she needs it. I believe she’s going to be amazed at the full production of The Nutcracker ballet rather than bombarded by it.
Jeff is staying home as he’s not one for the ballet. #ratherbedoinganythingelse #likesleeping
Supplies for a First Nutcracker Ballet Charm Necklace
In order to make her first Nutcracker ballet just a teensy-weensy bit more special, I made this charm necklace while she was playing with her Model Magic.
Psst: I have included some affiliate links but remember, you don’t pay more if you click on them.
- Clay (oven dried)
- 5 in one tool set (optional, but awesome)
- Clay Glaze
- Metal Chain – I used 20 inches (my girl is nearly 4 and it’s plenty big enough, giving her room to grow into it).
- Silver Head Pins I used 1.5 inch headpins and they were more than big enough.
- Lobster clasps and jump rings (I have a few assorted size packages)
- Two sets of pliers
While Elise was making Model Magic mermaids, I got busy with my ‘grown-up clay’ and made some candy, sweets, and treats pieces. Here they are before baking. Pro tip (from someone who is not a professional): make two of anything intricate.
If you honestly feel you can’t wiggle some clay into semi-recognizable shapes, go to a tweenager-targeted jewelry store and buy up all the kitschy candy charms you can find. I am NO sculptor, so if I can whip out a shake with whip cream, sprinkles, a cherry, and a red and white striped straw, so can you.
Instructions for the Nutcracker Necklace
Step 1: Form your pieces with clay – see the very inspiring note above before attempting. Once formed, insert a headpin into each piece and bake your pieces. I baked mine at 220 degrees (F) for about 7 minutes. Once cooled, paint on the clay glaze and set to dry.
Step 2: After the glaze is dry, use the pliers to bend the hair pin posts to create a loop for a jump ring. Note: if you have any excess headpin, you can cut it off, making sure there are no sharp edges to snag skin or clothing.
Step 3: Once all of the pieces are ready, lay it down and map out where your charms will go. Assemble the necklace by adding the clasps to the chain. Open a jump ring, slip on the charm, and then close the jump ring through the link in the chain. This is the most tedious (but not difficult) part of the process.
Feel free to pour yourself a generous serving of holiday wine to celebrate finishing your very own Nutcracker Ballet charm necklace. I’ll be right over. Just to clarify, I’m coming over for the wine and to congratulate you (but mostly I’m coming for the holiday wine).
If You Need Nutcracker Crafts for Kids…
Next year, while I’m making a few keepsakes, I’m going to set up a couple of crafts for the little one. I found this great set of nutcracker crafts for kids!
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