Kids Crafts: Traditional Walnut Babies - Red Ted Art's Blog : Red Ted Art's Blog

Kids Crafts: Traditional Walnut Babies

| December 3, 2011 | 49 Comments

walnut cradle craft Hello! Today we share out little Walnut Babies (aka Walnuss Wiegenkinder or Walnussbaby), yet another classic German/ Austrian childhood craft. This is also very special edition of “Kids Get Crafty”, as it is part of the Kids Craft Group “Advent Calendar Activities”. A number of blogger friends have got together to create an activity a day for you to have fun during the advent period. Today I am sharing our little Walnut Babies – so dig in to those seasonal nuts and get crafty!

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Note: Red Ted is almost 4yrs old and I found that he “loved the process”, but did need help. I think replacing our fabric with felt would have made it easier for him.

Materials: Walnut, wooden bead, pipecleaner, glue, ribbon, fabric pieces (or felt)

If you don’t have a wooden bead to hand (which wouldn’t surprise me!!) you can adapt this craft by making the head as per the angel craft from an old pair of stockings. Just tie the pipe cleaner “into the head” as you make it.

1. First you need to split the walnut carefully and try and get two intact pieces. The best way of doing this, is to get a kitchen knife or a screw driver and insert it into any weak spot you can find on the nut. Then on a chopping board, give it repeat taps until it hopefully comes apart. Mine all came apart easily, but needless to say: take care… and if in doubt move onto the next walnut!

walnut crafts

2. Cut a ribbon and glue into the walnut

walnut baby craft

3. Glue the bead onto the pipecleaner. Wrap the pipe cleaner round your finger. This will give the baby a “body” and prop the bead up (i.e. this is the clever bit I got from Zeit Online).

walnut christmas crafts

4. Cut out a pillow and glue it down – it doesn’t really matter which end. In some ways “felt is better” for small hands, as it doesn’t fray. I used fabric from one of Pip Squeak’s babygrowns and had to “tuck it in” for Red Ted…

walnut crafts

5. Glue in the baby and the glue on the blanked (again, felt is easier for small hands, as I had to “tuck” part of the fabric in for Red Ted)

walnut craft walnut babies

6. Draw on eyes and mouth. Now out felt tip did run a little, so you may want to paint these on or varnish your bead first. Red Ted did an AMAZINg “1st face” – just perfect… and went a little vampire like on the 2nd two. But look at his little face, he was SO excited to be doing it. And at bedtime, when his father asked what we did that day, that was all he would talk about!

walnut cradle craft walnut crafts

Hang in your tree and admire.

Like walnut crafts? How about some:

walnuss maus walnut boat

Walnut Mouse Racing or some Walnut Boats?

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Category: Christmas, Kids Craft, Nature

Comments (49)

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  1. Very cute, I need to track down some walnuts. Or go buy some at the store.

  2. Very cute – think I may have to go and have a go at this myself.

  3. Red Ted Art says:

    Brooke & Cerys – do do – walnuts are such a wonderful traditional crafting “material”

  4. Lovely Maggy! How sweet to have a little family if them hanging from the Christmas tree.

  5. Red Ted Art says:

    Thanks Cathy! Our main “problem”, is that Pip Squeak as taken a shine to them and carries them around with her…. no going on the tree (for now!)….

  6. mermaid says:

    Very cute!
    I love them!

  7. so beautiful! Love them Maggy <3

  8. Jen says:

    Love them. Very sweet.

  9. These are SO adorable!! I think I need to find me some walnuts!

  10. Those are so cute. I think he did a lot of the work. This would be perfect for my daughter who is 7. Off to share this wonderful idea.

  11. Red Ted Art says:

    Thank you :-)

    And Art For Little Hands – yes, he helped every step of the way and a 7yrs old should be able to manage perfectly!!

  12. Aleacia says:

    These are the sweetest little babies I’ve ever seen! This would be the perfect ornament for baby’s 1st Christmas!

  13. Esther says:

    Adorable! love them! now we have to buy whole walnuts!

  14. Oh they are soo cute! I love them :-)

  15. Mama Pea Pod says:

    So cute! My mum still has the walnut babies on her tree each year that she bought at our primary school fair (all mum-made crafts) when I was not much older than Red Ted!

    You are such a crafty mum!

  16. Those are very sweet! He did a great job!

  17. Fran says:

    These are adorable! I can see the girls wanting to make lots of these 😀

  18. Ali says:

    Oh I wish I had some walnuts. I want to make some myself… and I am sure my daughter would too.

  19. Red Ted Art says:

    Aaah thank you all for your super lovely comments! Walnut babies really are lovely! Since we started “walnut crafting” again, I always buy a big bag when they are in the shops! And keep them all year :-)

  20. Jessi says:

    Very, very sweet! Do you have any ideas what could be used in place of the shell for those with nut allergies?

  21. Red Ted Art says:

    Ah no, poor you/ child. I was going to do a peanut craft soon and thought about allergies on that one.. but “forgot” the general nut allergy children :-( sorry!!

    Do you have “kinder joy” (like a kinder egg) – this type:

    Or any toy that comes in a ball that you can split in half? You could maybe use part of an egg carton (the dip) or half of a chestnut shell (the spikey outer bit). Or you could cut the “bottom” off a small bottle (like a travel shampoo bottle).

  22. So cute! They remind me of all the decorations that my grandmother used to maker using walnut shells!

  23. Red Ted Art says:

    Aaaah just perfect memories – your grandmother crafting :-)

  24. So lovely! Thank you for posting these!

  25. These are soooo cute. We bought mixed nuts in the shell yesterday. I’m not the craftiest mom, but I will be making these as soon as I get the supplies from the craft store. I like that there will be no glitter. That has been the craft item of choice for my eight year old daughter lately.

    I’m so looking forward to making these and hanging them on the tree. Thanks for the idea! I’m sharing this post on twitter and adding it to pinterest, so I make sure I do it this busy holiday season!

  26. Red Ted Art says:

    HOORAY! Thank you :-) And I rather like things that do NOT involve glitter as well….

  27. This is adorable. I have never had much luck splitting walnut shells but those babies sure are cute!

  28. Bri says:

    oooh my girls would love these! How cute!

  29. Julia says:

    I’ve never seen these before, but I love them! We’re expecting a baby in January, and my kids will surely enjoy making these!

  30. Red Ted Art says:

    Bern – I confess to having had problems cracking the latest batch of walnuts!!! How odd.. the first batch ALL opened! The 2nd batch I get about half! Good luck!

    Bri & Julia – have fun and Julia good luck with the new baby! Hope it all goes smoothly and easily!

  31. Now I am the least ‘crafty’ mum ever, but these are just lovely. I bet the cry less than regular babies too :-)

  32. Love your walnut babies!
    So darling!
    Saw your linky at the Sunday Showcase, so wanted to pop by to say hello.
    Hope that you will come by my blog, Sunrise Learning Lab, and see what we are up to this week.

  33. Ellie says:

    These are gorgeous! Thanks for sharing.


  34. Sarah says:

    How cute!!!! Is there a knack to cracking walnuts without shattering the shells??do share 😉 xxx

    • Red Ted Art says:

      Yes! Instruction on post, but basically with a knife inserted at the back of the “weak spot” of the nut and then gently tapping it. The older the nut the easier…

  35. Love this! I know first graders would love it for sure, too. Carolyn

  36. Kerry Treasure says:

    Shame! Unfortunately I’ve just discovered that one of my little crafters (I had planned to do them with my sons and their friends this week)is allergic to walnuts and cannot even handle the shells! I’m now on the hunt for something to replace the shells that is just as beguiling. Ideas would be VERY welcomed…

    • Red Ted Art says:

      Oh no, that really IS a shame! I can only think of “lid tops”, but I am not sure if they would have the right dimensions. OR…. could you make some air drying clay beds ahead of time for them?

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