Saturday, November 30, 2013

Fun Quickie Restoration: Nutcracker

Ever since I saw photos of Alex & Wendy's impressive and beautiful collection of nutcrackers, I've decided that I want to start a similar collection of my own.

Alex & Wendy's Collection:
Check out their amazing house blog over at Old Town Home

I've actually really loved nutcrackers ever since I was a kid, and I remember asking my Mom for one for Christmas many years ago. I still have him, and he can be seen below.

In the past few years, I've looked around for more of them, but I have found them either hard to find, or of very poor quality. I tend to hate sparkles, so sometimes this limits the choices further, but I have found several nice ones at a local grocery store last year, as well as this year.

These three are new, and I bought them last week.

Today's post, however, deals with the newest addition, which I picked up just this morning at a thrift store. I pondered a few minutes about whether or not I should spend the 2$ asking price, as he was missing a piece, and had some flaking paint on the base.

I set him back down, and kept browsing the store, but on my way out, I decided he was too cute and interesting to pass up.

Some interesting features include the hair moustache, the ears, and the fox.

Seriously, how cute is that fox!

I was initially worried that I might not be able to figure out what was missing from his hand, but luckily the internet is a thing, and I was able to find a photo of an identical model. It helped that he is specifically a "fox hunter", because if he didn't have much of a theme, it would have been like finding a needle in a haystack. The sticker on the base reads: © House of Lloyd 1995 - Made in China.

Web photo:

Turns out he's missing his riding crop. I actually found a few other photos. The end is some type of cheap black fabric, but I chose to use thin cardboard instead.

The riding crop was easily made from a small piece of dowel, a piece of cardboard, and paint. To fix the chipped paint, I sanded the entire chipped surfaces (both ends), and painted them in a near perfect match. The slight difference in colour won't show on a surface like this, since it will just look like a difference in lighting. It's much easier to repaint the entire side than to try to paint the patch.

While I was at it, I also did a few other small touch-ups around the hands, to the brim of the hat, and to one boot.

Ta-Dah! I think he looks awesome! The riding crop is a hair longer than the originals on other versions, but I think it looks better (as far as the proportions), and I only estimated the length.

And here's the whole collection so far. My original (first one), which I mentioned earlier is the small teal one at the front with a crown.


As far as the house goes, there aren't many projects on the go, currently. I will be reupholstering the dining room chair seats before my Christmas party (on the 21st), and there will be an update coming soon about the Rosemirlea apartment building, which is currently being demolished. I'll also probably be posting about holiday decorating, etc. so stay tuned!


  1. Lovely post JC,
    That little guy and his fox are very lucky to have fallen in such good hands. You have been very busy since I last dropped in. You've completed stunning projects - congratulations, and I see that you have quite a few lined up for the new year. I'm envious of all these old doors and that writing desk you came across - WOW! "Il y a du pain sur la planche".

  2. You have a nice collection started. I like the fox, too! Dumb question: do they actually crack nuts?

    1. Originally they did, but these modern ones are weakly made, made from cheap wood, and are for decorative use only. The jaws do "work" though, but the swivel for them is just a small nail.

  3. I have a collection of nutcrackers, and unfortunately, many are damaged, chipped,and broken. Some were lost due to a horrible furniture moving company. I began collecting nutcrackers in 1990, and am so upset how mine were mishandled.

  4. I have this nutcracker.I only paid a few dollars for it in the late 90’s. I can’t remember who was selling it, but one of my coworkers had one also. Love Gentleman Fox things and Fox hunt pictures that I have