A couple who were quoted over a grand for a life-size nutcracker, decided to take the decoration into their own hands and do-it-themselves.
Nicki and Steve Jeffs, both 32, were gobsmacked by the price of nutcrackers online so made their own 7ft version, spending only £40.
Nicki, who works for the NHS, told money-saving community LatestDeals.co.uk: "I really wanted a giant nutcracker and was Googling how much they cost. I couldn’t believe it – they cost up to £1,200 to buy new."
The couple from Gloucestershire went to a scrap store and bought all the materials they needed, saving a hefty £1,160.
She said her top advice would be to go to local stores to ask for their expertise and look around at what you already have as you can recycle lots.
She also said to get inspiration from the internet as they even looked at Tiktok and to most importantly, have fun with it.
Nikki said: "I am so proud of what we have achieved as it’s turned out great!
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For any aspiring DIY'ers, she said: "If people want to make one, they should definitely look out for a local scrap store to help keep the cost low."
On how they made the impressive nutcracker, Nicki explained: "We used wooden barrels to make the structure of the hat, face and body.
"We then used long postal tubes for the arms and legs.
"We sectioned it and spray-painted it with the colours we had decided to go for.
The couple managed to stick all the pieces together with a hot glue gun.
Breaking down the costs, Nikki said: "We bought most of our materials from a local scrap store so the total price came in below £40. At our local scrap store, you can just fill a bag for £7.
“The barrels were £4 each, the arms and legs and decoration materials were £7, the spray paint was £20, the glue sticks were £2 and the felt was £1.
As for difficulty, she said that: "The hardest part was making sure the barrels lined up together so it sat flush and didn’t overlap."
When it came to accessories, Nikki made the nutcracker's 'hair' from a spare bit of wool and the buttons out of bottle lids spray painted gold.
She also bought baubles to create the shoulders and hands on the figure.
Creating the entire decoration took about five days as they had to wait for the paint and the glue to dry.
Nikki said: "I am very pleased with how he has turned out and I am so glad I was able to do it at a reasonable budget."
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The couples creation is over seven feet tall so it towers above both of them.
The pair are really happy with themselves for managing to keep costs low as it shows other people they do not have to spend a fortune to get something they want, they also hope it encourages other to try DIY too.
Nikki set herself a budget to not go over £100 so when they kept costs below £40, she was: "over the moon."
"It will never look exactly like the ones they sell for £1,200 but I am so happy with the way it’s turned out."
The experience of making something was even more special than buying a ready made one as Nikki explained: "I love it even more as it’s personal as me and my husband made it together.
"I am over the moon with the amount of money I’ve saved!" She said, overjoyed.
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