Soldier ornaments, and not just from the Nutcracker, are popular for Christmas. While the Queen’s Guard of Buckingham Palace in England may not be as common, they are a wonderful addition to the Christmas tree. I am actually British born, though I’ve been in America my entire life. I still have family in England and of course my heritage is there, so this was a fun project for me.
I also wanted to make a lot of them, so a simpler project was needed. I love Nutcracker soldiers but they are pretty detailed and it would have taken quite a bit longer. The Queen’s Guard was a much easier choice.
These are made from doll pins. They are often referred to as clothespins because of the opening in the long end, but their correct term is doll pin. You can also buy doll pin stands, like I use in this project, usually hanging right near the doll pins.
Funny story about how this craft came to be. I was googling for clothespin christmas soldiers in the images section and came across the picture below. I thought they were so cute, but unfortunately when I clicked through to see the source, it was a Squidoo page that had since been removed. I searched a while longer and was unable to find them, so I decided to just use the picture as inspiration.
Well I just now sat down to write this post and did the same google image search. This time an image from Pinterest came up with these soldiers. When I clicked through I was very happy to see the original post on Cassie’s site The Crafty Crow.
Mine are a little different, but I think both options are adorable.
There are full printable instructions below. First you’ll paint the head with flesh colored paint, then the top section with red. After that dries paint the white belt then insert the pins upside down in the stands so you can paint the “legs” black.
After they’ve dried, take them out of the stands and paint the stands gold. Use a toothpick to add gold buttons. Paint some glue inside the stands and put the doll pins back in.
Use a toothpick to add the eyes with black paint, and the handle end of a paintbrush to add the cheeks with pink. Trim one side of a black pom-pom and attach it to the head.
Clothespin Christmas Soldiers
- Wooden Doll Pin Stands
- Wooden Doll Pins
- White craft glue
- Hot glue gun
- Medium black pom-poms
Americana acrylic paint:
- Cool White
- Antique Gold
- Ebony Black
- Flesh Tone
- Baby Pink
- Santa Red
- Place each doll pin into a doll pin stand to make them easier to work with.
- Use a paintbrush to paint the head of the doll pin with Flesh Tone.
- Use a paintbrush to paint the top section of the doll pin, about 1/4" above where the pin splits, with Santa Red.
- Use a paintbrush to paint the belt on with Cool White, just below the red jacket and above the split.
- Turn the doll pins upside down so that the head is inserted into the doll pin stand. Use a paintbrush to paint the remaining doll pin (legs) below the belt with Ebony Black. Use a paintbrush to paint inside the split of the doll pins.
- When everything is dry, remove the doll pins from the stands. Use a paintbrush to paint the stands with Antique Gold.
- Use a toothpick dipped in Antique Gold to add eight buttons to the black jacket in four rows of two.
- Use any paintbrush to add white glue to the inside of the doll pin stands and insert the soldiers into the stands.
- Use a toothpick to dot on Ebony Black for eyes and the end of a paintbrush to add Baby Pink for the cheeks.
- Carefully trim one side of a black pom-pom to make one side flatter. Use hot glue to attach the flat end of the pom-pom to the top of the soldier’s head, adding a little hot glue to the sides as well so that you can press the sides of the hat in place.