Nutcracker Museum

Bavarian Leavenworth, Washington

May 2017 Newsletter from The Nutcracker Lady


The Nutcracker Museum is having a contest for students grades 1 through 12 who want to make their own nutcracker. This is a contest for any kind of device that can crack a hazel nut. For more information for the contest--rules, prizes, etc, visit our website:

Amber Zimmerman of Leavenworth Sip and Paint used a river rock and piece of wood to create a delightful example of how a students can create their own nutcracker.


Amber’s nutcracker gives us an insight as to how the early inhabitants cracked the nuts—with stones. Later they developed simple wooden lever nutcrackers with two pieces of wood tied together with leather strings. Later the same method was used using a metal hinge.


A hammer makes a good nutcracker, and here are two examples that will give you an idea. A decorative hammer could be used with a wooden base like that in Amber Zimmerman’s creation.

Here is an example of dropping something heavy to crack a nut. The heavy wooden block, drilled with two holes, slides down the dowels to break the shell of a nut, and the other device shows a metal ball dropped on a nut.


These nutcrackers show how a moveable lever mounted to a bowl or other container can crack a nut by applying pressure to the handle.

An ingenious tabletop nutcracker is made with shaped pieces of wood and small dowels. The handle swivels on one dowel while the others solidly hold the other pieces together. The second one uses screws instead of dowels.


The Penguin is made up of a thick center piece with thinner wood pieces attached. A metal hinge allows the head to be lifted to receive the nut. Note the indentations which hold the nut in place.

The long nosed gentleman is constructed like the Penguin above, with a thick center piece and a metal hinge to lift the head. This other penguin is made of rounded pieces, and also hinged at the head so the nose is lifted to crack the nut. The gentleman with mustache and hat is made of wooden dowels and other wooden pieces, and opens like the traditional Christmas nutcracker with a handle at the back.

Older students who are learning how to weld can make a nutcracker similar to this one with horseshoe base. By lifting and lowering the wrench handle the nut is cracked by the hammer head.

Now you have seen many different ideas for students to make their own nut cracking device, so…


Arlene Wagner, The Nutcracker Lady

Leavenworth Nutcracker Museum





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Federal ID #91-2143303

A Non-Profit 501(c)3 Organization


Contact Us

735 Front Street
P.O. Box 2212
Leavenworth, WA 98826

(509) 548-4573

Open 7 Days a Week
1:00PM - 5:00PM

Nutcracker Museum Mission Statement:

"To foster and encourage the interest of the general public of the importance of nuts in the diets of humans throughout history and in the evolution of the nutcracker. No other tool or collectible has shown such a wide diversity of material and design as the implements used to crack the hard shell of a nut"

Museum Admission:

Adults  - $5.00  (Ages 17 - 64yrs)
Seniors - $3.50  (Age 65yrs +)
Youth   - $2.00  (Ages 6 - 16yrs)
Child    - FREE   (Ages 0 - 5yrs)
Active Military - FREE (Spouse & Children Free with ID)