Make your Own Elf on the Shelf!

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Would you like to make your own, unique elf on the shelf? This one comes complete with little belled booties and a hat, a bag to store his goodies and a free template to make him super easy to make. Whoop!

It’s not too early to talk about christmas is it? Never! I was in the shops about a month ago  (a MONTH. Now that is too soon!) when I saw the little Elf on the Shelf thing. That thing has got it’s marketing pegged. £30 for a felt/plastic doll and a little book! I do like the idea of a cute little elf that sits happily on your shelf throughout December though, so I thought I would make my own, and share it with you. So you can too. I tried really hard with this one – I wanted him to be special. I hope you like him!  

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You will need:

  • Elf Template
  • pale beige thick cotton (about 25cm sq)
  • 3 matching Christmas print cottons (about 30cm sq of each) – I used red, grey and beige
  • green cotton (about 15cm sq)
  • brown felt (about 15cm sq)
  • scraps of pink and white felt
  • scrap of thin iron on interfacing (optional)
  • black and red embroidery thread
  • toy stuffing
  • 1 medium and 2 small bells

Please note all seams are sewn with a 5mm seam allowance unless stated.

1. Cut out all the pattern pieces as indicated on the template. Pin the front and back hair pieces onto the head pieces and sew in place right along the bottom edge of the hair.

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2. mark in pencil some eyes and a little mouth and back stitch with embroidery thread in black and pink. Cut some small circles from pink felt and sew these in place along the edge.

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3. Pin the ears onto the side of the face, facing in with the edges lined up. Sew just along the edge to secure. Place the head pieces right sides together (RST) and sew.  Snip round the curves in the seam allowance and turn out carefully.

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4. To make the arms and legs, pin and sew the hand pieces onto the arm pieces, facing in, with the flat edges lined up. Fold out and press. Pin and sew the arm pieces together. Pin and sew the leg pieces together, then turn and stuff all the limbs.

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5. Add a little knee hinge to the legs by sewing across the centre of each leg.

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6. Fold the long edges of the jacket over twice by a few millimetres. Pin and sew to create a neat edge. Repeat for the bottom edge.

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7. Place the grey body piece face up on your table, then lay the jacket pieces on top facing up, with the top raw edges lined up. Pin and sew along the side edges. Pin the arms onto the right side of the red body piece, facing inwards with the raw edges lined up. Sew along the edges to secure. Then pin the front body piece on top, RST and sew together along the sides.

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8. Fold the top edges of the body in to hide the raw edges, and insert the head. Hand sew to secure. Pin the collar piece on around the neck and sew on using decorative embroidery thread. I added a little red flower onto the ends of the collar to make him extra special. And possibly a bit camp…

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8. Pin the legs onto the bottom of the front body piece, RST. The legs should be pointing upwards with the edges lined up. Sew in place and stuff the body.

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9. Cut tabs into the base piece, about 3cm apart and 1cm long. Pin the tabs inside the body then hand sew in place. Leave about 4cm open. Pour in the rice through this hole to add weight then sew up his little bottom.

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  1. For the hat, pin and sew the hat trim RST to the base of the hat (lined up with the straight section of the hat). Fold the raw edge under, pin and sew leaving a trim of 5mm. I used a contrasting thread and sewed along the centre.

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  1. Pin and sew the hat pieces RST. Cut a little holly from a scrap of green fabric (I added thin fusible webbing to the back to stop it fraying) and sew this on the hat using red embroidery thread to resemble a berry. Hand sew the bigger bell onto the top of the hat. So festive!

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12. To make the boots, fold a little red fabric over the tops (like bias binding) and sew to hide the raw edges. You can do all the boot pieces in one lot to save time!

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13. Pin and sew the boots together, then sew a little bell onto the end of each. Slide the boots onto his little feet.

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14. For the bag, well, I kind of guessed this as I went along so it’s not so easy to describe! For the strap I cut a long strip of fabric and folded it over to hide the edges then sewed with a decorative thread. For the bag, I cut another strip (about 20 x 6cm), then folded and sewed the raw edges in. I then sewed two sides partly up to make the bag part and folded the other side in to make the flap (flap?!) part. I hand stitched the straps to the back and added a nice little button to the front.

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So there you go. I think he’s way cuter than the one you can buy, cheaper (like, loads cheaper!) and more personal. I haven’t tried so hard on a project for a long time… I hope the kids like him. And I hope you do too!  We’ll have lots of DIY Elf on the shelf ideas in part 2 of this post next so keep your eyes out for that.

Tia xx

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