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Gnomes for Christmas decorations are quite popular in the last few years. In this blog post, you will learn exactly how to DIY gnome ornaments so that you can create adorable and custom handmade ornaments for yourself and anyone special on your gift-giving list.
Gnomes have long been associated, at least in North America, with garden gnomes, but they also have roots in Scandinavia, where many legends talk of these adorable creatures doing most of the heavy lifting with Christmas gifts rather than Santa Claus! If you’re curious about learning more about the Scandinavian history of gnomes, check out Scandinavian gnomes: A history of gnomes in Sweden, Norway and Denmark by Scandification. I love the detail of the different traditions of the three countries and it’s a thoroughly entertaining read.
The gnome ornaments we’ll make today are based on the general look of these Scandinavian gnomes, so most of their “facial features” are hidden behind a massive beard and a jaunty, colorful hat. The only thing you’ll see is their nose!
These ornaments are simple to make and you can easily create a whole army of them in the space of a few hours. You can also likely find everything you need to make these ornaments at your local dollar store for well under $20.
What You’ll Need:
The best part about this craft is you actually need very little! Gnomes are not known for being overly flashy.
- Felt Sheets (red & green);
- White yarn (I used Bernat’s bamboo yarn, but any bulky weight yarn will do);
- Pink pom-pom (for the nose);
- Ribbon (optional); and,
- Glue gun & glue sticks.
You can find most of these items at your local dollar store or Wal-mart!
If you want to add a unique twist to your ornament, you might find some small sprigs of holly or some other natural Christmas greenery too.
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Start With a Tassel
The very first step to a gnome is to make a thick tassel out of your yarn. The tassel will resemble a head with a beard once the felt hat is attached.
You can use a pom-pom maker to make the tassel, but you may find the pom-pom maker is too small for the size of ornament you want to make. I recommend instead to grab a book.
The width of the book does not matter, but it makes it easy to wrap the yarn into a big enough loop. For my gnomes, I used a regular sized paperback book, but you can use a hardcover if you prefer.
Once you have enough yarn wrapped, simply slide it off the book and use another piece of yarn or a ribbon to secure all the yarn at the top of your loop. This will be the top of your tassel. After that, cut the bottom of the loop to set the “beard” part of your gnome loose.
Next, take another string of yarn to wrap around the yarn about a third of the way down. Tie that into a knot and work the tails of the yarn into the bottom. The top part of your tassel will be the “head” of your gnome and the yarn tails below will be the “beard”.
Forming A Gnome-like Hat
Gnome hats are simple to make. The quickest way to create a hat from the felt is to cut a half circle. The larger the half circle, the larger your hat will be.
Once you have your half circle of felt, wrap the felt around the “head” of your tassel, keeping the round edge toward the bottom of the tassel.
When you’re satisfied with the position of your hat, use a few small dollops of hot glue to secure the hat in place. I found a line of hot glue along the outside edge of the hat was more than enough to keep it on the head.
You can also get creative, as I did with the green gnome, but adding a cute little fold to the hat.
If you’re struggling to get your hat to stay on while wrapping the felt around, you can put a small dot of hot glue on the inside tip of the hat to secure it on the tassel and then wrap the felt hat on.
Finishing Touches on Your DIY Gnome Ornaments
To create that trademark gnome nose, use a bit of hot glue to secure a light pink pom-pom where the bottom of the hat meets the yarn.
Besides the nose, you can add other personalized touches to your ornament. You can glue small circles of different colored felt to the seam of the hat to create the look of “buttons”. You could add flashier touches like glittery pieces of greenery for a more sparkly look, though most gnomes are quite rustic and less sparkly.
I love how simple these DIY gnome ornaments are to make. I made two ornaments in about fifteen minutes, so they are a great craft to whip up if you’re looking to create some handmade ornaments this year. Gnomes are a popular decor item for the holidays. You see them in practically every store for Christmas decor.
I rather liked the low-key look of gnomes even before I learned all the fascinating Scandinavian legends about them. Now I think I like them even more. What’s your favorite thing about gnomes? Drop me a comment down below or tag me on social media!
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Until next time, stay crafty, my friends!!