Thursday, November 14, 2013

Craft Your Own Elf from a Bead, Pipe Cleaners and Felt-Tutorial

I'd like to introduce... Elfina, my Hand Crafted Elf. Ya gotta love an elf that's having a bad hair day:@) I just had to try to make her after talking about the elf of the shelf! She stands about 6 1/2" tall with the hat, so is a bit smaller but she is bendable and posable. Ultimately Elfina will end up on the tree but for this Christmas she might just stick around the blog for some fun!
This isn't a difficult project but it does take a couple hours.
These instructions are for a girl elf but I don't think you'd have a hard time making clothes for a boy.
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Earl only asks one question,
If Santa sends these elves to watch the kid's behavior...
Who monitors theirs???

On to the tutorial:
You will need:
wire cutters-or something to cut the chenille
One piece bump chenille-the color you want for legs/feet
One straight chenille-the color you want for arms
One straight chenille-for the torso, color doesn't matter
One 1" wooden bead-for head, or you could make the head out of felt
felt-colors you want for clothes
glue or thread-for clothes
something for hair-either paint, felt, yarn, etc.
trim, beads and sequins for decorations-optional
  • Using three bumps of the chenille, fold the second bump in half creating the legs. Leave the long straight pieces under the two bottom bumps so they can be curled for tips of elf shoes.
  • Cut the chenille for arms in half, you'll use one 6" piece.
  • Fold the torso pipe cleaner in half, then bend each side in half again. I used the metallic one because it seems a little stiffer to me?

  • Pull legs down through the center of torso.

  • Weave arms through torso.

  • Twist the torso so the legs and arms are secure. I also wrapped the arms around the torso once.

  • If you're adding beads to the legs, slip them onto the chenille now. I added three yellow rondelles to each leg for a little bling and to look like stockings (I changed them to red later on).
  • Lay the elf on top of the wrong side of felt and trace around the body for a dress. I gave myself at least 1/4" on each side the arms and I wanted a little turtle neck. Cut two. I would make the skirt a little longer next time.

  • Glue or sew the fabric together. Note: I had some green mesh so I gathered it and added a little under her skirt, it was trimmed shorter later.

  • Bend bump in half on each leg to make elf shoes (my favorite part-so cute:@). Round the skinny tip up to form a curl. Add bead or mini bell to end if desired.

  • Draw a hat on the felt (like you drew on the dress), making sure it will be wide enough to slip over the elf's head. Cut 2 and either glue or sew together. Add bell, bead or pom-pom to end if desired.
  • I decided my hair would be gold eyelash yarn, so I chained 12 with an I hook.

  • Glue head onto body, glue hat onto head and glue the hair over the end of the hat. Or... If you are painting on your face and hair, paint it before you add the hat. If you're using felt or some other material for hair glue that on before the hat. 
  • Add any facial features you'd like. I'm not sure I'm going to, kinda like her as is...
  • Curl the ends of the arms up to create hands.
  • Name your elf and smile:@)


  1. Lynn, you are so crafty! I love the elf ;o) xo

  2. How adorable a tree would be with multiple elves on it... Very cute!

  3. Oh, Earl! You crack me up! LOL

    These really are cute. Tanks for the instructions, Lynn. I might give this a whirl!


  4. Oh oh oh oh...ho ho ho!!! I want to make one! How cute and I think I have all the stuff to try! I love elves and pixies...they are my favorite Christmas pretties! Thank you so much for showing us how. Sweet hugs!

  5. OMG!!! i thought she was adorable just burst out laughing at the earl photo!!!

  6. I absolutely love her little booties! Looks like she may need spurs however.

  7. Tiger and I were enjoying your Elf on the pig!! Earl you look great!

  8. Hi Lynnie! Oh, this is so cute. You did a great job and I love the little elf riding Earl! :) I love to embroider. I've found so many cute patterns on Pinterest.
    be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

  9. Oh my gosh, I just laughed when I saw Elfina on Earl!!!!!!!!! She is adorable. I may just have to make one myself. xo

  10. The hair is my favorite part. So cute! I actually love this. It makes me smile. The elf on Earl made me chuckle.

  11. So cute! Where to you find the time to do all these fun , creative things!!!

  12. So cute! I would love to feature this post on my blog. Please let me know if it would be ok. Thanks.

  13. Now that is awesome I love it. Pinning, Those elves aren't cheap but this could be fun for my older kids to make for the little ones

  14. Your elf is adorable, Lynn! I had to giggle at his antics :)

  15. I want to make some of these for my tree! :)

  16. So adorable! What a great tutorial too! You took ordinary things and made magic! I have pinned this, I hope to give it a try!

  17. How crack me up! Poor Earl...he sure puts up with a lot from you. LOL

  18. Yippee! Another craft to add to my list of Christmas crafting! Fabulous tutorial. I know how much work it takes to document the process.

  19. Adorable Lynn! I snorted my coffee seeing her on Earl :) Love the hair!

  20. Absolutely adorable.

    Great to have you at Seasonal Sundays.

    - The Tablescaper


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