I’m Elfin’ & You Can Too!

by Amanda Hearn · 45 comments

affiliate disclosuremedical disclosure

I was planning to buy an Elf, but I couldn’t find one locally and really didn’t feel like dropping $30 on one, so I decided to DIY and share the magic with you!

DIY Elf on the Shelf

Cost: Approximately $6 (This may be a bit more if you purchase the supplies online.)

The first thing you’re going to need are some supplies, so head to your nearest craft store and grab the following items from the doll section.


You will also need a hot glue gun, or you can sew it if you’re feeling spunky, though you will likely want some sort of glue for the hair.

The first thing I did was lay out my pieces and then cut out the neck section on my face so that it would fit nicely onto the muslin form.  These poseable forms have feet, and I wanted to stay to true elf form, so I cut them off (poor Elfie) and used some hot glue to stitch him back up.  Once his feet were ready to go it was time to start dressing my elf!

Dressing your elf is really simple.  Using long rectangular pieces of red felt, glue it to the leg.  I chose to have my seam run down the back of the leg.  Once it’s in place simply wrap the felt around and glue down the other end.  I found that making my piece a little wide was best, because then I could trim if needed, but be sure to have enough material as these doll forms aren’t perfectly uniform.

After the legs were covered, I moved on to the arms.  Elfie has white hands, so I put a tube of white up near his hands (for gloves) in the same fashion that I did the legs, but I filled the end with glue and pressed it shut as it dried (be careful! the glue is HOT).  Once the glue was cool enough (not totally dry) I cut the hand shape and pressed the ends shut fully.  Once both hands were done I covered the arms with red felt, just as I did the legs.    The body was the same idea except I used two rectangular pieces, glued the back on and then the front to wrap around his sides to hide the seams.  Easy peasy!

Next up was his hair.  This part I didn’t photograph because it really just requires a bit of playing with adult playdoh.  You can shape the Block of Sculpey Clay however you like, when you’re done pop it (the clay ONLY, not the head) into the oven for about 15-30 minutes at about 275°F (read the instruction on your package).  Allow it to cool and then glue it to your elf’s head.

Once the hair is on you can add his hat!  Cut out a simple 1/3 circle in red and a long rectangle in white.  Glue your 1/3 circle into a cone shape and glue to your elf’s head.  I found that my elf needed some stuffing for his head to be more… well head shaped, so I used some cotton balls to fill in the gaps.  Add your white strip and then you can add whatever neck decoration you like.

All in all I think that our Elfie turned out pretty great!

Don’t forget to buy or DIY your own elf to join in on all of the holiday fun with this cute creeper!


Stay Connected

No spam guarantee.

Amanda Hearn

Amanda Hearn

Founder of The Eco-Friendly Family, design geek, serial tanktopist, content creator, mother, coffee addict, & lover of fun. I am also a partner at Green Child Magazine & Put A Cup In It!
Amanda Hearn
Kim December 9, 2011 at 5:14 pm

Wow that looks really great!

Sharon October 12, 2012 at 4:44 pm

Approximately size did you buy the doll faces and how much did you take off the legs, I went to hobby lobby but they didn’t have the doll supplies. Thanks.

Jes November 11, 2012 at 8:45 am

Where did you buy the muslin doll? Everywhere I search, they’re $+8

Amanda @ The Eco-Friendly Family November 11, 2012 at 12:44 pm

I found mine at Crafts 2000, our local equivalent of Hobby Lobby.

Sharon November 14, 2012 at 6:35 pm

You can also order them online I got mine for like $2 but the shipping was $6 so I did pay like $8 but when I tried to hand make that part it was too time consuming and I kept messing up. Our Hobby Lobby didn’t have one. I also checked Michaels, but they didn’t have one either.

Donna November 27, 2012 at 10:25 am

I looked at Hobby Lobby and Michael’s as well and they didn’t have the stuff. If someone will loan you the book, they have the plush stand alone elf for $8.99 at Target.

Amber T November 29, 2012 at 1:32 pm

This is great! I just added it to to my Elf on the Shelf post, I hope you don’t mind! http://kindacrunchymamalife.blogspot.com/2012/11/elf-on-shelf.html

amber November 30, 2012 at 1:29 am

this is such a cute and imaginative idea. It would of been a whole heck of a lot neater holidays if my parents had done this when me and my brother where younger. i will have to start it as anew tradition when i start having kids

Alese November 30, 2012 at 11:17 am

Today I am posting a round up of Elf on the Shelf ideas on my blog http://2crafty4myskirt.blogspot.com/. I also plan to included a link to this tutorial. Please let me know if you are not ok with that. Thanks!

Peppermint August 28, 2013 at 11:41 am

I love this post. Can’t wait to make one for my Grand Princess.

Meghin November 25, 2013 at 2:59 pm

How did you do the face? Did you just cover the back of the doll with the hair/hat or did you use something else?

I bought two faces and plan on covering the back one with hair.

This was an awesome tutorial, but after having to buy all my stuff online + shipping I should’ve just bought it, lol. But now I can make our little elfs clothes green instead of red!

Amanda Hearn December 2, 2013 at 10:59 am

I used his hat to cover up the back of the head, but hair would work too.

Katie December 2, 2013 at 5:46 am

Where is everyone finding the face, even online? I’ve only seen it offered as “vintage doll face” on Etsy for about $5 plus shipping. The body was easiest enough to find online (for about $2.50 plus shipping). No Michael’s by me have either, none of the Hobby Lobby’s in central TX I visisted recently had either. I borrowed the book from the library, but I really don’t want to spend $20 on supplies when I could just buy the book/doll combo for $25. I’m getting discouraged:/

Amanda Hearn December 2, 2013 at 11:02 am

I was able to find these in the doll making section at the local craft store. You might see if there are any other shops in the area (flea market even?).

If all else fails, this one on Etsy about $5 with shipping. Not idea though. I hope you can still find one locally.

mateus December 14, 2013 at 6:49 pm

where did you buy the supplies. i like it but the hair

Amanda Hearn December 15, 2013 at 11:37 am

I found them at a local craft store. Most should have the bulk of the supplies needed, if not all.

Anonymous January 4, 2015 at 9:12 pm


mateus December 14, 2013 at 7:07 pm

i love that elf its really cute i love it

mateus December 14, 2013 at 11:26 pm

teach me how

Amanda Hearn December 15, 2013 at 11:38 am

Which part are you needing help with?

mateus December 15, 2013 at 12:05 pm

buying the supplies

mateus December 15, 2013 at 12:09 pm

did you put a back on the head

mateus December 15, 2013 at 12:26 pm

where did you buy the face thats what im having trouble with i know where to buy the mulsion doll form and the felt

mateus December 15, 2013 at 12:29 pm

i mean mulsin

mateus December 24, 2013 at 12:16 pm

merry christmas

friend app October 10, 2014 at 4:08 pm

Hi there just wanted to give you a quick heads
up and let you know a few of the pictures aren’t loading correctly.
I’m not sure why but I think its a linking issue. I’ve
tried it in two different internet browsers and both
show the same results.

travel trailer October 16, 2014 at 9:08 am

Your style is eally uniique in comparison to other people I hve read stuff
from. Many thanks for posting when you’ve got the opportunity, Guess I will
just bookmark this web site.

Knife Shows October 18, 2014 at 4:02 pm

Superb blog! Do you have anyy hints for aszpiring writers?
I’m hoping to start my own blog soon but I’m a
little lost on everything. Would you recommmend starting with a free platform like Wordpress or go for a pai option? There
are sso many choices out thhere thast I’m completely overwhelmed ..
Any recommendations? Manyy thanks!

LeeAnn Taylor October 19, 2014 at 10:54 am

How big are the doll mask you use? Thank you!

Amanda Hearn October 25, 2014 at 9:42 pm

The face is about 3 inches tall.

jack December 7, 2015 at 10:12 pm

what does the back look like need to know soon thx

Wisa Ewizabif November 2, 2014 at 7:51 pm

Hey, If you’re having trouble, I’m thinking on using a dollar store look alike Barbie head. and pipe cleaner body, and some felt.
But I like the idea!

Wedding Limos Sydney November 14, 2014 at 1:44 am

Spot on with tnis write-up, I seriously think this amazing site needs much moore attention. I’ll provably be back again to read through more, thannks for thee

alison November 19, 2014 at 6:42 am

Hi should i put the hair all the way around the back of the head? Mines looking good so far, I’m just having trouble with the head and hair.

Amanda Hearn November 19, 2014 at 8:28 am

Because you need to bake it separately, I’d just do the front of the head. I’d try to make it a little extra onto the head so it can be tucked under the hat a little bit 🙂

Mommy2blueberry November 24, 2014 at 1:30 pm

I am making these for my sons and nephew – I love your tutorial and look forward to personalizing my elves. I had a hard time finding doll faces, but eventually found an Etsy site called Mooglamom. She has lots of different doll faces. I messaged back and forth with her and she helped me pick some adorable faces based on my doll body measurements. If anyone else is looking for faces, check out her site!
Thanks again for the tutorial!

Laurie November 27, 2014 at 11:42 am

Joanns online has a doll body on sale right now for 2.99 regular price is 3.99. Some Joanns have doll supplies in store.

Rachael December 3, 2014 at 2:30 pm

I can’t find the doll faces ANYWHERE!! Help me please!

Sheri December 12, 2014 at 11:59 am

I was curios did the sculptey clay cover the whole open back of the head ?

Amanda Hearn January 2, 2016 at 12:34 pm

I just did around the sides and hid the back of his head with the hat.

Renee November 29, 2015 at 11:14 am

Amazon has 6 each dolls for 20$! I bought 6 faces on etsy for $8 and felt at a local craft store for $8! I’m making 6 dolls for the price of 1! And giving them to the neighbor kids and min of course!

How have things to me that you have February 20, 2016 at 1:37 am

Bull by reply email or any other information contained therein by a rule of the day before yesterday but didn’t know that we have been in a while while

Comments on this entry are closed.

{ 3 trackbacks }

Previous post:

Next post: