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How to Make A Cute Christmas Elf on the Shelf Tutorial

Christmas Elf on the Shelf Pattern For a Cute DIY Plush

I love this time of year, for me, it’s just a massive excuse for a big fat craft fest. Making decorations and gifts is my favourite part of Christmas, so I like to start early and drag it out as long as I can. I especially love to make my Christmas decorations with the stuff I have around me. Like with this cute plush Christmas Elf.
Not only does this adorable Christmas elf look really cute on the mantle he would make a great gift.
In this post, I’ve included a full tutorial and free pdf Christmas Elf pattern. To make the Christmas elf even more special and personal you can use a favourite old stripey t-shirt to make him.
Cute Christmas elf on shelf
This Elf is actually a Christmas pimp of some cute softies I’ve been making for friends for years from old t-shirts. All it took to make the transformation them into elves, was the choice of fabric colour, some Elf like ears, a green felt hat and collar. The body of these cuddly toys is stuffed with lentils which makes them weighted so they sit well and can also be used as a festive doorstop.
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What you need to make a Christmas Elf on the Shelf

  • Green stripy jersey fabric approximately 1 fat quarter. If you happen to have an old green stripy t-shirt this would do.

  • Template downloadable here : Elf Pattern

  • Cream or a neutral coloured jersey fabric, no more than 1 fat quarter. Again an old t-shirt would do.

  • Green felt aprox. 1 fat quarter.

  • 2 extra large coconut shell buttons. These are easily bought online and come in various colours.

  • Small amount of fibre to stuff the head and ears. Lentils, green or red or split peas to stuff the body.

  • Needle and thread

  • Small silver craft bell

Christmas elf - full tutorial and free pattern

How to make your Christmas Elf


Part 1: The Elf head

  • With the Elf Pattern cut out 6 head pieces and 4 earpieces with the cream fabric.

  • Using a very small seam allowance of about 5mm sew the head pieces together, like the segments of an orange. Leave a gap at the top for stuffing. You should end up with something that looks like a deflated ball. Stuff firmly with the fiber stuffing and close.

  • Next sew the ear pieces together so that you have 2 ears. Stuff these lightly and then sew a stitch a swirl in the middle of the ear to give it definition.

  • Sew the ears to the stuffed head

  • Make a hat out of the green felt; cut a triangle wide enough to go round the head, fold in half, stitch and turn inside out. If you have one you can stitch a silver bell to the top of the hat.

  • Finally stitch your oversized buttons to the face to make eyes.
    Elf head tutorial

    Part 2: The DIY Christmas Elf Body

    1. Using the Elf Pattern cut out 2 body pieces and 4 arm pieces in your green stripy fabric.

    3. Again using a small seam allowance, sew the arm pieces right sides together, leaving a gap at the top. Turn the arms right sides out.

    5. Stitch the body pieces right sides together, leaving a gap at the shoulders for the arms and a gap at the top for stuffing. Don’t turn out just yet.

    7. Stuff the arms with lentils. Place the stuffed arms inside body and stitch round the shoulders to attach them.

    9. Using the hole in the top of the body turn your elf right sides out.

    11. Next, stuff the body with lentils, make sure you fill the legs, and then stitch to close

    13. Finally, stitch your head to the body.

    Elf body tutorial
    Christmas Elf and buddies - Free pattern
    As you can see to make my softie more Elf like I added a felt collar. This was made simply by drawing round a bowl on some green felt. Cutting out this felt circle and cutting a zigzag pattern into. Then cut a slit into the felt collar so that it can be slipped round the neck of your Elf.
    Christmas Elf on shelf tutorial
    You must admit this Christmas Elf on the shelf looks really sweet on the mantle.
    Instead of using lentils in the past I have used wheat to stuff these Elves. Wheat can be heated in the microwave so the Elves can be used as hot buddies for warming.
    Christmas Elf Tutorial Pillarboxblue
    Finally do you have any good elf jokes? I would love to hear them.
    You might want to checkout my other Christmas decorations.
    Upcycled Funky felt garland
    Giant Christmas Felt Letters
    Upcycled Shuttlecock Angels

    Sarah Harris |

    Saturday 26th of November 2016

    These are so adorable! I love the stripes in their stockings and their beautiful eyes! I feel like these elves can bring forth more magic and whimsy than their red-outfitted "cousin"! Shared on my holiday board - adding to my long list of to-dos!

    Claire Armstrong

    Saturday 26th of November 2016

    Thank you very much! I do love having them sit on my Christmas mantle.

    Vicky Myers

    Tuesday 22nd of November 2016

    These are just too gorgeous, is that possible?? thanks for sharing with the #12daysofchristmasdiychallenges

    Claire Armstrong

    Tuesday 22nd of November 2016

    Thank you !


    Monday 21st of November 2016

    Just brilliant! They are so cute and have so much character!

    Claire Armstrong

    Tuesday 22nd of November 2016

    Thank you so much! I love putting them on the mantle at Christmas.

    Antonella | White House Crafts

    Tuesday 1st of November 2016

    These little guys are cute! Thank you so much for sharing them at The Crafty Corner link party. I hope to see you there again! (new party starts tomorrow 6 am EST)

    Claire Armstrong

    Tuesday 1st of November 2016

    Thank you, I love them too!


    Monday 31st of October 2016

    These look amazing and so adorable. I need to make these. Thank you for sharing and I would love it if you would share at a link party I am co-hosting. I hope to see you there. Have a great week.

    Claire Armstrong

    Monday 31st of October 2016

    Thank you, I did share it with you last week.