How to Make a DIY Gnome

Three gnomes placed on mossy grass next to a tree

Rosifan19 / Getty Images

Project Overview
  • Working Time: 1 hr
  • Total Time: 1 hr
  • Yield: 1 Gnome
  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Estimated Cost: $25 to $30

You can't help but smile when you see a festive little gnome, and this simple and easy-to-follow tutorial will teach you how to make one of your own! The surprise element in this craft is that the gnome's body is made out of a sock. If you have socks whose mates seem to have been eaten by the dryer, this is a great way to repurpose them and turn them into a fun decoration that would make a great little gift for someone this holiday season (or any time of year).

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • Fabric scissors
  • Hot glue gun
  • Pencil or sharpie

Materials

  • Wood bead or ball
  • Faux fur fabric (long-pile)
  • Poly-pellets
  • A pair of socks
  • Poly-fil stuffing
  • Patterned fabric or felt
  • Rubber band
  • Pom-pom (optional)

Instructions

  1. Gather Your Supplies

    Begin by gathering all the supplies you'll need so that you have everything on hand once you're making the gnome. One of the most important components of this craft is the sock you'll be using for the base of the gnome. You'll need one that goes up past the ankle, not an ankle sock. Make sure that it's large and thick enough to hold the poly-pellets without stretching too much, and that its color works with your chosen color scheme, since it will be partially exposed.

  2. Create the Base

    To make the gnome, you'll first need to create a base that will make up its body. Decide how large you want your gnome to be, then take a sock and stretch it out a little bit. Next, take the poly-pellets and begin filling the sock with them (you could also use rice instead). Shake them around a little bit so they fill the sock evenly and you get the nice round shape that you're looking for. Once the sock is nice and round and as full as you want it, tie the top with a rubber band (a twist-tie will work as well) to secure it. If it feels like the sock has stretched out a little too much and is thinner than you'd like, take the other sock from the pair, stretch it out, and place it over the filled sock to double the material.

  3. Cut the Beard

    This step is where the fun really starts as your little creation finally begins to look like a gnome! To make the beard, you will need a piece of white long-pile faux fur. You can purchase it at any craft store or online, and it usually comes in a 9-inch x 12-inch size, which should be large enough for at least one gnome. Take the piece of faux fur, and place it on the gnome's body with the furry part against the gnome and the underside facing you. Take a pencil or a sharpie and draw the shape of the beard, then cut it out. Then, using a hot glue gun, attach the beard onto the gnome's body, starting up at the top near where you secured the sock with the rubber band.

    Warning

    Be careful while using a hot glue gun, so that burns and damage don't occur. If needed, protect yourself with gloves or finger protectors and never leave a plugged-in hot glue gun unattended. While plugged in, use a heat-resistant stand or surface to rest it while it's not being used, and once unplugged, leave it out to cool completely before storing it away.

  4. Give the Gnome a Nose

    Next, take the wood bead or ball you'll be using for the gnome's nose, place a small amount of hot glue on the back of it, and attach it onto the top center spot of the white beard. Press it down for a couple of seconds to ensure that it is secured in place.

  5. Make a Hat

    The last component that you need to make is the hat. To do this, take a piece of felt or patterned fabric and cut out a semicircle. The radius of the semicircle will show you how tall the hat will be, so you can adjust your measurements based on that. Begin rolling the semicircle piece of fabric into a cone shape, checking to see its size against the size of the gnome's body. Once the cone's circumference fits well on top of the gnome, carefully glue down its seam using hot glue to make the hat. Fill the inside of the hat with poly-fil stuffing, making sure that it's filled evenly and the hat can stand up on its own. Then, place the filled hat on top the the gnome's body (hide the seam on the back) and attach it using more glue. Start in the front, glueing it down piece by piece where the white beard ends, carefully going around the wood bead nose.

  6. Add a Pom-Pom (Optional)

    If you want to add an extra festive touch to your little creation, top off the gnome's hat with a pom-pom. You can purchase various colored pom-poms in any craft store or online, and all you need to do is attach it to the top of the hat using a little bit of hot glue. Just make sure that the pom-pom isn't too large or heavy for the hat, so that it doesn't bend it. Once that's done, your gnome is finished and ready to adorn your bookshelf, console or mantel, or to be given to someone as a festive handmade gift!