How to make handmade gnomes

7 Different Ways to Make Gnomes

How to make homemade gnomes: 7 DIY ideas + bonuses

In this post, I will show you five ways to make Scandinavian gnomes. They look fantastic on their own as holiday decorations or incorporated in other crafts.

These cute little bearded guys became so popular in the past years that you can find them in almost any home decor store.

Crafters and sewers started to make them in all sizes and shapes because they are effortless to make.

I also love them so much, I created my own recycled gnome version, but we will get to it in a sec.

If you want to know more about Scandinavian gnomes, their history, and fun facts, I’ve found an article by Scandification. You should check it out.

Gnomes shouldn’t only decorate your home during Winter. You can create them with fun pastel clothes to turn them into Spring gnomes or in pink to make them cute Valentine’s day gnomes.

In this post, I only included gnome crafts that make the whole body. But at the end of the article, I’ll also share a few bonus gnome ornaments ideas, which only use the head.

Let’s dive in!

Handmade gnome ideas

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How do you make homemade gnomes?

Creating these fun little guys is pretty easy. They are also not expensive, so totally worth the time and effort.

The internet is flooded with gnome patterns and youtube tutorials that show all kinds of variations.

I’ve collected seven simple ways to make Christmas gnomes:

1. Sewing gnomes

2. The no-sew or also known as the sock gnomes

3. Recycled gnomes using egg cartons

4. Needle felted mini gnomes

5. Concrete gnome

6. Crochet gnome

7. Clay gnomes

+ Bonus DIY gnome ornament ideas

Now let’s take a closer look at the different methods and techniques, their advantages and disadvantages, and a few tips on how to use or incorporate them into your home decor for the Holidays.

#1 – Sew a Gnome

The most common way to make these cute little guys (and girls, yes, there is also a female version if you haven’t seen it before) is sewing.

Home decor shops mostly sell this type of gnome decoration, and they usually are available in many sizes and colors.

PROs:

Easy to customize (with and without legs, with fake fur or yarn beard, short or long swirly hats).

You can make them in all sizes, from very small to large gnomes (3-60 inches).

CONs:

You need some sewing skills and a sewing machine. It can be sewn by hand, but it’s very time-consuming, especially the huge ones.

They are suitable for indoor use.

If you use them as outdoor Christmas decorations, make sure you put them somewhere protected from rain and extreme weather. Still, moisture and frost may damage the gnome.

If you want to make one for your porch, check out these DIY outdoor gnomes by Condo Blues.

Ways of incorporating into decor or crafts:

Incorporate small ones in wreaths, tabletop decoration, mantel decor; in a small Christmas town, make them hanging ornaments on the Christmas tree.

Place the large ones anywhere they fit.

Make gnomes with dangling legs and seat them on the shelves, mantel, or window sills.

Tall gnomes with solid, long legs look best on the floor or cabinet.

Grab this free sewing pattern by SewCanShe and start making gnomes!

Also, check out this gnome sewing video tutorial. I love their long hat.

#2 No-sew Gnomes

Sock gnomes are one of the easiest ways to make these cute little fellows. You don’t need to sew anything; with a glue gun and a scissor, you are ready to make an army of gnomes!

PROs:

You don’t need any sewing skills.

Sock gnomes are easier and faster to make than sewing because you only need to tie some knots and glue.

CONs:

You’re able to make only small and medium-tall gnomes; the sock’s size is limiting.

Ways of incorporating into decor or crafts:

The same you would with a sewed Scandinavian gnomes.

TIP! Use kid’s or baby socks to make small ones so that you can incorporate them in wreaths.

Here is a super simple and adorable sock gnome video tutorial.

I had to share this second, youtube tutorial with the rustic farmhouse styled gnome. I think the result is stunning!

They fit perfectly in any shabby chic home or with rustic or farmhouse style. They are a bit more complicated to make than the previous one but totally worth it!

#3 Recycled – Egg Carton Gnomes

I always like to turn waste around the house into home decor. This recycled egg carton gnome is a perfect example. It’s cheap and easy to make. Check out the full egg carton gnome tutorial here.

DIY gnome decoration

PRO:

Conscious living and crafting.

Cheap and easy craft idea.

CON:

You can only make them in a small size.

Only for indoor use.

Ways of incorporating into decor or crafts:

Add them to wreaths or table, mantel, window sill decoration.

Hang them on your Christmas tree.

Add a piece of wire to the hat and turn them into place cardholders.

#4 Needle Felted Gnomes

I love needle felted animals and decoration. The overall softness and texture of wool make them so cozy.

You can make super cute animals and beautiful, unique decorations with needle felting.

And gnomes are no exceptions; they are adorable and have the coziness for the cold season and Christmas.

PRO:

They are lightweight (you can easily turn them into ornaments or add them to your wreath. You can even make jewelry for gnome enthusiasts).

Easy and cheap way to make gnomes decoration.

CON:

You can only make them in small size.

They are a bit time-consuming.

Ways of incorporating into decor or crafts:

Hanged as ornaments, added to wreaths, stocking stuffers, shelf, mantel, or table decoration.

They would also look cute next to a cactus, Poinsettia, or Scandinavian fairy garden.

I’ve found a few amazing gnome needle felt craft kits if you want to give them a try.

#5 Concrete Gnomes

I love concrete pots and decorations. The light grey color and the cold touch of concrete are mesmerizing for me.

Creating concrete objects, it’s pretty simple, especially if you have silicone molds.

I was thrilled when I saw that people actually made gnome silicone molds. I chose three different variations. Type in ‘gnome silicone molds’ in Etsy’s search bar if you are looking for something different.

Making concrete gnomes is super simple: mix the concrete, pour it in the mold, wait for it dry, remove the mold, and paint your DIY gnome (optional).

PRO:

Easy, cheap, and fast way to make DIY gnomes.

You can use them both indoor and outdoor (use an outdoor sealer!)

CON:

They are heavy, so you can’t incorporate them into wreaths.

They may crack or chip if not handled carefully (make sure you use a durable concrete mix).

Ways of incorporating into decor or crafts:

Display them around your home, on the porch, and in your garden.

They look cute on the mantel or window sills too.

For gnomes in all shapes and sizes, check out the MyDecoSE shop. They have them in all sorts of variations. Choose the one you like best!

6. Crochet Gnomes

Crochet as a craft becomes more and more popular. And not only among the elderly, but lots of young women also start to learn crocheting. I totally get it; it’s soothing and relaxing.

I was not surprised at all when I’ve found out that people crochet gnomes. And you can grab free gnome patterns from a lot of sites.

Here is my favorite crochet gnome pattern by Ildikko Crochet.

Or learn how to make gnomes with legs by HanJan Crochet (free pattern included).

PROs:

A cheap way to make gnomes with only a few supplies (you only need some leftover yarn, stuffing).

You can make them in various sizes.

CONs:

You need to know crocheting, at least on a beginner’s level.

Compared to other methods, it’s time-consuming.

Ways of incorporating into decor or crafts:

The same you would with sewn or sock gnomes.

These little crochet guys also like to stay indoors, if you know what I mean (lol).

7. Clay gnome variations

I like sculpting with clay. For making gnomes, you can use air dry clay or polymer clay.

Both clays have their own advantages and disadvantages.

Check out my super simple and cute air dry clay gnome planter.

If you don’t want to sand or paint your gnome sculptures, make them with polymer clay.

If you’re looking for a more traditional, clay or ceramic effect gnome decoration, make them with air dry clay, sand, and paint them.

Here is a cool video tutorial to make adorable clay gnomes.

  • TIP! Use armature from smaller and medium-sized gnomes. You can use styrofoam, cardboard, or paper for air-dry clay and aluminum foil for polymer clay.

PROs:

A fun craft project that you can easily customize.

You don’t need special tools and skills.

CONs:

They are pretty time-consuming (the air-dry clay gnomes: sculpting, letting them dry, sanding, painting, letting them dry, sealing).

Polymer clay gnomes are pricey if you want to make bigger gnomes.

It’s challenging to make bigger gnomes with both clay types.

Ways of incorporating into decor or crafts:

Create mini gnomes for Christmas tree ornaments, jewelry, wreath, and gift decorations.

Medium DIY gnomes fit perfectly on the Christma table, mantel, or window sill.

If you make them smaller and add a wire to their hat, you can turn them into place cardholders or photo holders.

Other ways to make DIY gnomes:

I’ve also found a few other cool ideas on how to make gnome ornaments.

These are my favorites:

Final thoughts about the different ways to make DIY gnomes

As you could see, there are many ways to make adorable DIY gnomes in all shapes and sizes.

Choose the method that fits your skills. Most of them are perfect for beginner crafters too.

You don’t have to buy gnomes; make your own customized guys, and fill your home!

They are not only perfect for Christmas decoration, but also other holidays and seasons. Just change their clothes’ color to match the season (pink for Valentine’s day, light green for Summer or Spring) and decorate according to the holidays with hearts, flowers, etc.

Which DIY gnome idea is your favorite? Have you already tried making gnomes?

Leave a comment!

Related DIY home decor crafts for the holidays:

7 DIFFERENT WAYS TO MAKE GNOMES

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