Ever since a visit to Denmark I really liked the Scandinavian Christmas gnomes (or tomte, nisse. ...) for decoration during the holiday period. After a lot of DIY for our wedding, we sort of fell into a black hole after the wedding was over and we were in desperate need for a new (small) project. With Christmas on it's way, the internet exploded with Christmas decoration ideas. My love for the Scandinavian Christmas gnomes was reborn. After a little more searching, I decided to craft some from fluffy Christmas socks, both for decorating our own house and for gifting to family and friends.
Step 1: Materials and Tools
For one gnome you will need:
- 2 fluffy (chenille) socks in different dessins to your liking
- 1 simple sock
- Fake fur, about 10x10 cm (4x4 inches)
- Skin colored fabric, only a small piece
- Rice, approximately 500 grams (2.5 - 3 cups)
- Pillow stuffing
- 2 rubber bands
- Rope, about 20 cm (8 inches)
- Wire, about 30 cm (12 inches)
Furthermore, you need some tools to help you make the gnomes:
- Glue gun
- Exacto knife and cutting mat
- Measuring tape
- Sewing pins
- Sewing machine or needle and thread
Step 2: The Rice of the Gnome
The basic structure of the gnome consists of a simple sock stuffed with rice.
- Take a simple sock and fill it with the rice. I found it easiest to use a funnel.
- Close the sock with a piece of rope. It can be handy to first close the sock with a rubber band.
- Cut out a circle with a diameter of approximately 5 cm (2 inches) from the skin-colored fabric.
- Isolate a bit of the sock with rice to create a nose. Wrap around the skin-colored fabric and tie it with a piece of rope (again, using a rubber band first can be handy).
Step 3: The Gnome Cone
The basis for the hat is created by using pillow stuffing.
- Fill the remaining part of the sock with pillow stuffing.
- Close the sock by sewing it in a cone shape. Using sewing pins can be helpful. I used a sewing machine, but of course this can also be done by hand using needle and thread.
- Use hot glue to attach the cone to the rest of the body to create a better gnome shape.
Step 4: The Body Socking
The body of the gnome is covered by a fluffy sock.
- Cut the sock just above the heel.
- Put the sock over the body, right under the nose.
Step 5: Hurry, Add Some Furry!
Now it is time to add a beard.
- Measure how wide and long you want the beard to be.
- Mark the beard on the back of the fake fur.
- Cut out the beard using an exacto knife. Don't use scissors, because you will trim the fur on the outline of the beard.
- Glue the beard to the body using hot glue. You only need to glue the top edge.
Step 6: Sock Head!
Time for the finishing touch!
- Stick a piece of wire through the top, all the way to the bottom.
- Make a loop on the top end, so that it is not sharp.
- Place a fluffy sock over the wire and cone.
- Fold the edge of the sock twice.
- Glue the edge of the sock to the bottom sock.
Step 7: The Gnome Family
Voila, your gnome is finished! Once you get the hang of it, you will see that it is really easy and doesn't take a lot of time to make one. You can make an entire family of gnomes to give away during the holidays. I finished 14 of them in just over half a day. Be creative! Make braids instead of a beard for a female gnome, model a mustache in the beard, add buttons or other decorations, ..... The possibilities are limitless!