The sewing pattern for this Do-It-Yourself Elf is available in Made By Marzipan’s Etsy shop.
This cute little elf is visiting from the North Pole this Christmas season! Your kids are sure to get on the “nice list” when he reports their good deeds to Santa. But be warned: he likes to make mischief when you’re asleep!
- Do-It-Yourself Elf pattern from etsy.com/shop/madebymarzipan
- felt or fleece, ⅓ yd (2 colors)
- velcro tabs (1 set)
- heavy wire (14 gauge)
- scissors, sewing machine, thread, & hand sewing needle
- wire cutters & pliers (optional)
- hot glue gun
- wooden ball, wooden wheel, & screw -or-
- plastic ornament & acrylic paint
- permanent marker
1) Begin by downloading and printing the two-page Do-It-Yourself Elf pattern. Choose no margins and no scaling. Cut out the shapes along the solid lines.
2) You can use felt or fleece fabric for this project. I’m using red and white, but you can get creative with it. Pin the pattern pieces to the fabric and cut out the number of pieces indicated on the pattern. The X’s on the pattern indicate that you should cut an X-shaped slit.
Sewing the Arms
1) We’ll start with the arms. We’ll add Velcro so that our elf can clasp his hands together. Sew a piece of Velcro to the rounded end of two arm pieces. Sew close to the edge with a ⅛ in. seam.
2) Add scraps of white fabric to the other two arm pieces to make his mittens. Sew in place. Turn the arm pieces over and trim off any excess fabric or Velcro.
3) Layer one Velcro arm and one mitten arm right-sides together and pin. Repeat for the other arm. Sew each arm together with a ¼ inch seam, leaving the top straight edge open for turning.
4) Trim the seams and notch the curves, then turn right side out.
Felt is thinner so it’s easier to turn; if you’re using fleece you may find it helpful to use tweezers or pliers to grasp and gently tug the fabric.
When you reach the mitten portion, you can insert a straight blunt object, like a pen, to help poke out the seam.
5) I’m adding 14-gauge jewelry wire to the limbs so that the elf is posable. Cut a segment of wire to the same length as the completed limb. (You may find it helpful to use wire cutters.)
Then form one end into a loop and twist to secure. You’ll want the finished piece of wire to be about one inch shorter than the limb, so it won’t interfere with future seams. Insert the wire into the arm and push all the way down.
Sewing the Legs
1) Now we’ll make the legs. These are sewn in the same way as the arms, except we don’t need to add Velcro or mittens. Layer two leg pieces right-sides together and sew with a ¼ inch seam, leaving the top open for turning.
2) Trim and notch the seams, then turn right side out.
3) Cut and loop wire segments as you did before, and insert into the legs.
Sewing the Body
1) Fold the body piece in half, right-sides together, as indicated on the pattern. Note the dots on the pattern that show the location of the arms and legs. Position the legs as shown on the pattern, then unfold the body piece and fold the legs upward.
The raw edge of the legs will be aligned with the bottom of the body rectangle. Pin the legs in place. Make certain the wire is pushed down and out of the way of your seam allowance.
2) Poke the legs through the X-slit opening. Fold the body piece in half again, aligning all edges. (The legs will now poking through the slit at top.)
3) Sew together the bottom edge of the body with a ¼ inch seam, leaving the sides open so we can add the arms.
4) Now we will add the arms in the same manner as the legs. Poke the arms between the layers and out through the X-slit at top. Make sure that one arm has the Velcro face up, while the other arm has the Velcro face-down.
5) Sew the sides of the body shut, securing the arms.
6) Trim the corners of the body rectangle, then gently tug on the arms and legs to turn the body right side out.
7) Fill the body with poly-fill stuffing.
Creating the Head
There are two ways to make the elf’s head. You can use a plastic ornament or a wooden ball. First I’ll show you how to make the wooden head.
1) You’ll need a wooden ball that’s 3-4 inches wide. You can find these in craft stores. Some come with a hole pre-drilled, which is fine. Mine didn’t, so I have to drill my own.
2) You’ll also need a 1-2 inch wooden wheel piece, which you can find in the same section of the craft store. This will make the elf’s shoulders and hold the head in place.
Place a screw in the hole on the wheel piece. Add the collar piece to the pointed end of the screw. Then place the wheel and collar piece on the ball piece and screw together.
wheel > screw > collar > ball
3) Use a hand-sewing needle to poke through each X-flap with a running stitch.
4) Insert the wheel portion into the hole and pull the thread to tighten. Sew once more to secure.
5) Tie a knot and shake the elf a few times to make sure the head is securely in place.
The second option is to use an ornament for the head. Select a clear, 3-4 inch ornament made of plastic, not glass.
1) Remove the cap and pour in acrylic paint in the color of your choice.
2) Roll the ornament to spread the paint evenly, then allow to dry completely.
3) You can use the pattern to cut out hair for your elf. Depending on the size of your ornament, you may need to trim it down slightly.
4) Use a hot glue gun to adhere the rectangle portion first around the sides of the head. Overlap the fabric at the slits.
5) Then add the top hair portion. Remember, it will be covered by a hat, so it doesn’t need to look perfect on top.
6) To add the ornament head, stitch through each X-flap. Add the collar to the neck portion of the ornament, then insert into the hole on the body. Pull on the thread to tighten.
7) Wrap the thread around the neck portion a few times, then knot to secure. Additionally, you can use a little hot glue for extra security.
8) Add a face to the head using a permanent marker.
Sewing the Hat
1) Finally, we’ll sew a hat for our elf. Lay the trim piece on top of the hat piece, along the curved edge. Stitch along the top and bottom of the trim piece to secure.
2) Fold the hat piece in half, right sides together, and sew along the raw edge with a ¼ inch seam to create a cone-shaped hat.
3) Trim the excess fabric at the hat’s point. Turn right side out and hot glue to the elf’s head.
Make this adorable Do-It-Yourself Elf and start a magical holiday tradition with your family. The pattern is available for purchase in Made By Marzipan’s Etsy shop.