Thursday, 20 October 2011

Photo Tutorial: Felt Gnomes

Every winter my grandmother and I have gone to the Gardiner Museum's "12 Trees of Christmas". If you have never been, or even heard of this event, the Gardiner Museum of Ceramic Art showcases 12 different Holiday trees decorated by local designers. Each one has a theme, and they range from traditional to abstract. It is a great tradition for my family and if you are in the Toronto area around the holidays I would highly recommend a visit.

Since I decided that I wanted to make all the ornaments for my tree this year I decided that I wanted a theme to help me decide on the ornaments I would craft. I choose "Winter Woodland" and have been happily "pinning" ideas on Pinterest ever since. The decision to have a woodsy theme - combined with the fact that I recently watched Gnomeo and Juliet - inspired me to look for gnome patterns.

For last weekend's ornament craft, I was inspired by this Ravelry pattern. I decided that instead of knitting these little guys I would re-create them with felt. Me, NOT knit something? Shocking I know! Not to worry though, I have lots of knitting Christmas ideas :) I hope you enjoy this Felted Gnome recipe!


Toilet Paper Rolls
Felt in assorted colours
Yarn in beardy colours: white, grey and tan
Polyfill Stuffing
Optional: Embellishments, such as buttons

You will also need sharp scissors, a glue gun and a medium circle shaped object to trace (I used a bowl)


1. Make the body: Cut your toilet paper roll so that it is about 3" long. Mark a piece of felt in desired colour at the rolls height and cut out a long strip. Put a line of glue down one of the short edges of the felt strip. Attach the TP roll. Adding more glue, roll the TP roll along until completely covered in felt. Snip felt to the correct size and glue down. Trim the felt if there is excess along the top or bottom.

2: Make and attach the beard: Take the yarn and wrap it around the span of your hand loosely until you have enough to make a busy beard. Then cut at the top and bottom of the yarn loop. Use a longer piece of pre-cut yarn to tie the beard strands together near the top. Make sure to knot this tightly and multiple times so that your beard doesn't fall apart.

Next, put a large dollop of hot glue on the inside of the TP roll on the opposite side of the roll from the felt seam. This will ensure that the seam is on the back of your gnome. Quickly press the top end of your beard (where it is knotted) into the glue. Hold in place until completely dry. At this point your beard will look rather long and shaggy. Don't worry, you will give him a trim later on.

3. Make the nose: Take a small circular piece of felt in a skin tone for the nose of your gnome. Put a tiny bit of polyfill stuffing in the centre. At this point you can either fiddle with the glue gun to close the nose, or you can sew it shut so that it makes a small felt ball. Don't worry about making this perfect. As long as it looks roughly like the one in the picture it will be a good gnome nose.

4. Make the gnome hat: Trace a medium sized bowl onto your felt. I used a bowl that is approximately 6" in diameter. From your circle cut out 1/4. Cut the remaining 3/4 into 2 roughly equal pieces. This will make 2 gnome hats.

Once you have your hat piece run a line of glue along one of the straight edges and then fold the hat in towards the middle. Do the same with the other side to create a cone shape. 

5. Attach the gnome's hat: The first place you want to attach the gnome's hat is at the back. Line up the seam on the body with the seam on the hat and glue them together. Next run a line of glue along the top of the roll on the right or left side and attach the hat, then repeat for the other side. Make sure the glue dries before you move to the next area or the hat will slide around.

Once you have attached the back and sides of the gnome's hat, its time to add the nose. Spread the gnome's beard in the middle, put a dollop of glue on the back of the nose and push it into the beard, so that it will be partially obscured by the hat. You may also want to add a small dab of glue to the top of the nose to affix the hat at the front.

To finish the hat, stuff it will polyfill stuffing to get the desired shape. You can use the blunt end of a pen or pencil to help you move the stuffing up into the top of the hat and to make sure it is stuffed evenly.

6. Finishing you gnome: At this point you will want to trim your gnome's beard. I suggest doing this over a bowl so that you don't get little yarny bits everywhere. You can stop here if you like, or you can add embellishments, such as buttons, or small stars or snowflakes to give your gnome a fancier look.

Repeat this process and before you know it, you will have an entire Gnome army to take over any holiday gathering. You can use these gnomes as a table decoration, or you can string yarn through the top if their hats to make ornaments for the tree. Enjoy your new gnome friends!

Happy Crafting!



  1. Seriously cousin have just too much time on your hands. LOL.
    The fact that I am reading and responding says speaks volumes about my Friday night as well. Lots of love.

  2. We made elves for our Christmas crafts, I have been looking for other things to make with the kids using recycled products. We are planning a Woodland Gnome Party and this is such a great craft!!! Thank you!!!