Christmas Gnome: How to Make a Homemade One?

The end-of-year holiday season is an opportunity to learn a little more about the legends and the characters associated with them, like the Christmas gnomes. Who are they ? Where do they come from ? And how to make it yourself at home?

  Christmas Gnome: How to Make a Homemade One?

When December kicks off, the magic of Christmas is gradually moving into homes. Children and adults (let's face it) marvel at seeing the Christmas decorations put in place, but also seeing the representations of the famous old man with the white beard and recently, those of the christmas gnomes . Behind this name hides a very special little character and traditions that make children happy in some countries.

Who is this little Christmas character?

Like Santa Claus, the Christmas gnome is recognizable among a thousand thanks to his outfit, which is considered strange or a bit crazy. The Christmas gnome is a small humanoid figure, who is often confused with goblins and elves. However, he is distinguished by his large pointed red hat that covers his eyes, his round nose, his long white beard, his small bust and his legs which are either long or short. It also adorns itself with the colors specific to the holiday season, namely white, red and sometimes green.

christmas gnomes

What are the origins of the Christmas gnome?

The Christmas gnome is not an invention of French literature. It finds its origins in the Nordic countries and more particularly in Scandinavian legends . In these countries, it is equivalent to Santa's elf, renamed 'nisse' or 'tomte'. According to the sayings, at the time the gnome served as protectors of the peasants and their crops. On Christmas Eve, several of them brought gifts to good children. For some they are thirteen in number for others they are much more. Since then, in Sweden, families have the habit of hanging these little characters on the windows or at the foot of the tree.

In Denmark, the tradition of 'Drille Nisse', as they call it, goes even further. This mischievous little gnome, also considered a prankster elf, takes up residence on the morning of December 1 near the Christmas tree . He sets up his clogs, the door to his house, his ladder, and his mailbox. Day after day, the gnome will play hide and seek and get busy in the middle of the night, while everyone is sleeping, to pull off his best pranks. In the morning, children wake up with only one desire in mind: to discover the elf's jokes. This tradition is carried by magic but above all by imagination and humour. Something to satisfy the youngest. And on New Year's Eve, Danish families usually leave a bowl of sweet rice porridge for him. According to them, this gesture will bring good fortune during the following year.

How to make a gnome for Christmas?

It exists various tutorials and DIY to make one yourself with very little material . The idea being to reproduce the main characteristics of the Christmas gnome, namely his big hat, his nose and his long beard. Afterwards, you are free to use your imagination to reinterpret the Christmas gnome using other elements or other colors.

Few materials are needed to create a gnome, usually made with this base:

  • A ball of yarn
  • Cork stoppers
  • A glue gun
  • A comb
  • A pair of scissors
  • Pieces of fabric
  • A round wooden bead
  • Decorative accessories (beads, threads, etc.)

Hugo the snail offers you a tutorial to make pretty little gnomes with the children:

With a sock

It is also possible to make a Christmas gnome by reusing socks that you no longer use or that the other pair is missing. It's a good way to save money and use it to decorate your home. The sock will either be used to make the gnome's hat or his body after having filled it with rice for example.

Here is the tutorial from the DIY Fairy Youtube channel:

With fir branches

For decorations outdoors or at home, you can also use fir branches to shave the Christmas gnome . Group several branches together to create a kind of bouquet, tie everything on one end and cover this part with a red fabric that you form into a cone and staple. For the nose, use a cotton ball that you tie discreetly to the fir branches with a wire. And for the body, you can put the structure on a chair or put a bag of rice or sand as a counterweight.

How to make a Christmas gnome hat?

Making a Christmas gnome hat is quite simple. For this, you need to use felt fabric, also called felt. This fabric has the particularity of being more or less thick and of holding in place thanks to its weight. Cut a piece of felt into a triangle, and fold it over to form a cone. To close it you can either use a glue gun or a large needle and thick thread. If you want more fantasy for the brim of the hat, you can use a pinking scissors with a pattern, which can be found in stores in the creative leisure departments.

What is the difference between a Santa Claus elf and a Christmas gnome?

The elves work with Santa Claus, in particular at his secretariat, to sort the letters written to Santa Claus and prepare the gifts. The gnomes are the messengers of the Santa Claus , and posted around the house, they report to Santa Claus in the evening everything they have seen during the day. Placed at the foot of the fir tree, their mission is to protect the gifts.