Elf on the shelf tutorial
So without further ado, here she is...
Ready to make your own? Other then a sewing machine and associated notions here's what you need:
Fabric for dress body and sleeves
Fabric for tights (legs)
Fabric for shoes
(I used fat quarters for the above)
Twill or similar fabric for face
Felt for hair
Felt for mittens
Felt for ears (I used the same color felt for the ears that I did for the mittens, ivory)
Felt for trim on shoes, mittens, collar, and hat.
Felt for hat
18mm jingle bells
Poly beads or rice/lentils
Hot glue gun
1. Print out your templates (click on template tab located below blog header). I like to use freezer paper for my pattern paper, so much easier to iron it down then to pin, seems more accurate for me too.
2. Cut out your pieces. You need 2 dress bodies, 4 sleeves, 4 mittens, 4 tights, 4 shoes, 4 ears, 1 face, 1 back of hair, 1 front of hair, 1 hat.
3. I started with the legs but you can start with whatever appendage suits your fancy. Take one shoe and one leg line up edges with right sides together and sew using a 1/4 inch seam allowance. I used 1/4 inch for the whole project. Iron seam flat.
4. Repeat 3 more times making sure you sew 2 with the toe of the shoe facing towards you and two facing away so that they match up when you sew the two pieces of each leg together.
6. Sew around.
7. Clip toe point on shoes and clip curves
8. Turn inside out. I have to admit this isn't the easiest but it can be done...be patient and take your time. My secret weapon is a bamboo knitting needle or if you have a tool specifically used for turning then that works too.
9. Once turned fill with poly fil. Take care not to over stuff otherwise when you get to the step where we make a doll sandwich it will be really tough to close and sew around. It just needs to be squishy not stiff. I also did not stuff the toes of my elf's shoes but this is a personal preference.
Now on to the arms.
10. Line up edges of one mitten and one dress sleeve with right sides together and sew together. Iron seams flat.
11. Repeat 3 more times, again making sure that 2 are with thumb towards you and 2 with thumb facing away.
12. Put RIGHT sides together making sure seams match and sew around.
The picture above shows wrong sides together proving that I should never sew before having coffee. Ha! I was so frustrated with myself that I forgot to take a corrected picture. So please use your imagination.
13. Turn inside out...the felt is bulky so for me rolling up the mitten was helpful.
14. Fill both arms with poly fil, again taking care not to over stuff.
Now that the legs and arms are done we can move on to the head and body.
15. Take front hair piece and place on top of face piece.
16. Sew hair to face. You can either machine sew or embroider. I chose to embroider using a chain stitch.
Before doing this elf I didn't know many stitches including this one until I found Stitch School by way of Homemade by Jill. It's a very helpful website for novices.
An elf just isn't an elf unless it has those cute ears.
17. Take two of the ear pieces and sew together. Since they are out of felt they will not fray so no need to turn them inside out (YAY!)
18. Trim edges.
19. Take face and one dress body piece and place them right sides together.
20. Repeat with back of hair and other dress body piece. Iron seams flat.
Hungry? Cuz now it's time to make an elf sandwich. :-)
21. Take the face and dress piece and place on surface right side facing up. The next step is easier to show with a picture.
22. Do the same with the arms (and yes those are drawn in arms-again, coffee before crafting!)...make sure thumbs on each arm are facing each other...trust me it is not fun to realize this after the fact.
23. Place other dress body and hair piece on top with right side facing down.
Please notice in above picture ears are pinned the wrong way (Aaarghh!)...see below how they should be.
24. Sew around leaving opening at top of head and turn right side out.
25. Take some poly beads or rice/lentils and put in doll body. This will help weigh it down so that it sits better on your shelf. Next fill with poly fil as little or as much as you like.
26. Stitch opening closed using a whip stitch. Don't worry how it looks since it will be covered by the hat.
30. Cut out and then hot glue onto doll and hat.
31. Take buttons of your choosing and glue onto front of dress.
Almost done only a couple more steps!
32. Take your jingle bells and with a needle and thread or embroidery floss, thread through the tip of the toe and then through the loop of the bell. Pull off needle so that you have two ends of the thread. Tie a tight knot to secure bell. Repeat on other toe and tip of hat.
33. Hot glue hat to head.
34. Draw the face I provided or your own using a disappearing ink fabric marker. Using a very small bristled paint brush, paint on face using craft paint.
Here is a close up of my elf's face.
35. Now pat yourself on the back and go introduce this new tradition to your family! And don't forget to name her!