Pinecone Elves

Memo to Santa's assistants from Head Elf, Creative Department: It has come to our attention that these elf figurines are a joy to make. All you need are pinecones, pipe cleaners, and other simple supplies (no toy-making expertise necessary). 


Furthermore, the charming sprites have many applications. They can be used as decorations on a mantel, under a tree, or atop presents. In conclusion, we expect the little guys to be big hits this Christmas.

What You'll Need



  1. Make arms and legs: Cut two pieces, each about 4 inches long, from brown pipe cleaners. Hold a pinecone (about 2 inches long) so bottom end points up. Tuck one piece of pipe cleaner between the scales of the pinecone, positioning it as the arms. Position the other piece as legs. Secure with a hot-glue gun. Bend ends of legs to make feet.

  2. Make head: Hot-glue a 3/4-inch wooden craft bead (hole side down) to the end of the pinecone. Draw two eyes with a black felt pen. Dab a small, dry paintbrush into red acrylic paint; blot. Lightly dab on wooden bead for rosy cheeks.

  3. Make mittens: Print and cut out the mittens from the elf template. Stack two pieces of felt. Place mitten template on top and trace with a disappearing-ink pen; cut out shapes. Repeat to make another pair. With matching thread, use a tight whipstitch to sew together pairs of mitten shapes.

  4. Make shoes: Print and cut out the shoes from the elf template. Stack two pieces of felt. Place shoe templates on top, and trace with a disappearing-ink pen. With matching thread, use a tight whipstitch to sew one teardrop piece to one notched piece around the point of the teardrop. At the rounded end, pull the notched ends together to make the shoe's opening. Repeat.

  5. Make scarf and hat: Cut out a rectangular piece of felt. For hat, print and cut out template. Trace template onto felt using a disappearing-ink pen. Form into a cone; sew the straight edges together. Use the end of a paintbrush or chopstick to turn the cone inside out. Attach a metallic bell bead by pulling needle and thread up through pointy section and through bell, then back down again; knot underneath.

  6. Place mittens and shoes on elf; if arms and legs look long, remove mittens and shoes and trim arms and legs. Put on hat; it should pitch back slightly. Tie on scarf.

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