I love advent calendars and have been trying to come up with a fun one to add to my home for a while. Scandinavian Christmas decor has become really popular recently and I’m totally on board. These little Nordic inspired gnomes are so easy to make and fit right it with my current Christmas decor. I can’t wait to start using my advent calendar in December!
What You Need:
- 24 Paper Mache Cones (I used ones about this size, just remove the strings)
- Felt in holiday colors
- Darice Craft Fur
- 5/16 inch Wood Beads
- Hot Glue
- Acrylic Paint
- Detail Paintbrush
- Velcro Coins
How to Make It:
First, create a template with paper for your cones. I found that the above shapes worked best for me, but there was still a little bit of paper mache exposed in the back. You’ll need a different shape if you want to avoid that. I had a lot of trial and error to get to these shapes, so I highly recommend you play around with paper before cutting in to your felt. My body shape was about 1/2 inch longer than the circumference of the bottom of my cone. The hat from point to point horizontally was also about 1/2 inch wider than the circumference about 2 inches down from the top. The point of the hat is also a little taller than the cone so you get a nice point.
Trace out the templates onto your felt pieces. I chose 3 different colors and made 8 of each color hat and body. Plug in your hot glue gun and cut your shapes out while it heats up.
Now, take your craft fur sheet and brush all the fur upward like above. Start from the bottom and cut out little triangles about 1 inch wide at the bottom along the bottom of your fur. Try to avoid cutting through the fur, just the canvas. This will make the beards look a little fuller.
This is what your beards should look like. Once I reached the end of my first row of beards, I brushed the fur upward again, and cut off all the scraps left over so I had a nice straight line at the bottom of the fur. When cutting the line, make sure you’re cutting through just the canvas, and not giving the fur piece a trim as well. Continue this process until you have 24 little beards.
Take your first cone and a body shape. Glue a line that’s about 1 inch along the bottom of the cone and line up the shape as shown above.
Continue with the line around the whole bottom of the cone, attaching the felt as you go. When you get to the other side, glue the edge over where you started.
Make a line around the edge of one of the beards you cut out and glue it slightly below the top of your body piece like above.
Now take a wood bead and glue it right at the point of the beard.
Lay a hat piece across the top of your cone and have the center overlay the wood bead a little bit.
Flip the cone over and glue a line from the top of the cone to where the bottom of the hat will lay and press down one side of the felt.
Overlap with the other side of the hat with a little glue.
One down, 23 to go! I found this was easiest when I made them assembly line style. I started with the red bodies and alternated hat colors, then moved on to the next color body and so on.
Now it’s time to make the numbers!
(a quick note about the numbers: I prefer advents that change every day, rather than the ones with treats or activities in them. I’m typically a little to busy for activities, and if there’s candy in the house, I will eat it even if I’m not supposed to. If you want to put things underneath the cones, you could also just paint the numbers directly on the hats and skip the next few steps. I would recommend painting them while the pieces are still flat, after cutting them out.)
Use a coin like a quarter as a template for your circles and create 24 on your sheet of felt. Cut out the circles and paint your numbers on them.
Take just the rough velcro coins and stick them to the backs of each circle. The rough side sticks straight to the felt pretty well!
Stick the numbers onto the gnomes’ hats and remove them every day in December leading up to Christmas. I’ll just be putting the numbers underneath the gnomes, but you could make a cute little basket for them as well.
Put a little strip of paper with an activity on it, a small piece of candy, or a little holiday themed trinket underneath the gnomes for extra fun and holiday cheer.