There’s not very much home decor that I look at and think “I have to have that”.
Except the first time that I saw a Swedish gnome.
These guys are seriously the cutest little things. Their long beards. The fact that you can only see their nose. Their floppy hats.
And yes, some of them have arms and legs that are visible. But the gnomes that really draw my attention are the ones where you can only see their little round noses.
But a quick search on Etsy showed me that these gnomes can run anywhere between $15 and $60. Seriously. $60?! His beard better be made of Vicuña fur and his hat better be made of silk. Just saying.
And while I may not be the best of sewers (I’ve mentioned this a few times over the past couple DIY posts), I figured I could probably make myself one for way cheaper.
So, I used scrap drop cloth from my ruffled drop cloth table runner and scrap fleece from my plush pumpkins, and sure enough, made myself a gnome.
And I am so in love.
- drop cloth
- ruler, rotary cutter, and guide
- sewing machine
- fur fabric
- fabric of any type/color (for hat)
- air-dry clay
- “bling” (optional)
To start out, you need to cut a 4 inch circle and an 11″x11″ square.
Fold the square piece in half and sew the edges together. If you’re using a fabric other than drop cloth, that has a right side and a wrong side, make sure the right sides are together when you sew.
Next you want to sew the bottom piece on. To do this, you want to make sure that the ends match up when you’re stitching. This will lead to a nice, even seam when you flip the body right-side out.
Pour about 1/2 cup of rice in the bottom. This can be optional, but I like the weight that it adds, keeping the gnome upright when decorating. Fill the rest of the gnome with polyfill until there’s about 2 inches left on the top.
Then tie it on up.
Next, I used a paper towel to make a pattern for the beard. I figured it’d be the easiest to cut. So, I folded a paper towel in half, and put one of the edges up to where I wanted the beard to hit. I also knew that I wanted a bit of overhang. So, I made a mark with a pen at the length I needed, and then I cut up at a rounded angle.
I unfolded my “pattern” to make sure it covered the entire front of the body. Like I said – I didn’t want anything to show except the little round nose.
Next, I laid my “pattern” down on the fur fabric and traced it.
To cut out the beard, you want to use a rotary cutter, or a box cutter. Basically, you want to use anything but scissors. Scissors will cut the fur on the front, and you do not want the fur to be trimmed along with the back lining. So, place your rotary cutter on the back of the fur fabric, and push gently on the fabric while pulling up gently. Once the back lining of the fabric cuts, move along. Like I said, you do not want to cut the fur.
And hot glue the beard on.
For the hat, I measured the width of the gnomes body and made sure that the width of my hat fabric was the same. Then I used my guide and cut at an angle at a length I thought was decent. I kind of just winged this. The image above is not the hat that I used. I tried to make a gnome for my mother using the same scraps and had to sew pieces together. It didn’t turn out as floppy as I had wanted it, so I went out and bought new fabric. However, this shows the jist of the step, so I thought I’d share a picture. If you fold the fabric in half before cutting the angle, you’ll only have to sew one side.
Place the hat on the gnome leaving a little space for the nose.
Roll a little ball for the nose from air-dry clay. I purchased this large container of clay years ago and haven’t used it for any projects since. They do sell smaller containers so you won’t have so much left over, but you can also use a little wooden circle if you prefer.
Glue the nose on with E6000. I tried using hot glue at first and then Audrey and I heard quite a loud bang in the middle of the night. Yup. The dried clay nose fell to the ground. Hot glue will not hold it secure. But since putting E6000 on, it’s held very securely. Just make sure you don’t glue the hat on. This way, you can change the hat with the different seasons/holidays.
I kept the gnome hat plain for a while, but really wanted something for the autumn. I’ve been loving sunflowers, so I found these cute little sunflowers at Dollar Tree, and hot glued them on the hat.
I can’t wait to dress up my gnome for all the holidays!