Pipe Cleaner Elf Ornaments

Hmm, these look suspiciously like those elves everyone sits on their shelves…

Let me explain, growing up there were two ornaments on my grandparent's tree that always grabbed my attention. One was an umbrella (yep, tried unsuccessfully to make one like it – maybe next year) and the other was a kind of elf with long bendable legs and arms.

After finishing the elf and realizing I’d created exactly what I wanted to – one the first try no less – I was sitting at the table, completely full of myself, when my son walked by and said, “Cool, you made Gladys some friends.” Gladys is our Elf on the Shelf. Crud…that’s when I realized I had indeed made a rather crafty, DIY-ish version of that sometimes loved, sometimes despised elf.

Similarities aside, I’m still so happy with these guys and THEY ARE intended to be ornaments you can pose on your tree branches, I swear! Here’s how you can make your own!


  • wine cork
  • wood bead
  • 1 pipe cleaner
  • green felt
  • red felt or piece of yarn
  • hot glue gun
  • scissors


The easiest way I could think to describe how I put these together was to first go over each piece.


Cut the pipe cleaner in half, use one piece for the arms, fold the other in half and use for legs.

Cut a seven inch strip of red felt (I actually used an old felted sweater) to make the scarf.

The green felt will need to be cut into the following pieces, 1-3”x5” rectangle (jacket), 2-1/2” squares (hands/gloves), 2-1 1/2” trapezoids (shoes), and 1 triangle with a base of 4” (hat).

Fold the green rectangle in half and cut arm holes roughly in the middle, in the photo you can see that I’ve already woven the arms through the holes. Hope that makes it easier to understand.

Carve out a little bit of the bottom of the cork and now we can start putting it all together!

First up I glued the legs into the bottom of the cork. Then I simply put a bead of hot glue on the shoes and folded them around the bottom of the pipe cleaners.

Weave the arms through the coat and add the hands to the ends of the pipe cleaners just like you added the shoes.

Elffeetandhands #Christmas #crafts #pipecleaners #elfontheshelf #ornaments

Line your cork up on the coat, leaving a good inch at the top (you’ll fold it over and glue it down later), glue it into place and then glue it shut by wrapping the felt around the cork.

Bodyandjacket #Christmas #crafts #pipecleaners #elfontheshelf #ornaments

Now you can go ahead and fold down the collar, I recommend adding a bead of glue to the back, and front corners, to help hold it down.

foldingdowncollar #Christmas #crafts #pipecleaners #elfontheshelf #ornaments

The hat was a little tricky. I just put a ring of glue on the bead and then folded the felt around it. Once it was secure I glued the hat shut, folded it over, and gave it one more bit of glue to hold it in place.

Puttingonthehat #Christmas #crafts #pipecleaners #elfontheshelf #ornaments

Glue the bead to the top of the wine cork and wrap the scarf around the joint, securing with more glue where needed.

Eyes are completely optional, the kids asked me to put eyes on one of our elves but I actually prefer the elf without.

I know that’s a lot of instructions but I know all it will take is a couple glances for some of you serious crafters to figure out how it all goes together!

Elves #Christmas #ornaments #crafts #fun #ElfonShelf

What kind of ornaments do you remember from your childhood?

Ontheshelf #Christmas #crafts #pipecleaners #elfontheshelf #ornaments



Popular Posts