Gnomes at Night

Gnomes are an ancient tradition and have been popular for centuries. They’re the perfect addition to any garden, deck, or patio–and you don’t need a green thumb to make them!

Interested in making your own DIY gnome but not sure where to start? This article has everything you need. We’ll discuss supplies needed, tips on saving money and even show you how to make gnomes!

Tips to save money on gnome supplies:

  • Gnome bodies can cost upwards of $20. You have two choices when buying materials for your DIY project–you can either buy them or make them yourself. If you choose the latter, there are plenty of tutorials online that will show you how to create a body from scratch using styrofoam and socks (or stretchable fabric). To save money, purchase pre-made bodies at craft stores; then add any accessories with glues such as felt squares for faces or ribbons around the neck.
  • Gnomes come in all shapes and sizes so be sure to research which ones would work best based on what size space they’ll inhabit before purchasing molds! This ensures you only buy what you need and avoid wasting any materials.
  • Gnomes beards, braids and hair can also cost upwards of $20–or more! To save money while still maintaining high quality, purchase premade ones in bulk or make your own using felt squares (for the beard) or socks for braid/braided ringlets. The easiest way to do this is with a pair of scissors! Simply cut strips from old pairs; then tie them together around the head before gluing on the top knot. Lastly, use paint pens for any facial features that may not have been made by you previously such as eyes, eyebrows or mouth.

How long will it take me to make gnomes?

This can vary depending on skill level–but if you’re new at this type of project, plan on spending 30-45 minutes! We also have a guide on how to make gnomes in under 3 mins- so read on!

What supplies do I need for DIY Garden Gnomes


-Paint brushes of varying sizes

-Paper towels

-Acrylic paint in various colors (for gnome’s clothing)

-Glue gun with glue sticks

-Craft foam sheets or foam adhesive (1/4″ thick)

-Hot glue gun with glue sticks


-Gravel or pebbles

-A bowl or cup for water

-Scissors or needle and thread

-Socks or pieces of felt

-Accessories and decorations

-A place for your finished gnome to live (you can use a pot, flowerpot, or even just some newspaper)         

Does this seem like too much work? Here are some shortcuts that will save time but won’t compromise on quality: Buy premade gnome bodies; then add any accessories you want by using socks, ribbon and glue. Or simply purchase hats with faces already attached if they’re available in your area.

How to make gnomes out of Styrofoam Cones and Socks? 

This project is fairly easy and can be done in an hour or two. You could also use any other type of foam, like styrofoam, to make gnomes.

Step 1: Measure the size of your cone with a ruler.

Step 2: Cut the top off of your cone, leaving the bottom intact.

Step 3: Cut out a piece of paper and draw onto it the shape that will help you trace around your cone with a marker.

Step 4: Trace around your cone onto the paper, then cut out a hole for where you want your head to be and one for where you want your feet to be with scissors or a knife.

This project can be done in an hour or two, depending on how many gnomes you wish to make.

Making Gnomes out of Socks

Gnome bodies: use any sock turned inside-out as arms/legs; then cut strips from an old pair with scissors that are just barely longer than your desired beard length; tie these around the head before gluing on top knot using paint pens. If you’d like braids, tie a sock around the head and then braid it with another.

Gnome heads: Simply cut off one of your old socks to create hair/balding; then use paint pens for any facial features that may not have been made by you previously such as eyes, eyebrows or mouth.

Making a Gnome with Arms and Legs

The most common way to make these is with a brown tube sock. Cut the end open and turn inside out. Roll the leg part into a ball and stretch it over the top of your cone until you are happy with its size. Invert the arm as well, then gather them together near your cone’s base so that they form an “X” shape when both arms are connected to each other by their hands near their backside (one will be at about 1/2 length, one will be shorter). Tie them off in this position before putting glue on both ends so that you have made what looks like legs and arms connected together by their hands!

Making Gnomes on a Potter’s Wheel

In order to make a gnome, you need several materials. A potter’s wheel, clay, and lots of patience.

-Place the clay on the potter’s wheel and work it until it is smooth.

-Take off your creation from the wheel, shape it around into what you want using your fingers or use a bowl for better control over shapes.

-Keep working at shaping everything until you are happy with the final product. Remember that rounder faces will be more easily articulated than other shapes so keep this in mind when making facial features like eyes, nose and mouth. You can also add eyebrows or eyelashes by filling them in with small amounts of clays shaped into spikes or lines rather than leaving those areas blank as they would show up too much against any color besides white clay–which would be difficult to shape.

-Paint your gnomes using the colors you want and add areas of accent such as a hat or beard if desired!

-For more detail, glue things like seeds on their clothes for buttons or small bits of clay shaped into flowers in order to really personalize them even further. These are easy additions that will help make your little sculptures feel alive without much work required from you!

How do you make wood gnomes?

You first need to find a log that is the correct thickness and size for your gnome. You will want it to be at least 3 inches wide by 7 inches tall. Using a jig or notches, mark the height of your gnome onto the wood to use as a guide.

Cut off around 1″ from each end of the log until you have created rounded corners on two opposite sides of it.

Using an angle grinder with a cutting blade, cut out your gnomes shape from the top down following the marks you made earlier so that there are few deep ridges in his hairline and face. Check that head shapes are symmetrical before carving any other features into him with detail knives! Add eyebrows, eyes and mouth. You will also need felt squares for facial features!

How do you make a Gnome in 3 minutes?

-Cut a piece of paper in the shape you want your gnome to be and tape it onto any surface already. Draw on facial features with markers, then add clothes or accessories like hats! Easy as that–no need for clay just yet.

-Alternatively, purchase premade ones at most craft stores (or make them from scratch using styrofoam cones). These are much less expensive than buying pre-made bodies so be sure to budget accordingly if that’s what you prefer. If your goal is to adorn a Christmas tree, use this as an opportunity to make some adorable decorations out of felt! Use paint pens for facial features and add bows or holly leaves with glue.

-For more detail, use paints to add details like eyes, eyebrows and mouths on top of black felt (or any other colors you want). These are easy additions that will help make your little sculptures feel alive without much work required from you!

-If you’d rather have something interactive–perhaps because there’s no snow close by in the winter months–you can purchase premade ones at most craft stores or create them from scratch using styrofoam cones. These are much less expensive than buying pre-made bodies so be sure to budget accordingly if that’s what you prefer.

Alternatively for a quicker solution, simply cut out shapes such as hearts, stars and circles and tape them onto pieces of construction paper or cardstock. Draw shapes on top using markers for features like eyes, noses and mouths then use fabric paint to add details such as an accent color around the base of their head–or even a few rows of hair!

How do I make Christmas gnomes?

Gnomes are traditionally decorated with jingle bells and a red hat, but if you want to step up your decoration game, here are some ideas for making your gnome extra special.

Gnomes are one of the world’s most popular Christmas decorations. They can be found in homes all over the world and have been part of the holiday celebrations since 1837.

Gnomes can be made from various materials including wood, clay, wire, fabric and plaster. You can find them in any size from small to gigantic and with any number of limbs or features.

You will need:

-A round piece of wood, about an inch or so thick and anything from six inches to a foot in diameter. You can find this at any home center store. If you don’t have the right size on hand, it’s easy enough to cut down a yardstick with a saw or by using your jigsaw if you’re careful not chop too deep into your gnome!

-Cardboard scraps for clothes – just make sure that they are big enough to cover whichever item you plan on making him out of (clay works well because its malleable).

-Paint pens and paintbrushes if desired for detailed features like eyes, eyebrows and mouths–or even fabric markers if you want to remain more budget-friendly.

-A glue gun for attaching your clothes and other accessories, like any hat or bells he might be wearing!

If your goal is to adorn a Christmas tree, use this as an opportunity to make some adorable decorations out of felt! Use paint pens for facial features and add bows or holly leaves with glue. 

Resources for finding Gnome Patterns

If you’re looking for a pattern, these are some places to find them:

-A quick Google search will provide many free patterns. You can also visit the website of your favorite craft store and type “gnome” in their online shop’s search bar. This is an especially good option if you want to purchase pre-made bodies (but remember that these still need clothes!).

-You might even have the skills necessary at your disposal! There are instructions on how to make gnomes with socks as well–and just about anything else–on YouTube or Pinterest. If not, there’s no shame in asking someone who does know; they’ll be happy to share! It never hurts getting creative when it comes to Christmas decorations.

-Pinterest Boards: DIY Christmas Decorations Ideas

Final Thoughts

If you’re looking for a fun, homemade Christmas decoration (or Valentines gnomes) to make this year, DIY gnomes are the perfect choice. These adorable little creatures can be made from various materials and in any size–making them an incredibly versatile project that will fit your needs whether you want something small or large! The possibilities really are limitless; just use our instructions as a starting point then add your own personal touches such as clothing styles or other accessories like bells. We hope these tips help inspire some creativity this holiday season. If you have any questions about how to make DIY gnomes, feel free to reach out–we’d love to hear what’s on your mind!






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