Get inspiration, ideas, and a free pattern for mini DIY gnomes.
Here’s a miniature version of the full-size gnome that we all have come to know and love!
Ruth Johnson shares her cute little gems and a free pattern for smaller-size DIY mini gnomes.
Creating and embellishing your personalized gnomes at home is so easy. You only need to gather your supplies and set up a good work area.
Follow your bliss, and the universe will open doors where there were only walls.– Joseph Campbell
For more gnome projects, see Ruth’s ideas on this gnome page and the links at the bottom of this post.
Printable Gnome Pattern
It’s also easy to download Ruth’s free printable DIY gnome pattern. Just subscribe to my newsletter to get access to the free library.
Next, sign in and download the PDF. Print it, cut out the pattern pieces, and use them as your guide.
Come back here for more instructions and inspiration.
Below is the list of supplies required for the project.
Sweater body of the gnome & gnome hat
Felt for mittens
Faux Fur gnome beard
Wire approximately 18 gauge
Wooden Bead gnome noses
Trims flowers, greenery, props, etc.
Pom Pom for the top of the hat (optional)
Free Pattern (2 different sizes of mini gnome & regular gnome)
Hot Glue Gun
All Temp. Glue Sticks
Pencil or Marker
Washed Pea Gravel for filling
Polyester Batting for filling, optional
See these craft stores to find other supplies.
Preparing Your Workspace
Set up a simple, clean, organized workspace to make the process more efficient, streamlined, and enjoyable.
Prepare an area for cutting out the fabrics, recycled sweaters, felt, and fur. A cutting mat is not mandatory, but it is helpful.
If you use a Xacto knife for cutting materials, be careful. Use a seamless matte and straightedge to ensure a safe crafting environment. You can also use sewing scissors.
Have your sewing machine close so you can quickly move from one step to the next.
Set up a spot for your glue gun with a piece of cardboard or something to protect the tabletop.
Gather the pebbles, polyfil, and a small measuring cup or large spoon to fill up the gnome’s body.
Finally, pile up your trims, such as ribbons, charms, and props, for the final finishing touches.
Wash your Recycled Sweaters
If you’ve decided to use 100% wool recycled sweaters, wash them in a regular washing machine in a zippered bag or pillowcase to protect them. (affiliate link)
Place the sweater in a washing machine and add mild detergent and a few towels to create movement. Finish in the dryer, but check on the sweaters often!
The dryer will shrink and typically thicken the sweater fibers, so you don’t want to do it for long or possibly at all. You can air dry if the sweater is already at the right weight and heft for your gnome.
This drying process transforms the wool into a denser fabric. It also reduces unraveling when you cut and sew the sweater to create your gnomes, ensuring they are charming, clean, and cozy.
Below, I’ve broken down the gnome-making process into easy-to-follow, concise instructions for each step.
Follow the images and text for reference. Come back to this post after you have printed out the pattern.
You will receive an email (in about 15 minutes) with a link and the password to log in to the free library, which gives you access to this pattern and all of my project downloads.
When you enter the library, look for the thumbnail photo of the gnomes. Click it to open the PDF, then click the digital download icon to get the pattern.
After downloading and printing the gnome pattern PDF, come back to this post and scroll down to read the step-by-step instructions.
Cut out each pattern piece on regular paper or transfer it to sturdy cardboard, if desired. Or use the printed paper as your pattern.
Next, cut out all your fabric or recycled sweater pieces. If your material has a patterned design, position it exactly how you want it so the markings you want to see most are placed in front correctly.
Making the Gnome Hat
2. For the gnome’s hat piece (#1), fold the fabric in half lengthwise with the right sides of the fabric together.
Stitch from the tip to the bottom of the hat. Turn right side out. Be gentle so you do not stretch the fabric.
Creating the Body of the Gnome
3. Fold the fabric of the body pattern (#2) in half lengthwise, placing the right sides together.
Sew the long side from top to bottom of the body piece (on the wrong side of the fabric).
Before turning it inside out, seal one of the short sides shut with a rubber band or clear hair tie; this will be the bottom. For reinforcement, wrap again with a wire. Carefully turn the piece right side out.
4. Then, fill the bottom of the body with pea gravel (for weight) through the small opening on top. The rocks give your gnome some weight to stand and be adjustable.
Top off with polyester filling so your body is approximately 3-4 inches tall. Polyfill gives you the body size and shape you want. The fullness is up to your personal preference! Experiment to get the look you like.
Seal the top of the body shut with a rubber band and finish with a wrap of craft wire. Set aside.
The Gnome Arms and Beard
5. Lay out the sleeve fabric on a table with the right side down, and fold both lengthwise edges into the center so they overlap slightly.
Run a bead of glue (hot glue) down one side and place the other on top to seal. Hold for 10-20 seconds until it cools slightly.
For the beard, use your faux craft fur and sharp sewing scissors to cut the beard fur piece.
Working with a single layer of fur, cut with the strands pointing downward from the back. Weave your scissors up against the base on the fur side so you do not cut the fur strands at all.
After the back of the fur piece is cut, gently tug the fur apart. You can trim the corners to get the shape you like. Remember, the length of the beard is up to you. Lengthen or shorten as you please.
To attach the arms and beard, decide where you want them positioned first. Then, dab hot glue down in those spots along the top of the body.
Place each and hold in place for 10-20 seconds until cooled.
Hat, Nose, and Embellishments
6. After that, it’s time to glue on the hat. Tack with little hot glue dots (small amounts) until you are confident about the placement.
Then add more glue and hold for 10-20 seconds until secure and the glue has a chance to cool.
For the gnome nose, use flesh-colored wooden beads. (affiliate link) Lift up the brim of the hat slightly and wiggle the nose in with a dab of hot glue to adhere it.
The final step is to hot glue or hand sew on any embellishments, ribbon trims, or props.
Tips for Customization
Personalize your gnomes with unique colors and trim.
Check out Ruth’s ideas for creative variations and embellishments on this gnome ideas page for all of the DIY gnome ideas on the site.
Showcase Your Finished Gnomes
Display your gnome holiday decor on your shelves as shelf sitters, on a fireplace mantel on your desk, or on tiered trays.
I hope you experience the joys of crafting DIY mini gnomes. Make sure to subscribe and then download the miniature printable free gnome pattern. You can also check out and download the full-size version in the library.
Have a blast embarking on your gnome-making adventure. Happy holidays!
More Gnome Craft Projects
Below are more links to related blog posts for further crafting inspiration.