Handmade Halloween Gnomes, witches, a pumpkin and Dracula

How to Make Easy DIY Gnomes

This seems to be the year of the GNOME. They are everywhere you turn, and they are in every size, every shape, and every style! Inspired by all the cuteness, my girlfriend, Ruth made these adorable versions to utilize her Mom’s stash of recycled wool sweaters. I think they are irresistible and like dolls, connect to each of us differently. Come along for today’s creative challenge, as I show how to make these easy DIY gnomes.

HALLOWEEN Gnome Ebooks! click HERE

I just released 3 new ebooks for Halloween gnomes, including witches, mummies, and ghosts. They include full-color photos with step by step instructions. Each over 19 pages long. Patterns, ideas, and tips! Check those out HERE. Buy all 3 and save, or you can buy them individually too!

Spring DIY Handmade Gnome with carrots

MORE INSPIRATION 4th of July Gnomes, click HERE

 2 DIY University of Minnesota golden Gopher graduate gnomes with a diploma - made from an easy tutorial & free pattern

DIY Gnome Ideas and Designs

Whatever design you prefer, Scandinavian, Viking, nordic, garden, country, holiday, or tree, nurse or graduation gnome, etc.; there is probably a gnome style for you.

DIY nurse gnome with a red heart - made from an easy tutorial & free pattern

There are so many ways to design gnomes. They can be crafted for any celebration, holiday, or to honor someone special. I will continue to add new versions to this post as Ruth designs more. Be sure to check back occasionally to see what’s new!

By adjusting the color palette, the fabrics, and changing up the props, your gnome takes on a whole new look. For example, try a brighter colored outfit and include tiny birds, flowers, or a fishing pole and you have Spring or Summer gnome.

Similarly, you can create gnomes for all the holidays. For instance, use lots of pink and red, with tiny hearts for Valentine’s Day and a green and orange scheme with shamrocks for St. Patrick’s Day. Do a pastel color palette, with eggs and a basket for Easter. After that Halloween, with tiny pumpkins, brooms, spiders, and bats. The possibilities are endless!

Are you ready to make one yourself? Keep reading and I will show you how.

Free Gnome Pattern Download

For starters, if you’d like to use a pattern, I’ve got a FREE one! It’s nice to have a pattern if you plan to make more than one and you’d like them all to be similar.

Valentine's Day Handmade gnome - tutorial for how to make them

After making one gnome, you will quickly get the hang of it and you can then adjust the size and details to create your own style.

To download the free pdf pattern, simply CLICK HERE. Just subscribe to the Bloom newsletter, and you will have access to all my project downloads.

After you download the PDF, continue to scroll down this post to read the step by step instructions on how to make easy DIY gnomes.

Print the PDF pattern. If you are only making one gnome, a paper pattern will work fine. However, if you make more than one, you may consider transferring the pattern to rigid cardboard, this makes it easier to trace around and cut the fabric gnome parts out.

Swedish handmade gnome - DIY tutorial for how to make gnomes

Gnome Pattern Pieces

For most gnome styles, there are 3 main pattern pieces. One for the body, one for the arms, and one for the hat. I have also included a pattern for the beard, mittens, and nose. Other styles of gnomes have additional accessories.๐Ÿ˜

Gnome Supplies and Materials

These little gnome masterpieces take very small quantities of fabric and tiny bits of trims and embellishments, so they do not cost a ton. If you choose quality materials with care though, your finished piece will be a beautiful handmade keepsake for yourself and will also make a wonderful gift. As they say, it’s truly all in the details!

You’ll need a variety of materials for your gnome. See the complete supply list below.

Gnome Supply List

Affiliate links are below in blue.

Fabric or Recycled Sweaters
Felt for the mittens
Craft Fur for the beard
Wire, approximately 18 gauge or thicker
Pipe Cleaners HERE optional for inside arms
Wood Beads
 HERE for the nose or
Hosiery or Flesh Tone Fabric 
Clear Hair Ties or Rubber Bands 
Trims flowers, greenery, small props, etc.
Pattern Download HERE
Paper Scissors
Sewing Scissors HERE 
Sewing Machine
Adjustable Temperature Hot Glue Gun HERE
All Temperature Glue Sticks HERE
Pencil or Marker
Wash Bag or Pillowcase for recycled sweaters optional
Paper or Cardboard for pattern 
optional
Rice or Washed Pea Gravel for filling optional
Polyester Batting for filling optional

Where to Buy Gnome Supplies

Most of your gnome materials can be found at a craft or fabric store. Look online for supplies and props on Amazon.com or Etsy.com. Check your closets for old sweaters that you may be ready to retire or your craft stash for fabric or trims. You may find what you need just looking around your house!

Thrift stores are also great for finding old sweaters to upcycle. If you are not usually a thrift shopper, it does take a bit of open-mindedness, but it’s a wonderful way to get a good deal and be good to the environment by recycling. Oh, it’s a lot of fun too!๐Ÿ˜ƒ

Shopping for gnome details and props is the best! Trimming your gnomes can add so much to the finished product. Decorative ribbons, ornaments, and tiny props can be the perfect addition to complete the look. Look at miniature dollhouse props. Check the party sections for miniatures. Or consider making your own props out of basic materials, like cardboard, wooden skewers, tongue depressors, paper, or string, etc. Enjoy the process and use your creativity to make each gnome special.

DIY Gnome Ideas, Tips, and Tricks

Here are some things to remember when you are looking for materials for putting together your personal “gnome kit”.

Thicker fabrics or recycled sweaters work great for the body, arms, and hat. The heavier weight gives the hat and arms more body and they “stand up” better. Stronger fabric for the gnome body also works best to hold the rice and batting filling in. Avoid loose weaves or thin material.

Ruth uses pea gravel in the base of the body to add weight and stability, then follows with polyester filling to fill and form the rest of the gnome shape. Try various materials and see what you like best.

For fabrics, consider combining colors and prints. This provides more interest and personality.

Preparing your Recycled Sweaters

If you’ve decided to use vintage (old!) sweaters, now it’s time to wash them. Wash sweaters in a regular washing machine in a zippered bag or pillowcase to protect them. Finish in the dryer. Check on them from time to time. I did have one shrink, but the majority of sweaters work great using this method.

Okay, are you ready to officially start this project? Here goes…

Step by step Instructions

GNOME PATTERN

1 Download the free pattern or create your own. Cut out each piece on regular paper or transfer it to sturdy cardboard. 

PREPPING YOUR GNOME HAT

2  Cut out the hat piece. If your fabric has a pattern design, be sure to position the pattern exactly how you want it, so the markings you want to see most are placed in front correctly. Fold in half lengthwise with the right sides of the fabric together. Stitch from the tip of the hat to the brim. Turn right side out. Be gentle, so you do not stretch the fabric.

CREATING THE GNOME BODY

3  Cut out the fabric for the body. Fold in half lengthwise, placing right sides together. Sew open side from top to bottom. Before you turn, close up the bottom of the body with a rubber band or clear hair tie. Then for reinforcement, wrap again with a wire if desired. Next, turn the piece right side out carefully. If you are using a sock, you do not need to sew the side, just close up the bottom while inside out and then turn right side out.

Next, fill the bottom of the inside with pea gravel (for weight) or rice. Top off with polyester filling, so your body is approximately 3-4 inches tall. This is up to your personal preference! Experiment to get the look you like. The pea gravel gives your gnome some weight to stand and be adjustable.๐Ÿ˜ƒ After that, the polyfill gives you get the body size and shape you want. Set aside.

ADDING THE GNOME NOSE

4  For the nose, Ruth originally used hosiery and polyfill (as in the photos), but now is using flesh-colored wooden beads. It works equally well and is much faster. See the materials list above for her source.

If you would like to use the hosiery method, take a small piece of polyfill and roll into a small ball, the size you’d like the nose. Cut out your flesh-colored fabric or hosiery piece. Next, wrap the fabric tightly around the fill so that the nose is smooth. Gather the unfinished ends tightly at the back and wrap with a clear hair tie until secure. If you use the wooden ball, no need to do anything yet.

You could also wrap the nose in a colored or printed fabric to add some whimsy and fun!๐Ÿ˜

GNOME BEARD

On to the beard. Grab your fur and sewing scissors. Be sure to work with a single layer of fur at one time. Take a look at the fur and determine which way you want it to lay before you cut. You can use a rotary blade, but for a small piece of fur, I prefer sharp sewing scissors. The best way to cut craft fur is from the back, focusing on the base. Weave your scissors up against the base on the fur side, so you do not cut the fur at all. After you have the back of the fur piece cut, gently tug the fur apart. You can then trim the corners if desired to get the shape you like best.

THE GNOME ARM SLEEVES

Next, for the sleeve. Cut out the sleeve fabric and lay on a table with the right side down, fold both lengthwise edges into the center so they overlap slightly. Run a bead of hot glue down one side and place the other side on top to seal. Hold for 10-20 seconds until it cools slightly. You can also lay a pipe cleaner inside the arm before you glue, which makes the finished sleeve slightly adjustable. If you do this, use an additional row of hot glue inside the arm for reinforcement.

5 Cut an appropriately 8-inch length of pipe cleaner or wire. The wire should be thick enough to hold your fabrics but pliable enough to bend easily. Wrap the wire around the top opening of the body form, then secure by twisting a couple of times. Next, place the sleeve piece across the back and center it. Twist the two wire ends around the center of the sleeve piece until you get the sleeves positioned where you want them.

After that, it’s time to glue on the beard and the nose. Position one at a time. Tack with a small amount of hot glue 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.

Embellishments and Props

6 Hot glue or hand sew on any embellishments, ribbon trims, or props.

You did it. What do you think? Adorable, right? I told you so!

Valentine's Day Handmade gnome - tutorial for how to make them

Please let me know if you create your own gnome in the comment box below. I would love to see your project! Just tag me @bebraveandbloom or use #bebraveandbloominspired to share.๐Ÿ˜ƒ

Happy Gnomes to You!

xo,
Cindy

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23 Comments
  • Mary Lou Miller
    Posted at 12:58h, 15 January Reply

    I can’t seem to get the gnome patterns that you say are free.

    • cindy
      Posted at 17:03h, 15 January Reply

      Hi Mary Lou! Just subscribe to my e-newsletter within the blog post or in the sidebar. That process ultimately gives you full access to my whole library. I also keep adding more good stuff regularly! Enjoy. ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

  • cindy
    Posted at 04:17h, 04 February Reply

    Hi Nancy, I am so sorry you are having trouble. Go to this link: https://bebraveandbloom.com/free-downloads/
    Then type in the password you are given in the welcome e-mail. (no space between the words in the password though)
    I will also e-mail you the password again. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Anne Haun
    Posted at 13:41h, 04 February Reply

    I cannot locate my password – seems to have disappeared on me. Could you please email my password again. Thanks so much.

    • cindy
      Posted at 17:13h, 04 February Reply

      Hi Anne, I e-mailed you the password. If you ever lose it again, the password is also in one of the welcome e-mails you get when you subscribe. Enjoy! ๐Ÿ˜Š

  • Maria Torres
    Posted at 09:47h, 05 February Reply

    Toooooo Cute!!!! Love each one they look hard to make, gonna give making one today!!! Thank You โคโคโคโคโคโคโค

    • cindy
      Posted at 22:05h, 05 February Reply

      YAY!! Thanks Maria!โค๏ธ Let me know how it turns out!๐Ÿ˜

  • Paula Flatt
    Posted at 15:23h, 10 February Reply

    Could you please provide the pattern another way for me. I love your gnomes!

    • cindy
      Posted at 16:57h, 10 February Reply

      I am sorry you are having trouble! I have e-mailed you detailed instructions. Thanks, Paula.

  • Bre
    Posted at 00:54h, 11 February Reply

    Oh my fabulous fanny these are adorable. I was just browsing pinterest looking for instant pot dishes and these little cuties came up. I will be making some for my mum and auntie for v-day. I can’t wait to go out tomorrow hunting for cute sweaters or scarves at the local charity shoppes. You are a genius! Hugs

    • cindy
      Posted at 06:25h, 11 February Reply

      Bre, Oh my gosh. Thank you so much! You made my day!๐Ÿ˜„ I am thrilled you are going to make some. Please let me know how they turn out!๐ŸŽ‰

  • Pat Clinker
    Posted at 08:47h, 11 February Reply

    A few questions, for the nose, couldnโ€™t you use a little wooden ball and just glue it on? And, the wire doesnโ€™t rundown the length of the arms, itโ€™s just twisted around the center to attach them, or it , since the arms are one piece, correct? Couldnโ€™t you just hot glue the arms on? Thank you! Iโ€™m planning on making some Easter gnomes!

    • cindy
      Posted at 16:18h, 11 February Reply

      Hi Pat! That’s a great idea for the nose. I would give it a try! For the arms, correct, it just wraps around the center so that it is completely hidden. Yes, the arms are one piece. You could certainly test the hot glue for the arms, but the glue may melt some fabrics or not hold the weight. Please let me know if your ideas work? Enjoy the project!๐Ÿ˜ƒ

      • Pat Clinker
        Posted at 01:10h, 04 March Reply

        Hi Cindy! I have been making Easter gnomes! I did use wooden beads for the nose. They look good! For the arms, I cut 2 out of leftover sock (Iโ€™m using socks for my gnomes). For each arm I run a line of hot glue down one side of the arm fabric, roll it so the glue hits around halfway down the length, then put glue on the other long edge and finish rolling. To attach the arms, I put hot glue on the end of an arm, then attach it to the body. Iโ€™d love to show you pics, but thereโ€™s no where to post them.

        • cindy
          Posted at 04:21h, 04 March Reply

          Hi Pat! That’s so awesome. I would love to see them! If you have an Instagram or Facebook account you could upload your photo to your account, and then tag me on your photo? (@bebraveandbloom) Thanks for sharing this with me!๐Ÿ˜ƒ

  • susan
    Posted at 18:17h, 15 February Reply

    Hello I just signed up today and now I find out after I deleted the email you sent me it contained a password to get at the free download patterns, could you please send me another

    • cindy
      Posted at 05:51h, 16 February Reply

      No problem Susan. Check your e-mail.๐Ÿ˜ƒ

  • Bev Myers
    Posted at 16:06h, 23 April Reply

    What type wire is used for the arms? Gauge?

    • cindy
      Posted at 16:18h, 24 April Reply

      Hi Bev, It depends on your fabric weight. Pipe cleaners or approximately 18 gauge wire or thicker should work well. I would suggest using wire that is thick enough to hold things in place but flexible enough to bend easily. I hope you enjoy the project!๐Ÿ˜ƒ

  • Julia
    Posted at 14:32h, 05 October Reply

    Is the hat in the pattern the correct size or does it mean you need to make it 8.5″ x 7 .5″ ?

    • cindy
      Posted at 17:20h, 05 October Reply

      Hi Julia, You’ll want to enlarge it to those approximate measures. (It would not fit on a printed sheet) Use your preferred size, but this is what is in the picture.๐Ÿ˜ƒ

  • Julie Pereira
    Posted at 17:27h, 25 October Reply

    Hi,
    Thank you for sharing your sweet gnome pattern and knowledge! I’m having a really hard time understanding the arms, and chenille stem! Do you put the stem through the arms first, and then twist it on? If you twist on the wire,then add the arms(which are one continuous piece, right?), then how is the wire getting into the arms, to be able to position them?
    I’m probably totally missing something here, but I was hoping that maybe you could explain it differently? Idk, I really want to make some, but keep getting stuck on that step.
    Thank you!
    Julie

    • cindy
      Posted at 03:17h, 26 October Reply

      Hi Julie! You can really do it one of 2 ways. The directions in this post do not use a wire within the sleeve. It is just one wire that is used to close the top of the body and also twist the wire’s ends around the center of the sleeve piece to hold it on. You could also use an additional wire inside the sleeve though! Up to you.๐Ÿ˜ƒ Hope that helps!

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