How to Make Easy DIY Gnomes (Free Pattern)

Find out how easy it is to create adorable handmade gnomes with this simple tutorial, plus a FREE pattern download. Then make one for every holiday, including Easter, July 4th, Halloween, Christmas, & more!

Handmade Christmas gnomes for post how to make easy DIY gnomes.

Come along for today’s creative project as I show you how to make easy DIY gnomes with instructions and a free pattern.

GNOMES are everywhere you turn, and they are in every size, shape, and style.

Inspired by all the cuteness, my girlfriend, Ruth, made all of 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.

Artist Ruth Johnson made these and all the handmade gnomes on this site.

If you prefer to buy a gnome, you can shop Ruth’s handmade collections at her Etsy Shop or visit her Facebook Group.

See ALL gnome posts here.
Subscribe for gnome project ideas, inspiration, & a basic gnome pattern. (Or sign in if you are already subscribed).

DIY Gnomes

This post is a great place to start, but when you are ready, below are links to a bunch of other ideas and inspiration for your cute gnome projects!

Irish Gnomes
Spring Gnomes
Easter Bunny Gnome E-book
Fourth of July Gnomes
Halloween Gnome Ebooks

DIY Gnome Ornaments

Enjoy this short video below with Scandinavian Gnome ideas.

Gnome Tutorials

Follow the basic gnome tutorial at the bottom of this post, or purchase one of the Gnome Books in the shop.

There are tutorials for gnome bunnies, chefs, witches, mummies, and ghosts.

All of the ebooks include full-color photos with step-by-step instructions.

Each book is over 19 pages long, with patterns, ideas, and tips!

See the Gnome Books here. Buy more and save, or you can buy them individually too.

Halloween Gnomes

These colorful Halloween gnomes are so popular! Make the whole adorable gnomes set!

Try spooky props with tiny pumpkins, brooms, spiders, and bats for a Halloween theme.

Day of the Dead Crafts

The Day of the Dead (el día de Los Muertos in Spanish) is a holiday celebrated in Mexico.

These gnomes celebrate the color and symbolism of the celebration.

Winter Gnomes

Try using cozy sweaters of fabrics for the winter months. Add winter props, sleds, skis, and shovels.😁

Swedish handmade gnome - DIY tutorial for how to make gnomes

Christmas Gnomes

Then, try blues, silvers, reds, and greens for regular holiday, plaid holiday, and Christmas gnomes.

There are also ornament gnomes and wine topper gnomes.

This holiday season, make holiday decor special with Mr. & Mrs. Claus and the cute little elves. The possibilities are endless.

Valentine Gnomes

Use hearts and shades of pink and red to celebrate the holiday of love! ❤️

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

Bunny Easter Gnomes

Next up … Spring! Everyone loves Ruth’s Easter bunny gnomes with ears and cute little furry tails.

Make them with Minky fabric for the sweetest soft, and snuggly look.

Try a pastel color palette with eggs and a basket for Easter.

Check out the Easter bunny gnome ebook here.

Easter and Spring time handmade DIY gnomes

St Patricks Day Gnomes

How about these St. Patties gnomes? The cutest bit of blarney inspiration ever.

Use Irish sweaters or patterned fabrics in greens, creams, and touches of orange.

Add in shamrocks, clovers, pots of gold, and Celtic charms for the complete ensemble.

How to Make a Gnome

There are so many ways to design gnomes. It is a simple project!

They can be crafted for any celebration or holiday or to honor someone special.

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

By adjusting the color palette and the fabrics and changing up the props, your gnome takes on a whole new look.

Are you ready to make one yourself? Keep reading, and I will show you how with this step-by-step tutorial.

Free Gnome Pattern

You can download a free gnome pattern after subscribing to my email list. (Or sign in if you are already subscribed).

You will then receive an email (in about 15 minutes) with a link and the password to log in to the free library.

This will give you access to this pattern and all project downloads.

When you enter the library, look for the thumbnail photo of the gnomes.

Click it to open the PDF, then click the download icon to download the pattern.

After you download and print the PDF, return to this post and scroll down to read the instructions for making a gnome.

You can also purchase a handmade gnome for yourself from Ruth. Just send me a note, and I will get you connected. (US orders only)

It’s nice to have a pattern if you plan to make more than one gnome and you’d like them all to be similar.

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.

A paper pattern will work fine if you make only one gnome.

However, you may consider transferring the pattern to rigid cardboard if you make more than one.

This makes it easier to trace around and cut the fabric gnome parts out.

Pattern Pieces

For a classic gnome style, there are three main pattern pieces.

One for the hat, the body, and one for the arms.

I have also included a beard, mittens, and nose pattern. Other styles of gnomes have additional accessories.

Gnome Hat Pattern

The gnome hat will set the stage for your gnome. Remember to trust your own creative judgment and make it any size you want. 😃

Add stuffing or wire to adjust the design.

Body and Arms

The rest of the gnome is fairly standard, including the stuffed body and arms.

You can vary the fullness, widths, and lengths to create your own individual look.

Gnome 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 carefully, your finished piece will be a beautiful handmade keepsake for yourself and 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.

Affiliate links are below in blue.

Supply List

Fabric or Recycled Sweaters
Felt for mittens
Craft Fur for beard
Wire approximately 18 gauge
Pipe Cleaners HERE optional 
Wood Beads
 HERE for nose
Popsicle Sticks HERE or HERE for skis
Trims flowers, greenery, props, etc.
Pattern Download see info above
Paper Scissors
Sewing Scissors HERE 
Sewing Machine
Adjustable Temp. Hot Glue Gun HERE
All Temp. Glue Sticks HERE
Pencil or Marker
Washed Pea Gravel for filling
Polyester Batting for filling, optional

Where to Buy

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 by looking around your house!

Thrift stores are also great for finding old sweaters to upcycle.

If you are not usually a thrift shopper, it takes a bit of open-mindedness, but recycling is a wonderful way to get a good deal and be good to the environment.

Oh, it’s a lot of fun too!

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, string, etc.

Enjoy the process and use your creativity to make each gnome special.

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. (affiliate link)

Finish in the dryer. Check on them from time to time.

I had one shrink, but this method works great for most sweaters.

Gnome 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 body’s base 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.

Okay, are you ready to officially start making these little guys? Here goes…

Instructions

Gnome Pattern

Download a free pattern or create your own gnome pattern.

You can download the free pattern when subscribing to my gnome email list. (Or sign in if you are already subscribed).

You will then receive an email (in about 15 minutes) with a link and the password to log in to the free library.

This will give 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 PDF, come back to this post and scroll down to read these step-by-step instructions.

Cut out each pattern piece on regular paper or transfer it to sturdy cardboard. 

Prepping the Gnome Hat

2  Cut out the gnome’s 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.

Next, let’s use the body pattern piece.

Creating the Body of the Gnome

3  Cut out the fabric for the body piece. Fold in half lengthwise, placing right sides together.

Sew the open side from top to bottom.

Before turning the gnome’s body, close the bottom 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 the right side out.

Next, fill the bottom of the inside with pea gravel (for weight).

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.

After that, the polyfill gives you get the body size and shape you want. Set aside.

Adding the Nose

4  For the gnome nose, Ruth originally used hosiery and polyfill (see photos) but now uses flesh-colored wooden beads.

It works equally well and is much faster. One of her favorite sources is amazon.com.

Click for wood beads. (affiliate link)

If you want to use the hosiery method, roll a small piece of polyfill 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 them with a clear hair tie until secure.

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

If you use the wooden bead ball, there is no need to do anything yet.

Gnome Beard

On to the faux fur beard. Grab your fur and sewing scissors.

Be sure to work with a single layer of fur at one time. Look at the fur and determine how you want it to lay before cutting.

You can use a rotary blade, but for a small piece of fur, I prefer sharp sewing scissors.

Cut the faux craft fur from the back; focusing on the base is the best way to cut craft fur.

Weave your scissors against the base on the fur side so you do not cut the fur at all.

Remember, the length of the beard is up to you. Lengthen or shorten as you please.

After the back of the fur piece is cut, gently tug the fur apart.

You can then trim the corners if desired to get the shape you like best.

The Gnome Arms

Next, for the sleeve.

Cut out the sleeve fabric, lay it 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 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 gluing, making the finished sleeve slightly adjustable.

If you do this, use an additional row of hot glue inside the arm for reinforcement.

5 To attach the arms, cut an appropriate 8-inch pipe cleaner or wire length.

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, hat, and nose. Position one at a time.

Tack with little hot glue dots (small amount) 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 The final step is to 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!

Check out the latest mini gnome printable pattern, too!

Please let me know if you create your own gnomes in the comment box below. I would love to see your project.

Happy sewing and gnoming to you!

xo,
Cindy

More Gnome Crafts

Below are more gnome ideas on the site.

Gnome Category Page
Easter bunny gnome ebook
Fishing gnomes
Spring gnomes
Fourth of July gnomes
Halloween gnome ebooks
Christmas gnomes
Holiday gnomes
Christmas ornament gnomes
Ornament gnome e-book
Plaid gnomes
Wine Topper gnomes
Bottle Topper gnome ebook
Graduation gnomes
Cinco de Mayo gnomes

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59 comments on “How to Make Easy DIY Gnomes (Free Pattern)

    1. Oh I am so glad Kathleen! For the regular size gnome, a 3/4 inch round wooden ball works great. Check out the materials list in this post and I link to one on Amazon.com. Have fun!

    1. Linda, I added you to the subscriber list this weekend. You should have received an email with free library login info. 🙂 (FYI for others: bebraveandbloom.com/resources/subscribe)

  1. I am excited to try a few of the Gnomes. I want to make them for a birthday centerpiece, so I would like one arm to be raised to hold 6 tiny “Ballons” held by 20-gauge wire. Is there a suggestion you can give me to allow the arm to be strong enough to be raised enough and yet hold the weight of six 0.8″ Styrofoam balls held by six 20-gauge wires each about 7″ in length?

    1. Hi Karen, That sounds cute! It might be fine with just a stiff wire through the arm. Or you could try using a stiff wire or a wooden dowel, then try to brace it by inserting the lower end into the body? Let me know how it goes! Good luck!

  2. I’m just to step two:

    Just confirming that the body is sewn on the long side from top to bottom. Then you use a rubber band or clear hair tie to secure the bottom. Wire can also be added.

    Does this provide a secure enough way to keep the beads, pellets, rice and batting inside?

    Thank you.

    1. Hi Diana, yes, sew the body down the long side. Then turn. Close up the bottom of the body with a rubber band or clear hair tie. Since you only have two hands the hair tie is a great way to cinch it in place. Then for reinforcement, wrap again with a wire if desired.😃 Have fun!

  3. I think I might make one for each holiday and give them as gift set next Christmas. Wish I had found this page sooner. Can’t wait to get started on this project. Thank you

  4. Can’t wait to repurpose some of my Mom’s clothes into these adorable gnomes that I want to use as memory gifts for the grand kids! Thanks!!

  5. Just think gnomes are wonderful and would love to make some.
    Many thanks
    Barbara Gibbons
    Scotland UK

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