Welcome to another Wacky Workshops project, a no sew Scandinavian Christmas gnome.
Scandinavian Christmas gnomes have become increasingly popular during the past few years.
You can find instructions all over the web for how to make your own. However, I’ve yet to find one that doesn’t require sewing. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with sewing, if you enjoy it. But it seems a big use of time considering you barely see the gnome body as the beard is so long.
So, I came up with my own version of the Christmas gnome – no sewing necessary. Plus, it uses recyclables, which is even better.
As a bonus, I’m including instructions for another project that uses recyclables. Read on to find out what it is and how you can make it.
BUT FIRST, A LITTLE HISTORY
In Scandinavia, the legend of the pixie or household spirit is steeped in tradition from years and years ago.
It was believed the spirit, often referred to as nisse (Norway) or tomte (Sweden) was a hard worker who helped with domestic and farmyard chores and protected the property. All they asked for in return was a little respect and a bowl of julegrøt (Christmas porridge) with butter on Christmas Eve.
The spirits take their porridge payment seriously, as is illustrated in the legend When the Nisse Got No Butter on His Christmas Porridge.
In the 1840s the farm’s Nisse became the bearer of Christmas presents in Scandinavia, and was then called “Julenisse” and has been associated with Christmas ever since. The Julenisse is often is often depicted with a long white beard and red hat. He visits children in their homes on Christmas Eve, with a sack of toys on his back and asks, “Are there any good children here?”
HOW TO MAKE A NO SEW SCANDINAVIAN CHRISTMAS GNOME
You can make a no-sew Scandinavian Christmas gnome any size you like. Just cut the bottle to suit the size you want to make.
- Plastic drink bottle – I used a 1.1-litre soda water bottle
- Pom pom
- Box knife
METHOD FOR A LARGE NO SEW SCANDINAVIAN CHRISTMAS GNOME
- Use a funnel to put some sand in the bottom of the bottle. This just helps keep it stable and weighted enough so it won’t blow over in a breeze.
- Cut a piece of felt to fit the bottom two-thirds of the bottle and glue it into place.
- Cut another piece of felt into a large triangle that will fit over the top third of the bottle when folded lengthways to form a hat.
- Fold the triangle into a long hat shape and use a stapler to join it together.
- Use a stick to push that hat’s point down, through the entire hat so that it is inside out and you can’t see the staples.
- Cut a triangle of the fur that reaches from the top to the bottom of the felt glued to the bottle and glue it into place for the beard.
- Use the offcuts to glue around the bottle near the top of the beard, for the hair.
- Glue the pom pom (nose) at the top of the beard.
- Glue the hat into place so that it just covers the fur and a little bit of the pom pom.
METHOD FOR A SMALL NO SEW SCANDINAVIAN CHRISTMAS GNOME
Follow the instructions above but start by cutting the middle section of the bottle away to create the height you want.
Add the sand to the bottom, as above, and then tape the top section of the bottle to the bottom section.
NB: Keep the plastic from the section of the bottle you cut out. I have another project for that (below).
HOW TO USE PLASTIC OFFCUT FROM YOUR NO SEW SCANDINAVIAN CHRISTMAS GNOME
The plastic already has a perfect curve in it to make a bangle. Just punch some holes around it and add Christmas ribbon or jingle bells.
BONUS PROJECT – REINDEER TREASURE BOX
One of the best things about using recyclables in craft projects is how it promotes creative thinking.
I recently created some colourful planters from plastic bottles to cover an ugly old post that was annoying me.
The problem was, I had all the tops of the bottles left over. Now, I know I could have thrown them in the recycling bin and be satisfied with my efforts at reusing them. But, I wanted to come up with a clever way to use the entire bottle.
With Christmas just around the corner, I pondered different transformations and came up with these cute reindeer treasure boxes. I’ll add them to the tops of my gifts filled with lollies or trinkets as an added little something extra.
- Plastic bottles
- Bottle lids
- Brown spray paint – you can hand paint these but spray paint is quick and easy and adheres to the plastic really well
- Red spray paint
- Google eyes – you could draw your own instead
- Forked sticks for antlers– using pipe cleaners is another option but the sticks make these extra economical to make.
- Plastic – from leftover containers or from other packaging.
- Scissor/box cutters
- Tie wire
- Cut the top third of the bottle off on a diagonal.
- Use the bottom section for the planters.
- Remove the lids from the bottles and set aside.
- Cut around the open part of the top bottle piece so that it is even.
- Paint the top section of the bottle with brown paint.
- Paint the bottle lid with red paint and replace when dry.
- Trace around the open end of the bottle onto some plastic. You could also use cardboard.
- Add two triangles at the top of the circle to represent ears.
- Cut out the circle shape and place it under the open section of the bottle.
- Use a marker to indicate where to poke holes for the antlers (near the ears).
- Mark two more holes (about 1 cm apart) on the left-hand side of the bottle, near the opening and another one on the right-hand side.
- Use these marks to guide where you can put corresponding holes on the plastic circle.
- Poke all the holes.
- Use tie wire to secure the circle to the bottle with the holes on the left-hand side to form a door.
- Use a pretty ribbon that can be tied into a bow to secure the door on the right-hand side.
- Poke the antlers through the top holes and secure with a dot of glue inside the reindeer head.
- Glue the eyes in place, or draw them on.
- Fill the reindeer treasure box with lollies or trinkets.
- Attach to gifts with sticky tape or string. NB: Make your own double-sided tape by forming a circle with a strip of tape, sticky side out and sticking the ends together. Attach this to the back of the reindeer head and then to the front of a gift. You may destroy your paint job if you place the sticky tape on the painted part of the bottle.
- If you have heavier items in the head, such as lollies, use string to attach the head to the gift.
- These would also be good decorations on the Christmas table.
Want more fun Christmas craft ideas? Check out my Pinterest board.
Happy crafting and have a gleeful week, Tamuria.