Prep & Landing

Shelf Elves

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Shelf Elves
Total Time 1 hour Ages school-age

When Christmastime arrives, Prep & Landing elves spring into action. True, they're designed to sit comfortably on a shelf or windowsill, but that's all part of the plan -- securing a good vantage point to scope out the situation for the big guy's arrival.

Download Shelf Elves Template

What you'll need

  • Prep & Landing Shelf Elves Template
  • Scissors
  • Straight pins for using the template pieces as patterns
  • Felt (green, tan, black, and red)
  • Pipe cleaners (red, white, and green)
  • Low-temperature hot glue gun
  • Brown yarn for elf hair (optional)
  • Cotton ribbon or strip of felt (about an inch wide)
  • Large green faux gems for the goggles (optional)
  • Red pompom (1/2 inch or so)
  • Scraps of green fleece or felt (a lighter shade than the body and head) for the coat trim
  • Green ribbon (for the belts)
  • Faux gems (3/8 to 1/2 inch for belt buckle and smaller ones for buttons)
  • Cardboard tissue tube

How to make it

  1. Print the template for Prep & Landing Shelf Elves and use the pieces to cut out the shapes from the specified colors of felt.

  2. Prep & Landing Shelf Elves

    For each elf, hot glue the upper edge of one of the two body shapes atop the lower edge of one of the head/hat pieces. Then bend a pipe cleaner into an inverted V-shape and glue it atop the joined felt, as shown.

  3. Prep & Landing Shelf Elves

    Make arms for each elf by first twisting together a white and a red pipe cleaner and then hot gluing it to the center of a felt arm piece.

  4. Prep & Landing Shelf Elves

    Apply more glue to the felt below the pipe cleaner and then fold the unglued portion of felt onto it, enclosing the pipe cleaner. Bend the ends of the pipe cleaner to resemble mini candy canes.

  5. Prep & Landing Shelf Elves

    Apply more glue to the felt below the pipe cleaner and then fold the unglued portion of felt onto it, enclosing the pipe cleaner. Bend the ends of the pipe cleaner to resemble mini candy canes.

  6. Prep & Landing Shelf Elves

    Now it's time to make legs. For each one, cut a 5-inch length of the inch-wide cotton ribbon or felt strip, and glue the sides together at the very bottom, as shown, to create an "ankle" that is half the width.

  7. Prep & Landing Shelf Elves

    Then glue two red felt elf shoes together with the ankle sandwiched between them as shown.

  8. Prep & Landing Shelf Elves

    Attach a pair of legs to each of the remaining two body shapes by hot gluing the ribbon tops to the inner felt. Then glue the body (with the attached legs) to the matching body/arm assembly along the sides and neck, leaving the bottom open.

  9. Prep & Landing Shelf Elves

    For each elf, glue the felt lenses in place on the goggles. Then glue the goggles to the upper third of the face, as shown.

  10. Prep & Landing Shelf Elves

    Glue on the nose so that the top slightly overlaps the bridge of the goggles. Now glue the face onto the remaining head/hat piece.
    Note: If you want your elf to have hair, simply sandwich a few wisps of cotton yarn between the upper face and the hat when gluing the pieces together.

  11. Prep & Landing Shelf Elves

    Glue the assembled face to the body, sandwiching a pair of elf ears between the two green felt head/hat pieces, as shown. Stick on the goggle gems and hot glue a red pompom to the top of the hat.

  12. Prep & Landing Shelf Elves

    For the finishing touches, glue a strip of fleece or felt trim around the bottom of each elf body. Add ribbon belts and faux gem buttons and belt buckles.

  13. Prep & Landing Shelf Elves

    To help the stout elf sit upright, cut a short ring from a paper towel tube and insert it in the body. For the slim elf, cut another ring from the tube and slit it all the way up one side. Then re-roll the ring more tightly so that it's narrow enough to insert in the body.

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