Thursday, November 19, 2009

Jolly Elves Christmas Craft

Jolly Elves Christmas Craft
My daughter and I are making Jolly Elves this year for our annual Christmas craft. The image shown to the left and the Jolly Elves craft idea are from the Parents Magazine website.

Prior year holiday crafts have included Gingerbread ornaments using felt (2004), decoupaged angel ornaments using wood cut outs and tissue paper (2005), sparkle balls using small styro foam balls, pins and sequins (2006), decorated glass ornaments (2007), and in 2008 we made (and enjoyed) an edible treat as gifts. These gifts are for family, teachers, coaches, friends, and of course as momentoes for our Christmas trees.

My daughter and I look forward to this tradition each year. From choosing the craft, to gathering or buying the materials, and then making the items, we enjoy the together time as well as the anticipation of the actual gift giving. We also enjoy decorating the Christmas tree with the current and prior year craft ornaments. With each item we recall what grade our daughter was in, how we enjoyed, or in the case of the sequin sparkly ornaments how we didn't enjoy, making each ornament.

Parents Magazine has been the inspiration for many of our Christmas crafts. We are looking forward to creating our Jolly Elves and would like to share with you some material and item buying tips that you may find helpful with making this craft.

The instructions call for chenille pipe cleaners, Large and Small beads, smiley face beads, felt hats and scarves, and bells. You will need a glue gun and glue sticks for making the hats.

Here is list of the items and where they can be found:

Chenille stems: We found ours at Michaels crafts. You can also purchase the Jolly Elves Craft Pipe Cleaners at Amazon. They are 12" or 6mm long. They are the super thick variety, I am thinking of getting the "standard" or non super thick stems to assist the beads and bell going into position easier.

Large and Small beads: I found the Large wooden beads used for the body also at Michaels, but these Large Wooden Beads at Amazon look very similar. The beads from Michael's are round and the diameter of the inner circle is spacious. The selling price for the pack of 35 was $2.99. For the small beads we are using pony beads. They look okay, but I think small wooden beads in primary colors would look better. The shine on the pony beads is a bit distracting.

Smiley Face Beads: I purchased the 25mm smiley faces at Sunshine Crafts. Oriental Trading also offers the smiley face beads.

Felt: Any craft store, I did buy sparkle felt at Sunshine Crafts, but because of the extra thickness of the pieces have decided to use good old fashion plain felt, in various colors of course! Now the felt is used for the elf caps and the scarves. The scarves are 4" long and 1/2" wide. Most pieces of felt are 12" long, netting you 3 scarves per 1/2"W horizontal cut. The hats are also felt. I just checked at and they do have these felt pieces if you want to order them online. The craft directions call for a semi circle from a 1-1/2" circle, I found a typical tealight candle to be just the right size to use to trace a pattern for making the felt hats. Cut the circle in half and then wrap and glue the right and left points together to form a cone, leaving an opening for the chenille stem.

Bells: The bells we purchased and are using are the 12mm gold bells we found at Michaels crafts. The opening for use with the super thick chenille stem is a little tight, but with a little patience, the bell fits onto and slides down the stem to sit atop the elf hat. These Gold 13mm Jingle Bells might work too since they are a bit larger.

We've completed 8 little guys, and hope to make a total of 24 Jolly Elves. Twenty four is the original plan, but after seeing how adorable these little guys are, we may be making and giving more! Happy Holidays!

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