Felt Gnome Tutorial

Ah! Here it is, as promised! How to make these cute little gnomes!

Supplies Needed:

1. Wooden people. I have the people from Casey’s Wood, #20 Man and #1006 Little boy. (Note: the Little Boy pegs are out of stock until March 2008, if you don’t see them on the website. They are definitely continuing to carry them, and will put them back up on the website when they come back in.)

2. Wool felt in two coordinating colors (“A” for the under-clothing, and “B” for the cloak and hat). Obviously, you can use acrylic felt as well, but the wool is just much nicer. And you use very little of it, so it’s pretty cost-effective to use wool. I purchase my wool from either Weir Dolls & Crafts, or my local quilting/yarn store. A Toy Garden sells some wonderful little gnome pairs if you are looking for color inspiration.

3. One piece of acrylic felt (the 20 cent craft kind) to make the patterns of the clothing.

4. PDF pattern for the clothing.

5. Cotton Pearl (size 5) in a color that would be set off well against the hat/cloak (I use a color that matches the under-clothing “A” felt)

6. Hand sewing needle with a big enough eye to thread the cotton pearl (which is rather thick)

7. Glue, I use that gold bottle tacky glue

8. Scissors for cutting the felt


So, gather your supplies, imagination and steady fingers, and let’s get started!

1. Print out the paper template. You can either use this to cut out your felt clothing pieces, but I prefer to make templates out of inexpensive felt. I find the heftier weight easier to use for cutting out the real pieces, and they hold up better over many gnome creations. There is a pattern for the “Man” size as well as the “Little Boy” size.

2. Cut out your felt clothing. Use color “A” for the under clothing and “B” for the cloak and hat.

3. Wrap the underclothing piece around the bottom of your gnome and glue with tacky glue. It will overlap a little at the end. I place it so that it is just a smidge over the edge of the bottom of the wood person. The wood can be a little wobbly sometimes on the bottoms and this removes this as an issue.

4. Next step: Cloak. Thread your needle with the cotton pearl. We will use a blanket stitch to edge the cloak. If you don’t know how to blanket stitch, there is a great tutorial here by Futuregirl. Starting at the top corner (either side), start going around. When you get all the way around to the other top corner, wrap the cloak around your person’s shoulders. Hold in place, and tighten around the neck so that the two top corners are together. Now, just stitch the two corners together several times, just running your needle back and forth. It will look like a nice “clasp” and will hold together well without any need for glue.

5. Now for our pointy gnome hat. Blanket stitch across the bottom of the hat piece.

Keeping the needle in the fabric, fold the hat in half lengthwise, inside-out. (You will turn it right side out when you are done).
Now, just stitch up the side using a whip stitch. I’m not too careful with my stitches personally, because I like the homemade look, and I think it’s nice to see the stitching when you turn it inside out. Future-Girl also has a nice tutorial here about the whip-stitch.

Then turn the hat inside out. I use a metal chopstick to get it turned all the way to the point.

6. Now, place the hat on the gnome’s head. You will have to glue the hat on, otherwise it will fall off all the time.

7. All done! Happy gnomes! Creating the little gnome is exactly the same as the larger gnome, just smaller.

Please share any feedback or questions about the tutorial. This is my first tutorial, and hopefully I have been clear and not confusing. I’d also love to see photos of any creations!!


6 Responses

  1. Thanks for visiting my blog and for the great tutorial. This was really easy and fun and I plan to make more, all different sizes and styles. Thanks for the inspiration!

  2. Thanks for a great tutorial! I just made my first gnome and it turned out great! My 4yo dd will be so excited to find them among her birthday presents next week.

  3. Thank you for the fab tutorial lovely lady 🙂

  4. Thank you for this tutorial. I made some gnomes the other day and you can see it on my blog. I have mentioned your blog (I hope this is ok…I am new to blogging). Please let me know! 🙂

  5. These would be great for birthday rings too. Thanks!

  6. […] The top shelf I have plans to turn into the nature table. It’s just high enough that Saffron can’t see what’s up there, especially if I set stuff far enough back. So hopefully she’ll not break anything. Right now the boys’ glitter leaves are being displayed, but we are planning to add more stuff soon. I even ordered some wooden pegs to make seasonal gnomes. […]

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