This is the best DIY little pocket-sized holiday present ever! Adults and children alike cannot help but smile when they see these little guys roll head- over-feet down a ramp!
Inspiration: I made these elves as stocking stuffers for my boys many years ago. They are small enough 3”x4” to fit into a stocking or a pocket (rolled up, it is about 1.5" by 1.5"). After the holiday season, my boys would carry their elves in their pockets and would roll them down their torsos in the car or play with them while sitting bored in an airport.
Note: I have entered this Instructable in the Holiday Gifts Contest because these elves are great holiday gifts and stocking stuffers; the Pocket-Sized Contest because these elves easily fit inside a pocket; the Design Competition because I think this design is fabulous; and the 3-D Printer Contest because it would be great to have a 3-D printer to make such items as the head and ball used in this Elf!
Time to make: 30 min.
Cost: less than $2 each
Recommended Ages to make: 10+
Recommended Ages to play with elves: 3+
WARNING: This toy has small parts (especially the 7/8" metal ball) that may be a choking hazard to young children.
Step 1: Materials and Supplies
Dowload and print pattern (pdf file)
Scraps of thin felt or polarfleece
One 1 3/8” long tube with 1” diameter *
One 7/8” diameter metal ball**
hand sewing needle
thread that matches the color of the hat
* I used a cardboard tube from an old rocket kit. You can also use a piece of PVC pipe or a plastic tube from a tube of holiday gumballs. An inexpensive roll can be made by simply taking a piece of an index card and wrapping it several times around a 1” broom handle and taping the roll in place.
** The ball needs to be heavy. A marble will not work. If you do not have a 7/8” metal/steel ball, I suggest gluing together fishing weights into the shape of a 7/8” ball and wrapping them with tape. Realize that the “ball” must be heavy and must be able to roll freely through the 1” tube.
***I have tried all kinds of glue and find a glue gun to be the easiest to use for this project. Tacky glue works, but you have to pin everything together until it dries. AND despite what the lable says, it does not dry clear on felt! So, if you are using a hot glue gun instead of a cool version, be careful and don’t burn your fingers!