How to Sew: Cute GNOME Ornaments | Cosy DIY Christmas Decorations




Introduction: How to Sew: Cute GNOME Ornaments | Cosy DIY Christmas Decorations

About: Multi-crafter, jewellery maker, card designer and frequent procrastinator.

I'm a fan of any holiday gnome decor to be honest, and there are plenty of varieties around...but I wanted something small for the tree that was as simple and as cosy as possible. This DIY doesn't require any prior sewing knowledge or a sewing machine, so it's good for sewing beginners.

I hope you like this project!


  • A4 Paper Sheet
  • Felt: for the hat
  • Fabric for the Body: I used a plaid fleece. You don't want anything stiff or too thick because it needs to be easy to hand-sew and shape.
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Tiny Piece of Faux Fur
  • Toy Stuffing
  • Clear-Drying Strong Glue
  • Hand Sewing Needle
  • Sewing Thread that matches the fabric.
  • Sewing Pins
  • 5 x 10 mm Wooden Spheres or Beads: these are for the hands, feet & nose. If these ornaments are going to be around babies or small children where they could be a choking hazard, you'll need to use an alternative. This could be felt pieces or spheres made by sewing thin fabric around some toy stuffing.
  • Disappearing or 'Magic' Fabric Pen
  • Awl (optional)
  • Craft Knife
  • Cutting Mat
  • Thread or Yarn: for the hanging loop

Step 1: Video Tutorial

If you'd prefer to watch rather than read :)

Step 2: Paper Templates

The first thing you need to do is make the paper templates: one for the body, one for the arms, and one for the hat.

For the body piece, draw out a rectangle that measures 9 cm (h) x 8 cm (w). Cut it out and fold it in half down the centre. Then draw & cut out the shape shown in the 2nd photo, cutting through both layers. My folded shape was 2.25 cm across the the top of the unfolded shape was then 4.5 cm. You don't need to make this shape exactly the same as mine, it's just a guide.

For the hat, draw out a rectangle measuring 8 cm (h) x 12.5 cm (w). Cut it out and then fold it in half so each half is 6.25" cm wide. Cut a diagonal line from corner to corner to produce a triangle shape.

For the arm piece, draw out a rectangle measuring 7 cm x 4.5 cm. Cut it out.

Step 3: Cut Out the Fabric Pieces

Use these paper templates to cut out 1 hat shape in felt, 2 body shapes in fleece, and 2 arm pieces in fleece.

To cut out the hat shape, I traced around the template onto the felt using my disappearing fabric pen, then cut along this line.

However, the fabric pen didn't work on the fleece, so what I did instead was:

  • Cut out a piece of fleece just over twice as wide as the body template
  • Folded this fleece in half
  • Then held the paper template onto the front and just cut around the template, cutting through both layers of fabric. This ensures a symmetrical shape.

For the arm pieces I did exactly the same, except I cut the fleece in half in the 2nd step rather than just folded it (just because it was easier since the pieces were small).

Step 4: Glue & Sew the Arms

Apply glue along 1 short edge of each arm piece - on the 'wrong' side of the fabric - and then fold that edge over by about 1 cm.

Once dry, fold each arm piece lengthwise, as shown, right sides together, and use the backstitch all along the long edge.

I've added a video tutorial above for this stitch. Make sure you knot the thread at the beginning and end to secure it.

Once you've sewn both arms, turn them right-sides-out.

Step 5: Sew the Body

Place the arms onto the front of one of the body pieces. The arms need to have the folded-over edges at the bottom as these are the cuffs. Also make sure they have one end at the shoulder edge, and they are pointing inwards to the centre of the body.

Place the other body piece on top so the right side is facing down i.e. the body pieces are right sides together.

Use sewing pins to hold all of these pieces together, with the outer edges all lining up. Make sure that one end of each arm still lines up with the edge of the body pieces (at the shoulder).

Then use the backstitch again and sew all around the shape except at the top edge.

Do small stitches for strength, and be patient where the arms are as here you'll be going through a lot of layers :)

Step 6: Stuffing

Turn the body right-sides-out.

Then simply insert toy stuffing into the top.

Step 7: Hands & Feet

Glue a wooden sphere onto the end of each 'leg', and also a wooden sphere into the end of each sleeve. When glueing the feet on, make sure you push them into the bottom of the legs a bit so they are slightly embedded. It just looks better this way, and it's less likely they'll be accidentally knocked off.

I did debate whether I would add felt hands instead, so that's an option if you don't want to use the spheres.

Note: If these ornaments are going to be around babies or small children, you would want to use an alternative to the wooden spheres as they could be a choking hazard. Sewn-on felt shapes, or thin fabric sewn around a little bit of stuffing may be better.

Step 8: Hat

For the hat, simply fold the triangle of felt in half and backstitch along the long edge.

Turn the hat right-side-out. This will fit on top of the gnome with the seam going down the centre at the back.

You'll see that the triangle shape makes the hat come down in a point at the back. This makes it easier to glue on and since I am not really intending for the back to be displayed then the look of it doesn't really matter. However, if you will have the back in view, you can always shape the back of the hat so it looks more like a normal hat shape :)

Step 9: Weirdy Beardy

Next you need to add a beard. I wasn't sure whether I wanted a long-pile grey beard or a short-pile white beard, so you can see I did both. I included the photos so you can see a comparison :) Personally, I think the grey beard would look best on a Scandinavian-style grey and white gnome.

Mark on the back of the faux fur how wide the top of the gnome body is, to use as a guide.

Use your craft knife (on a cutting mat) to cut through the back of the faux fur and cut out a small triangle-ish shape. You don't want to use scissors to cut out faux fur, as then you'll cut through the long fibres and it'll look odd.

Glue the beard into place, followed by a wooden sphere for the nose, and then the hat.

Leave to dry.

Step 10: Hanging Loop

Use an awl to poke a hole through the top of the hat. Then use a needle to take a strand of thread/twine/yarn through and tie it into a loop. I used baker's twine for this.

Step 11: The End

The gnome is now complete!

I hope you enjoyed this Instructable, thanks for reading :)

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1 year ago

Oh my goodness! This project is so cute! I want to make one or two for friends.
The video was really helpful I was wondering if you had an idea of the overall cost of making one or two?

Thank you again!


Reply 1 year ago

Aw thanks! I think it must be very cheap per gnome since I'm using so little actual material. Probably only cost about 50p ish each, but you'll likely need to buy more materials than you need - particularly of the fabrics. Happy crafting:)


1 year ago

really good and detailed! reminds me of the gnome i gave my mom at her birthday.


Reply 1 year ago

Thank you :D


1 year ago

This is adorable thank you for sharing. I was thinking that for the nose feet and hands you can use polymer clay to make the beads with holes for sewing on if desired / small spheres.


Reply 1 year ago

Yes that 's a good shout, thank you!


Reply 1 year ago

Thank you :D