Scandinavian Christmas Gnomes From Socks

Ever since a visit to Denmark I really liked the Scandinavian Christmas gnomes (or tomte, nisse. ...) for decoration during the holiday period. After a lot of DIY for our wedding, we sort of fell into a black hole after the wedding was over and we were in desperate need for a new (small) project. With Christmas on it's way, the internet exploded with Christmas decoration ideas. My love for the Scandinavian Christmas gnomes was reborn. After a little more searching, I decided to craft some from fluffy Christmas socks, both for decorating our own house and for gifting to family and friends.

Teacher Notes

Teachers! Did you use this instructable in your classroom?
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.

Step 1: Materials and Tools

For one gnome you will need:

  • 2 fluffy (chenille) socks in different dessins to your liking
  • 1 simple sock
  • Fake fur, about 10x10 cm (4x4 inches)
  • Skin colored fabric, only a small piece
  • Rice, approximately 500 grams (2.5 - 3 cups)
  • Pillow stuffing
  • 2 rubber bands
  • Rope, about 20 cm (8 inches)
  • Wire, about 30 cm (12 inches)

Furthermore, you need some tools to help you make the gnomes:

  • Scoop
  • Funnel
  • Glue gun
  • Scissors
  • Exacto knife and cutting mat
  • Measuring tape
  • Marker
  • Sewing pins
  • Sewing machine or needle and thread
  • Pliers

Step 2: The Rice of the Gnome

The basic structure of the gnome consists of a simple sock stuffed with rice.

  1. Take a simple sock and fill it with the rice. I found it easiest to use a funnel.
  2. Close the sock with a piece of rope. It can be handy to first close the sock with a rubber band.
  3. Cut out a circle with a diameter of approximately 5 cm (2 inches) from the skin-colored fabric.
  4. Isolate a bit of the sock with rice to create a nose. Wrap around the skin-colored fabric and tie it with a piece of rope (again, using a rubber band first can be handy).

Step 3: The Gnome Cone

The basis for the hat is created by using pillow stuffing.

  1. Fill the remaining part of the sock with pillow stuffing.
  2. Close the sock by sewing it in a cone shape. Using sewing pins can be helpful. I used a sewing machine, but of course this can also be done by hand using needle and thread.
  3. Use hot glue to attach the cone to the rest of the body to create a better gnome shape.

Step 4: The Body Socking

The body of the gnome is covered by a fluffy sock.

  1. Cut the sock just above the heel.
  2. Put the sock over the body, right under the nose.

Step 5: Hurry, Add Some Furry!

Now it is time to add a beard.

  1. Measure how wide and long you want the beard to be.
  2. Mark the beard on the back of the fake fur.
  3. Cut out the beard using an exacto knife. Don't use scissors, because you will trim the fur on the outline of the beard.
  4. Glue the beard to the body using hot glue. You only need to glue the top edge.

Step 6: Sock Head!

Time for the finishing touch!

  1. Stick a piece of wire through the top, all the way to the bottom.
  2. Make a loop on the top end, so that it is not sharp.
  3. Place a fluffy sock over the wire and cone.
  4. Fold the edge of the sock twice.
  5. Glue the edge of the sock to the bottom sock.

Step 7: The Gnome Family

Voila, your gnome is finished! Once you get the hang of it, you will see that it is really easy and doesn't take a lot of time to make one. You can make an entire family of gnomes to give away during the holidays. I finished 14 of them in just over half a day. Be creative! Make braids instead of a beard for a female gnome, model a mustache in the beard, add buttons or other decorations, ..... The possibilities are limitless!

Homemade Gifts Contest 2017

Participated in the
Homemade Gifts Contest 2017

2 People Made This Project!


  • Indoor Lighting Contest

    Indoor Lighting Contest
  • Stone Concrete and Cement Contest

    Stone Concrete and Cement Contest
  • DIY Summer Camp Contest

    DIY Summer Camp Contest

24 Discussions


7 weeks ago

Great work!


6 months ago on Step 3

Thank you , for letting me be part of your gnome making , I love these little guys .


1 year ago

I love this! Was looking for a thorough instructional guide! This is going to be the gifts I make for next year. Who doesn't like these little guys! Merry Christmas!

1 reply

8 months ago

Davvero belli, da fare con i nipotini :-D . Grazie Sandra


8 months ago

Cutest ever! I love these and I'm going to make a few right away! Thanks!


9 months ago

Merci pour ces explications clairement illustrées étape par étape


1 year ago

These are adorable!!! If I may make a suggestion, the rice will attract critters when you store your gnome, and all your hard work may be ruined. You might want to try sand which you can get in your hardware store. Its dry and clean. If you are concerned about the sand sifting through the fibers of the socks just fill a plastic grocery bag with the sand and then put it inside the sock you make for the body. Thank you so much for sharing, I giggled when I looked at your pictures :)

1 reply

Thank you! I'm glad that you like them. Thanks for the tip! I'm usually storing my Christmas decorations in a sealed plastic box, so hopefully the critter problem won't be too bad. And otherwise I'll make new ones next year (perhaps with sand) ;).


1 year ago

OH GNO! Gnow I gnow where my missing socks are going! Gnome hats!!

1 reply

1 year ago

Soo Cute!!! I am going to make a few this Christmas.

1 reply

1 year ago

para el menor consumo de dinero la alternativa inventar sus propias ideas eso nos ayuda a mejorar nuestra calidad de vida gracias por compartir

1 reply