Gnome for the Holidays

Gnome for the Holidays

It’s been awhile since we had a chance to catch our breath and write a blog post.  You guys have kept us hopping all year long and we can’t thank you enough for all the love and encouragement!  We’re so amazed {every. single. time} someone contacts us to purchase something we created.   Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for following our journey – for commenting on our social media posts, for sharing our page and recommending our small business to your family and friends – it means the world to us!

Thought we’d share our latest project with you – we created some adorable gnomes that are easy to DIY!  They’re perfect to display around the house throughout the holidays.  You’ll be surprised how quickly they come together!

We must admit – we didn’t come up with the idea for a triangle shaped gnome.  We saw it floating around online.  Recently, we were rebuilding some steps on our back patio and the wood remaining from making the stair risers was already cut into a triangle shape – so thought we’d give them a go!  We couldn’t find any instructions on how to make them, but thru trial and error, figured it out!  We detailed all the steps to help you create these cute little guys. 

Let’s get started creating!! 

Step 1.  Create your gnome base.  Ours is cut from a cedar 2x8x10, but you could use whatever type of wood you like – we’d recommend something at least 1 ½ inches thick.  The wood was cut into triangles – the base is approximately 5 inches at the bottom and stands almost 8 inches tall. 

All measurements that follow are based on this triangle size.  You can cut the wood however large or small you’d like.  It doesn’t have to be a perfect triangle since most of the wood is covered by the hat and beard.  The wood just needs to be large enough to stand on its own.

Step 2. Paint or stain the triangle base.  We painted each side of the wood base with acrylic paint.  You don’t have to paint the top of the base since the hat will cover the top portion. Also - no need to paint the bottom of the base. No one will see it since the gnome stands up. Plus, you can stand the base up to dry and it won’t stick to anything.

Step 3.  Add some whimsy!  Once the paint was dry (that took about 20 minutes), Denver sanded the wood edges to create a distressed look.

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We wanted to add a bit of whimsy to the gnomes, so we grabbed a Chalk Couture transfer and Chalk Paste to add “believe” to the bottom of the wood base. 

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The Chalk Paste just takes a few minutes to dry.  Want to grab some Chalk Couture supplies? You can find them in our store!  We’ve got everything you need to start chalking – so many fun transfer designs to choose from - this transfer is called “Peace Joy Believe.”

We sealed the Chalk Paste using Rust-Oleum Chalked Protective Topcoat in Matte Clear.  This takes about 15 minutes to dry.

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Step 4.  Drill a hole in the gnome base for the nose.  We used a 3/16th drill bit to do this.  We measured 3 ¾” up from the bottom of the base and drilled a hole.  Make sure you don’t drill thru the wood to the back of the gnome.

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Step 5. The beard.  We bought some faux fur at Joann’s for the beard.  Depending on the type of fur you purchase – you might need to watch where you lay it down because that stuff is almost as bad a glitter.  The fur will get everywhere!  

Cut the fur into a 3 ½” wide x 6” tall rectangle.  Make sure you take note of the flow of the fur before cutting.  You want the fur to flow downwards when attached to the gnome base. It helps to turn the fur over and cut from the back.  You want to try to avoid cutting the actual fur. 

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Fur Flow.jpg

How much faux fur do you need to purchase?  It depends on how large you cut your wood base and how many gnomes you’re making.  We purchased a ¼ yard of faux fur and had more than enough to create 14 gnomes. 

Place the fur on top of the gnome base. (Remember to check the direction of the fur flow.)  It’s up to you where you want to place it.  We wanted to be able to see “believe” at the bottom of the gnome.

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We attached the fur to the gnome base using a staple gun.  Wrap the fur around the top of the triangle and staple on each side.

Step 5. Create the hat.  I happened to have some wool sweaters laying around.  My mom cleaned out Dad’s side of the closet a while back and downsized his sweater collection.  I thought it was time to put them to use!

The sweaters were washed on hot in the washer and then dried on high heat.  Denver wasn’t a fan of this part of the process.  Wet wool smells terrible!  Who knew??  They came out of the dryer so tiny!

I wanted to create a band on the hat to hide the fact we’re going to staple it to the wood – so I cut into the sweater on the bottom corner to take advantage of the natural band in the sweater.  This way I had one side already sewed together using the seam from the sweater. 

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In order to figure out how big to cut my swatch of sweater, I just held it up to the gnome base and eyeballed it.  I figured if it was too big – I’d just sew another seam to make it smaller and cut off the excess.  It’s easier to fix it if it’s too large than if I cut it too small.

I did have to put the walking foot on my sewing machine since the layers were kind of thick.  Don’t have a sewing machine?? – No problem!  Grab a needle and thread and just hand sew a quick seam.  This doesn’t have to be perfect – it’s a gnome!  They’re kind of rustic anyways and a hand sewn seam will add to its charm.

Once a section was cut from the sweater, I turned the material so the right sides were together.  I then sewed a parallel seam on the side opposite the sweater seam.  Once sewn together, you should basically have a tube shape.

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Turn tube so seams are on the inside.

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To create the hat band, begin by rolling the cuff inside the tube. 

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Then turn the cuff so it’s back on the outside.  (The seams should all be on hidden on the inside.)

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The easiest way to finish off the hat is to just tie a ribbon or twine towards the top.  Since the edge of the sweater is felted, it shouldn’t fray or come undone.   

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Step 6. Let’s add the nose!  

While at Joann’s grabbing faux fur, we also grabbed some wooden knobs and 3/16th dowels.  Denver spray painted the noses and also cut the dowels into 1½” sections using a tin snips.  (You can use a variety of things to cut the dowels – a knife, etc.  They cut or break pretty easily.)

The noses came with a hole drilled into the back.  He placed some E6000 glue in the hole and inserted a dowel piece. 

Remember that hole we drilled in the gnome base for the nose in Step 4?  It’s currently hiding under the beard.  Grab the nose with the dowel rod attached and press the dowel rod into the fur where the hole is. 

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You’re not trying to push the dowel thru the fur, you’re trying to create a divot in the fur so that when you flip the fur up, you can see where to cut a hole in the material to allow the dowel to slide thru. 

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Squeeze a small dab of E6000 glue into the hole on the gnome base. 

Flip the fur back into place and insert the dowel into the hole.  Once the nose is attached, I fluffed the fur around the nose until I liked how it looked.

Step 7.  Attach the hat.

Place the completed hat on the gnome. We used the staple gun to attach it to the gnome base - we hid the staples under the hat band. Make sure you check where the seams are when you place the hat on the gnome. I like the hat seams on the side of the gnome and not showing in the front or back. (We may or may not have had to remove the staples from the first gnome and turned the hat since we didn’t double check this before we initially stapled it on.)

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I love how stinkin’ cute they are!!

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That’s pretty much it!  We bought enough materials to start an assembly line and create a gnome army!  We plan on selling them in our booth at the upcoming Minneapolis Holiday Boutique at USBank Stadium November 9-11.  Stop by and say hi! We’d love to chat with you!

If you make any gnomes yourself – send us some pics!  We’d love to see how they turn out.  Have any questions as you’re working thru the process? Feel free to contact us thru email or our Denver Chalks social media sites on Facebook or Instagram.

Don’t have time to make one right now?  Pin it for later!

Chalk Couture Supplies:

·         Peace Joy Believe Transfer

·         Chalk Paste – we used White and Stormy

·         Squeegee

General Supply list:

·         Wood – we had a 2x8x10 piece of cedar.  You need something at least 1 ½” thick.

·         Acrylic Paint

·         1½” wood knob

·         Spray paint for gnome nose

·         3/16th dowel rod

·         ¼ yard faux fur

·         Materials for hat – I felted a wool sweater.  You could use a sock, fleece, etc.

·         1/3 yard ribbon per gnome

·         Staple gun.  You could probably use a glue gun to attach the faux fur, nose and hat if you don’t have a staple gun handy.

 

Happy creating!!

-Kristen and Denver

 

 

Our Logo Comes to Life

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