Wednesday, July 28, 2010

How to Craft a Gnome



Remember these critters? I promised a ‘How To’. This is the basic-est of basic How To’s, because honestly, the sky is the limit and if I covered limitless sky gnome making, we’d all still be here next week. Locate your ‘give it a whirl’ attitude, and craft up gnomey queens and woodcutters, wizards and children, old ladies who live in a shoe (and email me at myrtleandeunice@gmail.com with any queries)...

1. You can make your own bodies using beads and pipe cleaners, but that’s another tute and the gnome bodies, shown below, are FABULOUS. Bendy, sturdy, stand-up-able, positionable and available for as little as $1.70 for this, the 10cm variety, and a smidge more for the 15cm version. I bought mine from Little Sparrow, Winterwood also has them (also online) and I’ve even spotted ’em at Bunnings Hardware stores.

So anyway, take one gnome body and a scrap of wool fleece (fleece ‘grips’ easier than the polyester stuff, but you could use a scraplet of batting)...



2. And soften/fatten up your gnome. This fattening up bizzo really does make the world of difference. They feel so much more...er...real.



3. Dress your gnome in ‘long johns’ using any scrap yarn you have. I was generous with the craft glue down each of the arms and legs and then wound the continuous length of yarn to cover the fleece and generally bulk out the gnome with a nice solid midriff. Secure with a knot.



4. (Long johns):



5. Cut out two pieces of felt (I’m a sucker for the feel of the 100% wool stuff) for the shirt and two pieces for the trousers. Of course you could dress ’em in lederhosen or what have you – whatever takes your fancy. Below are a few indicative measurements, but these depend on how much your gnome has been fattened. Bear in mind that felt is very forgiving, and it’s not desperately necessary to be too precise (luckily).



6. Blanket stitch the corresponding clothes pieces together. Sew the waist of the trousers into the yarn and fleece body.
nb: I reckon these gnomes are a bit small and fiddly for small fingers to navigate changes of clothing, so all my gnomes are ‘permanently’ clothed (plus this provides the excuse for creating a whole cast of characters).



7. It’s often easier to stitch one side of the clothing pieces, then ‘dress’ the gnome, before stitching the other side.



8. Stitch the neckline to the gnome body.



9. What with an excited, lurking wee one breathing down my neck, I stuck to a few speedy french knot ‘button’ details. Plus I’m sticking to the basics here – embellish to your heart’s content!



10. As far as hats go, you can crochet sombreros and whatnot (yep, that’s the excited, lurking, breathing-down-neck, wee one). I used a 1.5mm hook with sock yarn, based on a single crochet stitch with a few increases thrown in when I wanted to broaden the brim. Again, you can use and do anything, but the tighter the stitch, the more structure there is to the hat.



11. Or you can do traditional gnome with pointy hat (if you’re adding hair stick this on to the head with glue before the hat)...



12. A generous swoosh of craft glue:



13. And whaddayaknow, we’re ready to play...



I'd love to see your gnomey creations!

56 comments:

Andi said...

Unbelievably cute!!!

Jana said...

I just love these little guys...now only if I could find somewhere in the US to buy these little bodies. hmmmm
Jana

Sue said...

Forget the grandies. I want some! These guys beat pegs anyday. Thanks.

Chicken Willow said...

So cute!

Fer said...

Aww, that's just too cool! I'll definitely have to make some for when the wee girl is a bit older and everything stops going straight into her mouth. :)

garcia.sol said...

too cool...its a bit freaky how real they seem once u have the clothes on, hehehe

Umatji said...

aah, the wool and wool winding do make al the difference - you are truly a gnome leader among noble gnomes. Hey do you know the noble gnome song? you really should!

Real Life Reslers said...

adorable! I've been wanting to make a fairy garden and one of these would look adorable standing in it. It's almost midnight here, so I guess I cant' go shopping rightthisminute!

june at noon said...

I love how you've personalized each one, and even though they can't be seen when finished, I'm a fan of those long johns!

Cherry said...

Tania - you win! This is hands down the cutest tutorial/project I've seen EVER! (Bet you didn't even know there was a contest... ps neither did I!)
I'm on a years maternity leave from next Friday and though I'm sure with a new baby I won't get too much craft time I certainly will be making some of these.

Mel said...

Oh such goodness! Gosh I love their (ahem) 'fullness' ;)
And i reckon it's the blanket stitch that makes the clothing look extra smart.

ecoMILF said...

it's like you read my mind. i have been perusing toy shops for north's 2nd birthday gift and wanted to get him a castle/playhouse of some sort but little men to play in it are hard to come by. just ordered 10 of these from winterwood- thank you tania!! xo m.

teddybearswednesday said...

Love him and thanks for the great how to. I like him soo much in his long johns before clothes too.x

Tamara said...

Bloody Brilliant Tania! I'll be making some for my little guy..that'll be my excuse anyway...I'm thinking more for my own crafting pleasure;) You are such a treasure you know...

xt

Cat from Raspberry Rainbow said...

I love these! I know my Miss 4 will love helping me make her some of these, so much fun.
Beautiful photos, as always.

Leonie Guld said...

Oh...they are fine...so dam fine!!!

Little Sparrow - Natural Toys & Handwork Supplies said...

thanks Tania for the link....there are plenty in stock in the shop and online!!!!!! x shelley

angelina said...

oh my gosh. big kiss to you!!xxxx

Frog, Goose and Bear said...

They are just too adorable! Better than Bob the Builder and Wendy who live in our wooden dolls house.

LiaGovers said...

Very, very nice, these gnomes!

CurlyPops said...

Now that's the cutest little gnome I ever did see!

Loz and Dinny said...

They can move into my garden any day (if they promise to do the weeding and stuff) ... now to remember how to do blanket stitch ... hmm, perhaps I never knew?

GUGAW said...

aww i've missed your beautiful blog posts, and this is just fab! sorry for being away for a while :)

Adriana said...

They are the cutest little guys EVER!
I love them.
And a great tutorial too.
Thanks for sharing.

I'll definitely be trying these out for myself.
The little man might be allowed to play with them too...

You are too clever!

Susie said...

Zowie! You made that look so easy. And they are so stinkin' cute!

Thanks for sharing!

A Peppermint Penguin said...

Gnome, gnome on the raange
where the felt and the yarn go to play
where seldom is heard
a discouraging word
and you haven't had cake for a day!!

Kylie said...

Gorgeous Tania. I love the little face peeking up over the table!! :)) Kx

katiecrackernuts said...

A lovely tutorial and beautifully shot. They sure do come to life in your series.

Sandrine said...

They are even cute in the making!Thanks for sharing your gnome making x

Stomper Girl said...

The gnomes are adorable, and once more I have to comment on your exquisite blanket stitchery, but both these are eclipsed by that little lurker at the end of the table. So cute.

Caroline said...

Ab.sol.ute.ly fabulous! This would be a real challenge for me, maybe I will set aside the sewing machine for a bit and have a try soon.

katieh said...

They are so lovely!

I'm itching to make some now!

Also - incase it's useful for your readers in the UK i know you can get very similar figures from http://www.myriadonline.co.uk/doll-making-waldorf-doll-making-supplies.php (just scroll down.)

bunny said...

Thank you for the lovely tutorial!

I wish that we could find the gnome "blanks" here in the US.

I am going to try to adapt this to a bendy gnome (the kind made with pipe cleaners & a wooden bead head).

Rose said...

So, so cute!! I used to make something similar to this when my girls (26 & 21 now) were little, only they came from a kit; thanks for sharing this as it brought back good memories to all three of us!

Rose said...

So, so cute!! I used to make something similar to this when my girls (26 & 21 now) were little, only they came from a kit; thanks for sharing this as it brought back good memories to all three of us!

Nikki said...

You rock!

Lemon said...

For those in the US looking for bases, I found that Weir Crafts has something similar.

http://www.weirdollsandcrafts.com/waldorf-dollmaking-supplies/wooden-doll-base.html

Lizzie said...

That's it I'm off to Bunnings.....
Lizzie
xxx

UpsideDown Kate said...

This is ADORABLE!! I'm so glad I found you!

BubzRugz said...

very cute - i can imagine these in christmas stockings all around the world... the little bodies are on my shopping list.... Hugz

VintageBettys said...

Thank you for sharing, I can't wait to give it a try! They are so cute! I want a whole bunch of them :)...
I am working on some little wood headed angels that I plan on posting on my blog soon.

VintageBettys said...

i love your little gnomes! I want to make alot of them they are really super cute. Thank you for sharing. I'm working on little angels with wooden heads and I will be posting pictures of them soon

Thanks,
Laura

Vintage Cherubs said...

These are so cute. Thank yo so much for sharing. I like them in their long johns too. xo

Julie said...

Fantastic! I love love LOVE these! Thanks for sharing.

Varenikje said...

Ok, maybe this demonstrates my lack of self control, but I did find out that places that sell these little gnomes in Australia will, in fact, send them to the US, where I happen to be. But these were so cute, I couldn't resist! Thank you for the very easily understood tute!

Chasing Purple Dreams said...

So cute and so perfectly timed for my Little Guy’s development, thankyou! He was captivated by them when he saw yours on the screen so we set of to Bunning’s and now George and Jen are getting up to all sorts of mischief. Not quite as cute as yours, but was under lots of toddler sized pressure! Here they are if you want a look.
http://chasingpurpledreams.blogspot.com/2010/09/george-and-jen-join-us-for-picnic.html

the sleepy time gal said...

these are so adorable! thanks for doing the tutorial. great photos. i love your blog as ai just discovered it.

Stephanie said...

These are adorable!!! I will be making these for the kids in my family for christmas!

Maria said...

I can't wait to get a gnome! (As in, find the gnome body which seems to be hiding from me)

Daily Craft said...

Great project! I just wanted to let you know that we featured this project on our Facebook page with over 14,000 fans. We’d love it if you’d use our Featured Blogger button, available at: http://www.dailycraft.com/thank-you-for-crafting/. Our audience loved the project and we look forward to sharing more from you. Please let us know if you have any questions or projects you’d love us to feature! Thanks!

cityhippyfarmgirl said...

Finally finished these guys! So much fun to make, thank you :-)
http://cityhippyfarmgirl.com/2011/07/26/the-little-people/

Margot said...

So adorable! I might have to make a couple! I was looking for some toppers foe my wedding cake. I found you from cityhippyfarmgirl. :)

Cindy Cooksey said...

Love your gnome project! Now i want to make some.

terriachmann said...

You are inspiring! Thanks for these ideas and I love your tutorials :-) And I know just whom to share your blog with...

Bel said...

Thank you so much for this gorgeous tutorial! I am going to share this with my Spiral Garden customers and friends! We sell gnome bodies in 3 sizes - so I'm sure the tutorial can be adapted for lots of gnome-family giving this Christmas. x

srpprcrftr said...

Just found your blog tonight, so glad, what a discovery.
OH my goodness, takes awhile to get to the bottom of comments to leave my own, lol. That's sure good for you, shows you've really enthralled people. You sure have enthralled me. Ran out of ink tho printing out the how to's. Maybe tomorrow can get on hubby's machine and print out all. Don't know which I love best, your knomes or the little chicks. Since I have chicks in kitchen will have them out all the time, not just for Easter. Going to make the knomes hopefully if my darned old arthritic hands will cooperate. Hopefully I can still do the blanket stitch. So darned cute all of them. I was laughing like a lunatic at the poses of the chicks. Thanks ever so much for sharing how-to for both chicks and knomes. So delightful. What fun it will be making them all.