Sunday, November 18, 2012

DIY Elf on a Shelf

Elf on a Shelf, Elf on a Shelf.... right around this time of year that is all I hear. There are pictures all over friend's fb timelines and all over pinterest. Before last year I had never heard of it... now it is everywhere. Last year I decided Bug was still too young. He was 25 months old last Thanksgiving and I thought he would not really understand it too well. I said "Next year I will think more on this...".
Well now next year is here and with only three days to Thanksgiving, I decided I needed to get on this quick! Bug is 37 months this year (3 yrs one month) and completely excited about the idea of Santa. So I talked to Hubby about the elf on a Shelf tradition that all the parents our age have started with their kids. He loved the idea and so I went to order the book. I looked at several stores and quickly realized it was going to cost about 35$.
So I figured well we used to have vintage style elves that looked just like that elf, before our then puppy ate them in what we still refer to as the Elf Massacre of 2008. So I thought I will check eBay. On eBay they were all more expensive than the Elf on a Shelf ones were because of the vintageness of them.
So I thought about it.. realized I had very little time to do all of this anyway because the Elves are supposed to join their families the morning after Thanksgiving. So I decided to just make one. Almost no one I know actually has the book, most people I know either found a vintage elf or bought just the elf part or else found a different elf somewhere else. There are also loads of sites where you can find letters from Santa to include with your Elf when it arrives at your house. So I figured we could have all the fun of it with none of the cost and have a completely one of a kind Elf as well.
Now I had the idea... how to go about it. I scanned pinterest and DIY blogs for ideas... and though I found some truly adorable ones... none were quite what I had in mind. Then I remembered Happy Hannah!
Happy Hannah was a doll I found in my Freshman year of college. She was originally called Yasmine Yellow and was one of the "Color Me Cuties" dolls Fisher Price made in 2000. My friends and I thought she was adorable and I just had to buy her. Happy Hannah became a mini icon for my friends and me and stayed one of my most beloved things until Bug was born. He found her one day and claimed her as his own. I knew she would make the perfect elf but I didn't know how to get her away from Bug. So when I went to find her in his room and sneak her away he asked me where I was taking her. DARN!
So I thought quickly.... "Hannah was selected by Santa to become an Elf. She is going to go to the North Pole and Santa will help her become an Elf and then she will come home to us after Thanksgiving and stay with us until Santa takes her back on Christmas Eve." He seemed excited about this and accepted it easily. I was super happy for having come up with that on the spot. I showed him pictures of other elves from other homes and how they all report back to Santa each night. He was really excited by the idea.
So I started turning Hannah into an Elf. (Away from Bug of course... he watched a movie in our bedroom while I made Hannah in the office). First I took off all her clothes. Then I cut off her hands and feet which as you can see in the picture are kind of huge and very unelflike. That  left her with a soft tummy and openings to extend her arms and legs with pipe cleaners. Once her legs and arms were extended I covered them with a thin forming tape.

Now with longer legs and arms she looked more elflike. Now all I had to do was cover her body in red felt. I used hot glue to do this part. After that I made her clothes, a hat, fixed her hair and made her mitten hands and pointy curled elf shoes.

And here she is! Finished product! 

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