Every year, I attempt to craft something for my family in Finland. I am not successful every year, but this year, I am pleased to report that my hot glue gun skills came through. What is the “black thumb” equivalent for crafting? Smudge thumb? I just made that up. Even if you have “smudge thumb”, you can make these gnome toppers. They’re an adorable accessory for giving a bottle of wine or glogg, adding whimsy to a taper candlestick, or topping a mini tree. You could even make a smaller version as a gift wrap accessory.
I bought the Bachman’s gnome topper above at Lund’s and Byerly’s. I studied it, and inside the hat you can see the end of a pipe cleaner, so the materials list was simple to make. I decided to do a small pom instead of the wood nose, because I wasn’t sure how the wood was attached, but I knew the pom would stay with hot glue. My craft store was sold out of white faux fur, so I went with brown. This is so simple, you could add your own variations in countless ways.
If you’re a crafty person, you’ve probably said got it, created a village of gnomes, and photographed and written a better tutorial by now. But if you’re still here, I’ll walk you through a ridiculously over-explained photograph tutorial.
Materials for one gnome:
faux fur (or beard material of choice)
mini pom (or nose of choice)
thread or thin string (I used embroidery thread)
small jingle bell (or a pom)
Tools: hot glue gun, scissors
1. Cut your felt into a long, isoscles triangle. I didn’t bother measuring, because it’s up to you how long and narrow you want the hat to be. To figure out how wide the base should be, wrap the felt around the neck of a wine bottle (or candlestick) and then give it a tiny bit of wiggle room. For the best shaping, make the triangle a little longer than the pipe cleaner.
2. Double-knot a jingle bell onto thread, and hot glue the thread to the narrow end of the triangle. (You could also sew the bell on, like an overachiever.)
3. Hot glue the pipe cleaner down the middle, with one end an inch or so from the narrow end of the hat.
4. Flip it over and run hot glue along the edge of the wide end. Fold the edge over the glue to make the brim of the hat. (If you wanted the brim to be an accent, like white trim on a red hat, you could have first glued a strip of fabric on the edge of the pipe cleaner side.)
5. Cut out your faux fur beard. The Bachman’s gnome beard is long and wispy, but my faux fur wasn’t as wispy, so I cut it into a subtle triangle to make it look more beard-like.
6. Hot glue the beard, centered, at the edge of the wide end of the pipe cleaner side of the hat, furry side down. Make sure the glue is getting on the batting part of the faux fur.
7. Glue one long side over the other, overlapping minimally. I did a few inches at a time, so that I could just push it flatly, and then poke my finger through to keep any glue from leaking. I didn’t want to make the hat flat; I wanted it to stay conical.
8. Glue the pom “nose”. I tucked it slightly under the brim of the hat. The faux fur may shed, so make sure the pom is glued to the felt.
That’s it! You made a gnome topper! He looks great! What did you name him?
This is Alden. He’s trying out my electric candle. I didn’t keep him there long, because I don’t know whether or not that’s safe. But I thought the pink glow (like when you put your fingers over a flashlight) was cool, especially since he has a pink nose.