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Wednesday, March 2, 2011

How to Make a Gnome

I love the act of crafting and the idea of something beautiful being made by my own hands.  It is not often that it turns out as well as I would like.  But I can't complain though when I am crafting by myself and have no one to ask when I run into a snag so to speak.

When I came upon a tutorial for how to make wooden gnomes (from Wee Folk Art), I knew I needed to have a go at it.  Little J's birthday is soon and I think playing with these gnomes is right up his ally.

Below you will find the steps I took to make the gnomes.  If you would like more detailed instructions and images, check out Wee Folk Art.  She has the most awesome projects for you to try.  Impressed doesn't seem to say enough.  

Before beginning, order peg people online or go to your local craft store and purchase a set.  I got mine at Hobby Lobby for less than $4 for 4 people.  If you want to make mini gnomes, you may want to order online.  I haven't found any at our local craft stores.


First, you will need to download the templates from Wee Folk Art.  Then, cut out the templates that are the appropriate size for the peg people you purchased.  Finally, trace the templates onto stiff paper or cardboard.  I traced mine on a recycled cereal box.


Next, draw all the detail from the printed template onto your patterns.  Once completed cut out your patterns.


Now, trace your pattern onto colored felt.  I chose 4 different colors of felt and traced 1 of each pattern onto each different color.  Finally, cut out each piece. 


Once all pattern pieces are cut out apply craft glue to the entire body surface on the wooden peg person.  Select one of the body wrap pieces.


Carefully wrap the felt around the peg person pressing gently.  I allowed my felt to overlap slightly to ensure a snug fit.


I had my husband hold and press the seam while I completed this same step on another peg.  By the time the next peg was complete, the glue was secure enough for me to place the peg person on a shelf for drying.


As the cape and hats, I do not have a photo.  I had never hand sewn before and was concentrating so much on the process I did not take the pictures.  Sorry.

However, here is what I did.  On the edge of the cape where the template dictates blanket stitch with a complimentary color of embroidery floss. 

Do the same on the hat except on the seam where the two sides meet to form the cone.  At this point you can glue the pieces together overlapping a bit.  OR  You can use a running stitch before gluing the pieces together.  It is your choice.

J wanted me to turn a couple of the gnomes into kings and queens.  I drew a simple crown on the felt with a pen and cut it out.  The first time it was a bit large, so I just trimmed to fit.

Use wood glue to secure the hat in place on the head of the gnome.

The cape will need to be stitched together around the neck of the gnome.  This was a bit tricky, but turned out okay in the end.  That's the beauty of the entire project.  It doesn't have to be perfect to still hold all the magical appeal.

To stitch the two sides of the cape together, I placed the cape around the gnomes neck and thread embroidery floss through both sides.  Be sure to knot the end of the floss to ensure it does not slip through the felt.  Then, I stitched over, under, over, under until I got a nice snug fit.  If it was a bit loose, I just changed the location I was entering the felt to tighten it up a bit.  I believe I may have even added a bit of wood glue to a few of the gnomes.

Overall this was a the perfect project for a beginner like myself.  My boys loved the gnomes and especially enjoy them sitting out on our nature table for easy access when the whim to play arises.

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One Pink Fish

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*All remedies mentioned on Natural Simplicity have been found on the web or in books as I learn to heal my family in a more natural manner.

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