Tag Archive | "elf on the shelf hack"

No-Sew Elf on the Shelf Hack {Video}

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The easiest way to hack your elf on the shelf- makes him bendy for posing!  Must do this for Christmas!In 2012 I had a thought- why not add bendable wires to the inside of my Elf on the Shelf?!  I had so many fun ideas for him but quite frankly, he wasn’t up to the task with his wimpy body.  Not long after that he was hacked, I blogged it,  and the tutorial went on to become a HUGE Internet sensation!

In 2015 I decided (after the prodding of a friend) it was about time I made a video of this hack.  I did that and more- finding a way to put in the same, thick gauge wire that should last for many years of fun, but without the sewing!  If you haven’t hacked your Elf yet then you’re in for a treat- this method works for anyone and there is no need for a needle and thread!

You Will Need:

Cost- The wire is about $5 (use a coupon at the craft store!) and the velcro dots were $2 for the package. Most of the other items you will have on hand!  If you have a Leatherman tool this works great for pliers and a wire cutter.
Time- With no sewing this version of my Original Hack is even quicker! The first arm or leg may drive you nuts while trying to get the wire in between stitches but you find your groove!
Skill Level: If you can boil water you can hack your Elf.

Make Your Elf Arms Bendable!

Elf on the Shelf hack
Use the seam ripper to un-stitch the hands if you haven’t yet.  Take your wire and lay it next to your elf’s arms then cut where there is a tiny bit extra so you have enough wire to make a loop.  Make a tiny loop and squeeze it closed with your pliers- it has to be small enough to fit through the stitching but a loop is necessary to ensure the wire doesn’t eventually poke through the fabric and leave a hole!

Examine the hand on your elf- look on the side where the stitching is spaced out more (not the very tip).  When you find a good spot push the non-looped side of your wire through.  If you can’t seem to get your thick wire through you can use the seam ripper to widen a hole or even rip a single stitch- because you’re going in from the side and not the tip even ripping a stitch won’t matter!  The wire can’t poke through the tip (I wish I would have thought of that sooner!)
If you have a newer elf you notice there is elbow stitching to deal with (older, creepier models don’t have this).  On the backside of the arm rip 1-2 stitches in the middle of the arm.  This gives your wire entry to the upper portion.
Since we entered on the side, depending on how long you cut the wire will determine how easy or hard it is to get the remainder stuffed into the hand.  I wanted mine pretty exact since it seems to do the best for bending so I had to really work it in by bending the arm and pushing extra fabric down and working the wire up.
Make sure the end of your wire is centered and not facing the way you came in- once inside use your fingers to massage the seam.  The “entry wound” will be nearly invisible.

Make Your Elf’s Legs Bendable!

For the legs you will go the exact same thing.  Find stitching on the back of the leg above the bottom of the “foot” and insert your wire.  Pop a stitch or two at the knee and work the wire all the way inside.

Make Your Elf’s Hands Grippy!

Elf Hack for Grippy Hands
You can opt to skip this step- the bendable hands to most of the things the velcro addition does- but I like having the option of velcro.

Take your velcro hook and loop and cut one of each to fit the hands.  Decide the placement you want, add hot glue to the back, and attach.  That was easy!

Time to Pose!

Your Elf now has super posing abilities just in time for Elf on the Shelf season!  Find a few fun Elf on the Shelf ideas on DDL or the great list on Kids Activities Blog.  I’d love to see your bendable elf in action!  Tag me in photos on Instagram (@Kim_Rosas) and follow our Elf Wyatt again this year!

Win a Hacked Elf!


You can enter to win this exact Elf, expertly hacked by yours truly.  This contest will only be open a limited time so enter now!  US Only, Ends Monday Dec 7.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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7 Elf on the Shelf Ideas- Week 2

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I’m back to share more of our adventures with Wyatt the Elf.  I think the theme for this week was “Oh CRAP!” because at least 4 of the nights I moved him after laying in bed trying to fall asleep.  At least once he was moved at 1 am when the baby woke up and I “zombie” moved him.  The next morning it was as if he truly moved himself because I didn’t remember it.  How is THAT for magic?  All our moves this week were “level 1″ in terms of actual effort except for Chimney Sweep Elf.  He took quite a but of prop design.  You will also notice that he is using his new magnetic super powers and the tutorial for that is here: Magnetize and Accesorize Your Elf on the Shelf.  The original tutorial to make your Elf have “bones” and make him bendable is here: Hack Your Elf on the Shelf.

Our Elf discovered a new treasure in the form of a German Christmas Boot and had to try it on. He didn’t stomp any Goombas though.

A little known job of the Elves is to clean the dirty chimneys. Wyatt swept out the ashes to get ready for Santa’s visit.

Wyatt added holiday cheer to the top of the cabinets but got stuck in the process. I swear no elves were eaten. (ignore the naughty message on our counters LOL)

Wyatt failed his Cirque de Elf auditions for the aerial silks. He still practices every day so that one day his dream will come true.

“I’m a little candle, tall and thin…”

I’m not sure what I was thinking with this one. Because I wasn’t (half asleep). Kids were mildly amused…

Wyatt climbed the tree in an attempt to pull off an Ornament Heist and steal the most valued piece in our collection- a One of a Kind handmade ornament from grandma..

You can look back at our first week this year. I’ll have another post next week with the rest of our adventures.

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Hack Your Elf on the Shelf Part 2: Magnetize and Accessorize

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Last year I revolutionized the Elf on the Shelf game with my tutorial to make him bendable like an action figure and grippy, enabling him to participate in far more antics and giving him a more lifelike appearance than the floppy doll-ness he came out of the box with.  Over 60,000 people so far have visited to learn how to hack their Elf and I’ve heard from a lot of happy customers how much fun they’ve with their new and improved Elf on the Shelf.

This year I wanted to finish what I started.  My original idea was to add magnets to the inside of my elf’s hands to make them stick together- but unable to find small and strong enough magnets for the job I used velcro instead.  Still, I kept thinking about how COOL it would be if Wyatt could have magnetic powers just for special occasions and without having to have another major surgery.

Introducing the Elf on the Shelf magnet mittens!

It really couldn’t be any easier but adding magnets to your elf requires that you already have velcro attached from the original hack.  If you just want to skip to adding magnets keep in mind that I have one hand with velcro hooks and one with loops so that they attach to one another.

Step 1: Choose your magnets wisely.  Elf on the Shelf elves have big heads and thus their bodies are heavy.  I happened to have an ancient bag of super strong dime sized magnets in my craft drawer.  Last year I tried buying the roll of magnets and this wasn’t strong enough plus it is expensive!  Because the magnets are not a permanent part of the elf the size and appearance isn’t much of a concern.  I would be safe and buy the big and strong ones for this exercise and not risk your child see his beloved elf slowly slide down your fridge in horror.

Step 2: Gather your supplies.  You will need Velcro in any color really (I already had black on hand), your magnets (2), hot glue and a glue gun, and scissors.  Most of you already have all but the magnets in your craft drawer.


Step 3:  You will need to cut one circle or rectangle of each velcro type (1 hooks and 1 loops).  Circle or rectangle, that is your aesthetic choice- the circle can be cut to the size of your magnet or you can just cut a rectangle the size of the velcro on your elf’s hand.   They both work.

Step 3: Hot glue the velcro to the magnets.  That’s it!


Now you can attach the magnets to your elf’s hands and let him hang from any metal surface!  Fridge’s are an obvious choice and I am sure your Elf on the Shelf can leave fun notes for your children, drawings, or even a recipe for Elf Treats.  If you survey your home you might find many other places he can use his new Spidey powers too!  The magnets aren’t as much of a game changer as adding the wires and velcro but they can definitely add more versatility to his powers and it only takes minutes to set him up with magnet mittens.

Make an Elf-Sized Pom-Pom

You might have also noticed that in some of the photos Wyatt the Elf is looking a little more authentic to the book with a festive pom-pom affixed to his hat.  I will quickly give you a run down on how to accessorize your elf.  It really adds to his appearance, I think!

I modified the bunny tail tutorial from Easter to make a simple yarn pom-pom.  I skipped the cardboard and just looped yarn up and down to where I had about 5-6 loops on top and bottom with the total length from tip to tip of the loops being about 3/4″.  If that is too small to work with you can make it longer and just trim the entire thing down to make it smaller.  It is more work after but less frustration to work with the short yarn.  While pinching the middle I tied regular thread (embroidery thread works too but yarn is too thick for the middle) in a knot around the center and pulled tight..  Next I snipped open the loops on both ends then trimmed any longer strings.  Fluff it by rolling it gently in between your palms and you have a tiny elf-sized pom-pom.

Next just sew it to the tip of the hat.  Done.  I already had the supplies at home but you can also easily buy a tiny pom-pom from the craft store although you would likely have to buy an entire baggie of pom-poms!  This also only took 5 minutes which includes making the pom-pom and sewing it on.

Lastly, in case you are wondering, my elf has one more accessory.  The edging from one of my white socks.  Originally this was for my Inappropriate Elf entry but I loved it so much I think it will stay all year.  If you happen to have a pair of lace or scalloped edge socks you too can make your Elf a bonnet.  Trim it and thread some ribbon or embroidery floss through each side then tie in a pretty bow under his/her chin.

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