Tag Archive | "Elf on the Shelf ideas"

No-Sew Elf on the Shelf Hack {Video}

This post may contain affiliate links.

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

Posted in Crafty StuffComments (1)

Elf on the Shelf Idea- Photo with Friends from the North Pole {Download}

This post may contain affiliate links.

We’ve been lazy Elf on the Shelfers this year, and even without the extravagant costume changes and scenes our boys, especially my 5 year old, have loved having Wyatt here.  His excitement each morning as he searches for the new location keeps me motivated.  Some days I forget and wake in the middle of the night (usually due to a crying 3 year old) and move Wyatt from Shelf A. to Shelf B.  I’m OK with that.

Then a few nights ago my son did the CUTEST thing ever.  He grabbed paper and wrote a note to his elf.  It is pictured but unless you speak 5 year old you will need a translator.

“Dear Wyatt,

I love you, so all the elves get together and take a picture.”

Then he went into the wrapping paper that we had out from earlier, and seeing the potential disaster, I helped him wrap the gift.  He added a tag, wrote the names, and aded a bow.  Then he went to where Wyatt was hanging from our fan that day and told him he had a gift for him to open when he could.


Being the photoshopping/photographing mom that I am I knew I could get off my lazy good for nothing elf butt and make this one happen for my son.  While the kids slept I took my elf to my “studio” with my green screen still up.  I used my elf and posed him a few ways that I thought might work together as a group.   I even added a tissue skirt to Wyatt and had him cross dress for a moment for a bit of gender diversity.  He has seen the movie and knows there are girl elves too!


The resulting photo was printed and put into a spare frame I had.  Wyatt set up shop next to my vintage Super 8 and my husband’s old camera from high school for a fitting background.


That morning I followed my son around the house as he searched.  It took him a while to spot Wyatt in the corner.  I had to nudge him to get close enough to even see the 4×6 photo since he is so afraid of touching Wyatt.

“Oh look mom!  It is Wyatt and his family!”  Then he thought a minute and went to our living room.  There, he found the remnants of the gift wrapping.  “He got my letter mom!”  And it clicked.  Whew.

Was the extra effort worth it?  This time, YES!  Doing that every single night, NO.  Not everyone has a mini photo studio or Photoshop so I tell ya what.  You can totally download this photo.  Of course, there are different elves with different skin tones and hair/eyes.  Not to mention that my elf is from 3 years ago and the new ones look totally different.  If your elf doesn’t match this won’t exactly work, but just in case, here it is.  I changed the text to a generic version, or you can download the blank and write in your child(ren)’s name(s) on the note.  Tomorrow, Wyatt will be on a bookshelf somewhere but today I was Mom of the Year in elf world.

Download Elf Friends with Text

Download Elf Friends with Blank

If you haven’t hacked your elf yet by adding wires to make him bendable here is my tutorial- Make your Elf on the Shelf Bendable and Grippy. It is the reason my elf is able to achieve those poses and not look like a lump.

Posted in Crafty Stuff, For KidsComments (5)

7 Elf on the Shelf Ideas- Week 2

This post may contain affiliate links.

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.

Posted in Crafty StuffComments (2)

7 Elf on the Shelf Ideas- Week 1

This post may contain affiliate links.

This week I have been keeping Wyatt busy, but doing simple tasks and making easy moves.  I will say that the snowflake Elf and S’mores elf were my oldest son’s favorites this week.  Enjoy!

I let Wyatt open the first drawer in the advent calendar.

Wyatt found a place on an actual shelf. Imagine that.

Naughty Wyatt found his way to our bar but got caught on our Elf booby trap.

Elves love their sweets! Wyatt decided to raid our pantry and whip up Elf sized S’mores. Fletcher loved this one.

Wyatt found his way into my cloth diaper ornament.

Wyatt loves decorating for the holidays and thought Fletcher’s room needed more decorations.

Wyatt got into the bag of cookies I baked for the new neighbors. At least he offered to share his loot with the other weirdo elves.

Make sure you visit my original tutorial for making your Elf bendable and have grippy hands (these come in very handy) and my newest tutorial for giving your elf magnet mittens and a new snazzy pom-pom for his hat.

Posted in Crafty StuffComments (0)

Elf on the Shelf Ideas: Week 3

This post may contain affiliate links.

December 12: Jack Sparrow the Elf

December 13: Naughty Stocking/ClothDiaper Switcher Elf

December 14: Doctor Feel Good Elf

December 15: Starbucks Drinking, Laptop Using, Table Hogging Elf

December 16: The Wolf Blitzer wearing (borrowed from The Bloggess) and posing in front of his Painting of a Painting in a Painting…. Elf

December 17: The Angry Birds Playing Elf

December 18: The Sexy Daddy Babywearing Elf

I am hard pressed to pick a favorite from this week. What is yours?
There is still time to make your Elf on the Shelf Pose-able using my Tutorial. You can also browse my past Elf on the Shelf Ideas from Week 1 and Week 2. Happy Elfing!

Posted in Crafty Stuff, For KidsComments (4)

Elf on the Shelf Ideas: Week 2

This post may contain affiliate links.

December 5: Jewel Theif Elf

December 6: Weight Lifting Elf

December 7: Piggy Break Robber Elf

December 8: Bad Sharpie Elf

December 9: Doggie Saving Fireman Elf

December 10: Tampon Nunchuck Ninja Elf

December 11: Trapped in the Castle and Watching you Sleep Elf

This week Wyatt has been VERY busy! He also channeled his darker sidewith his Dexter Morgan Scene (notseen by my kids of course) and started a Twitter Account. Follow him as @WyattTheElf to learn what it is really like being an Elf on the Shelf. Next week I will be back with more Elf on the Shelf Ideas!
PS: If you want to make your Elf pose-able like Wyatt I have a tutorial for that!

Posted in Crafty Stuff, For KidsComments (1)

Make Your “Elf on The Shelf” Bendable and Grippy-Tutorial

This post may contain affiliate links.

This is my first year doing Elf on the Shelf and I have been waiting for months to get started!  To those who aren’t familiar, Elf on the Shelf is a Christmas tradition where the Elf is hidden each night as the children sleep for them to find in the morning. He is always into something when the kids find him.  Thanks to Pinterest the ante has been officially upped.  Instead of plopping your Elf friend on your LazyBoy and calling it a day, moms and dads everywhere have been looking for the most adorable,creative, and disturbing places to hide Santa’s little Helper.  He is available at most stores or on Amazon.

UPDATE- A NEW No-Sew version of this hack is now available.  Video has been added above but it’s very close to the original version here.  Read instructions on the blog post available here: Hack Your Elf on the Shelf

To aid you in getting your Elf into more trouble than ever,  I have put together a tutorial for hacking the doll.  As much as we LOVE the story and the game, the Elf included is lacking a lot of features that would make him even cooler.  I have turned him into a bendable Elf with hands that stick together using velcro.  You can imagine how handy this will be when you need him to hang from the beams in your ceiling….  For those that don’t sew, just gluing velcro on the hands will enhance the Elf’s ability to wrap arms around objects and hold on.  For those that do sew, just adding wire will also do what the velcro is intended for as long as you bend his arms around objects.  This means you can skip adding velcro if you would like.

Make your Elf Bendable!

Update: there is a second hack available to let you add magnets to your elf to help him climb any metal surfaces and a tutorial for adding  festive elf-sized pom-pom to his hat.  Check it out after you have finished the first hack!

You will Need:

Cost- I already had everything but the wire, making the total cost 1.00.  Most of you will likely have most of these items, except wire and velcro, as well.
Time- I spent about 1 hour on this craft but this included finding my materials (in the basement), photographing, and multiple interruptions from children.  I think it can be done in less than 30 minutes without those.
Skill Level: Little to no Sewing Experience.  If you can boil water you can hack your Elf.

Supplies Needed

Step 1:

We will start with the arms. If you haven’t already, free his hands by snipping the stitch that keeps them together.  Then, rip out one stitch on the tip of the hand.

Remove one stitch in hand.

Step 2:

Unwind some wire and make a small loop at the end with your needlenose pliers (looping is good, otherwise the sharp straight end might work it’s way out and poke through the fabric).  Insert into the hand and push all the way to the top of the arm.  You don’t want to cut if from the spool yet.

Insert wire into arm

Step 3:

Once the wire is all the way up, leave room for what will be the loop at the end, then clip using your wire cutters and loop with the needlenose pliers.  I pushed the wire back out just a smidge, snipped, looped, then pushed back inside the hand.

Loop other end of wire.

Step 4:

After the wire is completely inside the hand, take white (or red if you prefer, like the original stitches) and close hand.

Close up the Hand

Repeat Steps 1-4 on other hand.

Step 5:

Time for the legs!  Unlike the hand, the legs have stitching at the knee.  Take your seam ripper and at the BACK of the leg, rip 2 of the stitches in the center.  Don’t pull out the threads, they can stay so it still looks stitched.

Rip two stitches at the back of the leg at the knee

Step 6:

Remove one stitch at the bottom of the leg/foot. Loop your wire as you did before, make it small enough to fit in the opening.  Insert in the foot and keep it centered as you push it through the stiches you ripped earlier.  Keep centered up through the padded top portion. Clip and loop as you did with the arms.

Open foot, insert wire.

Step 7:

Close up the foot using your red thread.  Doesn’t need to be fancy, any kid of stitch you know how to do will work.

Sew up the foot with red thread.

Repeat steps 5-7 on other leg.

Step 8:

Now we will work on the Hands.  Start heating your glue gun if you haven’t already.  Take your Velcro and cut a small enough strip to fit your hands.  I just eyeballed it. I also rounded the top.  Then, use the first as a template for the second and cut that as well.  Make sure you have one hook and one loop.

Cut 2 small pieces of velcro for the hands.

Step 9:

Pre-plan how you want these to stick. I put them on both backs, but if you don’t mind the looks you can put one on the back and one on the front so the hands cross.  When you are happy and 100% set with your positioning, apply hot glue to the back of the first hand, then attach your velcro.  Repeat for the other hand.

Glue velcro to backs of hands.


Admire your handiwork and start playing with your new, Bendy, Grabby, Super Duper AWESOME Elf.  My elf is named Wyatt.  After his surgery, Wyatt explored his new superpowers.

Trapeze Artist, hanging by bent leg

Kickin’ it on some train tracks. Not a good idea…

Being an Elf on a Shelf, but much easier to balance and position



Go ahead, make mischief and new memories with your hacked Bendable, Grippable Elf on the Shelf!

Check My Week 1 and Week 2 Elf on the Shelf Ideas.  You can also find 12 more ideas, like the Googly Eye-er Elf, on the 12 Elf on the Shelf Ideas post.  


UPDATE:  I added looped velcro to the other side of his hands to allow him to ability to clasp his hands in two ways- one as if in prayer and the other which is just adorable!


Posted in Crafty StuffComments (64)