Christmas craft: Cute elves to help you count down to Christmas

Create a whimsical gang of elves to help you count your way through Advent.

By Designed by Nadine Reeves, corazenia.wordpress.com
Photography by Ryan Brook/TC Media

Christmas craft: Cute elves to help you count down to Christmas
Korknisse, or "cork elves," had knitters around the world entranced when they first hit the craft blogosphere five years ago. The little elves in their festive knitted suits inspired Nadine Reeves, a crafter in London, Ont., to create a bigger version of the korknisse – one that would be easy for kids to make. They're perfect for a class project: Make one to hang on your tree or create two dozen to fill with treats and use as an Advent calendar.

You need (for each):
• Bottom and hat templates (available here)
• Card stock
• Scrap wrapping paper
• Toilet paper tube
• 1 piece felt (approx 24 x 30.5 cm/9½ x 12 inches)
• Scrap scrapbooking paper
• Pencil, eraser and scissors
• Clear tape
• Glue stick or craft glue
• Marker
• Pins, needle and thread

You can see a larger image of the completed craft here.

To make (for each):
1. Using pencil, trace bottom and hat templates onto card stock; cut out.

2.
Using pencil, trace bottom template onto scrap wrapping paper. With clear tape, adhere circle to bottom of toilet paper tube.

3.
With scissors, cut 6 x 16 cm (2½- x 6-inch) rectangle of felt (or length and width needed to cover bottom half of tube). Apply glue to wrong side of felt rectangle; adhere around bottom half of tube, aligning long edge of felt with bottom of tube and covering upper edge of wrapping paper with felt as you work.

4.
With marker, draw face on tube (see photo).

5.
Fold remaining piece of felt in half. Place hat template on folded felt, matching dotted line to fold. Trace around template; cut out.

6.
Pin cut edge of felt together, then hand- or machine-stitch along curved edge, using 6 mm (¼-inch) seam allowance. Turn hat right side out.

7.
If making Advent calendar: Make 24 elves. Trace circles on scrapbooking paper; number them one to 24 and cut out. Attach one tag to tip of each hat using needle and thread, leaving enough thread to tie a knot (about 7.5 cm/3 inches). Fill tubes with coupons for family activities (download premade coupon ideas here), chocolate or trinkets. Display on a mantel, window ledge or bookshelf. To count down the days leading up to Christmas, lift hat on corresponding day to reveal treat inside.

Designer's notes:
• Adorn your Advent gang with buttons, sequins, glitter, ribbon or rickrack – the choices are endless!

• If you have a stash of too-small sweaters lingering around, why not felt them, then use the resulting fabric to make these decorations? It’s eco-friendly and cute to boot!

• Find the English translation of the original korkinisse knitting pattern online at saartjeknits.nl/patterns/Korknisse.html.


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