Festive Shelf Elf

Celebrate Christmas with this easy to make shelf Elf using a recycled cardboard tube and felt. With dangly legs and cheeky face he’s sure to raise a smile!

Festive Shelf Elf

Skill Level


Time to Make

1 hour (+drying time)

Adult Supervision Needed


How to Make

  1. Paint the cardboard tube green with acrylic paint. Leave this to one side to dry. Mix a skin tone colour and paint the polystyrene ball, then leave to dry with the cardboard tube.
  2. Draw and cut out a red circle roughly twice the size of the polystyrene ball. Once cut out, cut a line to the middle of the circle. Cut another line a bit further around the circle and make sure it also ends at the centre of the circle. Bend the hat into a cone and stick down the edges. Trim and adjust the bottom of the cone so that it will sit flat on top of the polystyrene ball. Cut a strip of green felt long enough to wrap around the circumference of the cone and stick the top edge of the strip to the bottom edge of the cone. May need to hold in place as it dries.
  3. Cut a strip of black felt, making sure its long enough to wrap around the cardboard tube. Stick the felt to the tube. Cut a small square of gold glitter self-adhesive foam that is only slightly wider than the black felt. As an optional step, cut out a smaller square from the middle of the glitter square. This can be quite tricky, so an adult’s help may be required. Once cut out, peel off the back and stick the square to the middle-front of the black felt.
  4. Stick a small green glitter pom-pom to the pointy end of the elf’s hat. It may need to be held in place as it dries.
  5. Gently and carefully poke two holes into the front-bottom of the cardboard tubes. Poke two more holes into the top sides of the tube. Thread a green pipe cleaner through the top holes. Carefully poke two small red glittery pom-poms onto the end of the red pipe cleaners. Twist a white and red pipe cleaner together to make a striped candy cane pattern and poke the pipe cleaner through the two bottom holes.
  6. Fold a red sheet of felt in half and draw a pointed shoe shape onto it. Cut the shape out of the folded felt so that two shoes are cut out at once. Flip one of the shoes over and trace it onto the felt, fold the felt and cut it out. Stick the first two shoes together around the end of the pipe cleaner and repeat with the other foot. Let the glue dry till its firm and stick two small glittery green pom-poms onto the ends of the feet, hold them in place as they dry.
  7. Stick two self-adhesive wiggle-eyes to the middle of the polystyrene ball. Below the eyes draw a smile and mix a rosy pink colour to paint on cheeks either side of the face. Leave the ball to dry.
  8. Cut a wide strip of red felt that is long enough to reach all the way around the cardboard tube. Cut triangles into the red felt to make the elf’s spiky collar. Stick the collar onto the top of the green tube. Apply a layer of glue onto the inside of the tube and stick the head onto it.
  9. Once the head has dried brush glue onto the top of it and stick on the elf’s hat. Whilst the hat is drying draw two small pointed ear shapes onto a sheet of skin tone card. On the inside of the ears draw a small square, this will be the flap used to stick the ears onto the head. Cut out the ears, bend the flap and stick them on either side of the elf’s head.
Festive Shelf Elf Festive Shelf Elf Festive Shelf Elf

Top Tip

To cut down drying time and make your Elf sturdier, use the Bostick cool melt glue gun. As the glue gun gets very hot adult supervision is advised.