I love making ornaments from found, natural materials. Cat-sitting for my crafty neighbor Jane last week, I spotted these little gnome ornaments she had made from the pinecones that fall on our neighborhood sidewalks, and asked if I could share them on The Tangled Nest.
Jane’s gnomes were inspired by this this Better Homes and Garden project. But per usual for Jane, she made charming improvements to the basic instructions, adding eyes made with a fine sharpie, and rosy cheeks made from watered down craft paint. She also added bells to the hat, and used a chennile ball for the nose, rather than the wooden ball you’ll find recommended in the magazine article, and wool felt for the scarves rather than pipe cleaners.
- Colored wool felt
- 1 inch diameter wooden balls for the head
- 1-1/2- to 2-inch-long pinecones
- Wool roving: light gray and/or curly white wool
- Hot-glue gun and glue sticks
- Embroidery needle and contrasting thread
- Thread for hanging, and optional tiny bells
- For the hats, cut wool triangles 3 3/4 inches on each side; fold in half, and blanket stitch together.
- For the scarves, cut 1/2 x 6 inch felt strips, and fringe the ends.
- Hot glue the wooden ball to the flat end of the pinecone. Turn up the bottom of each hat, fill with a little roving if you like, and hot glue to the top of the wooden ball head. Add chennille ball nose, and eyes and cheeks if you like.
- Sew a loop of decorative braid or thread and a bell to the top.
This project is earthy enough for Waldorf folk, and simple enough for children to join in. Here is Jane’s daughter Sadie with the gnome she made herself:
I make ornaments for my family every year. I think I’ll do these this year. They remind me of my very best childhood holiday memory. One year we stayed home on Thanksgiving and together made dozens of ornaments from naturally found objects. We spent hours working on them and made enough to fill a whole tree. Even my dad joined in the fun. It was great to see what each of us came up with. My mom still has several of them many years later. Thank you for the trip down memory lane.