Your family’s shelf-sitting friend has barely made it out of the box, but that doesn’t mean your sidekick isn’t daydreaming about waking up to his silly antics anyway. Help her get in the sprit with an easy puppet craft in anticipation of this beloved holiday tradition. Keep reading for the complete how-to.


Gather your supplies:

Brown paper lunch bag

Tan and holiday-themed paper

Free downloadable template

Holiday washi tape (optional)



Doo-dads like cotton balls, pom poms, googly eyes, sequins and buttons

Step 1: Trace

There are two ways to assemble this stylish ensemble for your handy elf. Big kids who can craft with the best of them can cut out the downloaded pieces to make traceable templates. Then pair those with your favorite festive papers to make some seriously fabu winter fashions for your puppet friend. The tot lot and preschoolers can customize their elf’s outfit using crayons or markers before they cut out his clothes. Fair warning, there are some serious curves that need navigating in there parents, so be ready to lend a helping hand with the scissors.


Step 2: Cut

Next up is making the head and ears for your festive friend before you put it all together. Get your tan paper at the ready! To make the head, it’s easiest to have your sidekick trace a circle onto the paper using a glass or a roll of tape to get just the right size. To fashion the ears, we used the mitten template with a few choice nips and tucks so they resemble pointy elf ears. Cut both of them out before you move on.



Step 3: Glue

Now it’s time to put it all together! Start by having your kidlet glue the head onto the top of the bag. The elf’s hat comes next, followed by the ears, which should stick out a little to give this guy some character. We then glued the mittens onto the elf’s jacket before putting those and his cute little shoes into place. Add goofy googly eyes, a button nose (or in this case an upside down heart sequin) and a simply drawn on mouth to get him ready for his close up.


Step 4: Embellish

Break out the doo-dads because this elf needs some serious holiday bling. We used cotton balls and pom poms to perk up his hat and shoes, and added a washi tape lining on his coat, accented by sequin buttons. You could also use yarn pieces to add some hair, glitter glue to attach pony beads or buttons; the possibilities are endless. Whatever sparkly options your kidlet chooses, have fun with it!


Step 5: Play

The best part of this easy craft isn’t in the making, it’s in the playing. Act out favorite holiday stories or send secret wishes to Santa with your new friend.

Do you think you’ll make this with your kids? Tell us how it goes in a comment. 

—photos and copy by Allison Sutcliffe