The month is halfway over, and you’ve managed to survive without an elf (lucky you!). Give your kids a chance to custom-design their very own scout with an easy puppet craft you can pull off in one cozy afternoon. Keep reading for the complete how-to.

elf-craft-supplies

Gather your supplies:

Brown paper lunch bag

Tan and holiday-themed paper

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Free downloadable template

Holiday washi tape (optional)

Scissors

Glue

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 fab 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 to be navigated, parents, so be ready to lend a helping hand with the scissors.

elf-craft-paper-and-template

Step 2: Cut

Next, make the head and ears of 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.

girl-coloring-elf-tempate

Step 3: Glue

Now it’s time to put it all together! Start by having your kidlet glue the head to 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 to 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 mouth to get him ready for his close up.

girl-cutting-elf-craft 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 can 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!

gluing-elf-craft 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