Scandinavian Tomte Christmas Elf Ornament Tutorial

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version

Have you ever heard of a Scandinavian tomte?  It's kind of like a cross between a brownie and Santa Claus, and is a popular motif in Sweden, Norway and Denmark around the holidays.  This tutorial shows you how easy it is to make these tomte Christmas ornaments and gift toppers.

Scandinavian tomte Christmas elf ornament used as a gift topper.

They remind me of gnomes (and I love gnomes) in appearance, and I've always wanted to make some tomte Christmas ornaments for our tree.  I finally decided that this was the year!

Wooden beads, paint, red fabric, and wool roving for making Scandinavian tomte ornaments.

You never see more than a pointed hat, a nose, and a big white beard, so they're very simple to make. 

Materials for Making Swedish Tomte Christmas Gnome Ornaments:

Wooden beads painted and glued together to make little people figures for the tomte ornaments.

First, glue a round (head) bead onto a larger oblong (body) bead.  I found these beads at my local craft store.  

Paint the bodies with acrylic craft paint if you want to.  I painted some, I left some natural.  I liked them both ways.

Noses for tomte Christmas elves being rolled out of Sculpey dough.

Roll small amounts of the Sculpey into round balls for the noses, and bake according to the directions on the package to harden.  

Small tomte Scandinavian Christmas elf ornaments being assembled.

Cut a triangle of fabric for the hat.  The base of the triangle should be slightly longer than the circumference of the head bead.I glued my hat together with hot glue, but you could certainly sew the hat together, too.  I loved the look of the felt hats, but it was definitely trickier to get a nice point on the hat with the thicker fabric.

Pull off a short piece of wool roving, and glue to the head bead.  I used a LOW TEMPERATURE hot glue gun.  This is especially important for this craft, because in order to get the wool roving to stick, you kind of need to press down on the hot glue and really smush all the fibers into it, so all the hairs get caught in the cooling glue.  That means some of the glue will also stick to your fingers, and if you're using a high temp glue gun, you'll be in a lot of pain.  Low temp all the way, people.

Three assembled tomte Scandinavian Christmas elf ornaments.

Pop the hat on top, secure with a little more glue, and add a nose, and you're done!  You could add a little loop of ribbon to the top of the hat for hanging the tomte ornaments on the Christmas tree.

Scandinavian tomte Christmas elf ornament used as a gift topper.

But I wanted to use these particular little cuties to embellish some presents!  All of my Swedish relatives are totally getting presents wrapped like this this year.

Scandinavian tomte Christmas elf ornament used as a gift topper.

Navigational image leading reader to faux fur wine gift bag tutorial.

Nicole Wills, creator of Tikkido

Links on this page may be affiliate links. We may receive a small commission for something you buy through those links, at no additional cost to you.