DIY Elf On The Shelf Coat

November 20, 2015


Elf On The Shelf Coat

About a decade ago, Buddy the elf, came to live with us. I had seen him in a catalog and thought he was darling, the idea that one of Santa's elves would live with us for the holiday season was original and exciting. The kids loved him and were happy with our new tradition, even on the days when he didn't move. They weren't suspicious of his immobility. They knew why he stayed in the same position all night. It was very clear to them. He didn't want to leave the house, because he was cold.

Apparently, our Elf On The Shelf needed a coat.

"Mom can make one."

Great. Sure I can. Although, between you and me, I knew that a coat wasn't going to cure that elf's stagnant behavior. 

Either way, I got to work. The kids didn't know it at the time, but I was well versed in making odd sized doll clothing. 

When my youngest daughter was four, she received a gift card to Toys 'R Us and bought a $25 Nala doll, from The Lion King collection. I told her that she was going to regret it, that maybe she should spend it on some playdoh or Barbies or a few board games, mix it up...that her love of The Lion King was going to fade and that doll would end up in the donation bin sooner rather than later. 

The Lion King Nala
Nala today, clearly without clothes. 
That was eleven years ago. She still sleeps with her every single night. Nala has been to DisneyWorld, Hollywood and many, many places in between. In a few years, I believe she will be attending college. 

Honestly, the older these kids get, the more comfortable I am getting with being wrong. 

But I digress. 

One Christmas, sometime around kindergarten, my daughter proclaimed that now that Nala was getting around, she needed clothes.

"They don't sell, Nala clothes, honey. I've checked." Believe me, I checked. 

"That's ok, they don't have to. Santa can make anything."

Of course he can. 

So Santa bought felt and tulle and glittered organza, trim, glue sticks, velcro and thread and made evening gowns, wraps, skirts and pajamas in sizes to fit Nala and her super big paws.

After that, a coat for our resident elf was a breeze.

Easy DIY Coat For Elf On The Shelf
Isn't he a great model?
This is seriously one of the easiest projects I have ever made. If you can thread a needle or heat up a glue gun, you're good to go. 

I picked up two pieces of red felt at the drug store. It cost me fifty cents. I placed them one on top of the other on the table and laid Buddy out on top of them. 

I used a marker to trace a coat shape on the felt, around his body. 

Elf On The Shelf Coat Pattern
I am using white felt for illustrative purposes, but you can make the coat any color you'd like.
I cut it out, going through both pieces of felt and notched the front piece a bit around the neck. Then, I sewed them together, by hand, using a quick stitch. You could just as easily glue the pieces together. I mean, wear and tear is not going to be a problem, if you know what I mean.

Doll Coat

Once we presented Buddy with his coat, he was little better about visiting the North Pole, but his track record still wasn't great. My kids were never sleepers, they could stay up way later than Buddy (and momma)  most nights and you know, the North Pole is kind of far away. If he didn't leave by say 10pm or so, there was no way he was getting there and back. 

Or so I said. 

You would think that kind of explanation would motivate people to fall asleep earlier, but it didn't.

Of course, now, everyone is nearly grown and sadly too old to believe in the magic of our little friend. He's been tucked away for several years. However, this weekend, during the great purge, we found him. 

Elf On The Shelf

Suddenly, the magic was back. The kids begged us to hide him again this season. 

"C'mon, it'll be fun. We'll hide him. Just imagine the funny places you'll find him each morning."

Oh boy. Teen humor. I can hardly wait. 

Although, I'm pretty sure that the thrill is going to wear off rather quickly, that elf's not going be moving much. 

Especially on the weekends.

Elf On The Shelf Easy Clothes

Coat or no coat. 

Is your elf cold?





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78 comments:

  1. Fun. There are a ton of ideas on pinterest about elf activities to try. Perhaps your kids could take turns being responsible for supervising the elf. A few years ago, when my kids were all grown we started drawing names for a stocking to fill. I still pick up the fruit, nuts and candy but the kids bring the something extra that goes there too. A couple of years ago we started having pet stockings and so we exchange those as well. The shared responsibility makes mom's life a little easier and the kids get to be a little more involved. Sadly no little elf lives at my house.

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    1. I love how traditions adapt and change, Lorri. I think that's what's happening here. I think that with college on the horizon everyone misses the old magic and wonder of Christmas. We are going to give it a shot, I am anticipating finding that elf behind the wheel and in the bathroom. I'm just hoping that's as rowdy as "he" gets! ;)

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  2. Too cute, Kim! So creative! I only realized recently that Buddy was inspired by the vintage knee hugger elves. I found several of them at an estate sale recently and love them.

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    1. We used to have those hugger elves on our tree growing up. Truth be told, I remember thinking they were a bit creepy. Of course, now, I just think they are so sweet and remind me of my childhood!!

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  3. Really cute Kim. My elf on the shelf needs a coat lol! Have a great Friday and wonderful week end.
    Kris

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    1. Now if I was just talented enough to make my own coat, Kris!! ;)

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  4. Very cute! Good to see your little elf back out again for more fun.

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    1. Thanks Linda. I can only imagine what kind of fun we're in for now that the kids are in control! ;)

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  5. Haha. Best dressed Elf on the planet! Love the hand stitching. Santa did a great job! xo

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    1. Thanks Nancy! He does look pretty cute…as long as you don’t look at that stitching too closely! ;)

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  6. i love that elf survived the purge! and that nala is still well loved and needed.
    some things we just don't question!
    XO♥

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    1. He survived the purge, Tammy!! You're right, some things we don't question!!

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    1. Christmas brings out the kid in me, Marty! :)

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  8. Loved this post! By the time the elf got popular, my kids were a little too old for him, so we never got to participate in the fun. Although...I don't think I would have been very good at shuffling him around either! My kids stay up way later than me now too. It's so funny when things are reversed like that. :) I love the coat you made for him. Even as a no sew gal, I think even I could make something like that. Enjoy the weekend!

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    1. It was super easy, Lisa, but it really didn’t solve the problem! It was hard to shuffle him around and coming up with new places for him to land every morning in a tiny house was daunting. Somehow, my kids were unable to remember to pick their socks up off the floor, but they could tell me exactly how many times they found him on the plate rack in a week’s time. I used up all my good ideas in the first two weeks of that first season. I’m eager to see where he ends up under their supervision! ;)

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  9. Kim you have put me in the holiday spirit with your sweet and funny story! I'm sure Buddy is very happy with his lovely coat. Now as for Nala, I would have liked to see her wardrobe.

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    1. I would like to know where that wardrobe ended up as well, Mary!! ;)

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  10. I'm still laughing! My children are way past all the fun stages of the holidays, was nice to revisit those times in your post.

    Can't wait to see where your elf ends up, you just never know with teens ;)

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    1. We are past a lot of those fun stages, too, Jane, but apparently they're still up for a little holiday hijinks!!

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  11. Oh how cute! My grandkids love him and dearly believe in him! Thanks for sharing...memories are so much fun. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family!

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    1. Oh Lynn, I hope that they have a magical season with their elf!!

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  12. Love both stories Kim! I just started our ELF tradition last year and my son is looking forward to seeing Buddy again this year (yes, he named him after the movie). I might just copy your coat idea! Thanks!

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    1. Copy away, Vel and enjoy! It’s a sweet tradition…if you can stay awake! ;)

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  13. I just love the elf on the shelf! I bought one but my elf wasn't very good at moving around the house either! Now he is a cute decoration that stays in one place. Never thought to make him a coat!

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    1. Maybe if he gets a coat, AnnMarie, he'll move! ;) Truth be told, I have a feeling our elf will be a decoration this year, too. He looks pretty comfortable on my bed!

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  14. Teens are always fun planners!!! It will be great to hear about the Elf Antics at your house!!!
    Blessings,
    J

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    1. I’m looking forward to seeing where he ends up each morning, J! ;) I’ll keep you posted!

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  15. Replies
    1. Thanks so much! I’ll pass it on to our elf! ;)

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  16. Lol that's so funny! I keep hoping my kids will find their "Nala" and sleep well... But I'm not holding my breath. Maybe the trick is to say "you'll never play with that!" ;)

    Cute coat :)

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    1. Maybe, Danielle! As a mom of non-sleepers, I say anything is worth a try! ;)

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  17. Kim, I must admit that I do love your creative spirit. Looking good!

    Barb

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    1. Thanks so much, Barb! This is an old craft, but I thought would be fun to share. :)

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  18. LOL- Our elf will soon be out of the closet-if you know what I mean! He is NOT a cross dresser..but he does sleep with my husband on occasion. (although my husband is not aware of it until he sees pictures of himself and elfie snoring together).
    Cute coat and so is Nala cute---and WHERE are Nala's clothes, I might ask.........xo Diana

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    1. Where are her clothes?? That is a very good question, Diana and one I just asked my daughter. I’m afraid, that the blank stare from her does not bode well for me and all my hard work or that naked Nala, does it?

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  19. Is there nothing you can't do, Kim? That's really adorable and how lucky for the kids to have rediscovered Buddy. At my daughter's house, the elf is called Clyde - don't ask me how they came up with that. And even though they no longer believe in Santa, they look forward to that time of year when Clyde makes an appearance.

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    1. Thank you Susan, you are too kind...and I cannot cook. Well, I can, but I don't enjoy it! ;) Our elf came to town right after the movie Elf was released. Clyde huh, well it's very cute and very original. I bet there are a million Buddys out there, but only one Clyde!

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  20. Kim you are so creative and I love this story and your elf with his little red coat. Nala is cute too and what clothes did you make for this one???
    We haven't started the tradition but it sure seems like it would be fun. Can't wait to see what your kids have in store for him!
    Have a nice weekend. xo

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    1. I made Nala so many cute things, but now they seem to be missing. Poor Nala! :)

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  21. I loved this Kim . . .
    The magic of the season glowed in this "Kim Story!"
    Where is Buddy The Elf right this very minute!

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    1. Glad you liked it, Lynne! That elf has gotten around already. Turns out the kids couldn’t wait to hide him! It’s been…um…interesting! ;)

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  22. What a cute coat for a cute elf! Is Buddy Elf still wearing his coat or has someone borrowed it?

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    1. Nope, still wearing it! AND I have requests to make a few…thank goodness only in elf sizes! ;)

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  23. Our Elf must be very cold. He has lived here, since 1949, when our first child was born.

    He was attached to the bottom of the over-table lighting fixture, which was in our first house. and which we still have, having moved both it and the table, with us.

    She was placed in her table seat... like the travel/car seats of today, on the table, so she could look up at the Elf. Don't know if she did, but it was a cute 'picture.'

    So.... our rather worn and beat up Elf, surely must be cold. -grin- But if I made him a new coat, it would only point up his own rather tattered appearance. Think I will leave him, as he is.

    :-)
    Tessa

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    1. Tessa, I agree, if it ain't broke...don't fix him! Sounds like a classic and there's no way to improve on that!

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  24. Kim!
    What a delightful post and wow this elf has it made!!
    xo
    Jemma

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    1. I agree with you, Jemma. He is one spoiled elf! ;)

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  25. Sweet story. I loved reading this today. Feeling a little melancholy about some of our Christmas traditions changing with the GrOwInG Up of our boys. When I asked the other day about some of the traditions and if they wanted to do them, they yelled "YES" that made me smile.
    Both of my boys sleep with the blankets they received as babies. We tease they are like Linus from the Peanuts gang. They will make sports coats out of their blankets someday. :-)
    Great post!! Thank you!
    Carla

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    1. I am right there with you, Carla. I miss the old days sometimes, the wonder and innocence of it all. Like you said though, my kids are still into a lot of the old traditions and I am happy to indulge them for as long as they'll let me! I love your Linus blanket stories!! I think it's super sweet and shows that a part of our bigs kids is still little and that's fine with me!! :)

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  26. I must live in the Dark Ages. I never even heard of Elf on the Shelf until I started blogging. Love Buddy and his custom coat!

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    1. He became popular when my kids were little, so we were the perfect audience! He’s cute, but hiding him every single night was a little trying! ;)

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  27. Hi Kim! :)
    I agree with others, I would have loved to see Nala's clothes too...I love that you made all those things for your daughter - what a great mom! Nala has done quite a bit of travel...and soon to be college educated too! ;)
    Such a cute post and I loved reading it!
    I hope that you are having a wonderful weekend!
    Kimberley

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    1. So glad you liked it, Kimberley...and I wish I knew where Nala's clothes were, too! ;)

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  28. This is such a sweet post, Kim! Traditions are so wonderful---somehow there was a lapse I'm my life between the Elf On The Shelf before I was born and when it later became a part of more recent tradition. And then my kids were a little too old for it! lol! But I do love the idea and the little coat is precious.

    My youngest daughter watched The Lion King over and over. She had the little Simba stuffed guy and I have it in my own little lock box. But...she has a pillowcase with a little saying on it that she still sleeps with---it can no longer serve as a pillow case for as worn as it is. Let's put it this way...she's 24, still sleeps with it under her blankets and refuses to have it washed or it will lose it's 'comforting smell". OMG. But I love her for it. I love that this has been a comfort to her. And she would kill me if she knew I wrote this!!!

    Jane x

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    1. Jane, I love that story and I won’t tell! ;) I think that you should use that pillow case piece for her wedding day in some creative way, maybe a pillow cover with that scrap as the focal point…if she’ll part with it long enough for you to whip it up! And you wouldn’t even have to wash it!!

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  29. Such fun, such fun.

    We spent time with our youngest Grandson yesterday who of course is so looking forward to Father Christmas's visit.

    Isn't it great to try and keep that feeling of magic - it's priceless.

    All the best Jan

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    1. It is process, Jan. Enjoy your time together and the magic! :)

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  30. We never had an Elf on the Shelf, but I always thought it was a cute idea.

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    1. He's cute Carol, in a very retro, knee hugging kind of way!

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  31. I missed the whole elf on the shelf craze, but I can pretty much guarantee my daughter would NOT have liked it...she's afraid of dolls of any kind. :/

    Your story was charming Kim. I can imagine how happy your children were to see he survived the 'great purge' lol.

    xxx

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    1. They were happy, Doreen! It was a difficult job to accomplish with them around, as you can imagine. I would put things in the donation box and they would pull it out! I have to get smarter about my timing! ;)

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  32. What a sweet story, Kim! I love reading the little anecdotes in your posts :) Little Buddy is a cutie and looks quiet warm and comfy in his new coat! Love the hand stitching! Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours ~ hugs, Poppy

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    1. Thanks Poppy. I like the stitch too...seems fitting somehow! :)
      Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours as well!!

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  33. Hi Kim, what a cute coat for the elf you made! I love the story too. We never had the elf in our house! Sniff!
    Thanks for sharing at Cooking and Crafting with J&J.
    Have a Happy Thanksgiving! Julie xo

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    1. He was cute to have around, Julie and thanks so much! Gobble, gobble to you, too! xo

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  34. I don't know how I missed this post - I just popped over to see if you had written anything recently and I was CRACKING UP at this one!!!!! I'm also sad that my girls were too old for the Elf by the time he came along but my nephews love him - I'm going to share this with my sister - so cute, Kim - you're adorable!!

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    1. Thanks! ;) It was a fun little game to play, but I am glad that my hiding responsibilities are over!!

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  35. That little coat is just too adorable! I keep telling my son they need to get Gianna an Elf on the Shelf, but they haven't done it yet. She sleeps with about 10 different stuffed animals and 2 cats, so maybe her room is a little too full! Hugs!!

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    1. Sounds like a full house over there! Besides, I bet those cats move every night. Good enough! ;) Hugs to you, too!!

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  36. This is so cute- I loved it so much! So funny how the kids thought he was cold and needed a coat and I love how as teens they still want to hide him! Would be funny to see some future pics of where he ends up ;) Hope he is warmer now Kim!

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    1. Thank you so much, I'm so glad you enjoyed the post! I have my camera at the ready. I have a feeling that there will be some silly photos. ;)

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  37. LOL this is like a modern Velveteen Rabbit tale / LOVE it! :)

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    1. That's quite a compliment, Deb! I'll take it! ;)

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  38. Haha...this is such a neat idea!

    Thanks for joining Cooking and Crafting with J & J. Happy Thanksgiving!

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    1. Thanks Jess, glad I could make you laugh! ;)

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  39. Hopefully they don't look up Bad Elf on the Shelf LOL I'd include links, but I don't want to freak anyone out LOL

    xo

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    1. They have already started hiding him and let's just say, without going into too much dirty detail, it's going to be a long month! ;-)

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