12 Fun and Creative Elf on the Shelf® Ideas

These innovative Elf on the Shelf® DIYs are the perfect way to give your child a Christmas season full of fun while keeping kids on their best behavior.

Read Our Article

12 Elf on the Shelf® Ideas 01:42

The Elf on the Shelf® is back and ready for some holiday mischief with these clever ideas.
Show: HGTV Happy

Related To:

It’s that time of year again! Scout Elves are flying in and landing at homes all over the world. While they aren’t busy keeping an eye on your little ones, these adorable little Elves seem to get into loads of mischief, but they also have a knack for coming up with some fun activities in the process. Here are 12 DIYs for your little ones and their Scout Elf.

Sledding On In

Slide right into The Elf on the Shelf® activities with this adorable sledding scene. She brought along an old-fashioned sled made by taping candy canes together with a piece of twine, and sledded in on a pile of faux snow. Since this is the first activity, she wrote the words “I’m Back” in the snow for your little one to read. Other fun sayings include, "Let's Sled," "Merry Christmas" and "Do You Want to Build a Snowman?"

Photo by: Yasmin Murphy

Yasmin Murphy

Rockin’ Around the Record Player

Cue up the music and host an Elf-tastic dance party! For this cute DIY, Elf set up a record player with her favorite Christmas album, then sat down on the center of the record. Press play and have your child walk in to find the Elf spinning away.

Photo by: Yasmin Murphy

Yasmin Murphy

Away in a Tangle

Elves just weren’t meant to decorate human-sized Christmas trees. Though she tried her hardest, it looks like she got herself tangled up in the string lights.

Photo by: Yasmin Murphy

Yasmin Murphy

Elf-Sized Tree Decorating

Ahh – this tree is a much better size! Set up a mini tree decorating scene and let your child and the Scout Elf get in on the action. Colorful craft supplies like mini pom-poms make for the perfect pint-sized decorations.

Photo by: Yasmin Murphy

Yasmin Murphy

Crafty Christmas Card Station

When it's time to send out Christmas cards, make things extra jolly by getting your child’s Elf involved. Simply have the Elf set up a Christmas card writing station complete with stickers, stamps, cards and craft supplies, and let your child’s imagination run wild.

Seasonal Sips

On a chilly December night, nothing sounds better than a warm hot chocolate with all the fixings. Elves are perfect at serving up the delicious decadence, just don’t let her forget her mini cup. In true Elf form, she will likely make a mess with the marshmallows as well. Good thing mom and dad are always ready to clean up after this messy little guest!

Magical Movie Night

Just because your child isn’t allowed to touch the Scout Elf doesn’t mean they can’t hang out together. A movie night is a perfect way to keep your child occupied and well-behaved. We recommend placing a mini marquee nearby to make the night feel extra special, and Elf will want to wear her coziest pajamas while she eats from her mini popcorn bowl.

Baking Christmas Cookies

They mean well, but when humans aren’t around, Elves tend to make some big messes! All she wanted to do was make a big batch of Christmas cookies, but she made a mess of sprinkles and flour in the process. Luckily, it looks like you can salvage the dough and bake the cookies anyway.

Photo by: Yasmin Murphy

Yasmin Murphy

Streamers Away

Uh oh! We left Elf unattended again and she resorted to her mischievous ways. This time she found the Christmas crepe streamers and blocked your child’s doorway. Silly Scout Elf!

Photo by: Yasmin Murphy

Yasmin Murphy

Dog Treats

Don’t forget your four-legged friend. It appears that all your child’s Scout Elf set out to do was leave a few Christmas cookies for Santa, but instead, she laid out a few dog treats by mistake. Santa won’t want these, but Fido will! A pup-tastic mini Christmas sweater is the perfect attire for this DIY.

Photo by: Yasmin Murphy

Yasmin Murphy

sElfie Station

Christmas will soon pass, and Scout Elf will be on her way, but the memories are here to stay. Elf just needs to snap a few "Elfies" for keepsakes. She brought her instant camera along and set up an adorably festive background for the shots.

Photo by: Yasmin Murphy

Yasmin Murphy

Bon Voyage!

It appears the Scout Elf is off to vacation until next Christmas. She has already hit the warm waters of the family bathtub with a grass skirt and flamingo float, but she left a postcard behind to bid adieu!

Photo by: Yasmin Murphy

Yasmin Murphy

Next Up

12 Adorable Buys to Prove Santa Stopped By

Keep Christmas magic alive for little ones with heartwarming hints that Santa Claus is on his way.

How to Make Natural Gift Toppers

For many of us, pine cones, berries and evergreen sprigs can be easily sourced from our backyards or a walk through the woods. Gathered together, these bits of nature make a woodsy stand-in for a standard bow.

How to Make a Hanukkah Candy Board

Sweeten up the Hanukkah season with a color-coordinated candy board that'll satisfy sweet tooths of every age.

Hanukkah Kid's Craft: Paper Menorah

Who doesn't love a holiday handprint craft? It's the perfect way to get the kids involved and teach them about the Hanukkah season.

12 Wrapping Papers We Love

Presents with presence from HGTV Magazine!Keep in mind: Price and stock could change after publish date, and we may make money from these links.

3 Fun Christmas Game Ideas for the Family

Step into Christmas with these fun DIY games you can make out of leftover wrapping supplies.

12 Personalized Christmas Stockings for Every Holiday Mantel

Celebrate the season with cute, custom Christmas stockings.

12 Holiday Dinnerware Sets for Every Style and Budget

Celebrate the holidays with dinnerware that rises to the occasion.

How to Top a Gift Using Leftover Fabric Trim

A neatly tied ribbon is a staple when it comes to gift-wrapping, but instead of reaching for a traditional satin option or a ready-made sticky bow, raid your craft stash for leftover gimp, rickrack, bullion or pom-pom trim.

Christmas in a Connecticut Dream Kitchen

For one family featured in HGTV Magazine, this year’s celebration promises to be merrier, brighter, and roomier than ever.

Go Shopping

Refresh your home with stylish products handpicked by HGTV editors.


Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.