An Elfish Advent Calendar

I adore Christmas. I love everything about it, the tree, all my special decorations, making presents for loved ones, the food…oh the food! I love it.

This year is my first year making an advent calendar. At 3.5, Jack is now old enough to understand the concept and I am so excited to introduce these little people to him. I was inspired by Jen’s (from Paint Cut Paste) Waldorf gnome collection and then the advent calendar idea came from there.

So far three little elves have come to visit. They are really looking forward to spending Christmas with us and celebrating in a uniquely Australian way.


So how will the calendar work?

Well we’ll start with one elf then every day leading up to Christmas, a new little elf (or maybe the same if I’m lost for time) will arrive with a tiny scroll. On that scroll will be a message to Jack and Sarah, a suggestion for something to do that day; make gingerbread, make a wreath, visit family, buy presents for the Wishing Tree, all the wonderful things that I love about Christmas.

I really can’t wait until December first!

The first little scroll reads:

Hello Jack and Sarah. I am so happy to be spending Christmas with you.

I have travelled a long way to be with you. I’m looking forward to doing lots of things with you. 

Shall we make some gingerbread together today?


So want to make an elf? They are really easy. Here’s what you do.

How to make a peg doll elf

Get yourself some peg people. I have bought some from Gemmielou as well as ClickityClack. This size is the #5 ‘large boy’. I’m also making some of the larger #4 ‘tall man’ ones.


Waldorf gnome tutorial Waldorf gnome tutorial

And when Christmas is over for another year, your new elf friends can stay around and play for a little longer.

36 Replies to “An Elfish Advent Calendar”

  1. What a great idea, I’m still busy sewing my advent calender with a fabric toy, gingerbread man,… for every day so I’m short on time, I’ll remember it for next year! Would work great for a birthday too, a week in advance little elves start popping up with loving messages!

    1. I love that, little birthday elves, so magical. I have to say I am so smitten with these little guys I don’t think it would take much for me to find an excuse to make some more 😀

  2. I love this. This year I’ve decided to do an activity calendar but having a little elf deliver each activity is a great idea. Your kids are going to have such fun. I’ve been following your elf making on instragram so it’s great to see how it’s all Coe together.

    1. I really like the idea of an activity over a stocking stuffer or a lolly. We get to do all the fun Christmas traditions together (all delivered but a sweet little elf) I am really looking forward to Saturday when the first little elf arrives.

  3. These are absolutely gorgeous…i can’t wait until the twins are a little older to start an advent calender tradition! Your pics and instructions are so clear…thanks for being so thorough…especially for us novices!! Where can i get the little wooden bodies…i have been looking everywhere!!

    1. Jode, I put a link to the Etsy shop up the top. They are really quite cheap considering you get them from the States. This year is our first year with an advent calendar. I reckon your girls will be ready next year.

  4. I adore this idea, it is so whimsical and fun! I’m very tempted to do the same, but we already have our homemade advent calendar 😉

    1. You can never have too many elves about the place Kelly 😛

  5. ADORABLE! CLEVER! What a wonderful way to take an advent calendar a step further. Love it!

  6. oh my gosh, what a beautiful tutorial on the elves you are creating! i’m so honored for the mention and that you were inspired by our gnomes! happy happy holidays to you and yours!

    1. You know I don’t really know too much about Waldorf, except that it is beautiful, and when I saw your little gnomes I just fell in love. I love having these little fellas around the place.

  7. These are just adorable and if I’m going to be honest MUCH more inviting than those elf on a shelf dolls. Yay, now i actually feel like I want to do the elf tradition. I soooo love them!

    1. Yeah I don’t really like the idea of an Elf on the Shelf. The whole, keeping an eye on you to see whether you’ve been good just doesn’t quite sit well with me. These little guys seem quite magical and whimsical though, just here to spend time with us at Christmas time. 🙂

  8. What a sweet idea for an Advent activity! And your tutorial is awesome! I featured your post and photo in my 40+ Christmas Countdown Activities at

  9. Oh, that is so adorable! What a gorgeous idea and the photos are amazing. You’ll have to sell advent calendar sets. They can be reused every year and are so cute! 🙂

  10. Love this tutorial and what a lovely idea for an advent collection! 🙂

  11. Wow, those elves are absoltuely adorable! Such a beautiful tradition. Your tutorial and photos are brilliant.

  12. Gorgeous a simply precious way to lead into Christmas

    1. mylittlebookcase says:

      Just beautiful! I love the idea of elves visiting your children. My daughter would love that- storing the idea away for next year.

  13. Oh!! This is wonderful! Last year I tried doing the “Elf on a Shelf” and it just didn’t feel right for us! Please consider sharing your post with us over at Eco-Kids Tuesday!

    1. Thanks Hannah, I’ll pop on over 🙂

  14. ADORABLE idea! I’ve included a link to this at the bottom of my recent post: 25 Days of Christmas Fun! The ideas I posted could be the great for the little scrolls that your elves bring! So cute!

  15. Mindy Leone says:

    What a FANTASTIC idea!!! Thank you! By the way, although I seldom comment, I read all your blog posts and thoroughly enjoy them.

    1. Thanks Mindy and lovely to hear from you 🙂

  16. This is so cute and inspirational! I had thought of doing Elf on the Shelf (I actually have one in a box that my mom gave me last year after Christmas), but I’m so much more drawn to this! I’m starting a little late, but just got the last of my supplies today. (I had to mail-order the peg people.) Our first elf will probably show up this week!

    1. Make sure you put some pictures up Jessica. I would love to see them. Jack is loving the little elves so far and is eagerly anticipating each one’s arrival. Funnily though, he is more excited about the elf than the activity so I have changed the message to say a little about the elf, name and where they have come from and then a nice little message to the kids. Sometimes an activate, sometimes just a nice message.

  17. I got a late start because I had to order the peg people online, but I’m doing this now! We’ve had three elves show up so far. It’s very fun and they are so darn cute! Thanks so much for the inspiration! If I get my act together, I’ll blog some photos of our elves and trackback here. 🙂

    1. …. and I just realized I commented just a couple of days ago. This is how excited I am about these little elves! I’m double-commenting! 🙂

      1. How are your elves going Jess?…

        1. They were great! I do have some photos and have to post about them, even though we are now past Christmas. They came out so cute, though! I really enjoyed making them. I’ll post some photos and trackback very soon! Thanks again for the idea! 🙂

  18. These are just gorgeous. What did you use to draw the little face on? I’m guessing a Sharpie or something similar.

    1. Yep just a Sharpie 🙂 I wanted to keep their faces plain but Jack really wanted little faces.

  19. I’m so curious how you did the scroll. Did you write the messages or print them using a computer?

    1. Hi Lindsay. I just used a small piece of pretty Japanese paper, glued each end to a tooth pick, and wrote the little message inside. Then just rolled it up tightly and tied it. They were really simple and turned out quite sweet I think.

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