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How to Make a Christmas Elf Display using $1 Items! – Free Tutorial

How to make an elf Christmas decoration for cheap

How to Make a Christmas Elf Display using $1 Items! – Free Tutorial

How to make an elf Christmas decoration for cheap

Hi everyone! I know I usually put out weekly free crochet patterns, but I just had to share this craft I did recently! This project is inspired by a product made by the company Mr. Christmas. I liked their product, but since I’m crafty, I had to make it for myself! Almost all of the items I used to make this cute elf display come from the Dollar Tree. First, let me get into what items you’ll need and where to find them.

1. Elf

I’m starting out with the item I couldn’t find at the Dollar Tree – an elf. I couldn’t figure out where to locally buy one of these elfs, so I think I bought a counterfeit elf off of Aliexpress. I’m not sure if these guys are  officially licensed or something, because the Aliexpress listing was really discreet. My elf was under $5, which isn’t too bad considering how cute he is. Please note that places like Aliexpress and Wish take 2+ weeks to ship since the items are shipped from China. Because of the time it takes to ship, it’s best to try and locally find an elf if possible.

2. Hot Glue Gun + Glue Gun Sticks + E600 Glue

Most of us have a hot glue gun! You can’t find these at the Dollar Tree, but they are cheap at Walmart. The glue sticks are also very cheap, maybe a dollar or two for a pack of them. You will also need E600 glue for certain parts of this project, as E600 is sturdier.

3. Wire Cutters

Since we will be cutting some wires, you will need wire cutters. If you don’t have wire cutters, you can try to cut some of these wire parts with scissors, but it’s pretty unlikely a hefty pair of scissors will cut through wire.

4. 3 feet of Garland

We will use garland to outline the decoration. I bought 9 feet of garland for $6 from JoAnn Fabrics. You can find lots of Garland at Dollar Tree, but most of them are tinsel. You will need to double up on the tinsel to make it thicker 🙂

5. Clear Plastic Serving Dish from Dollar Tree

This dish is what we’ll use to glue all of the fun decorations to! I found this tray in the plastic silverware section of Dollar Tree, usually this is placed by the party area.

6. Bottle Brush Trees from Dollar Tree

These bottle brush trees are really high quality, I love them! I bought a few of them from the Dollar Tree, they are in the seasonal section.  I used 5 total trees on my decoration, but you can use more or less.

7. 3 Candle Sticks from Dollar Tree

These candle sticks are battery powered LEDs. I found these in the candle/scent section of Dollar Tree. Each candle stick is $1.

8. Ornaments from Dollar Tree

I bought 2 packs of plastic ornaments from Dollar Tree. Both packs offer different colors, which I wanted for my decoration. They are plastic, which is great because they won’t break when we glue them to the plate! These are sold in the seasonal section of Dollar Tree.

Let’s get started!

First, make sure the plastic dish is facing down so the flat side is on top.

Wrap your garland around the dish until it fully covers the sides of the dish. With your wire cutters, cut the excess garland.

Remove the garland. With your hot glue gun, glue 3 lines on the side of the dish.

Place the beginning of the garland on top of those 3 strips. Hold the garland in place for 15 seconds or until the glue has dried. Repeat this process all around the side of the dish until it’s completed.

Cut a small strand of garland and glue it where shown in the photos below. This is where our elf will sit, so he needs some extra greenery around him.


Next, take your ornament. Glue down 3 strips of hot glue on the bottom of the ornament. Immediately after doing this, place and hold the ornament onto a part of the garland. Follow my photo below for exact placement:

After doing this, we will cut the stems off of the bottle brush trees by using our wire cutters. Even if the tree has a very small stem, cut it off. We will also be cutting off the wooden circles that hold the trees. We’ll repurpose the wooden bottoms later!


After cutting off the stems, place a few strips of hot glue on the bottom of the tree. Immediately after doing this, place and hold the tree on the garland. Follow my photo below for exact placement:

Now take 2 wooden circles. Stack the 2 on top of each other and hot glue them together.

Next, take the candle stick and take off the rubber cover on the bottom of the stick. If you don’t take off this rubber cover, the glue will slide off the rubber. Now, place E600 glue onto the bottom of the candle, then stick the bottom of the candle on top of the wooden circle. Let this set for a few hours or until it’s sturdy.

Repeat this process, except DON’T stack 2 wooden circles for the other 2 candles. Only use 1 wooden circle for the remaining 2 candles. We want the middle candle to have a higher placement, which is why we use the 2 wooden circles instead of 1.

Once the candles are dried onto the wood, place E600 glue on the bottom of the wood circles, then place them onto the plastic dish. The middle candle will be the one with the 2 wooden pieces, place this candle further back. Place the candles with the 1 wooden piece closer to the front.

Once it has dried onto the plate, fill the middle of the dish with whatever you’d like! I filled mine with polyfil stuffing, which is similar to the stuffing you find in pillows. You can buy a small amount of this stuffing in the craft section of Walmart, at Michaels, JoAnn Fabrics, and Hobby Lobby. You can also fill the middle with candy, or tinsel.

Lastly, place the elf onto the garland! You can hot glue him in place, but this isn’t required.


How to make an elf Christmas decoration for cheap


I hope you had fun with this craft tutorial. This is my first ever non-crochet craft tutorial, so I apologize if I wasn’t clear on certain parts. If you made this project, I would LOVE to see! You can show me by posting a picture in the comments section underneath this post.

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