These playful little critters -- fun-loving forest elves for kids -- can help liven up your Christmas decorations or just add a touch of whimsy to your child's room.
What You'll Need:
- Large bark pieces (or landscaping bark chunks), clean and dry
- Decorative brass tacks
- White air-dry clay
- Brown acrylic paint
- Colored felt scraps
- Wiggle eyes
- Work gloves
- Dry teasels (prickly weeds you can find in fall)
- Black beads
- Cool-temp glue gun and glue sticks
- Tacky glue
Have an adult help you when using a glue gun!
To Make an Elf:
Step 1: Select a chunk of bark for the body. Poke 2 holes in the bottom with a brass tack. Stick a toothpick into each hole, then cut the toothpick with the scissors so that 1/4 inch sticks out. Using the glue gun, glue toothpicks into holes.
Step 2: Shape 2 almond-sized lumps of clay into flattened feet shapes. With the scissors, snip 4 shallow cuts in the end of each, then trim to create toes.
Step 3: Place the clay feet together and gently push the bark body down on top so the toothpick ends poke into the clay and the figure stands up. Set the figure aside so the clay will harden overnight.
Step 4: The next day, gently pull the toothpicks out of the clay and paint the feet brown. When paint is dry, use glue gun to apply glue to the toothpick ends and then set the body on the feet again permanently.
Step 5: Cut out a felt hat and belt (a strip of felt long enough to overlap around middle of bark) for the figure. Shape the hat into a cone and, using tacky glue, glue into shape. Glue pom to the top of the hat. Glue hat to the top of the elf's head and the belt around his middle.
Step 6: Poke the brass tack through the belt and into the bark, making a shiny belt buckle.
Step 7: Use tacky glue to glue on wiggle eyes. Other accessories can be added if you wish, such as a twig staff beside the body, a fur mustache, yarn hair, or a tiny pom nose.
To Make a Hedgehog:
When you are trimming the hedgehog, wear work gloves to protect your fingers.
Step 1: Use scissors to cut stem off the teasel. Cut the dry leaves short so they look like whiskers, and trim the stickers flat on one side of the teasel.
Step 2: Shape 4 feet from a piece of clay and stick the teasel on top of them. After the clay dries overnight, lift the teasel off the feet and paint the feet brown.
Step 3: When paint is dry, use glue gun to apply glue to the feet and set the teasel back in place on the glue.
Step 4: Glue on 2 wiggle eyes and 1 black bead nose to create the face.