15 Best Elf on the Shelf Ideas for 2017

The votes are in, and the Scout Elves have decided upon the best Elf on the Shelf® ideas for 2017! From cute and clever to crafty and even funny, these ideas are the ones elves are most hoping to recreate in their families’ homes this year. Click each photo to get all the details, including links to available printables, and helpful tools that you can keep on hand to help your elf as they make these scenes come to life in your home!

Click each picture for full instructions for your Scout Elf.

Best Elf on the Shelf Ideas - The Elf on the Shelf

Scout Elf Gift Swap

Best Elf on the Shelf Ideas - The Elf on the Shelf

Materials:

Instructions:

  1. Gather mini presents, or create their own using the Good Tidings Gift Box craft from Scout Elves at Play® Paper Crafts.
  2. Set the scene for their party by assembling a mini tree, or create their own using the Convertible Christmas Tree craft from Scout Elves at Play® Paper Crafts.
  3. Let the present trading begin!
View Scout Elves at Play®
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Serene Swing

Best Elf on the Shelf Ideas - The Elf on the Shelf

Materials:

  • Blue construction paper
  • Purple construction paper
  • Green construction paper
  • White construction paper
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Fishing line
  • Scout Elves at Play® Tools: Snowflake Swing

Instructions:

Up, up and away! Your Scout Elf will swing to new heights amid a magnificent “mountain range” cleverly crafted out of paper by:

  1. Cutting varying sizes of triangles from blue and purple construction paper to create a “mountain range.”
  2. Cutting clouds out of white construction paper.
  3. Using tape to attach the mountains, and then the clouds, to a wall to create a lovely outdoor setting.
  4. Creating small conical Christmas trees out of green construction paper. (Helpful hint: Your Scout Elf will create one cone by cutting a circle out of a construction paper, cutting a triangular wedge out of that piece of paper and taping the cut sides of the circle together. Your elf may stack the cones for taller trees.)
  5. Setting up the trees around them.
  6. Attaching the Candy Cane Cable of the Snowflake Swing to fishing line and taping it to the ceiling, or attaching the Candy Cane Cable to a sturdy object.
  7. Climbing into the Snowflake Swing and soaring back and forth.
View Scout Elves at Play®
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Holiday Hula Wear

Best Elf on the Shelf Ideas - The Elf on the Shelf

Materials:

  • Claus Couture Collection® Clothing: Holiday Hula Wear

Instructions:

To look like they’re having a tropical getaway in your home, your Scout Elf will:

  1. Put on their Holiday Hula Wear.
  2. Try to find a plant or warm spot to sit in your home.
  3. Have a hula holiday!
View Scout Elves at Play®
Best Elf on the Shelf Ideas - The Elf on the Shelf

Party Time

Best Elf on the Shelf Ideas - The Elf on the Shelf

Materials:

Instructions:

To set the stage for a wonderful Christmas celebration, your Scout Elf will:

  1. Use the party supplies, games, accessories and elf-sized accessories from the Scout Elf Party Pack to set-up a party to celebrate the season!
  2. Make snacks for guests.
  3. Invite you to join the party!
Get the Scout Elf Party Pack
Best Elf on the Shelf Ideas - The Elf on the Shelf

Christmas Cuddle Buddy

Best Elf on the Shelf Ideas - The Elf on the Shelf

Materials:

Instructions:

You can never have too many friends or too many surprises! Using the Cheery Chair, this Scout Elf could get a better look at her friend the Elf Pets® Saint Bernard, by:

  1. Setting up the Cheery Chair next to a present box.
  2. Peeking inside to find the Elf Pets® Saint Bernard.
  3. Saying hello to the special North Pole pet!
View Scout Elves at Play®
Best Elf on the Shelf Ideas - The Elf on the Shelf

Wrapping Party

Best Elf on the Shelf Ideas - The Elf on the Shelf

Materials:

  • Wrapping Paper
  • Ribbons

Instructions:

To start the season with a surprise, your Scout Elf will return to your home with a specially-wrapped gift to show you how much you mean to them! To show off their present—and wrapping skills, your elf will:

  1. Gather gift wrapping supplies.
  2. Wrap a special gift just for you.
  3. Leave some of the supplies out to show their hard work.
  4. Wait for you to find their perfectly wrapped present!
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Scout Elf Superhero

Best Elf on the Shelf Ideas - The Elf on the Shelf

Materials:

Instructions:

Look! In the sky! It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s your Scout Elf! To create a heroic entrance, your elf will:

  1. Put on their Scout Elf Superhero outfit.
  2. Secure themselves to a sturdy object with fishing line to be able to hold the perfect flying pose.
  3. Swoop in for a totally super entrance!
Get the Scout Elf Superhero
Best Elf on the Shelf Ideas - The Elf on the Shelf

Moon Landing

Best Elf on the Shelf Ideas - The Elf on the Shelf

Materials:

  • Polystyrene ball
  • Red-and-white striped straw
  • Paper
  • Pen
  • Tape
  • Yellow paper
  • Scissors
  • Scout Elves at Play® Tools: Christmas Climbing Boots

Instructions:

This is one giant leap for elf-kind! This enterprising Scout Elf is doing his best impression of an adventurous astronaut while wearing his Christmas Climbing Boots by:

  1. Setting up a polystyrene ball in a secure location.
  2. Taping a small paper sign to a red-and-white striped straw to create a fun sign post.
  3. Cutting stars out of yellow paper to create a starry backdrop.
  4. Putting on the Christmas Climbing boots and walking on the moon!
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Oh What Fun!

Best Elf on the Shelf Ideas - The Elf on the Shelf

Materials:

  • Mini presents
  • Claus Couture Collection® Clothing: Fun Festive Set

Instructions:

Here comes a sleigh—but it’s not Santa’s! Your Scout Elf will make Christmas come early by:

  1. Putting on their Fun Festive Set.
  2. Posing next to a sleigh with mini presents.
  3. Saying, “Merry Christmas to You!” with their special surprise.
Best Elf on the Shelf Ideas - The Elf on the Shelf

Festive Friends & Fun Games

Best Elf on the Shelf Ideas - The Elf on the Shelf

Materials:

  • Painter's tape
  • Marshmallows
  • Red marker
  • Green marker
  • Small party hats
  • Toys or stuffed animals

Instructions:

Leave it up to your Scout Elf to create a game night everyone wants to be a part of! To get all their friends together, your elf created a tic-tac-toe night by:

  1. Crisscrossing four pieces of painter’s tape.
  2. Using red and green markers to mark marshmallows with X’s and O’s.
  3. Inviting all their friends—including the Elf Pets® Saint Bernard and Elf Pets® Reindeer—to host a night of festive fun!
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Scout Elf Spa Day

Best Elf on the Shelf Ideas - The Elf on the Shelf

Materials:

Instructions:

Flying back and forth to the North Pole is a full-time job, and sometimes even Scout Elves need to kick back and relax! To stage a Scout Elf spa in your home, your elf will:

  1. Using this free printable to print and cut-out cucumber eye pads, a rubber ducky and a spa backdrop.
  2. Creating a cozy headband out of a wash cloth.
  3. Filling a bowl with marshmallows to create a relaxing foot bath.
  4. Kicking back!
View Scout Elves at Play®
Best Elf on the Shelf Ideas - The Elf on the Shelf

BFF Selfie

Best Elf on the Shelf Ideas - The Elf on the Shelf

Materials:

  • Phone

Instructions:

To create a picture-perfect moment with their friend, your Scout Elf will:

  1. Prop up a smart phone and prepare to take a picture.
  2. Sit nearby with their friend the Elf Pets® Reindeer.
  3. Say cheese!
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Candy Quest

Best Elf on the Shelf Ideas - The Elf on the Shelf

Materials:

Instructions:

Your Scout Elf will make a clever play for some candy by:

  1. Arranging candy in a colorful pattern so it looks tasty and is easy to grab.
  2. Tying Candy Cane Cable, or string, around their waist.
  3. Connecting the Peppermint Grappling Hook to the Candy Cane Cable on their waist so they are able to lower themselves down.
  4. Connecting Candy Cane Cable to the hole at the end of the Peppermint Grappling Hook and connecting it to a tall, sturdy surface.
  5. Sneaking in to grab some sweets!
View Scout Elves at Play®
Best Elf on the Shelf Ideas - The Elf on the Shelf

Catch the Wind

Best Elf on the Shelf Ideas - The Elf on the Shelf

Materials:

  • Color printer
  • Paper
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Glue dots
  • Hole puncher
  • Scout Elves at Play® Tools: Glacier Grips, Holiday Harness, Candy Cane Cable

Instructions:

This one’s a breeze! To make a festive kite to fly by the window, your Scout Elf will:

  1. Cut out a printable kite and bows (available for free here).
  2. Use tape to attach a piece of Candy Cane Cable to the back of the kite that hangs down approximately 6 inches.
  3. Attach the bows to the tail of the kite using glue dots.
  4. Punch a hole in the top of the kite and hang it on a Glacier Grip.
  5. Get into position on the window by using the suction cup on the Holiday Harness and grabbing hold of the tail of the kite! (Helpful hint: the Holiday Harness and Glacier Grips work best on smooth surfaces, like mirrors or tile!)
View Scout Elves at Play®
Best Elf on the Shelf Ideas - The Elf on the Shelf

Petite North Pole Treats

Best Elf on the Shelf Ideas - The Elf on the Shelf

Materials:

  • Free petite treats stand printable
  • Card stock
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Wooden craft sticks (optional)

Instructions:

    This one’s a breeze! To make a festive kite to fly by the window, your Scout Elf will:

  1. Print the free petite treats stand on card stock and cut it out.
  2. Make a slit on each side of the stand along the solid lines.
  3. Fold along each dotted line, starting with the top flap.
  4. Fold the sides of the top flap inward.
  5. Fold the sides of the front of the stand inward and tape them to the top flap’s folded sides.
  6. Use wooden craft sticks to make the stand sturdier, if needed.
  7. Pipe icing into mini cupcake liners and put sprinkles on top.
  8. Climb behind the stand to serve up scrumptious sweets!
View Scout Elves at Play®

For other easy ideas, check out Scout Elves at Play®!

For daily inspiration, download the Ideas for Scout Elves app.

Before you or your elf get to work recreating any of these inspirational photos, be sure to read these safety warnings. Santa wants to make sure everyone stays safe!