See the Top Elf on the Shelf Ideas

Calling all elves planning a season full of surprise for their families—check out these top Elf on the Shelf ideas! Ranging from extra impressive to super simple, you can find tons of elf ideas here to make this another fabulous holiday season!

Click each picture for full instructions for your Scout Elf.

The Top Elf on the Shelf Ideas of All Time

Festive Fruit

The Top Elf on the Shelf Ideas of All Time

Materials:

  • Foam cone
  • Toothpicks
  • Star fruit
  • Kiwi
  • Grapes
  • Pineapple
  • Cantaloupe
  • Strawberries

Instructions:

  1. Fruit is nature’s natural sweet treat, which is why elves can’t get enough of it! To share their love of yummy fruits with you, your Scout Elf will stick toothpicks into a foam cone, found at craft stores.
  2. Then, your elf will gather fruit from the fridge and begin cutting it into bite-sized pieces (unless they’re already a small fruit—like grapes).
  3. Once the fruit is cut, your elf will stick it on the toothpicks, making sure to top the tree with a festive piece of star fruit!
The Top Elf on the Shelf Ideas of All Time

Sweet Snowy Scene

The Top Elf on the Shelf Ideas of All Time

Materials:

  • Mini bottles
  • Straws
  • Buttons
  • Glue dots
  • Licorice
  • Powdered donut holes
  • Marshmallows
  • Orange writing icing
  • Sprinkles
  • Milk
  • Coconut shavings

Instructions:

  1. Sugary sweetness abounds in this snowy—and edible—scene created by your elf! To create this indoor winter oasis, your elf will lay a foundation of coconut shavings as “snow.”
  2. Next, your elf will create mini bottles of milk decorated to look like snowmen! They will use glue dots to attach buttons to the front of each bottle.
  3. After filling the bottles with milk, your elf will wrap a licorice scarf around the neck of the bottle.
  4. A marshmallow makes the perfect head for the snowman, and your elf will hold it in place with a festive straw.
  5. To create a smiley snowman face on the marshmallow, your elf will use sprinkles, orange writing icing and licorice.
  6. Finally, your elf will gather a big pile of powdered donut hole “snowballs” and wait for you to find their festive display.
The Top Elf on the Shelf Ideas of All Time

Craft Stick Ornaments

The Top Elf on the Shelf Ideas of All Time

Materials:

  • Craft sticks
  • Glue
  • Ribbon or string
  • Pom poms
  • Scissors
  • Green marker

Instructions:

  1. To craft a mini tree ornament that will look perfect on your big tree, your Scout Elf will cut craft sticks so that 10 sticks stacked together create a tree shape and small stump.
  2. Next, your elf will use a green marker to color the sticks the perfect pine color.
  3. Using glue, your elf will glue the sticks together from largest to smallest, creating a triangular tree shape, and then, they will attach the small stump.
  4. To create an ornament hanger, your elf will use a piece of ribbon and glue each end to the back of the tree.
  5. Then, your elf will add colorful pom pom “ornaments” as a final touch!
The Top Elf on the Shelf Ideas of All Time

Want S’more?

The Top Elf on the Shelf Ideas of All Time

One of a Scout Elves’ favorite things to do is to sit by a toasty fire and roast marshmallows! To inspire you, they’ll bring the yummy treats to your home, create a s’mores assembly line and leave a note asking you and your family to join in and create your own ooey-gooey desserts!

The Top Elf on the Shelf Ideas of All Time

Pupcakes

The Top Elf on the Shelf Ideas of All Time

Materials:

  • Cupcakes
  • White frosting
  • Chocolate icing
  • Small oval-shaped cookies
  • Candy eyeballs (available at most craft stores)
  • Brown candy-coated chocolates
  • Pink chewing gum
  • Frustum-shaped milk chocolates
  • Yellow gumdrops
  • Red ribbon
  • Toothpicks
  • Precision knife

Instructions:

  1. There’s only one thing better than cupcakes—pupcakes made to look like the Elf Pets® Saint Bernard! Your Scout Elf will craft these special treats by frosting the tops of the cupcakes with white frosting.
  2. Using chocolate icing, your elf will create two identical oval-shaped spots on the cupcakes, leaving a white strip in between.
  3. Next, they will stick two oval-shaped cookies on each iced spot to make the pup’s “ears.”
  4. Your Scout Elf will place two of the candy eyeballs on the edge of the spots, a little more than halfway up the cupcake.
  5. Just below the eyes, your elf will place a brown candy-coated chocolate as a “nose.”
  6. They will use the chocolate icing to draw a mouth that connects to the nose and curves out on both sides.
  7. At the spot where the “mouth” curves outward, your Scout Elf will place a bubblegum “tongue,” made by flattening sticks of pink bubble gum and using as precision knife to cut small oval-shaped tongues that have one flat side.
  8. To create the Saint Bernard pup’s barrel, your elf will use chocolate icing to connect the larger sides of two frustum-shaped milk chocolates (bucket-shaped chocolate treats with caramel in the center).
  9. To create the barrel’s heart charm, they will flatten a yellow gumdrop and cut a small heart shape using the precision knife.
  10. After connecting the heart charm to the barrel with chocolate icing, your Scout Elf will attach the entire barrel to the cupcake using toothpicks.
  11. Your elf will tie a red ribbon around the base of the cupcake as the Saint Bernard’s collar, and place the cupcakes out for you to “woof” down!
The Top Elf on the Shelf Ideas of All Time

Hot Cocoa Cookies

The Top Elf on the Shelf Ideas of All Time

Materials:

  • Flat cookies
  • Icing
  • Large marshmallows
  • Mini marshmallows
  • Baking chocolate
  • Mini candy canes
  • Knife
  • Heart candies

Instructions:

  1. Your Scout Elf will celebrate their love of cocoa with these marshmallowy, chocolatey cookies that look just like a mug of hot chocolate! They will lay out the flat cookies and spread icing on them (this is what your elf will use to hold the other ingredients in place).
  2. Once the icing is spread, your elf will press a large marshmallow firmly onto the cookie.
  3. Next, your elf will take the baking chocolate and melt it according to the package instructions. After letting it cool for a couple of minutes, your elf will carefully spoon the chocolate on the top of each marshmallow.
  4. While the chocolate is still warm, they will stick mini marshmallows on top of the chocolate.
  5. To create the handle, your Scout Elf will use a knife to cut off the curved part of a mini candy cane, and stick it into the side of the marshmallow.
  6. As a final touch, your Scout Elf will add a heart candy to the front of each cookie to show you how much they love hot cocoa—and your family.
The Top Elf on the Shelf Ideas of All Time

Art History

The Top Elf on the Shelf Ideas of All Time

How creative! It looks like your Scout Elf wants to show off their love of art by recreating a world-famous painting in your home. But that’s not all: Your elf left a note asking your family to get creative, too. Time to whip out the markers, paints, pens and paper for family art time! Happy doodling, friends!

The Top Elf on the Shelf Ideas of All Time

Mini Marshmallow Men

The Top Elf on the Shelf Ideas of All Time

Materials:

  • Different size marshmallows
  • Icing
  • Pretzel sticks
  • Small sprinkles
  • Orange gumdrops
  • Licorice

Instructions:

  1. Your Scout Elf decided to craft a sweet set of snowmen out of marshmallows by using icing to connect smaller marshmallows to the tops of larger marshmallows.
  2. On the bottom marshmallows, your elf will use icing to attach small round sprinkles to look like buttons.
  3. On the top marshmallows, your elf will use icing to attach small round sprinkles as eyes, small cut up pieces of orange gumdrops for noses and pieces of licorice as mouths.
  4. Your elf will insert pretzel sticks into the sides of the bottom marshmallows to create arms.
  5. Once the snowmen are decorated, your elf will wait for you to find their delicious new friends!
The Top Elf on the Shelf Ideas of All Time

Christmas Card Wreath

The Top Elf on the Shelf Ideas of All Time

All those merry wishes and festive designs on your Christmas cards will be proudly displayed when your elf creates a card wreath for you by using clothespins to attach cards to a wreath in your home. Then, your elf will leave a note asking your family to write your own Christmas cards to brighten the season for others. Whether to family members, those serving in the military or neighbors, the cards you write are sure to spread Christmas cheer!

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Fun Treat Cups

The Top Elf on the Shelf Ideas of All Time

Materials:

Instructions:

  1. Your Scout Elf will prepare a snack with the help of the Elf Pets® Saint Bernard. First, they will print and cut out the cup wraps.
  2. Next, your elf will tape the wraps onto 10 oz. cups.
  3. Finally, your elf will fill the cups with a delicious snack for you to enjoy.

The Top Elf on the Shelf Ideas of All Time

Big Mess Tiny Treat

The Top Elf on the Shelf Ideas of All Time

Materials:

  • Sugar cookies
  • Green icing
  • Sprinkles
  • Googly eyes
  • Glue dots
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Baking ingredients
  • Kitchen items

Instructions:

  1. All eyes are on your elf as they make a big mess while trying to make a tiny treat! To pull off this quirky idea, your elf will use glue dots to attach googly eyes to all the items around the kitchen.
  2. Using pipe cleaners, your elf will also attach small mouths to some of their items to show their surprise at the mess being made on the counter.
  3. Then, your elf will gather green icing, sprinkles and sugar cookies to make a tasty tree cookie. To do this, your elf will stack different sized sugar cookies and separate them with green icing to look like a little tree. Sprinkles on top will complete their festive—and messy—creation!
The Top Elf on the Shelf Ideas of All Time

Christmas Chain

The Top Elf on the Shelf Ideas of All Time

Materials:

  • Paper in three colors
  • Tape or glue

Instructions:

  1. Your elf will make a festive paper chain by cutting out strips of paper in varying colors.
  2. After picking up one piece of paper, your elf will glue the ends together, creating a loop of paper.
  3. Your elf will repeat this step with another piece, this time looping the paper through the first circle of paper before gluing or taping the ends together.
  4. Your elf will repeat this pattern until they have a festive Christmas paper chain long enough to sit near or jump into to surprise you!
The Top Elf on the Shelf Ideas of All Time

Holiday Hot Air Balloon

The Top Elf on the Shelf Ideas of All Time

Materials:

  • Printable
  • Color printer
  • Card stock
  • Scissors
  • Glue dots
  • Straw
  • Tape

Instructions:

  1. Your Scout Elf will be adorably up in the air when they create a colorful hot air balloon scene. To create the hot air balloon, your elf will print and cut out the hot air balloon stencil and basket pieces.
  2. Then, your elf will use the balloon stencil to trace and cut out six balloon shapes on card stock. This will create one full balloon after the steps below are followed.
  3. After, they will fold each balloon shape down the middle.
  4. Your Scout Elf will apply three glue dots to the top, middle and bottom of the inner fold of one balloon shape.
  5. Then, your elf will place a second folded balloon shape’s outer folded edge inside of the first glued balloon shape, and press the middle folds down to ensure a strong hold.
  6. They will repeat step 5 until all pieces are stacked and connected along their middle lines. Once firmly secure, one side of the cluster should be a fully rounded 3D balloon shape when it is opened. The other side should be flat like the back of an open book.
  7. Your Scout Elf will take the basket and fold each tab and flap inward along the dotted lines.
  8. Your elf will tape each tab to the flap next to it to hold the basket together.
  9. Next, they will tape two straws in the two back corners of the basket.
  10. Using painter's tape, your Scout Elf will attach the basket to the wall.
  11. Your elf will tape the balloon to the wall, so it covers the tops of the straws. As a finishing touch, they will cut out cloud shapes or even a sun to complete the scene.
  12. Finally, your elf will sit in the basket and pretend they’re sailing through the sky on a hot air balloon adventure!

The Top Elf on the Shelf Ideas of All Time

Crafty Christmas Cards

The Top Elf on the Shelf Ideas of All Time

Materials:

  • Printable
  • Color printer
  • Card stock/paper
  • Scissors
  • String (multiple colors)
  • Pom poms (optional)
  • Glue

Instructions:

  1. Your Scout Elf is ready to get in the spirit of Christmas by making cute Christmas cards. First, they will print and cut out each card.
  2. Using the lines on the front of the postcards as a measurement guide, your elf will cut out string in identical length and color to the guide lines on each card. Helpful hint for elves: For the snowman card, use any color string.
  3. Next, they will glue each string to its corresponding line.
  4. (Optional) To give the cards a 3D element, they will glue a pom pom to the snowman’s hat or glue pom poms onto the other cards.
  5. Finally, your Scout Elf will leave out these crafty cards for you to give to others this Christmas.

The Top Elf on the Shelf Ideas of All Time

Good Tidings Gift Tags

The Top Elf on the Shelf Ideas of All Time

Materials:

  • Printable
  • Color printer
  • Card stock/paper
  • String
  • Scissors
  • Hole puncher

Instructions:

  1. Your Scout Elf is ready to help with the presents. To do this, they will print and cut out the gift tags.
  2. Then, your elf will punch a hole in the corner of each one.
  3. Next, your elf will use string to attach the tags to gifts.
  4. Finally, they will set the pretty presents under the tree for you to find.

The Top Elf on the Shelf Ideas of All Time

Scout Elf Charades

The Top Elf on the Shelf Ideas of All Time

Materials:

  • Printable
  • Color printer
  • Card stock/paper
  • Scissors
  • Container for cards

Instructions:

  1. Your Scout Elf is ready to play a funny game that you can play with them! First, they will print and cut out the Scout Elf charade cards.
  2. After, your elf will place the cards in a container so you can choose one.
  3. They want your family to join the fun, so they will leave a note asking you to split into teams to play a round of Scout Elf charades!

The Top Elf on the Shelf Ideas of All Time

Sweet Accessories

The Top Elf on the Shelf Ideas of All Time

Materials:

  • Gummy candies
  • String
  • Needle

Instructions:

  1. These bracelets look good enough to eat—and they are! Your Scout Elf will create a sweet surprise for you—gummy bracelets to show off your scrumptious sense of style. To make the bracelets, your elf will tie a mid-sized knot at one end of a piece of string, approximately 5–7 inches long.
  2. Using the other side of the string, your elf will thread a needle that can be poked through the middle of the gummies, one by one, until the entire piece of string is almost full. Helpful hint for elves: Leave a little bit of room between each gummy, so the bracelet is flexible enough to put on.
  3. After adjusting the gummies so that there is space on each end of the string, your elf will tie the ends together and make a knot to complete the gummy jewelry!
The Top Elf on the Shelf Ideas of All Time

A Friendly Surprise

The Top Elf on the Shelf Ideas of All Time

Materials:

Instructions:

  1. You can never have too many friends or too many surprises! Using the Cheery Chair, this Scout Elf was able to get a better look at her friend, the Elf Pets® Saint Bernard. First, she set up the Cheery Chair next to a gift box large enough to hold the Elf Pets® Saint Bernard.
  2. After, she climbed into the chair, keeping her balance on the edge of the box.
  3. Lastly, she took a quick peek inside to see her new Saint Bernard puppy friend!

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