Top Elf on the Shelf Ideas

Get ready for another fabulous season with your Scout Elf with these top Elf on the Shelf ideas! These ideas range from extra impressive to super simple, with enough elf ideas to last your red-suited visitor throughout the season. If you see an idea you think your family would love, simple print out the materials and instructions you find by clicking each picture, and your elf may recreate the idea themselves!

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 start by sticking toothpicks into the foam cone, found at craft stores.
  2. Then, your elf will gather all the fruits from your fridge they can find and begin cutting them into bite-sized pieces (unless they’re already a small fruit—like grapes!)
  3. Once the fruit is cut up, your elf will begin sticking the fruit onto the toothpicks. The elves in this picture used kiwi, grapes, pineapple, cantaloupe and strawberries for their fruit tree and topped it off 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
  • 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 start by laying a foundation of coconut shavings as “snow.”
  2. Next, your elf will create mini bottles of milk decorated to look like snowmen! To do that, your elf uses 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. Your elf will use sprinkles, orange writing icing and licorice to create a smiley snowman face on the marshmallow.
  6. Finally, your elf will gather a big pile of powdered donut hole “snowballs” and wait for you to find their festive treats.
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 looks perfect on your big tree, your Scout Elf will start by cutting craft sticks so that seven sticks stacked together create a tree shape. Your elf will also cut a small stump out of a craft stick.
  2. Next, your elf will use a green marker to color the sticks the perfect pine color.
  3. Using glue, your elf will glue together the seven sticks from largest to smallest, creating a triangular tree shape.
  4. With glue, your elf will attach the small stump to the bottom of the longest stick.
  5. To create an ornament hanger, your elf will use a piece of ribbon and glue each end to the back of the shortest stick, a.k.a. the top of the “tree.”
  6. Finally, your elf will trim the tree ornament with colorful pom-pom “ornaments”!
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 the Scout Elves’ favorite things to do at the North Pole is to sit by a toasty fire and roast marshmallows! They’ll bring one of the yummiest treats of the season to your home by creating a s’mores assembly line, and leaving 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 start to craft these special treats by frosting the tops of the cupcakes with white frosting.
  2. Using chocolate icing, your Scout Elf will create two identical oval-shaped spots the cupcakes, leaving a white strip in between.
  3. Next, your Scout Elf 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 Scout Elf will place a brown candy-coated chocolate as a “nose.”
  6. Your Scout Elf 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 Scout Elf will use chocolate icing to connect the two 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, your Scout Elf will flatten a yellow gumdrop and cut small heart shapes using the precision knife.
  10. After connecting the heart charm to the barrel using chocolate icing, your Scout Elf will attach the entire barrel to the cupcake using toothpicks.
  11. Your Scout 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 (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Your Scout Elf will celebrate his or her love of cocoa in a new way today with these marshmallowy, chocolatey cookies that look just like a mug of hot chocolate! To make these cookies your elf will:
  2. Start by laying out the flat cookies of their choosing, and spreading icing on them (this is what your elf will use to hold the other ingredients in place!).
  3. Once the icing is spread, your elf will press a large marshmallow firmly onto the cookie..
  4. 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..
  5. While the chocolate is still warm, your elf will stick mini marshmallows on top of the chocolate..
  6. To create the handle, your 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..
  7. As a final finishing touch, your Scout Elf will add a heart candy to the front of each cookie to show you how much he or she loves 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 his or her love of art by recreating a world-famous painting in your home. But that’s not all: your elf has 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:

  • 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 to help you indulge your sweet tooth! To start, your elf will use icing to connect small marshmallows to the tops of the large 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 decides to create a card wreath for you! After attaching cards to a wreath in your home with clothespins, 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!

The Top Elf on the Shelf Ideas of All Time

Fun Treat Cups

The Top Elf on the Shelf Ideas of All Time

Materials:

Instructions:

  1. Print and cut out the cup wraps.
  2. Tape the wraps onto 10 oz. cups.
  3. 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
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Baking ingredients
  • Kitchen items

Instructions:

  1. All eyes are on your elf as he or she makes a big mess while trying to make a tiny treat in a hurry! To pull off this quirky idea, your elf started by using 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 frosting, 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 end together, creating a loop of paper.
  3. Your elf will repeat this step with another piece of color, 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:

  • 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. Use the balloon stencil to trace and cut out six balloon shapes on card stock. This will create one full balloon aft¬er the steps below are followed.
  3. Fold each balloon shape down the middle.
  4. Apply three glue dots to the top, middle, and bottom of the inner fold of one balloon shape.
  5. 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. 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. Next, take the basket, and fold each tab and flap inward along the dotted lines.
  8. Tape each tab to the flap next to it to hold the basket together.
  9. Tape two straws in the two back corners of the basket.
  10. Attach the basket to the wall using painter’s tape.
  11. Tape the balloon to the wall so it covers the tops of the straws. As a finishing touch, cut out cloud shapes or even a sun to complete the scene.
  12. 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:

  • Color printer
  • Card stock
  • Scissors
  • String (multiple colors)
  • Pom-poms (optional)
  • Glue

Instructions:

  1. Print and cut out each card.
  2. Use the lines on the front of the postcards as a measurement guide, and cut out string in identical length and color to the guide lines on each card. (Helpful hint: for the snowman card, your elf will use whatever colors of string they choose!)
  3. Glue each string to its corresponding line.
  4. (Optional) Glue a pom-pom to the snowman’s hat—and on other cards to make them 3D.
  5. Leave out these crafty cards for you to give 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:

  • Color printer
  • String
  • Scissors
  • Hole puncher

Instructions:

  1. Print and cut out the gift tags.
  2. Punch a hole in the corner of each one.
  3. Use string to attach the tags to gifts.
  4. 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:

  • Color printer
  • Scissors
  • Container for cards

Instructions:

  1. Print and cut out the Scout Elf charade cards
  2. Place the cards in a container so you can choose one
  3. Leave a note asking your family 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: some gummy bracelets to show off your truly scrumptious sense of style during the holiday season.
  2. To make the bracelets, your elf will tie a mid-sized knot at one end of a piece of string that is approximately 5–7 inches long.
  3. 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 (your elf will leave a little bit of room between each gummy so the bracelet is flexible enough to put on).
  4. 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:

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 by:

  1. Setting up the Cheery Chair next to a small gift box that is large enough to hold the Elf Pets® Saint Bernard.
  2. Kneeling on the chair and balancing on the edge of the box.
  3. Peeking inside to see their new St. Bernard puppy friend!

For other easy elf ideas, check out the Ideas for Scout Elves section of our blog!

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!