How to Make Your Elf on the Shelf Poseable
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Are everyone’s homes riddled with elves? Yup, it’s that time of year, Mr. Elf on the Shelf is back in full force! By this point in the internet age, I am sure that everyone is familiar with the little guy. According to “the rules” he is suppose to fly in from the north pole the day after Thanksgiving (or whenever you remember where you packed him), to watch over our little rugrats, and report back to Santa on who has been naughty and who has been nice. Each morning, the kids get to go on a hunt to see what their little friend is up to or where in their house he may be hanging out.
For those of you that think the Elf on the Shelf is scary/lame/too much work, then you are about to lose any respect that you have left for me. I am about to show you how you can surgically enhance your elf to make him a little more fun, if you know what I mean, wink wink. Oh, you don’t? I mean I am going to show you how to add WIRES to your elf to make him POSEABLE!!!
Is this really necessary? No. Buuuut anybody who has fallen victim to the Elf on the Shelf tradition, and has tried to get the least bit creative with their elf, has cursed at the little bugger while trying to balance him just right to do just about ANYTHING besides lie there. Because even though they charge about $29.95 for these guys, and their purpose is to hide around the house, or at the VERY LEAST sit on a shelf, they can be really tricky to do much with easily because their bodies have very little structure. So I am going to add wires to his limbs, so that this elf tradition becomes as much fun for the parents as it is for the kids, with a little less cursing, except of course for the “#$@%! We forgot to move the Elf!” I can’t help you with that one, except to mention that we may or may not have set a reminder on our phone (I’m embarrassed to even type that).
For this surgery, all that you need is an elf, floral/jewelry wire, fabric glue or a glue gun, a toothpick and scissors. You could also use a seam ripper and pliers, if you’re fancy, but you do NOT need a needle and thread!
Start by measuring out a piece of wire the length of your elf’s arm and add about a 1/4″. My wire was 16 gauge and cut pretty easily with scissors. If your wire is thicker you may need wire cutters. If your wire is thinner, you can measure a piece twice the length of the arm, fold it in half and twist the strands together to make it stronger. Cut another piece of wire the same length, so that you have one for each arm. Then with your scissors or a pair of pliers fold over 1/4″ of the wire. This will make the end smoother so that it doesn’t poke through your elf’s hands/feet when we are all finished. Follow the same steps to cut two longer lengths of wire for his legs.
After your wires are all ready to go, take your elf by the hand, tell him everything is going be okay, and then snip one of the threads at the tip of his little mitten. Feed your wire, blunt end first, through that opening and all the way up through his arm till it hits his arm pit. If you feel his arm, you can feel that there is a straw type structure in it. If you wiggle the wire around a bit, you can actually feed it up his arm through that straw and then you won’t be able to feel your wire at all. When you get to the end, push the part of the wire that is folded over all the way inside his hand. I then took a dot of fabric glue on the end of a toothpick, dabbed it inside the opening of his mitten, pinched it closed for a second or two and that was seriously it! I followed the same steps with his other arm and both legs. It literally took me less than a half hour and my elves limbs were fully wired and he was ready for waving and criss-cross-applesauce!
Now, if you really don’t want to cut your elf, you can actually wiggle your wire between the stitches and push it all the way up through his arm. The problem that I ran into with that, is that when you get to the part of your wire that is folded over, it won’t fit. If you want to skip the folding over step and just push the wire straight in, that works too, just be careful if the wire starts to poke out through the hand, so you or your little ones don’t get stabbed. As long as your kids believe that touching the elf takes all it’s magic away and that they will forever be on Santa’s naughty list, then you should be good.
We’ve only had our newly enhanced elf for the past few days, but we are already enjoying some of his new capabilities.
We like to keep things pretty simple with our elf, who my son as named “Ruler” (named after an actual 12″ ruler). We usually just have him peeking out from behind something, tucked in the Christmas tree or a stocking, and a few times out of the month have him get into some more elaborite hijinks. Some people are SO creative with their elves! I love seeing all the mischief their little guys get into. These are just a few of ours over the years, to show that you can still have fun with your Elf on the Shelf, without devoting more than 3 minutes of your day on it, which is about all the time we have to spare these days, am I right? (…says the woman who just wired her elf).
I’ve gotta admit, the whole Elf on the Shelf thing is pretty entertaining, especially when you see how excited your kids get over it. My husband does most of the hiding of Ruler in our house. It’s something fun he is able to do for the kids in the morning before they get up, since he doesn’t usually get to see them before he leaves for work. Gage has been super into it this year. It’s the first thing he looks for when he gets up in the morning, which is great, except of course on those days when you forget to move the #$%@! Elf!!! I thought Ellie would still be a little too young this year, but she has already caught on and immediately points to him when she spots him somewhere. I still think that the ideal age to start is about three, (besides never of course), otherwise you will spend a lot of time asking if they’ve looked for their elf yet.
I hope you guys are having fun getting ready for the upcoming holidays and that your elf is keeping your elves on their best behavior ;). Feel free to share any of your favorite elf photos in the comments!!! I love seeing them!!!