Paper Gnome Advent Calendar

This year has been the best holiday season yet- at almost three, the twins are getting WAY into all the different celebrations and it has been so much fun for all of us (parents, grandparents, etc.) to experience it with them! I wasn’t necessarily planning on doing a formal Christmas countdown this year, but seeing how excited they are about the magic of the season, I really couldn’t resist. Plus, I feel like it is helping me stay organized and space out all the fun things we want to do as a family without getting overwhelmed and worrying that we won’t “fit it all in.” Last night I stayed up past midnight (naughty Mommy) creating this colorful paper gnome advent garland with materials that I had on hand- if you’ve already got a Christmas countdown going, you could always make a few gnomes just for fun!  Don’t worry, it’s not that hard…I was only up so late because it took me forever to settle on just one idea 😉

Paper Gnome Advent Garland at Twodaloo

Paper Gnome Advent Garland at Twodaloo

Making the Pattern

If you’d like to make your own cheerful gnome advent garland, first you’ll need to make a pattern.  My scanner is on the fritz, so I’ll give you the deets on how I made this one- all you’ll need is some card stock or other stiff paper, a ruler, and something to write with. Oh, and scissors would be good, too.

P.S. – Please excuse the following few photos. They were taken at an ungodly hour in my dimly lit kitchen with an iPhone. Desperate times, my friends. 

Paper Gnome Advent Garland at Twodaloo

 First, take a piece of card stock and fold it in half lengthwise.

Paper Gnome Advent Garland at Twodaloo

Now, take your ruler and make three marks at the following measurements (the fold is on the left side in the photo above):

  • Point A: Three inches up from the bottom left corner
  • Point B: 2 1/8 inches straight over from point A
  • Point C: 5 1/4 inches over from the bottom left corner

Now, use your ruler to connect A to B and B to C. Then use your scissors to cut along those lines. After you unfold it, your pattern piece should look like the pinkish one in the photo below. This is what you will use to cut out your robes for your gnomes.

Paper Gnome Advent Garland at Twodaloo

Phew. That was the hardest one. Now you just need two triangles (see above for reference)- one that is 4 3/8″ wide and 5 1/2″ tall (for the bodies) and a smaller one that is 2″ wide and 2 1/4″ tall (for the hats).

Making the Gnomes

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To make your gnomes, first you’ll need to cut out 24 bodies (large triangle) from cream card stock or something similar- I used ancient manila folders leftover from my speech therapist days. Then cut out 24 robes (pink pattern piece) and coordinating hats (small triangles) from coordinating scrapbook paper. I chose to make mine bright and colorful- you can use whatever colors you wish!

Paper Gnome Advent Garland at Twodaloo

Now, place your gnome body on top of a robe, matching up the bottoms as shown above.

Paper Gnome Advent Garland at Twodaloo

 Fold one side over…

Paper Gnome Advent Garland at Twodaloo

and then the other. Trim across the bottom and wherever else you need to.

Paper Gnome Advent Garland at Twodaloo

Then place your hat on top. Secure your pieces together with double sided tape, and draw on two eyes with a Sharpie . Oh, and if you want to make it a Christmas countdown or Advent calendar, you can write little activities or messages on the gnome’s body before you fold it up. Then your child/children can open up a little gnome each day and find a tiny surprise! We are mostly sticking to activities this year, but we do have a few tangible items (new books, etc.) and I have drawn a little present on those days as well as a picture clue telling them where to look for the goodies 😉 So fun!

Paper Gnome Advent Garland at Twodaloo

I hung our gnomes on some twine with little clothespins.

*Secret: They are numbered on the back, but not the front. I have a list of all the activities corresponding with the numbers- if our plans change, someone is sick, etc., I can switch around the gnomes to fit our schedule and no one is the wiser.

Paper Gnome Advent Garland at Twodaloo

Looking for more rainbow-riffic (rainbowdacious? rainbowlicious?) ideas to celebrate the season? Try these on for size:

Rainbow Marbled Salt Dough OrnamentsRainbow Marbled Salt Dough Ornaments

Rainbow Dip-Dyed Christmas LightsRainbow Dip-Dyed Christmas Lights

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  1. These gnomes are so incredibly cute . . . they definitely deserve the label rainbow-riffic!!! What a great tutorial, and I love the secret numbers on the back. You’re one creative, smart mama!

  2. This is so beautiful and simple! I wish I hadve seen it sooner! Setting myself up for next years great ideas. Thank you


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