Last year E was *just* old enough that getting an Elf on the Shelf seemed appropriate. She was going to be 3 years old by January, so really it *may* have been more for me than her! But I see all the fun the Elf has online, via Pinterest, and what friends post on Facebook. I can’t help but to get excited! Plus anything to do with making a new Christmas tradition with my girls, is right at the top of my list every year!
But I was surprised after opening our brand new Elf, that he was kinda limp. HOW was he going to hang from the ceiling? Or have a marshmallow fight with Mr. Potato Head with these floppy arms? So I took to the internet. It didn’t take much to find TONS of other parents who felt the same, and took matters into their own hands! After reading a few posts, I knew I had everything on hand. So, before our Elf even had a name, he was opting for some elective “pre-holiday” surgery.
After completing our Elf’s “modifications” I told my friend, who asked if I could “fix up” their Elf. Which is why you might see both the boy and girl elves in the photos below!
Now all of this might seem insane, since you JUST spend $30 on this elf. But trust me, and follow the steps and photos… it will all be alright!
Elf on the Shelf – Bendy & Sticky Upgrade
easy to bend wire, mine is 14g floral wire from the $1 store
needle nose pliers
small patch of velcro (optional)
small flat magnet (optional)
glue, hot or super will work (optional)
*All step-by-step photos can be clicked for larger viewing*
1. First you will want to use the seam ripper to remove the red stitches at the “elbows” of your elf. We won’t need them, and they will be in the way of inserting the new wire arm. BE CAREFUL! The elf’s outfit is made of fabric that rips very easy so make sure you are only ripping through thread.
2. Next you will remove a few of the stitches holding the mitten hands closed. Do a little prep here before ripping, and separate the seam as much as possible before ripping. Just to ensure you are ONLY going to cut thread. Even then, do as LITTLE as possible. The less you rip, the less sewing needs to be done later.
3. Lay the wire on the Elf’s arm, making sure to butt it right up into the arm pit area. Bend the wire were it lands at the hand. Then begin twisting, tightly until you reach the end.
4. Cut the wire, WITH 2 INCHES EXTRA by using the round opening close to the handles on your needle nose pliers. MAKE SURE you are trimming with the extra 2 inches .
5. Then use the extra wire to bend over and twist around as much as possible. This will keep the sharp ends away from ripping thorough your Elf’s mitten. This is also where I had taped the end, just to be safe, any tape will do.
7. Remeasure your wire piece against the Elf’s arm. You want to make sure that it goes the entire length from armpit to fingertip, before you insert it into the arm.
8. Now insert the wire into the opening made in step 2. Try not to rip the opening further, or damage the Elf’s outfit. This will take some wiggling and shuffling of the stuffing in the Elf’s arm. You want to keep the wire in the middle as much as possible. This will keep him from having the feeling of any metal on the outside.
9. Sew the ends of the arm (white) or leg (red) using the appropriate matching thread. Use small stitches and try to keep them as close to the inside of the seam as possible to hide them when the thread is pulled tight.
10. Repeat steps 1-8 for all four limbs.
11. This is optional but handy to have for when you want or need it. With the velcro and magnet you can cut “hand shaped” pieces. Make sure to have one “sticky” and one “fuzzy” sewn to the palms of your Elf’s hands. Then adhere the opposite to the magnet pieces. BE SURE to first “test” the polarity of your magnets (say on the fridge). So you know which side to add the glue and velcro too.
Your Elf is all set and ready to go! Our Elf, Buddy, will return on the morning of December 1st, follow his stay in our house on Instagram. BUT stay tuned to the blog for a WEEKLY post of ideas from his journey here last year. With tons of ideas, photos, printables, links, pinterest board, and so much more. It takes a village to keep the holiday spirit alive, and we are prepared to be the resource to help you out! Have no fear, Buddy’s Team is here! 🙂
Helpful Elf on the Shelf Links
Below are complete lists of Elf on the Shelf ideas from each year!