I was feeling a little punchy the other day and needed some craft-therapy. My hands went to work and made this dumpster fire gnome that I’ve dubbed the 2020 mascot gnome. And I love it.
Dumpster Fire Gnome
Here at Ruffles and Rain Boots, we are feeling the waves of crazy just like everyone else. Life has changed for, what seems, permanently. I can’t tell you how wild this ride has been for me–and I am sure it’s been just as wild for you. So, when I’d given my last nerve for the day, I decided that making a new gnome was the way to go.
I had a dumpster…a sock and inspiration. What came out was not at all what I expected, but I absolutely adore this little dumpster fire gnome. He captures my entire feeling for this whole year (minus January–that was honestly the best it’s been so far). And I say this with dripping sarcasm, but still! So funny.
If you’re ready to make a dumpster fire gnome for 2020, let’s get started.
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Tips to Make the Un-Official 2020 Mascot Gnome
- Total disclosure, a friend of mine actually printed the little dumpster for me. I told her I was wanting to make a gnome in a dumpster fire for a 2020 mascot gnome and she offered. It is super cute, but you can also grab one here, then just paint it.
- If you love the striped beanie my little gnome is wearing, I used the grey sock from this set here. But you can really use any sock. It doesn’t have to be knee length, and I ended up discarding half the sock, which was sad, but it was for a good cause (and I saved the scraps, so that’s awesome).
- Everything else is pretty much what you’d find in your
- Let’s talk gnome beards… If you haven’t cut faux fur before or just hated how it looked after you cut it, I have a treat for you! This is my trick: Flip over the fur and, with a razor blade or Exacto knife, cut just the fabric part (not the fur) and then pull the cut piece away. This will leave you with a fantastic drape on the beard. No scissors involved!
- I made this entire gnome a no-sew pattern by using hot glue to make all my hems. But you could absolutely use a sewing machine. So, if you prefer that, do it. No big deal either way.
How Do I Make this Dumpster Fire Gnome?
I’m so glad you asked. Below is our written tutorial. If you want to see the FULL VIDEO TUTORIAL, click here for the commemorative 2020 dumpster fire gnome video.
- 1 Long Sock
- 1 Mini Dumpster
- 2 Cups Polyfill Beads
- 1 Gnome Nose (small polymer clay or wood ball)
- 2 Gnome Hands (small polymer clay or wood balls)
- Grey Faux Fur (I used the craziest looking fur I have on hand)
- White Embroidery Thread
- Tiny Piece of Cardboard or Poster Board
- Craft Felt in White, Yellow, Red and Orange
- Hot Glue Gun & Glue
- Exacto Knife or Razor Blade
- Start making your gnome body by filling the sock toe with polyfill beads. Fill the sock up to the heel with an additional 1-2 cups (or so) of polyfill. Tie the sock closed and cut off the excess sock fabric. Hot glue the knot of the sock closed.
- Cut off a large portion of the remaining top of the sock and try it on the top of the gnome body, shortening it until it will make a nice beanie, including an allowance to hem the cut edge. Fold over the cut edge twice toward the outside, then hot glue it in place to make a hem. Using a strip of the cut off sock, tie the top of the hat closed into a beanie--I ended up tucking the top of the sock down inside to make a "hem" on the top that wasn't stiff and hid a lot of fabric that wasn't necessary to the top of the hat.
- Tuck the hat down over the body and make sure you like the fit. If you want it to be more full, add polyfill to the hat before moving on. Do not glue the hat down yet.
- Cut out a small beard shape from the faux fur by turning the fur over and cutting only the fabric with the Exacto knife. To determine how big to make my beard I simply laid the filled sock body over the fur and made a "U" shape that would leave fur just about halfway down the sock so it will overhang the dumpster but not drag down to the ground and starting about 4 inches from the top of the sock--and about as wide as the front half of the sock. Push the hat out of the way, then hot glue the beard to the body only along the first inch or two on the beard, so that it will hang out of the dumpster.
- Hot glue the nose onto the beard, about 1 inch below the top of the beard, parting the beard fur a bit so that the nose is well-affixed.
- Tuck the hat back down onto the gnome head and hot glue the brim in place over the nose with a cute wrinkle (the best part!). Pull the hat down low in the back and hot glue it in place. Leave the sides open to place the arms--we'll glue the sides down later.
- To make the arms, with the scraps of sock that you cut off the top of the hat, cut two 1-inch wide sections as long as you can get. Fold this section of sock fabric in half, with the right sides facing. Hot glue the two cut sides of the sock fabric together, forming a hem. Turn the arms right-side-out. I left the cuffs loose, because who cares for perfect cuffs at this point?! This gnome has a zoom meeting to go to, you're lucky he's wearing a shirt. LOL! Stuff a portion of sock scrap up inside each arm to give it some beef-cakey-ness (he's been working out during quarantine, and this is what he has to show for it). Slip each arm up into the hat (trim as desired), behind the beard and hot glue in place. Hot glue the hands onto the ends of the arms.
- Place the gnome into the dumpster because it's time he starts living his best 2020 life. Hot glue him in place, if desired.
- To make the mask, cut a 2-inch square from the white craft felt, then cut a half-moon shape out of each of the two sides of the square, leaving the top and bottom straight. Fold the mask over by about 1/8-inch in two locations, hot gluing the wrinkles in place. Cut four lengths of white embroidery thread that are long enough to wrap from the front to the back of the gnome's head. Hot glue one end of each of these pieces of embroidery thread to one corner of the mask. Place the mask on the gnome's face, then tie the embroidery thread behind his head. Safety first!
- To make the toilet paper roll (because yes, I'm still mad at people about that whole debacle), Cut a 1-inch square piece of cardboard or poster board then roll this into a very tight little roll. Hot glue the roll in place and cut off any excess. Using the little poster board roll to gauge the width, cut a strip of white craft felt about 8-inches long. Hot glue one end of the white craft felt to the poster board roll, then wrap the felt around and around the roll until the end of the felt. Hot glue the end of the felt in place on one end, then fold the other end over onto itself and hot glue that down, so it looks like a loose corner of toilet paper. Hot glue this in place on the end of one arm of the gnome.
- To make the dumpster fire, cut random squiggly strips (about 10 of each color) from the red, orange and yellow craft felt, about 5-6 inches in height and no thicker than 1/2 inch so that they will stand on their own accord. Hot glue them together randomly, fitting the flames together in an irregular manner, overlaying and overlapping the flames to make them one unit, but wild. Set this flame into the dumpster next to the gnome. Hot glue it in place, if desired.
For more fun spring gnome patterns, visit Ruffles and Rain Boots!
More Easy Gnome Crafts You Might Like
- 3 Ways to Make a Gnome with a Face – I’ve always thought making a gnome with a face would be hard, but then I came up with three ways that are so fast and simple, it’s crazy!
- Sock Gnome with a Coffee Cup – One of my favorite tutorials, this quick and easy sock gnome holding a coffee cup is so quick to work up, it’s super fun!
- DIY Gnomes with Boots – One of the first gnomes I made with boots, this easy hack makes for a quick sock gnome wearing boots that’s too cute to miss!
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