This Easy Gnome Mug Topper Is a Holiday Treat All It’s Own!

Too much fun to be had making this easy DIY Christmas gnome mug topper. It would be the perfect gift idea or just a fun treat for yourself!

food safe mug topper christmas gnome
Such an easy and fast craft, this DIY gnome mug topper is a perfect gift idea!

Gnome Mug Topper

Here at Ruffles and Rain Boots, we love coming up with new ways to gnomes. Because just having one gnome in my life seems so boring. LOL! In all seriousness, though, this fun Christmas gnome mug topper is a simple and fun craft you can make in an afternoon as a gift or just for your own dash of Christmas cheer!


What I love most about this DIY whipped cream gnome, though, is that he’s food safe. All of the options I’ve seen to buy one online have been for decoration only. Not to be used to keep my coffee warm inside my mug. Which is so sad – I wanted a gnome to warm that coffee! So, I planned, schemed and gnomed, making this fun gnome in one afternoon. If you’re ready to make a fun gnome mug topper, let’s get started.

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collage of diy gnomes teaching how to make a gnome with or without legs and with or without sewing
photo collage of mug topper gnome diy craft with text which reads make this easy & fun food-safe gnome mug topper
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gnome mug topper using food-safe materials

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Tips to Make Faux Whipped Cream Mug Topper Gnome

  • I tried making this faux whipped cream mug topper gnome a few ways and I’ll be honest, I was kind of disappointed with the first few methods. First I wanted to make this from dollar store materials like wall spackle because that’s what I had seen others do. But that’s not food-safe and when I tried it, the mess was unbearable. So, I cleaned that up and grabbed some paper clay. Easy, right? Wrong. Paper clay cracked immediately, didn’t curl well and just wasn’t going making a clean and sharp look. So, I pulled out the “big glue guns” and opened a big package of polymer clay. This was the trick. Smooth, clean, food-safe, easy to paint and seal. It was amazing to work with and relatively simple too.
  • To make the clay do that epically fun whipped cream look, I used a clay extruder and a star tip (insert?). You have to get the extruder AND this little add-on package of tip/inserts here. You can use either the 5 sided star or the 6 sided. I used the 6 sided for a more whipped-cream look.
  • I used a large 1-inch wood bead for my gnome’s nose. You can use a polymer clay bead, of course I mean, you’re making the whole gnome out of clay, so why not?!) but I kind of had my heart on using that wood bead. I think it just added a fun element.
  • Last thing, I decided to add some sprinkles to the top of my adorable whipped cream gnome, just for realism’s sake (don’t we all put sprinkles on our gnomes?!). I grabbed these faux Christmas sprinkles here for a quick way to add some holiday charm!
gnome mug topper using food-safe materials

How Do I Make this Gnome Mug Topper?

I’m so glad you asked. Below is our written tutorial.

Yield: 1 Gnome Mug Topper

Gnome Mug Topper

gnome mug topper using food-safe materials

I love how genuinely easy it was to make this fun faux whipped cream gnome mug topper. Perfect for a Christmas gift, this is an easy DIY Christmas gnome for sure!

Prep Time 2 minutes
Active Time 45 minutes
Additional Time 25 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 12 minutes
Difficulty Easy
Estimated Cost $3




  1. Work about 1 cup of clay into a cone and place it on the center of your lid. Do not glue this cone of clay to your lid as we're just using the lid as a base and will be removing it before we're done.
  2. Feed the clay extruder full of clay and press out a long star-shaped snake of clay. Wrap this around the base of the cone and the lid.
  3. Continue filing the extruder and wrapping the resulting star-shaped snakes of clay around the cone of clay and lid, building up the bottom third of the gnome (generally the beard area) in a wide cone base. Make sure you are making contact with the cone base and the snakes so that your mug topper will stay together when removed from the lid later.
  4. Once you have the bottom third of the gnome filled-in with the snake shapes, place the nose on top of the pile of snakes, where you plan for the nose to ultimately sit. Again, do not glue the nose in place, we're just using it for a placeholder at this time.
  5. Working around the nose, continue filling the extruder and wrapping the resulting star-shaped snakes of clay around the cone of clay and lid, building up the remaining 2/3 of the gnome, coiling the snakes tighter and tighter to the tip top.
  6. Preheat your oven per the clay package instructions, then gently remove the gnome's wooden bead nose and bake the clay per the package directions. Allow the clay to cool completely before moving on.
  7. Remove the lid from under the gnome, taking care not to break the clay. If you do break the clay, you can use some hot glue or clay glue to secure it back together. If the clay seem loose or fragile to you at this point, that's because it is. Adding the paint and sealant layers are going to add a lot of strength, so just be gentle with it until you can get the paint and sealant layers on, after which the gnome will be more sturdy.
  8. Paint the entire gnome with a base coat of white paint. Allow this coat of paint to dry completely.
  9. Hot glue the nose onto the gnome, then paint the top 2/3 red. Allow this coat of paint to dry completely.
  10. Paint the nose a soft pink made from combining a small amount of white and pink paints together.
  11. Paint the tip of the hat white. Allow this coat of paint to dry completely.
  12. Coat the gnome in a generous layer of dishwasher-safe mod podge, then immediately add the faux sprinkles and allow that coat of sealant to dry completely before enjoying! photo collage tutorial of how to make a gnome mug topper


For more fun DIY Christmas gnome crafts, visit Ruffles and Rain Boots!

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