I love this easy DIY gnome shadowbox. It’s the perfect spring decor piece that can be customized for any season, really. Such an adorable addition to my entry.
DIY Gnome Shadowbox
Here at Ruffles and Rain Boots, we have a bit of an obsession with gnomes. To be honest, I make so many that I give some of them away. Some of them, not all. For instance, this cutie spring gnome shadowbox. He’s just the perfect piece to add to my spring decor on my entryway table. Meaning: he’s not going anywhere.
So, since you shouldn’t be expecting a little spring gnome to be dropped off at your door, you’ll have to make one for yourself. Let’s get started.
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Tips to Make a Shadowbox Gnome
- Start with a small sock. And then make the gnome a little smaller. I’m not kidding, that gnome is going to be too big the first time around. Go small on this one.
- I grabbed a 12×12 Shadowbox with a 2-inch depth like this one. The exact one is out of stock right now, but there are tons of options that are similar. It has a linen backing to pin things on–no glue necessary, so you can swap out the pieces later if you’d like!
- I found my rocks out in the yard–we have those pretty red things everywhere. But, if you don’t have access to rocks in your yard, you can find something similar at your home improvement store. Or, you can even put a piece of old wood in the spot. Just don’t go around stealing your neighbor’s rocks, because they won’t like that.
- Making gnome noses is kind of a thing where you just have to find what you like for the look you’re going for. Sometimes I use wood balls, sometimes I use a button and a lot of times, I love to use polymer clay because I can make it into any shape and size!
- Grab the free spring has sprung SVG cut file set here and be prepared to put that easy weed iconic spring proclamation on your shadowbox!
How Do I Make this DIY Gnome Shadowbox?
I’m so glad you asked. Below is our written tutorial.
- 1 12x12x2 Shadowbox
- White Heat Transfer Vinyl
- Cut File for "Spring Has Sprung"
- 15-20 Faux Flowers in Varying Sizes
- 1 1/2 cups Moss
- 2 Fist-Size Rocks
- 1 Small Sock
- Faux Fur Scraps
- 3 Beige Polymer Clay Balls (1 for nose and two for hands)
- 2 Black Polymer Clay Balls (for shoes)
- Small Amount of Polyfill Beads
- Small Amount of Polyfill Stuffing
- 5-6 Long Sewing Pins
- Floral Wire
- Wire Cutters
- Hot Glue Gun & Glue
- EasyPress Mini
- Cricut Explore Air 2 or Cricut Maker
- Exacto Knife or Razor Blade
- Cut the tops off of all of your large and medium sized faux flowers, getting the remaining nubs as close to the flower as possible without actually cutting the flower. Select two small flowers and set aside to be placed on the gnome later. Make sure you leave a few of the smaller flowers on vines whole to weave in amongst the other flowers.
- With the shadowbox laying on a table and open, start by placing your rocks in the bottom right corner of your shadowbox.
- On the left side of the shadowbox in the upper left corner, start placing the largest flowers where you want them to be. Place the flowers on vines next, winding the vine through the larger flowers and pining the vine in place as desired.
- Fill in all the spaces between about where you want the moss to start and the big flowers with smaller and smaller flowers, then add in the moss, filling in any remaining space, with the exception of exactly where the gnome will sit.
- Place pins in several locations throughout the shadowbox to hold the flowers and moss in when the shadowbox is set back up straight. Test the efficacy of the pins by setting the shadowbox up. Add more pins as necessary.
- To make the gnome, fill one of the socks about halfway full with polyfill beads. Tie the sock closed and cut off the excess sock fabric. Hot glue the knot of the sock closed.
- With the scraps of sock that you cut off the sock body, cut four 1-inch wide sections as long as you can get. Fold one of these sections of sock fabric in half, with the right sides facing. Hot glue the two cut sides of the sock piece together forming a hem. Repeat with all 4 pieces of sock to make the arms and legs. Turn the arms and legs right-side-out.
- With the second sock, cut a big long angle, starting at just below the heel, moving all the way up into the toe, making a large, thin angled cut. Turn this second sock inside out. Hot glue the two cut edges together, forming a seam. Turn the sock (now a hat) right side out. Feed the floral wire up into the hat, followed by polyfill as full as desired. Trim the wire to no longer than the sock opening. Tuck the hat down over the body and make sure you like the fit.
- Hot glue the nose on just above where you want the beard to start. Cut out a large 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 over the fur and made a "U" shape that would leave fur just at the edge of the sock to overhang on the bottom of the gnome and starting about 1 inch from the top of the sock--and about as wide as the entire front half of the sock. Hot glue the beard to the body.
- 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 in a moment.
- 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.
- Hot glue the legs onto the bottom of the gnome, behind the beard and about the center of the sock bottom-of-the-gnome, then slide a 2-3 inch long piece of floral wire into each leg, trimming it to no longer than the hem of the leg. Hot glue the shoes onto the ends of the legs.
- With the reserved flowers, tuck one between the two hands and hot glue them in place. Then hot glue one flower on the end of the hat and curl the hat over.
- Place the gnome in the shadowbox and nestle him in place amongst the moss, then close the door.
- Load the cut file to Cricut Design Space and cut the lettering on your Cricut cutting machine. Be sure to mirror the lettering when using heat transfer vinyl. Trust me, wasted vinyl is so sad.
- Weed the vinyl then, with the Easy Press Mini, affix the lettering to the upper left side of the front glass before hanging your gnome shadowbox and enjoying!
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More DIY Gnome Ideas You Might Like
- The Best Spring Gnomes – If you need a little touch of cuteness to brighten your spring farmhouse decor, you have got to check out these awesome spring gnomes. So much cuteness I die. LOL!
- Spring Cone Gnome with Rain Boots – Speaking of cuteness overload, this cone gnome is super easy to make and wears rain boots…sweet!
- Spring Sock Gnome with Boots – This is perhaps the easiest way to make a gnome–from a sock! And he’s doubly adorable because he’s got a little pair of boots.
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