Learn how to make a sock gnome with just a few simple supplies. Get tips, fun examples, and make your own gnome in just 20 minutes.
How to Make a Sock Gnome
Here at Ruffles and Rain Boots, I love to share the gnomes I make. From easy gnome ornaments to adorable holiday decor, coming up with new ways to make them is a fun hobby.
One of my favorite ways to put together a DIY gnome is by making a sock gnome. They are easy, do not require any sewing skills, and the sky is the limit when customizing them. Let’s get started.
No Time to Make One Now? Pin This for Later
If you’re busy or want to save this fun DIY gnome tutorial for later, just pin it to your favorite crafting board on Pinterest. Pssst: be sure to follow Ruffles and Rain Boots on Pinterest for more gnome fun.
Sock Gnome Tutorials on Ruffles and Rain Boots
To give you a few ideas, some of the sock gnome tutorials I’ve shared so far are:
- Farmhouse Gnome – This is an easy way to decorate in the simple, clean, farmhouse style.
- Easter Bunny Gnome – Unlike any other Easter gnome you’ve seen, we had a lot of fun with him.
- Leprechaun Gnome for St. Patrick’s Day – Get dressed up for the luckiest holiday using pre-made supplies.
What Supplies Do I Need to Make a Sock Gnome?
Most of these supplies are available at any craft store and some can be sourced from a dollar store, as well. I’m going to detail your options for creating gnome beards, braids, and hair below, but first…
Socks to Make Easy Gnomes
You can use any sock, any color, and any material to make sock gnomes. Go to the dollar store or get socks on clearance or order some from Amazon (I LOVE these rainbow socks for the hats). For bodies, I prefer men’s ankle socks because I can make the bodies as short or as tall as I want without cutting off too much material.
Depending on the style you want, you can use just one or a pair. You can make just the gnome body from a single sock or use a pair or coordinating socks for the body and hat.
Filler for Gnome Body
There are two types of filler when making a sock gnome. The first is something heavy and can be dry beans, uncooked rice, or plastic beads. Use anything which gives the gnome some stability.
The second type of filler is polyfill fiber used for making stuffed animals and shaped pillows. You can get it on Amazon here or at any craft store.
After making quite a few of these DIY gnomes, I prefer the plastic pellets to weigh the sock down and fill the rest with polyfill fiber. That way, I don’t worry about anything wanting to snack on my gnomes while they’re in storage.
Suggestions for Gnome Noses
As with any creative, you may use whatever you’d like for your gnome nose. My preferred option is usually a polymer clay nose made from this color clay or wooden beads or rounds (these are like wooden beads without the holes).
For most of my gnomes 6 to 12 inches tall, I form about a half-inch to one-inch clay nose or use the three-quarter wood bead or round. These tend to showcase the beard to hat transition well.
When I design ornaments or garlands, I use a smaller nose – usually a half-inch or smaller clay or wood nose. For some gnome ornaments like these, I’ve used pony beads. And for very light cork gnomes or felted wool ball gnomes, I have used seed beads (very, very small).
With all of that having been said, I’ve designed many gnomes with adorable, over-sized noses! I’ve used ping pong balls, small holiday ornaments, or fabric circles sewn with a running stitch, stuffed, and pulled tight.
Other ideas for noses are pompoms, characterized styles (like a witch’s nose made from colored polymer clay like hers), or air dry creations that can be carved and made to appear rough and weathered.
Gnome Beards, Braids, and Hair
Whether you’re making a gnome with a beard or one with braids, you’ll need some type of fiber. My favorite beard fiber is a high-quality fiber called Mongolian fur (get it here on Amazon). It’s rich, plush, and can be combed and styled without falling apart.
Faux Fur (Craft Fur)
Faux fur is sold at craft stores (JoAnn’s, Michael’s, Hobby Lobby, etc.) and here on Amazon. It is a piece of fur sold in a rectangle shape and can be used for gnome beards or braids. It’s lower quality than the Mongolian, however, I’ve used on many DIY gnomes.
Merino Wool (and Combinations)
Another option for gnome beards and braids I would recommend is Merino wool fiber. It’s available on Etsy and here on Amazon (both handmade and general stock). The best part about this is that it comes in a HUGE variety, so you have many design options. I’m even curling it!
The final option for gnome braids and beards is yarn. I’ve brushed out and felted yarn (green braids). Not all yarn will perform the same, so look for one which has high wool content if you want to felt it. If using acrylic-based yarn, look for very thick strands.
How Do I Make a Sock Gnome?
I’m so glad you asked! This is a fun and quick DIY so let’s get started. If you are a visual learner, here is our DIY sock gnome video tutorial.
Sock Gnome Body
- sock (I prefer men's ankle socks)
- plastic pellets (I use these from Amazon)
- polyfill stuffing (I get it from Amazon here)
- rubber band
- nose (I use wooden beads like these mostly)
- felt or fabric to form a hat
- Mongolian Fur, Faux Fur, or Yarn (my favorites are here)
- hot glue gun and glue sticks
- razor or straight edge to cut fur
HOW TO MAKE A GNOME BODY
- Fill the sock with poly pellets, rice, or dry beans to add weight and stability. Then, fill up the sock with polyfil to your desired height. Keep in mind that you'll need to tie the sock closed.
- Secure the top of the sock with a rubber band at the desired height. Cut off the excess (not too close to the tie).
HOW TO MAKE A GNOME BEARD
- Measure your desired size. You can choose to create a template from paper or not.
- Flip the faux fur onto the back (fur side down). Draw the desired shape in pencil on the back of the fur. If you like the beard to cover the full body, measure the width of your gnome body made in step one and cut the widest part of an upside-down triangle to that size.
- Carefully cut only the backing with a razor to ensure the fur fibers remain intact on the front. Shake it out to remove any cut fibers.
- Glue the gnome beard onto the sock body about an inch under the rubber band.
HOW TO MAKE A GNOME HAT
- If using a store bought hat like this leprechaun gnome, skip to step 3.
- If creating a hat from felt like this bunny gnome, roll the felt into a cone shape with the bottom (the wide portion) the same size as the wide top of your gnome body under the rubber band. Secure the edge with hot glue.
- If you're creating a hat from fabric (like this farmhouse gnome), cut two pieces of fabric, place right-sides together, and then secure the edges with hot glue (or sew them with a straight stitch). Turn right-sides out and you're done.
- Place the hat on the sock gnome body before attaching the nose so that you may measure the placement of the nose. Hot glue the nose onto the beard.
- Secure the hat onto the body with hot glue and you're done with a fun sock gnome!
It's a little crazy how much I love making gnomes. If you love them, too, be sure to subscribe to Ruffles and Rain Boots for updates when we make a new one!
More Gnomes on Ruffles and Rain Boots
The sock gnome isn’t the only style of gnome I make… I really, really like making gnomes. Here are a few more gnomes in very different styles:
- Swedish Rice Gnome – Made in just minutes with scrap supplies, this cutie started it all for me.
- Lavender Sachet Gnome – This one is made to allow the gnome to both decorate and smell great.
- Scandinavian Gnomes – These gnomes are made using a paper mache cone (and are very easy). If you’d like to see the mini style, here are some Valentine’s Day gnomes to give you an idea.
- Gnome Ornaments – I have two styles for you – a wood slice gnome ornament (SUPER easy and VERY popular) and a wine cork ornament.
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