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How to Make a Sock Gnome – Your Questions Answered

Do you want to learn the answers to the sock gnome questions everyone has? I have been making gnomes and sharing DIY gnome tutorials for years. My techniques and designs have been used and shared hundreds of thousands of times, so you can be sure that these free gnome tutorials will have you making your own in no time.

photo collage of how to make a sock gnome for farmhouse decor
Learn how to make the most adorable sock gnomes in any style without sewing a thing!

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What you Need to Know: How to Make a Sock Gnome

Here at Ruffles and Rain Boots, I write many, many gnome tutorials. Sock gnomes are a favorite with readers and YouTube subscribers because they are easy to make and quick to come together.

All no-sew gnome tutorials, however, do not answer ALL the questions you have about learning how to make a sock gnome. This page is going to help you learn about making no-sew gnomes, how to vary the easy sock gnome pattern and to have a lot of fun mixing up fabrics and accessories.

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How Do You Make a Gnome Out of a Sock?

There are so many sock gnome tutorial methods and you can find most of them on Ruffles and Rain Boots. To get started, you will need a sock or two (read below for suggestions), a beard material (yarn, fur, moss, etc.), polyfill or stuffing, poly beads, rice, or dried beans, and a hot glue gun.

Next, you will need to decide if you want to give your sock gnome a set of shoes or even legs! If you want a gnome with shoes, you can make your own or buy boot ornaments to make it easy. Gnomes with legs will add one more supply to your list: dowels or paper tubes.

A full, step-by-step tutorial and sock gnome video can be found on our “How to Make a Sock Gnome Tutorial” here. Click here to learn how to make a sock gnome with legs.

Click here for all sock gnome tutorials on Ruffles and Rain Boots (but I recommend to keep reading)…

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collage of diy gnomes teaching how to make a gnome with or without legs and with or without sewing

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What Kind of Socks Do I Need for a Sock Gnome??

One of the most often asked questions is about the type of socks need to make a sock gnome. And it is also one of my favorite answers because it is so short: any! You can make a sock gnome body from any type of sock, though I do have my favorites. Additionally, most sock gnome hats and sock hat patterns can utilize any sock style – but again, read below for my favorite.

I like to make larger sock gnome bodies from a men’s ankle sock or from a large fuzzy sock. These can be purchased everywhere from dollar stores to big-box warehouse stores, so start looking for a few to try out. I also love the festive holiday socks most clothing stores have.

To make a gnome hat from a sock, I prefer a tighter-weave found in knee socks and leg warmers. These allow for so many styles (tall, short, floppy, curled, twisted, etc.) while being some of the easiest to work with.
how to make a gnome with a hat twisted into a heart

How Do You Make Christmas Sock Gnomes?

This is one of my favorite questions about making your own DIY gnome because the possibilities are endless. To start, you will need a clean sock, filler to weigh down the gnome (options below), Polyfill stuffing, and something to secure the body closed (twine is preferred).

Then, you will need to choose the hat (design options below) and grab a hot glue gun or a sewing machine. Here on Ruffles and Rain Boots, I have so many free Christmas sock gnome tutorials, so be sure to browse for the style you would like to make.

Do I Need a Pattern to Make a Sock Gnome?

You do not need a pattern to make a sock gnome body, but you might want one for the hat because there are so many different styles. If you need gnome hat patterns for your sock gnome, scroll down to see all of the options.

Can I Make Sock Gnomes with Legs?

Yes, you can make sock gnomes with legs and feet. To do this, you will need a completed sock gnome (instructions above) and either a pair of handmade gnome boots or shoes OR a set of boot Christmas ornaments.

If you would like a step-by-step tutorial, visit our farmhouse gnome with boots tutorial here.

how to make a gnome couple

Do I Need a Gnome Hat Pattern for a Gnome Made from Socks?

That depends. When you decide to make a gnome, you can determine what type of hat you want for it. Decide if you need a specialty hat (like a gnome chef hat or Viking helmet for a gnome), a slouchy hat, a gnome hat that stands, or even a gnome hat pattern that allows for twists and curls!

You then need to determine what material you want for your gnome hat – you can use a sock or any fabric, so the sky is the limit. Finally, you can decide whether you would like to machine sew, hand-sew, or use a hot glue gun to bypass sewing altogether. See all of the examples of different gnome hat patterns below.

How Do I Make a Gnome Hat that Bends?

The twisty or curly gnome hat is so much fun to make and it is actually very easy to make your own. You will need floral wire in a heavy gauge and a bit of Polyfill to get started. See all of the gnome hat patterns below for the one which matches your style.

How Do I Make a Beard for a Sock Gnome?

This is my favorite question I am asked when people start making gnomes for themselves or as a business. Faux fur, yarn, Merino wool, dried moss – there are so many materials you can use to make a gnome beard!

The most popular way to make a sock beard gnome is with faux fur. But do not just attack it with scissors! Learn how to cut faux fur the best way – just watch the “how to cut faux fur” video here or read through any of my tutorials

collage of different types of gnome beards using faux fur

What Are Other Ways to Make a No-Sew Gnome?

In addition to sock gnomes, other ways to make no-sew gnomes are using wine bottles, mason jars, wood rounds, game pieces, corks, popsicle sticks, Styrofoam cones, and paper mache forms. Scroll down to find these step-by-step tutorials.

How Do You Make Mini Gnomes for Ornaments or Pins?

There are so many ways to make mini gnomes to be used as gnome magnets, gnome brooches or pins, or gnome ornaments. Below are ways to make miniature gnomes from socks and scraps of material, glove fingers, Jenga blocks, corks, and popsicle sticks.

The easiest way to make mini gnomes is to use a glove as I do here in this no-sew mini gnome tutorial. Cut off the fingers and you can make a sock gnome body and a sock gnome hat! In this gnome tutorial, I demonstrate how to make three different mini gnomes.

mini gnomes made for Christmas tree ornaments with text which reads tiny glove finger gnome ornaments

How Do I Make Miniature Sock Gnomes?

Surprisingly, you can even make this tutorial for mini sock gnomes! They are an easy way to use up scraps from your larger no-sew gnomes and are adorable as Christmas gnome ornaments, package tags, and magnets for the refrigerator.

closeup of gnome ornament with text which reads how to make a DIY mini-sock gnome ornament

How Do I Make a Wine Cork Gnome or Gnome Magnet?

Another way I have made miniature gnomes is by using wine corks. Champagne and wine cork gnomes are easy and fun to make and require no sewing! For full, step-by-step instructions, visit our DIY wine cork gnome tutorial here.

How Do You Make Felt Christmas Gnomes?

This is a fun question because I have so many gnome tutorials that show you how to use felt for the body, the hat, over a cone, or in any number of ways. You can make felt gnomes using any of my free gnome patterns or gnome ornament patterns, or even by a paper mache cone as a starter, like these Valentine’s Day felt gnomes or these felt Christmas gnomes.

What Do I Fill a Sock Gnome With?

To provide stability, fill your sock gnomes with one of the following: Poly beads (my preferred method when selling), clean small rocks (aquarium rocks), clean sand or gravel, dry, uncooked rice or beans (preferably secured in an air-tight bag), or un-used kitty litter (again, secured in an air-tight bag).

If you are selling your gnomes, it is my opinion that you should not use food products such as dried rice or beans. Poly beads (found in the doll-making section of craft stores or online here in my list of gnome-making supplies) are approved for toys, decor, and other uses.

Can I Make Gnomes from Mason Jars?

Yes, you can make reusable jar gnomes for treats, gifts, or even to hide a little love note inside and you can even cover the jars with socks.

When making gnomes from jars, be sure the jar is clean and dry and then build on it as shown in this mason jar gnome tutorial. We want to decorate the jar and lid separately so that we can access the contents.
mason jar gnome with buffalo check slouchy hat pattern and a faux fur beard

All the Gnomes on Ruffles and rain Boots

As you can imagine, I LOVE making sock gnomes, standing gnomes, gnome ornaments, wine bottle gnomes, and well, just about any other type of DIY gnome I can think of.

If that you, as well, be sure to stay in touch by signing up for the Ruffles and Rain Boots newsletter here where you will get notified of all new free tutorials – yes, FREE!

And now, just click here to browse ALL THE GNOMES I’ve made and shared on Ruffles and Rain Boots. If you are interested in just this one style, click here for all of the sock gnome tutorials.

Gnome Hat Patterns and Ideas

As I mentioned above, deciding on the type of hat is crucial to determine if a pattern is needed.

For example, a chef hat works perfectly on a little kitchen sock gnome. In this easy gnome tutorial, I guide you through how to make a chef hat pattern that is perfectly sized to YOUR gnome.

close up of chef gnome with chef toque, gray mongolian fur beard, and polymer clay nose on white wood and marble background with baking utensils
You can make a kitchen cutie chef gnome of any size!

To make a slouchy or twisty hat from a sock, only general instructions are needed. For example, both the Halloween sock gnome and Rainbow Twisty hat gnome are made from the same size sock even though they look nothing alike.

For a flipped over sock hat pattern, you will need to follow the steps in this slouchy hat sock gnome tutorial. This is a fun way to vary the heights and styles of gnomes you make.

Adorable Halloween Sock Gnome Tutorial
Use a sock to get a slouchy sock gnome hat pattern that works every time.

For a tall sock hat pattern, you’ll need to cut it the same way as above but also use polyfill. If you love the look of the twisted and curly hats, you will also need to follow this curly gnome hat tutorial for stuffing the sock hat and securing a strong floral wire.

summer rainbow gnome with a bendy hat
Use a sock gnome hat pattern to make a curly, twisty hat.

Another gnome hat pattern that is very popular is a gnome hat pattern that twists and curls into itself like a candy or a fern. Check out this

front view of a spring gnome for farmhouse decor with text which reads how to make a spring sock gnome
This Spring sock gnome features a curly hat pattern to help you add a bit of fun!

A popular look in the past couple of years is a slouchy fabric gnome hat. For this one, a general pattern of approximate measurements can be provided – just click through to my farmhouse gnome tutorial for that.

photo collage of adorable no sew gnome with text which reads diy farmhouse gnome
My popular farmhouse gnome with a relaxed, slouchy hat is a fan-favorite way to use fabric.

Are There Other Ways to Make Gnomes?

Oh, yes! Ruffles and Rain Boots tutorials are here to help you explore this fun hobby and business endeavor that is making ANY style of gnomes. A few of the tutorials you’ll find here use the following to make no-sew gnomes:

  • Styrofoam cones
  • Paper maché cones
  • Pool noodles
  • Wine corks
  • Mason jars
  • Wine bottles
  • Winter hats
  • Gloves and mittens
  • Wood blocks and cut wood pieces
  • Cricut machines and gnome SVG files
  • the list can go on and on, friends.

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