Make This Upcycled Sweater Hat Gnome in 5 Minutes!

I love making gnomes, mostly because I love fast craft projects (ok, I also love the gnomes), but this easy upcycled sweater hat gnome is, by far, the fastest gnome I’ve ever made.

how to make a gnome with a knitted at and pom pom
Make this easy recycled hat gnome so fast it’s not funny!

Upcycled Sweater Hat Gnome

Here at Ruffles and Rain Boots, I need a new title: Gnome Engineer. Seriously, I should be wearing a hardhat and drawing-up construction plans, because I make so many fun DIY gnome tutorials for you. But, this little upcycled sweater hat gnome? It is FUN because it’s whimsical and silly, but also because it’s the fastest gnome in the west!


No, really, I had this gnome made in about 5 minutes. It took me longer to find the hat in our “donate” pile than it took for me to make this gnome. So if you’re looking for a fast DIY gnome, let’s get started.

No Time to Make This Now? Pin it for Later

Too busy to make him? Need to find a cute hat? Pin this to your favorite up-cycled crafts ideas board on Pinterest and it’ll be here for when you’re ready.

recycled hat gnome with text which reads diy gnome from a tobogan

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Tips to Make easy Scandinavian Gnomes

  • First, definitely start with the craziest bright and fun hat that you can find. Or just any hat. Because if you’re upcycling, beggars can’t be choosers. I picked this bright coral one because the kiddo outgrew it.
  • If your hat doesn’t have a pom pom, you can make one from the same faux fur you choose to use, or you can buy one. My hat actually had two pom poms on it to start with. But they were on there with a pin, so I just took one off and then relocated the other to the center of the hat. Made more sense for my little adorable gnome guy.
  • Don’t overfill this tomte. you need some extra space to pull the fabric of the hat down to create the gnome’s hat brim. So, just fill the hat a bit, certainly, but do not stuff it full.
  • Love how smooth my gnome’s beard is? Me too. I did that by just brushing my fingers through it. You don’t have to be aggressive or anything, just brush with your fingers.
  • Speaking of the faux fur I used–I can’t find its equivalent online (I’m sorry), but I just got it at the local fabric store, and it was on sale, too. So, just look around and you’re sure to find a fur you’ll love.
easy knitted hat gnome upcycling craft

How Do I Make this Up-cycled Sweater Hat Gnome?

I’m so glad you asked. Below is our written tutorial. If you’re making an easy craft ideas playlist on YouTube, here is our video tutorial.

Yield: 1 Awesome Gnome

Upcycled Sweater Hat Gnome

easy knitted hat gnome upcycling craft

If you're looking for a fast gnome or a recycled craft project, this upcycled knitted hat gnome is the fastest you'll ever find!

Active Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Difficulty Easy
Estimated Cost $1


  • 1 Knitted Hat (I got this one on Wish about a million years ago)
  • Brown Mongolian Faux Fur
  • Wooden Bead or Polymer Clay Bead for a Nose
  • 2-3 cups Filler (I used Northern Beans)
  • Small Amount of Polyfill


  • Hot Glue Gun and Glue


  1. Open the hat and stuff a handful of polyfill into the top. how to make an upcycled gnome
  2. Finish filing the gnome body (the hat) with the beans or other filler. how to upcycle a sweater hat into a gnome
  3. Fold the two sides of the hat's opening over onto each other hot glue them in place. how to make a sweater hat gnome
  4. Fold the two flaps on the end of the seam you just made inward toward the center of the gnome body and hot glue those in place. how to make a gnome with a hat
  5. Work the beans down and the polyfil up into the tip of the hat. how to make a gnome with a knitted hat
  6. Pull the center of the hat outward and make a bit of a shelf. how to make a faux knitted gnome
  7. Based on the area remaining under your "shelf" in the hat, cut out a rounded triangle of the Mongolian faux fur. Use an exacto knife or razor blade to cut only the fabric on the backside of the faux fur.
  8. Add a line of hot glue to the back of the beard along the top line and affix the beard to the front of the gnome. how to make a gnome with a knitted hat tobogan
  9. Hot glue the nose onto the top of the beard, about 1/4-inch from the edge.
  10. Fold the brim of the hat down over the nose and hot glue it in place on both sides of the gnome, the back and then over the nose to make a little wrinkle--I love that part! easy gnome tutorial with a knitted hat


For more (oh, so many more) gnome tutorials, visit

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photo collage of easy DIY tomte from a hat with text which reads gnome from a tobogan

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