These Wooden Nesting Gnomes are So CUTE and easy!

I absolutely adore these wooden nesting gnomes I made. These stacking gnomes are not only easy, but they make awesome Christmas gnomes to decorate the mantel or by the tree.

how to make russian nesting doll gnomes on a white wood background with a christmas tree
Make these easy nesting gnomes for the holidays!

Wooden Nesting Gnomes

Here at Ruffles and Rain Boots, we are what you’d call “gnome obsessed”. Seriously, I have made everything from gnome ornaments to wine cork gnomes. If it’s a gnome, nisse, tomte, tomtenisse or any other gnome-ish name you might call it, I’m going to make it. Heck, I’ve even taken to blending ideas like with these wooden nesting gnomes.


Imagine Russian nesting dolls, you know the ones with the baby that fits inside the doll that fits inside–and so on. Well, imagine that but with gnomes. That’s how I came up with these wooden nesting gnomes.

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

They fit inside each other from the smallest to the largest. And the best part? These stacking gnomes are so easy to make, you can have them done and on the mantle in about 30 minutes (well, after the paint dries). Let’s get started.

No Time to Make This Now? Pin it for Later

You’re busy, I get it. Pin this to your favorite holiday crafts board on Pinterest and it’ll be here for when you’re ready.

hollow wood gnomes being stacked with text which reads gnomes russian stacking free cut files

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Tips to Make Stacking Gnomes

  • Click here to download the free cut files for these wooden nesting gnomes. Its free for personal use, but I would appreciate if you shared this on your favorite holiday crafts board.
  • Be sure to make your gnome’s noses flat for these wooden nesting doll gnomes or they won’t nest very well. The fit is snug and too big of a nose would take up all the space!
  • I tried making the beards from felt and while it looked ok, it just wasn’t as awesome as the fur. To get the fur used here (and some alternates), check out my supplies list here.
  • If you’ve never cut craft fur, it’s not as hard as it looks. Just flip it over and, using an Exacto knife or box knife and cut just the fabric, avoiding the fur itself. I have made you a quick video tutorial on how to cut faux fur without waste or error.
  • If you don’t have a Cricut or Silhouette, don’t panic. You can cut these stacking gnomes at your local maker space. Don’t know where your local maker space is? We have one at our local library, so start there.
how to make gnomes that stack together on a white wood background with a christmas tree and burlap for farmhouse christmas decorations

the Measurements for the Stacking Gnomes

You can choose which sizes you make of these adorable little Nordic gnomes and here are the measurements for you to decide what to make and where to put them. The largest tomte is 12-inches, then 10 1/2, 8, 6 1/2, 4, and finally, 2 1/2 inches.

How Do I Make Wooden Nesting Gnomes?

I’m so glad you asked. Below is our written tutorial. If you have any questions, please let me know in the comments below. Because you all loved these, I made a DIY nesting gnomes video tutorial for these guys.

Yield: 6

Wooden Nesting Gnomes

how to make gnomes that stack together on a white wood background with a christmas tree and burlap for farmhouse christmas decorations

I absolutely adore these wooden nesting gnomes I made. These stacking gnomes are not only easy, but they make awesome Christmas gnomes to decorate the mantel or by the tree.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Active Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Difficulty Easy
Estimated Cost $10


  • 2 Sheets 12x18-inch wide 3/32-Thick Wood if Using Cutting Machines (if no cutting machine is being used, thickness is based on your preference, however, go no wider than 1/4-inch thick so as not to interfere with the nesting of the gnomes)
  • Craft Paint:
  • Red
  • Yellow
  • Black
  • Green
  • White
  • Grey Wood Stain
  • Wipe-on Polyurethane to Seal (optional)
  • Craft Fur, Mongolian Fur or any fur OR Ivory Craft Felt
  • Polymer Clay (for EACH gnome nose--you can alternatively use a 1/4-inch wooden bead per gnome):
  • 1 small, dime-sized portion of brown
  • 1 quarter-sized portion of white
  • Printable Pattern or Cut File


  • Sand Paper
  • Pencil
  • Cutting Machine, Miter Saw or Scroll Saw
  • Paintbrush
  • Exacto Knife or Scissors
  • Hot Glue Gun and Glue


  1. Start making your gnome noses by combining the brown and white polymer clay until a flesh-color is consistent throughout.
  2. Roll clay into a 6 neat balls (in graduating sizes), making sure they are smooth all the way around. Then smash them a little flat, so that they will not interfere with the stacking of the gnomes.
  3. Bake in the oven per the polymer clay package directions. Allow to cool before touching.
  4. Cut out the fur or the felt for beards, mustaches and eyebrows. Set aside fur items and noses. photo collage tutorial of how to make nesting gnomes
  5. Using the pattern provided, cut out all of the wood pieces.
  6. Sand each of the rectangle pieces on one end to help the triangle peak more accurately.
  7. To keep things organized, I recommend keeping the pieces together for each gnome. So, group the largest rectangles and the largest triangles together, and the next size down and so on.
  8. Working with the largest gnome pieces, hot glue the rectangle pieces onto each side of the triangle pieces. This will form a triangle-shaped box with an open end. photo collage tutorial of how to make stackable gnomes
  9. Sand each wood length smooth.
  10. With a sheet of paper, sketch out where you want the hat and clothes to be on your gnomes. Be sure to leave a 1-inch space between the hat and clothes.
  11. Transfer locations of hat and clothes onto wood.
  12. Paint the hats and clothes in colors as desired.
  13. Allow paint to dry completely.
  14. Sand paint a little, making the wood look aged. photo collage tutorial of how to make wood gnomes
  15. Add a coat of grey wood stain and immediately wipe off, making the wood look more aged.
  16. Allow stain to dry completely.
  17. Sand again to further age the wood.
  18. Hot glue beards, mustaches and eyebrows in place.
  19. Hot glue noses in place above beard. photo tutorial of how to make wooden gnomes
  20. Enjoy!


For more awesome DIY gnome tutorials, visit

Did you make this?

Please leave a comment or share a photo and tag me @rufflesandrain

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stackable gnomes laying half-stacked on a white wood background with text which reads stacking gnomes make these gnomes

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  1. These look wonderful, Sarah. Thank you for sharing.
    May I ask for help to ensure I get the correct size as I do not have a cutting machine and in the UK I do not know where I can get an svg printed. I hoped I could simply print your diagram at the correct size and ‘go from there’.
    If you would be so kind as to share the dimensions of one piece (say the largest Gnome) then I can play with percentages on the printer to get it right. Thank you for any help you are able to give.

    1. Hi, Toni! The largest gnome is 3 inches wide at the base on the front and back pieces, while the sides are 4 1/2 inches wide at the base.

        1. I should update the article with these measurements, thanks, Julie. Okay, so here goes: the largest is 12-inches, then 10 1/2, 8, 6 1/2, 4, and finally, 2 1/2 inches.