Learn how to make this Santa gnome Christmas decor using pine boughs and moss. According to Scandinavian folklore, these mythological gnomes, or “nisse” creatures, signify the winter solstice and holiday season.
For this version, you’ll need to forage outdoors for greenery and prune an evergreen tree, such as pine, juniper, cypress or fir. You can also source greenery from the bottom of your Christmas tree or from tree cuttings from The Home Depot Garden Center Christmas tree wrapping station.
Next, you’ll create a cone-shaped mossy hat using chicken wire. You can decorate your Santa gnome using Christmas ornaments to create a nose and hat topper, or use other similar materials. For example, the mustache is made from yarn.
How to make a Santa gnome
Tools and Materials:
- Gardening gloves
- Greenery, such as pine, juniper, spruce or fir
- Measuring tape
- Floral wire
- Chicken wire
- Sheet moss
- Christmas ornaments
- Yarn or twine
Instructions for How to Make a Gnome Santa
Source the greenery. Look around your yard (or get permission to forage in your neighbor’s yard) and trim some branches. Use sharp pruners and gardening gloves to protect your hands.
Create the base. Pull together several branches that are full at the base and bundle them together. Secure them with floral wire. The key to this step is finding branches thicker at the base. Pull in other greenery to fill out on the bottom.
Cut the chicken wire. Wearing your gardening gloves and using a pruner, cut a piece of chicken wire that’s 1 to 1/2 feet long.
Shape the hat. Bend your chicken wire into a cone-shaped hat, keeping it wider at the base and more narrow at the top. As you bend it over, tuck the ends of the wire around the other to secure the pieces.
Wrap hat with moss. Fill a bucket with water and drench the sheet moss. After five minutes, drain the water and squeeze it out. Now take big pieces of the moss and wrap them around the base of the hat. Secure the moss with floral wire. Repeat all the way to the top of the hat.
Fit hat on base. Next, fit the Santa gnome hat on the base of the pine bundle. Push it down for a snug fit. If it’s not snug, add more pine branches to your bundle.
Decorate your gnome. Take your ornaments and use one for the nose and one for the top of the hat. Cut a piece of floral wire and thread it through the loop on top of the ornament and secure to the tip of the hat. Repeat for the nose. If you’re making a gnome with a tipped over hat, you can now bend your hat over to one side to give it this look.
Add a mustache. Take some yarn and use this simple method to help make the mustache for your Santa gnome. Hold the end of the yard between your thumb and forefinger and wrap the yarn down to your elbow and back up and around your hand. Do this 20 times and you’ll have a mustache. Snip off the end when done.
Cut a 6-inch piece of yarn. Wrap the piece around the middle of the mustache and tie it in a knot. With the excess material, secure the mustache to the pine just at the base of the gnome’s hat.
Decorate with your Santa gnome. Enjoy the magic of the holiday season and decorate a mantel with your Santa gnome. Another idea: set out a trio of Santa gnomes by a doorway inside or out on the deck, porch or entryway.
Photography and styling assistance provided by Lucy Mercer