Time for some fun Gnome Crafts again as we head into the Fall Decor season. These cute little Popsicle Stick Gnomes are great for kids of all ages, but I think particularly lovely for preschoolers and toddlers. As they are quick and easy to make and also make use of our summer ice lolly sticks! This is a versatile Gnome craft.. as we have actually made two versions – Leaf Beard Gnome and a Handprint Beard Gnome (more on that to come!).
I confess, that we were actually preparing this little popsicle stick gnome as a CHRISTMAS craft (I have a bit of a thing about looking at these cute craft stick triangles and combining them with handprints – as per this handprint angel craft). When it occurred to me, that these gnomes would also be brilliant combined with nature and some fall leaves. Now.. as we made these, we had a bit of a rainy day.. so all our “outdoor” leaves were super soggy and wet. But I couldn’t let the idea go. So I am sharing these leaf gnomes, using artificial leaves instead! I am hoping to add some photos of other gnome leaf beards, as there are actually a few options that would look adorable..
Leaf Beard Options
So, what are these leaf beards? Why not try:
- artificial leaves (as per this example), for these you will need a hot glue gun to secure the leaves
- handdrawn paper leaves – this is the easiest option – you can just create a bunch of leaves in your favourit fall colors!
- REAL leaves – now this kind of leaf beard would actually be my preferred option. As it allows you and your toddler or preschooler to go for a lovely autumn walk first. Explore the leaves and colors and look at all the different trees around you. Also real leaves have a tendency to change over time – which is a fun process to watch and discuss with your toddler! Having said that, here are 6 ways to preserve leaves for Fall Decor!
Supplies needed to make a Popsicle Stick Gnome
Gnome Video tutorial available on Auto Play!
So as mentioned, I actually made this as a (n ahem) cute Christmas Handprint Gnome with white beards. And decided to switch it up half way through the craft! So my photos are indeed for the Christmas Handprint Gnome! Just be sure to exchange the handprints for any type of leaf you wish! And pick pattern paper or colors to suit your season!
- 3 popsicle sticks per gnome*
- Pretty pattern paper in seasonal colors – if you don’t have patterned paper, you can use plain construction paper in seasonal colors (think green, yellow, oranges and reds) OR you can use white paper and get the kids to draw seasonal features onto it
- Felt tip pen for the craft sticks
- Paper for the gnome’s nose
- LEAVES – any leaves you wish, real leaves (yes please!), fabric leaves, or even draw and cut out your own paper leaves.
- Glue stick (paper leaves)/ hot glue gun or PVA glue (real and artificial leaves)
We used recycled popsicle sticks for this, but you could go extra large and use some jumbo craft sticks.
How to make a craft stick gnome
A video tutorial for the Chirstmas Handprint Gnome (essentially the same craft) will be available soon!
Prepare your leaves for the Gnome’s Beard
If using real leaves – make sure you have patted them dry and maybe flattened them a little (put them under a book with newspaper or kitchen paper towel for an hour or so). You can also explore these 6 leaf preserving methods if you wish!
If making paper leaves – begin by making a set of paper leaves first. You can print of some leaf templates online and trace them with a pencil, or hand draw some free style. Outlining them in black would work really well for this!
Color in your popsicle sticks
Using felt tip pens (no need for paint and paint brush!), color in your popsicle sticks to match/ suit the paper colors you chose from the Gnome’s hat. In our case, I colored in the craft sticks in green, as both my pattern paper has a lot of green in it.
The felt tips may smudge, so do be careful and wipe small hands after awards.
Make the Gnome’s Popsicle Stick Hat
Once the popsicle sticks are ready (and dry). Place them on to your paper in a triangle shape (a great opportunity to discuss triangles and shapes!). If your paper has a pattern, place them in a way that compliments the pattern. So for example, I made sure one of the mushrooms in mine was nicely centred.
Once all neatly laid out, use your glue stick to glue your craft sticks down. If you use enough glue stick it works really well.. no need for PVA glue.
Carefully cut out the triangle that will form the Gnome’s hat.
Make a Gnome’s Nose
Cut out an oval (or circle) in a desired skin tone to make the gnome’s nose (again, an opportunity to discuss shapes!
Fall Gnome Craft Assembly
Glue the gnome’s nose onto the center of the hat band. Some people like to place the nose under the hat.. I think both work and it is a question of preference.
Now gather your leaves and arrange them as a beard and place the hat on top. Make sure the leaves cover the width of the hat. You can have a shuffle around and see what works best for you. You may need more or less leaves. I think it would be fun to explore different shapped leaves and see what they look like!
A large maple leaf would look gorgeous but then a bunch of acorn leaves would give it a curly beard look too.. so many options! You can see even using the fabric leaves, you can have fun by “extending” the beard or trimming it! Such a fun craft to experiment with.
Happy with the final look? Then carefully glue in place under the hat base.
How cute are these little gnomes? I do think with the leaf beards they make great little DIY Fall Gnomes to make with the kids. But do keep an eye out for our Christmas Handprint Gnomes too:
In the meantime, why not check out the rest of our collection of Gnome Crafts? We have many great DIY fall gnomes in this too – I adore those paper cone gnomes, as well as the gnome bookmarks. TOO CUTE!! Or if you are after some more craft stick crafts, check these too!