Make a Bee Gnome

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In recent years, gnome crafting has become a popular pastime – with these whimsical creatures appearing in every size and style. One unique variation is making a honey bee gnome. Of course, as I beekeeper I could not miss this opportunity. In this tutorial, I will show you how to create a simple honey bee gnome DIY – even if your sewing skills are not first rate. If you have never made a gnome before, you may feel intimidated- but don’t -just have fun.

Easy honey bee gnome DIY tutorial after finishing and posing in different locations.

If you know any beekeepers, or bee enthusiasts -this easy and fun bee craft is a “must make”. Folks love these weird little guys – naturally I had to make some with a bee theme.

Why Make a Honey Bee Gnome?

Traditionally, gnomes were mythical creatures that were believed to guard treasures under the Earth. Often made of clay, some believe them to be a symbol of good luck.

Creating a honey bee gnome is a cute way to celebrate these important insects and share in the positive values they bring to our lives. (Ok, you can call it a Bumble bee gnome if you want – I won’t tell).

The biggest reason to make a bee gnome is because they are cute. A sweet addition to your home decor, the bright black and yellow design along with beard and antennae add a touch of cheer.

Materials needed to make an easy diy bee gnome craft project, poly, rice, material, pattern.

Materials

You don’t need a lot of materials to make a bee gnome. The focal points of construction are the hat and beard. It is customary for the body to be simple.

Some patterns show legs and arms – which add interest to your project. However, most gnome crafts do not have limbs-this makes the project easier. If this is your first time – keep it simple.

  • body material & filler
  • hat material
  • beard (faux fur)
  • accessories (pipe cleaners black – wooden bead)
  • hot glue gun

Material for the Gnome Body

You can be very complex when designing a body for your project. Or, a gnome body can be as simple as a sock. Sock gnomes are popular because they require little to no sewing.

The goal is to have a fabric pocket that can be filled with something. Cotton or felt material are good choices. For the body, I choose black felt to reinforce my bee motif.

Filler: Rice (uncooked), beads, sand and pea gravel are some of the materials used to fill the body and make it stand up.

Gnome Hat

Most gnomes have a signature tall hat. This can be constructed from fabric glued to a foam cone. Or, as in this tutorial, you can sew a cone shaped piece of fabric and stuff with polyfil.

I chose to not put a pom pom on top of the hat. However, depending on the style you are going for – you could add one.

Gnome Beard Material

Every gnome needs a long beard (Yes – even though bees don’t have beards). This is one of the key features of the project. White is most common but other colors are fine.

Beards can be made of unraveled yarn, felt and other materials. But for beginners a bit of faux fur or craft fur is easiest.

Embellishments

There are many items you can use to give your gnome character. This is the part of the project that really focuses in on the theme you choose. Do you have to have a special theme? No, of course not.

However, in this tutorial, I am making a honey bee gnome . One of the most distinguishing feature parts of a bee is a pair of antenna. I used pipe cleaners to simulate antenna.

Equipment

In addition to basic supplies: rubber band, thread, pins, scissors:

  • hot glue gun

Step by Step Assembly

Four basic steps of assembling a diy gnome craft.

Body

Begin by creating the body part. This is easily done by folding your cloth and seaming up one side. I used one standard piece of black felt folded in half – no cutting required.

Now sew up the open side – then turn “inside out” so your stitches are located inside. Hand stitching is fine – just be sure to make the stitches small enough to contain whatever material you put inside. You do not want rice or sand leaking out! I like to use black thread to blend in with the body.

With the body seamed up and turned – right side out, it is time to fill it. Fill the body up with your weighted material. Plain white rice is a popular medium for this purpose.

It is your choice to decide how much material to add. I used about 3 cups of uncooked rice. When it is almost full, gather the top together and close with a zip-tie, wire, etc. No one is going to see this part.

Hat

Making a hat for your bee gnome. Choose the hat material and fold it right sides together. Then, cut out a large triangle that will become the hat. (pattern link for hat below) This hat should be tall because this is another major gnome feature.

Stitch up one side of the hat and turn the material right sides out to show your beautiful pattern. Then, fill and stuff the interior with polyfil or something similar. We want the hat to stand up.

Attaching hat to body: This is the most difficult part for me (sometimes my hands are not steady). Place the hat on the body section. It should cover the top of the body that is gathered together (you will not see the rubber band or whatever you used to close the body.

Use a hot glue gun to attach the hat to the gnome body. (Or you could hand stitch it on if you wish). I admit this was the most tedious part of the project for me. Don’t worry about the raw material edges – we are going to hide those.

Two steps of using pattern to make a gnome beard on faux fur and using scissors to cut out beard.

Make a Gnome Beard

A gnome beard pattern for this simple project is really not necessary. However, if you want my outline for the hat and beard – here it is.

Faux fur fabric is one of the easiest ways to make a beard. You only need a small piece and you can save leftovers for other projects.

The most important thing about cutting the fur is to make sure the fabric is laid down correctly. The fur should be going down in the long direction.

Also, be sure to cut only the backing – do not cut the fur underneath – that is what will flow down and cover the edges of the backing. You can do a beard trim later.

Two step to glue beard to gnome and add rope and bee nose to bee gnome project.

Final Stages of Construction

Hot glue the beard to your gnome at the hat line.

Now, I want to cover up that raw seam with cord or ribbon. Ribbon is too difficult for me so I used some of the jute cord from my mini bee skep craft project as a trim for the hat. Worked great.

Every gnome needs a nose- even a honey bee gnome. Along with a tall hat and beard, it is one of their most important features. A cute wooden bead is a good option to create a nose.

We can’t truly have a honey bee gnome without antenna. I used two black pipe cleaners. Cut to a short length and then wrap the ends around a pencil to give them a curve.

Lastly, use your hot glue gun to attach the bee antenna to the hat brim. This is a fairly simple project. Using a few materials (most of which you may already have), your DIY bee gnome can be ready in less than an hour.

Lint roller can be used to remove white beard fuzz from gnome body.

Expert Tips

(Optional) Once you are finished, you can use a lint roller to remove the white “beard fuzz” that sticks on your black felt.

If your cutting, gluing etc is not perfect – don’t stress. You are creating a piece of art not a mass produced machine-made item. Feel free to make adjustments and make the project your own-there is no wrong way.

More Ideas

If you love bees like I do, consider trying more bee themed crafts such as : Painted Bee Rocks – a great idea to try with the older kids.

Consider decorating your summer garden with cute Clay Pot Honey Bee. They are sure to please and can be used outdoors or in.

Looking for a quick project suitable for children? Learn how to make a bee using craft sticks and pipe cleaners – good for younger kids.

Older children with more dexterity may enjoy recycling old golf balls craft bees into figures – a good lesson in recycling too.

Final Thoughts

Christmas gnomes, Halloween gnomes – you name it. This honey bee gnome tutorial can be used for any style – it does not have to be a bee. You can vary the theme as with this idea for a DIY bee candy dish.

They make wonderful gifts for beekeepers or friends who just love bees. Though not designed for outdoor use, these bee gnomes will be a cute addition to your decor.

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Three views of handmade bee gnome craft.

DIY Honey Bee Gnome Tutorial

Charlotte Anderson @ Carolina Honeybees, LLC
Step by step directions to create an easy honey bee gnome craft for decorating.
5 from 2 votes

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Tools

Supplies
 

Instructions
 

  • Fold the piece of black felt in half. Sew the bottom and open side with a good seam. Turn the piece inside out so the seam is on the inside.
    You can use a sewing machine or hand sew. We want a good tight seam to hold the rice. This is the body of your bee gnome.
    Black felt folded in half with sew lines for diy gnome body image.
  • There are several materials you can use to fill the body. We need some weight there to ensure he will stand up.
    The most readily available option is dry rice. Use about 3 cups of rice to fill out the body.
    Measuring cup, and rice used to fill body of gnome pattern image.
  • You should have enough room to gather and tie the top of the bag. You can use a couple of good rubber bands or twisted wire.
    My favorite is a zip tie that is very easy to work with and get a good seal.
    Black felt bag filled with rice and zip tied closed image.
  • Lay down the fabric chosen for a hat with right sides together. Place pattern piece for gnome hat on the fabric as shown. Cut out hat.
    Bee fabric folded right side together with gnome hat pattern on fold image.
  • With the hat piece still right sides together, sew with machine or by hand along the seam line. This forms the cone that will become the hat for your bee gnome.
    Stuffing the inside of the bee gnome hat image.
  • Turn the hat right side out. Pack some polyfill (or similar) into the hat. Use your scissors or something slim to reach the tip so your hat will stand up.
    Bee fabric material hat with white polyfill image.
  • Don't make the mistake that I first did of over-filling the hat. You do not need to fill the cone completely. Leave room for the sides of the hat to fit down over the bag of rice.
    Stuffing the inside of the bee gnome hat image.
  • Using one of your hands ( or a coupe of pins), place the hat down over the top 1/3 or so of the gnome body. Use the hot glue gun to attach.
    Don't be stingy with your glue. People make want to pick your bee gnome up by the hat! Let cool until set.
    Using hot glue gun to attach bee gnome hat to body image.
  • It's time to cut the beard. Lay your beard pattern on the backside of the fur fabric. Check to make sure that the direction of the fur is going the way you want.
    Labeled paper pattern for bee gnome beard image.
  • When cutting your gnome beard, gently insert your scissors under the backing material only. You do not want to cut the strands of fur just the backing.
    Cut beard fur on back side as marked image.
  • Use the hot glue gun to attach beard to front of bee gnome body. It normally sits right at the hat line.
    Using glue to attach beard to bee gnome image.
  • Glue jute cord around the seam where the hat meets the body. Then, glue on a wooden bead (or similar) right under the cord to be the gnome nose.
    Honey bee gnome with beard and nose finished image.
  • Use a lint roller (optional) to remove any furry residue from the body.
    Using lint roller to clean fuzz off black felt image.
  • To complete our bee theme. Use 2 black pipe cleaners to make antenna. For each, wrap one end 3 times about a pencil (or finger).
    Cut length to about 5 inches. Then, glue to area between jute cord and hat.
    Black pipe cleaner antenna glued on gnome bee image.

Notes

  • Small wire can also be used to secure the top of the body bag.  I liked the zip ties better.
  • Be careful when cutting the fur fabric for the beard – don’t cut the fur underneath.
  • If you do not want to use rice for filling – commercial filling is available.
Learn more about bees and using products from the hive!Join me on Pinterest – @carolinahoneyb

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