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Easy DIY Gnome (Honey Bee Style)

Gnomes. The whimsical creatures that everyone seems to love. Now you can share your passion for these mysterious little guys in another way – honey bee style. There are literally hundreds of ways to make a gnome. Some require more skill than others with needle and thread. No worries, this tutorial for an easy DIY gnome will help you with your first creation.

Easy pattern for diy gnome, honey bee gnome tutorial image.

How to Make an Honey Bee Gnome

This fun bee craft is a great way to show your appreciation for honey bees and other pollinators. Using a few materials (most of which you may already have), your DIY gnome can be ready in less than an hour.

What is a Gnome?

They are mythical creatures that were believed to guard treasures under the Earth. Some believe them to be a symbol of good luck. Garden gnomes, made of clay, became popular in the late 1800’s.

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It was not unusual to find a gnome watching over a garden for crop protection or perched in the rafters of a barn to watch over the livestock. You will find them in all styles from a dwarfish sinister look to a campy funny style.

Material Choices for Construction

The focal points of any gnome construction is 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.

Body: You can be very complex when designing a body for your project. Or, a gnome body can be as simple as a sock. The goal is to have a fabric pocket that can be filled with something (rice, beads, sand, pea gravel etc.) and allow it to sit upright.

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 polyfill.

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Gnome Beard: Every gnome needs a long beard. White is most common but other colors are fine. Beards can be made of unraveled yard but for beginners a bit of faux fur is easiet.

Accessories: There are many items you can use to give your gnome character. In this tutorial, I used pipe cleaners to simulate antenna. Jute cord from my skep making project served as a trim for the hat.

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

Easy pattern for diy gnome, honey bee gnome tutorial image.

DIY Gnome Bee Tutorial

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

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.
    Bee fabric cut to become part of a gnome 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.
  • 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.
    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.
  • 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.
  • Use the hot glue gun to attach beard to front of bee gnome body. It normally sits right at the hat line.
  • 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.
  • 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 Instagram – @carolina_honeybees

These simple instructions for making a honey bee gnome should get you off to a great start. Feel free to make adjustments and make the project your own.

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. Have fun.

Consider adding more bee themed items such as : Painted Bee Rocks or a cute Clay Pot Honey Bee. They are sure to please and can be used outdoors.

Though not designed for outdoor use, your easy DIY bee gnome will be a cute addition to other honey bee decor. They make a great gift for a beekeeper friend or anyone who loves bees.

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