DIY Elf Door

Elf Door--Start a new tradition with your family this Christmas!
I'm always trying to think of new traditions for my family to incorporate during the holidays.  Right now, we just have a handful of Christmas traditions but I've been wanting to add another one.  In August I got an email from Jane.com with a cute little elf door.  What at fun idea! I thought to myself as I clicked on the link.  As cute as it was, I didn't want to pay $24 for the door plus the other accessories (fence, lights, etc) and then pay for shipping.  I knew I could do it for cheaper myself and starting looking around online.

It turns out that Hobby Lobby's miniature dollhouse collection was the perfect solution.  I've been watching for those items to go on sale and when they did, I went over and picked up what I needed.  Using my 40% off coupon, I was able to get the door for $6.59, plus the doorknob and key for $3.49 (30% off) and some mini Christmas light bulbs for $1.39 (30% off), which brought my total to $12.26 with tax.  I already have acrylic paint and brushes to paint the door and instead of using miniature fencing, I decided to cut some out of vinyl using my Silhouette Cameo, which I could then stick to the wall and remove at the end of the season.  So by doing this myself, I was able to save myself more than half of what it would have cost to buy it from Jane.com.

Elf Door--Start a new tradition with your family this Christmas!

*Note: I did look on Amazon for the supplies to make this, but it was less expensive to buy it at Hobby Lobby.  But definitely feel free to shop around a bit.  You might find a better deal or decide you want a different kind of door or doorknob set.  The great thing about this craft is that you can totally personalize it!

I've been thinking about what kind of activity I could do with my kids to incorporate this little elf door into our traditions.  Ultimately, I kept it simple and told my kids that there is a magical elf door that leads directly to the North Pole.  Elves can come through it and check to make sure the kids are being good and then report to Santa.  You could be more elaborate if you want and do Elf on the Shelf type things but I don't want to stress myself out by committing to do that every night.

So here's what you'll need to make your own Elf Door:
  • miniature door
  • miniature doorknob
  • miniature fence (vinyl or wood)
  • miniature Christmas light bulbs
  • acrylic paint (in desired colors)
  • paint brushes
  • glue
  • thin jewelry wire (silver or gold)
First, I painted the door frame white and the door a bright red and let it dry.

Elf Door--Start a new tradition with your family this Christmas!

Then I glued the doorknob on using some Tacky Glue and let it dry.

Meanwhile, I opened up my Silhouette Studio software and grabbed a picket fence silhouette from Google.  I was able to get the silhouette by using the 'Trace' function, then I saved the image in my library to use later on.  To determine the size of the fence, I measured the height of the door (about 7.5") and then used a ruler to visualize the height of the fence.  Then I resized it in the Silhouette Studio and cut it out on my white vinyl.

Elf Door--Start a new tradition with your family this Christmas!

To make the strand of lights, I removed the gold wires that were strung through the lights.  Then I cut a length of wire about 24" long.  I strung the first light on and then twisted it at the top a couple times so it wouldn't slide around.  I threaded the next light on and spaced it about 1"-1.5" from the first light and repeated the twist at the top.  I continued around until I reached the end of the wire, leaving about 1" at the end.

Elf Door--Start a new tradition with your family this Christmas!

Elf Door--Start a new tradition with your family this Christmas!

I decided to put the door in our kitchen/dining area because we spend a lot of time there.  I wanted it to be visible to the kids so they would remember that the "elf" is going to check on them.  I placed the door above the baseboards and stuck it to the wall using tape I had rolled up and put on the back, making it easily removable at the end of the season.  Then I put about 3" of vinyl fence on either side of the door.  Finally, I strung the lights around the door, draping them across the top and bending the wire and securing the ends under the top part of the vinyl fence.

Elf Door--Start a new tradition with your family this Christmas!

Elf Door--Start a new tradition with your family this Christmas!

As I was setting it up, I explained to my daughter about the elf and the magic door.  I tried to keep it simple so I could remember what I told her.  If I make a mistake, I'm sure she'll correct me. *wink*  When my son woke up from his nap, he noticed it and went right over to investigate.  He's not quite old enough to understand "elves" and "magic" but he thought it was fun anyway.  Hopefully he won't mess with it too much.  If you have younger kids, you can always move the door up higher above a table or counter so it's out of reach of little hands.

Elf Door--Start a new tradition with your family this Christmas!

Elf Door--Start a new tradition with your family this Christmas!

I had so much fun putting this little elf door together!  I hope this will be a fun tradition we can enjoy for years to come.

What are some of your favorite Christmas traditions?

32 comments

  1. Goodness, what a cute idea! If only I could decorate my actual door this way.

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    1. I know, right? I love the bright red door and string of lights.

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  2. This is such a cute idea and it came out great!!

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  3. I absolutely love going to Hobby Lobby, but it's so hard not to buy everything! Next to Home Goods and Michaels they're the best place for holiday decor. I had never heard of this elf door idea, but it's so cute!

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    1. Hobby Lobby is my happy place! It's good thing I have to travel a little further to get to the closest store or I would be in trouble! They are building a HomeGoods store about 25 minutes away from me and I'm excited to stop in.

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  4. What a fun idea! My little cousins will love this.

    Alix | www.apintsizedlife.com

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  5. So cute!! Can't wait to do this for my little girl! She's due on the 9th or so, so definitely not this year...although my husband and I hide it around the house for each other! ;)

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    1. Haha, that's too funny! And congrats on your little girl. They are so much fun!

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  6. I love the craft idea. So cute. Kids will enjoy helping to make something like this for Christmas.

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    1. Thanks Stephanie! My kids wanted to help but they are still a little too young, but older kids could definitely do this.

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  7. This is so stinkin' cute and such a fun idea for the kiddos!
    Best,
    Kelly

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    1. Thanks Kelly! And thank you for sharing it on your Instagram today! :)

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  8. Aw what a cute little diy and perfect for those that don't want to do elf on the shelve. Thank you so much for sharing!

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  9. That little boy looks so curious like where in the world did this come from? It is such a neat idea and a fun new tradition for them!!

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    1. Oh heavens, Zan, if you only knew how true your statement is! My little boy is very curious and wants to know how that elf gets in our house! ;)

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  10. Awww this is absolutely adorable! So crafty and genius!

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  11. I love love this idea ! its so cute! I love it!

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  12. Aww so cute!! I love all the miniature supplies - I've been eyeing up a few at Michaels. Great idea to make it the elf door!

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    1. What is it about miniature things that make them so much more fun?! I might expand next year and put a little wreath on the door or windows on either side.

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  13. This is adorable! Love the photos of your kids checking it out! :)

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    1. Thanks Cara! It was so funny to watch the expressions on their faces as they tried to figure the whole thing out.

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  14. We don't do the Elf, but I love to see the ideas people come up with for it! This is TOO CUTE! <3

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