The Christmas elf in fairy tales is traditionally Santa’s helper, who works at the North Pole to create the millions upon millions of gifts that all the well behaved girls and boys will receive on Christmas day. Apart from being a useful fellow, the elf is also a great Christmas decoration for your backyard. Here’s how you can make your own big Christmas elf decoration.
- Outline. You will need a photograph or an illustration of a Christmas elf which you will use to draw the outlines of the elf on a piece of plywood. For starters, you can use simpler elf images, such as those found in cartoons and story books. You can also download images from the internet, which will give you a wider option of elf images to choose from. Use a piece of chalk to draw the outline of the elf on the plywood. The plywood should be around two to three feet tall, depending on how large you want your elf to be.
- Cut. Next, take a saw and cut out the image of the elf by following the chalk outline that you have traced out. Do this carefully, to avoid creating splinters and rough patches on the edge of the elf cut out. Plywood will, however, usually have one or two rough patches. To remove these, use a piece of sandpaper.
- Paint. Next, use acrylic paint to fill in the outline with the usual Christmas elf colors. The elf will usually wear a green suit costume, including a green and pointed hat. After filling in the colors and details of the elf, add in the outlines using a finer brush and black paint. This will make the Christmas elf stand out, and will emphasize and highlight the details of the elf’s eye, lips, face, and body. You can also use diluted white paint to create highlights, and diluted black paint to create shadows – if you are handy with the paint brush.
- Dry. Let the newly painted elf dry overnight in a dry place. Once it has fully dried, you can paint on a new layer of lacquer to protect the paint from chipping. There are other varnishes that you can apply to keep the paint from chipping if you live in warmer regions. This will allow you to reuse the Christmas elf decorations for as many Christmas seasons as you want. For colder regions, you can use varnishes that will keep moisture from snow from seeping into the wood.
- Set up. Finally, take a stake that is approximately a foot and a half in length. Attach this to the back of the elf decoration using nails or screws. The pointed end of the stake can be made by using the saw to draw the outline for the end of the stake, which will then be place on the ground.
You can create as many Christmas elf decorations as you want. Place these in your yard, or remove the stakes and hang on the wall or place on the shelf to add an instant Christmas cheer for your home.