It’s February and the heart gnomes are out on our nature table. They bring joy and friendship this month. When the gnomes appeared on the nature table, I told a little story to the children about how good friends take turns. These gnomes took turns standing on the log. You could choose whatever topic your daycare children are learning and feature it in your own story.
I first learned how to make these gnomes when I worked at a Waldorf school. It involves lots of tiny stitches and no gluing at all. I like how Wee Folk Art does her peg gnomes (quick and easy!) so I followed her free pattern and then added my own heart designs. I included some measurements as well to help out the beginners. I think this is an easier way to be introduced into the world of gnomes.
I bought the wooden peg dolls at Michael’s Craft Store. They are the 2 3/8 inch ones.
Choose your colour of felt and measure out a body rectangle (7.5cm by 4 cm), a cape rectangle (7.5 cm by 5 cm) and a hat triangle (6.5 cm for all sides).
Cut out your shapes and then use white glue to glue the body rectangle onto your wooden peg doll.
Round the bottom corners of the cape rectangle and cut a slight scoop around the top. Sew a blanket stitch (using embroidery thread) along the sides and bottom of the cape. Learn how to do a blanket stitch in my felt heart tutorial here.
Attach the two top corners of the cape around the gnome by sewing a few stitches under his chin. Fold the cape back and hide your knot under the cloak so the cape closure looks neat and tidy.
I cut out a small heart and glued it onto the gnome’s body. I also cut out a larger heart and glued it onto the back of his cape. One of my gnomes has a very large heart on his cape, which I decided to sew on. This helped keep the edges lying flat as it curved around his back. Make sure you sew on your heart before you attach the cape to the gnome if you decide to add this detail.
Use a blanket stitch again to sew the bottom edge of the hat.
Continue sewing the two edges together to form a cone shaped hat. You can hide your knot on the inside of the hat so it has a nice finished look. Add a few dabs of glue on the inside rim of the hat and place it on your gnome’s head.
If you lift up the gnome’s back collar as you slide the hat on, the collar will hide any messy stitches at the back of your hat.
You made your first Valentine’s Day gnome! Make him a friend and then they are ready to grace your nature table together.
It is the Waldorf way to leave the gnome faces blank. The child’s imagination fills in the changing expressions of the gnomes. If you would prefer a face, a fine tipped permanent marker would work well to create eyes, nose and a smile.
Happy Valentine’s Day