Our Favorite Christmas Gnome Decorating Ideas

There's a reason you'll be seeing more of these small statues this holiday season.

greenery gnomes diy
Photo: Carson Downing

We're ready to deck the halls in the hottest holiday decor trends, and we've noticed a surprising number of gnome decorations hiding among the holiday lights and ornaments. According to Google Trends, searches for "Christmas gnomes" have significantly increased over the past few years. Of course, people have been decorating with gnomes for a long time—you've probably seen a few hiding out in neighbors' gardens—but there's actually a reason we're seeing more of them at Christmastime.

Although the exact definition has changed quite a bit over the years, gnomes are said to be nature spirits who live underground, often interacting with humans in either helpful or mischievous ways. However, in Scandinavia, gnomes (known as nisse in Norway or tomte Sweden) are associated with the Christmas season. Much like the American Santa Claus, the julenissebasically Kris Kringle in gnome form—visits the homes of good children on Christmas Eve. The children leave a bowl of porridge for the gnome, and in return, the julenisse brings presents to their front door.

Gnomes have resurged as the perfect addition to farmhouse holiday decor. Dozens of home brands have turned the small figures into adorable holiday decor, and there are hundreds of festive gnomes to choose from. Display them on your holiday mantel, hang handmade gnome ornaments on your tree, or deck out your kitchen with gnome-shaped cookware. Check out a few of our favorite ways to decorate with Christmas gnome decor, below.

01 of 04

Forest Gnome

tabletop christmas gnome

Jennifer Plodzien

Create a winter forestscape for your gnome with frosty flocked trees and sparkling faux snow. This holiday tabletop decor idea is simple to DIY and can be left out all winter long. Set the scene around your gnome with miniature trees, tiny mushroom figurines, and other woodland decor. Finish the display with artificial snow to truly turn it into a winter scene.

02 of 04

Gnome Ornaments

Carson Downing

These tiny gnomes are especially sweet peeking out of Christmas tree branches. Plus, they can double as party favors. The miniature gnome ornaments come together with just a few craft supplies and glue. Wooden Easter eggs form the bodies and wool roving stand in for the fluffy beards.

To make them, paint the egg and let dry. Then trace a hat onto felt and cut it out. Create a cone shape and secure with hot glue. Add a loop of cording, long enough to hang the ornament, at the top of the hat with hot glue. If desired, attached small bells or accents to the hat. For the face, hot-glue a small piece of wool roving to the egg to create a beard, trimming as needed. Hot-glue the hat to the egg, slightly overlapping the beard, and glue a wood ball to form the nose at top of the beard. 

Finish the hat by cutting a ¼"-wide strip of felt long enough to wrap around the egg. Hot-glue the felt band around the hat base, slightly over the top of the nose; trim any excess in the back.

03 of 04

Pinecone Gnome

Pinecone Gnome Ornament Trio

Better Homes & Gardens / Jay Wilde

These nature-inspired gnomes are very similar to make as the gnome ornaments above. However, instead of painting a wooden egg, a pinecone stands in as the body of the gnome. Keep these pinecone gnome ornaments as a trio or make enough to deck your entire tree. Switch up the look by creating different facial features, such as a scarf or curly beard.

04 of 04

Greenery Gnome

greenery gnomes diy
Carson Downing

These lighthearted Scandinavian-style gnomes are an instant icebreaker. They’re made of plastic nursery pots covered with sheet moss and artificial greenery. A wool dryer ball stands in for a nose, and the slouchy hat is fleece wrapped around wooden dowels. Place them on a front porch for a festive front entry or just inside to greet guests as they arrive and depart. Follow our step-by-step instructions make these DIY Christmas gnomes.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles