81 Elf on the Shelf Ideas for Christmas

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The Elf on the Shelf is a beloved holiday tradition that people have been following for a while now. Do you know how it started? It began a few years ago with the publishing of a book named “The Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Tradition.” It persuaded children to behave well as the elf was watching them see whether they were being naughty or nice and reporting about it to Santa Claus!

But, as with all popular traditions, people have come up with some insanely great ideas to jazz up the elf on the shelf tradition as well. If you’re also looking for some creative ideas to decorate Santa’s tiny spies for Christmas, you’ve come to the right place. Here are some of the most creative Elf on the Shelf Ideas for you.

Dive right in!


81 Elf on the Shelf Ideas for Christmas

1. Elf Club

Via Loriromano

Simply take some empty boxes that are lying around to make this little clubhouse. It’s a place for the elves who keep your children in place! It’ll be a fun little project for your kids too! 

2. Elf Cocoa Party

Via Sweetcsdesigns

We all know how tiring an elf’s job is – delivering gifts all over the world is so not easy! So, why not throw them a small cocoa party? It’ll surely be a bit less work than they do, but equally as amazing! 

3. Relaxing Elf

Via Asmallsnippet

Say that the elves are bored of watching the kids and want to watch a movie. Come on! Elves can like movies too! Grab an elf, place him on the sofa with a remote and some popcorn because why not? 

4. Elf and Kisses

Via Theinspirationboard

Kisses chocolates are loved by everybody, especially the kids. Why not let the elf carry it for them? With a few supplies, you can create your own “Elf and the chocolate factory.”

5. Elf is Cleaning, Do Not Disturb

Via 505design

If you want your children to help you do chores then this idea will be a great choice. After looking at this cute elf cleaning and working hard, your children are surely going to be influenced! 

6. Here Come The Elves!

Via Ginaraemillerphotography

Elves are adventurous beings! Grab a zip-liner, that is, any rope, and hang little elves on it to display this adventurous nature of theirs. You can turn some of them upside down to make it look even more exciting.

7. Elf’s Basketball Game

Via Asmallsnippet

Another exciting idea will be having a basketball match between an elf and the three kings. You could even sit down and discuss who gets to win!

8. Rolling Down The Stairs

Via Abeectoys

Elves are known for being naughty! In a pursuit to showcase this personality trait, get a tissue roll and place the tiny guy in it. Then roll him down the staircase and the idea is done.

9. Chilling With The Barbie

Via Athriftymom

If you have a barbie and a playhouse, you could make some good use of it. As elves are also cute little guardians, this idea involves portraying an elf chilling with a barbie as the two of them bond over some good gossip. 

10. Toiletpaper Elf Man

Via Frugalcouponliving

Another trick with toilet paper roll involves making a snowman, um wait, an elf-man! Stick some round-shaped black paper to draw the smile and buttons. Voila!

11. E-mailing Santa

Via Lilblueboo

Imagine your elf buddy found some interesting news at your home and wants to convey it to Santa. Shall we aid him? Sure! You only need to type some saucy news in this email to Santa and keep this tiny buddy next to it. He’ll complete it (we’re pretty sure). 

12. A Summer Vacation In Winter

Via Asmallsnipet

This innovative idea allows our elves to enjoy summertime during winters! Lay down your elf on a tiny mat with some sunglasses and a cool drink near him. Ahah, it’s summertime! 

13. Spending Time On The Wreath

Via busykidshappymom

As elves are pretty much placeable anywhere, making them sit on a wreath is another great idea. Your guests will now enter your home after a “hello” from the elf doll. Additionally, if kids visit your home, they’ll know this home is elf-friendly. Sounds awesome, right?

14. Elf and Elves

Via babystribling.blogpost

This isn’t an ordinary elf. It is The Elf. This elf loves to be adored and to be the only one loved. With pictures of the elf and the elf right in the middle, this play with the elf creates a cute little corner. 

15. It’s The Birth of Christ

Via sweetshoppedesigns

As Christmas is the story of Jesus Christ, placing an elf near a manger crib will enrich the experience of Christmas. The children now get to listen to the story with the elf is listening and watching himself. 

16. Naughty Elf

Via couponersunited

Imagine one morning your family wakes up to undergarments hanging in your fireplace instead of stockings? Oops! who did it? Well, of course, it is the naughty elf. We have to catch him as soon as possible.

17. Reindeer Poop

Via Livinglocurto

Yes, you read it right! Our little guy here makes use of chocolate chips to tease everyone making it look like reindeer poop. This sure is one funny idea! 

18. Superman? Nope, Super Elf!

Via Busykidshappymom

Be it, adults or kids, superman is everyone’s favorite. But Elves are also our superheroes, aren’t they? You could always honor them and dress them up with a cute tiny cape. Give your elf guy a heroic transformation this Christmas! 

19. Oats Gone Missing

Via Athriftymom

Wondering why your quaker oats tin is empty? Oh, it’s the elf again! And look at him innocently playing with his friend right there. At least they are having fun. A little reminder for kids and you to have fun as well. 

RELATED:  31 Small Christmas Tree Ideas When You Have Truly No Space

20. Elf Making A Grocery List

Via Frugalcouponliving

Won’t it be adorable having an elf helping you out as you prep for Christmas? This idea will not only make the room feel cute but also make your kids wanna help with groceries too! 

21. Elf Wearing A Face Mask

Via Passionforsavings

Oh, this one is a clever elf on the shelf idea during this pandemic era. With your elf wearing a mask, you’ll be reminding everyone to stay safe and healthy. 

22. Elf Writes A Letter To Kids

Via Sheknows

If you believe your naughty kids will listen to Santa’s secretary, the elf, then this is your go-to idea. Grab a paper and write a message for your kids. Make sure the handwriting looks like an elf’s or else your kids won’t buy it.

23. Marshmallow Bath

Via Livinglocurto

A little elfie enjoying a marshmallow bath doesn’t get any cuter. This stunning idea by Amy Locurto won’t fail anyone’s heart nor will waste food. Try it.

24. Elf Needs A Buddy Too

Via Sweetshoppedesign

It’s so sad right to leave the hardworking elf alone? To make him feel less bored, why not introduce him to barbie? They both will surely spend a nice time together, probably end up watching a movie together.

25. Elf Doing DIY

Via Comingtogetherkids

So, the little elf wants to help you with some Christmas decor. That is why, by threading Fruit Loops on a pipe cleaner, the elfie is showing he is of great help. This calls for a moment of appreciation! 

26. Elf Kissing Booth

Via Livinglocurto

The Elfie has arrived to give loads of kisses to the people as he is all dressed up and in a kissing booth. Would you like some? If so, you only need to print this cute design and place him behind the booth. It’s such a cute idea!

27. Guess Who Ate the Ice cream

Via Sheknows

This idea takes no effort if you have ice cream stacked in your fridge. Just place your elf toy near an ice cream box or with a fake ice cream cone. Every time your child sneaks in to grab some ice cream without your permission, they’ll see an elf doing it way before them.

28. Enjoying The View

Via Cometogetherkids

Another cool idea that doesn’t involve many efforts is simply placing an elf on top of your window screen holder. Not only will he catch everyone’s attention, but you’ll also have plenty of stories to talk about his reason for staying up there.

29. Campfire Mode

Via Crazyloucreations

After a long journey, elfie won’t say no to some roasted marshmallows with his friends, would he? Hence, give him a tiny marshmallow stuck in a toothpick and a burning candle to stand with friends and enjoy the campfire. It will please him and give you fun little corner! 

30. Hide And Seek

Via Simpleasthatblog

Seems like our little innocent elf likes to hide stuff but also lets you know about it. How cute! If you want your kids to enjoy a mini treasure hunt then this idea is our top one. Simply hide some Christmas ornaments and make it look like the elf did it. Your kids will love this hunt to win an elfie.

31. Happy Birthday

Via Sweetshoppedesigns

Is your child’s or someone at your home’s birthday coming up during the Christmas season? Great! You can ask the elf to help you out at a surprise party. If you’ve got a present ready for them, you can place the elf near it with balloons tied to him. It will look amazing!

32. Snowball Fight

Via Asmallsnippet

We’ve pretty much seen many ideas with elf and barbie and we believe this one needs to be added too. With tiny marshmallows, you can set up a snowball fight area where the elf will be battling against barbie. Who’ll win?

33. Repairing the Truck

Via Yourmodernfamily

Oh, the elf has become very handy these days, hasn’t he? Look at him repairing that car. He is such an inspiration to kids to help out at such times, isn’t he? Charming! 

34. Funny Photo Frame

Via Babystribling

Oops, the elf did it again. He just drew funny doodles on your family photo but as he is an adorable elf, you couldn’t help but only laugh. Please note, if you’re going with this idea just make sure it’s not a precious photo or marked with a permanent marker. 

35. Arriving In A Rocket

Via Sweetpapertrail

Elf arrivals must really be ecstatic because only once a year do they drop by at your home. So to spice it up, these amazing rocket printables are available. With the design and a little crafting, you can make this stunning idea come out real.

36. Elf On Strike

Via Frugalcouponliving

Why is your elf on a strike? Guess what, he saw your children behaving naughty, perhaps. As the elf’s job is to keep an eye on the naughty and nice list, he won’t be doing anything enjoyable that night if the kids are being misbehaving.

37. Elf In Space

Via Elfontheshelf

That’s one modest stride for an elf, but a big leap for the entire elf race! Isn’t it amazing to see your elf flexing as an astronaut in space? A dream come true, surely.

38. Find The Elf

Via Elfontheshelf

Is your elf missing for a while? Guess the little buddy has picked an especially nice hiding spot this time. Will your kids be able to identify your red-and-white-clad pal among a plethora of plush animals and toys? Give them this hunt to find out.

39. Captain Elf

Via Enzasbargains

Seems like your elf has bagged a role in the next Marvel movie. Look at him in this cool mask being all prepped to save the world. Amazing, isn’t it?

RELATED:  18 Best DIY Christmas Gifts Your Friends Will Love

40. Elf Likes To Color

Via Lifewithmylittles

Has your child stopped coloring or drawing? If so, looking at this cute elf coloring your child’s favorite character will increase the chances of your child finding their lost pursuit. Try it out.

41. Elf Quarantining In A Jar

Via Snapshotsofasweetlife

During the sudden covid outbreak, we were all forced to be isolated. But some were acting naughty and didn’t abide. That is why little elf has come to describe how safe and obedient it is to quarantine.

42. Elf Hanging For His Life

Via Mymommystyle

This is a cool idea to show how the elf is working smart to get his life on the line again. Putting the elf on a cupboard’s edge to make it look like he’s holding on for his life is a reminder to be safe, all the time.

43. Save Elfie

Via Calforniaunpublished

Seems like the elf has got himself in the trouble. Look at the guy tied and thrown in front of a train – a toy train. Ask your children to save him ASAP!

44. Doorknob Guard

Via Snapshotofasweetlife

You needn’t worry when you leave your home because elfie is going to be guarding it by sitting right on top of the doorknob. Whenever you return, this little person is going to be there to say hello and guarantee that it is all well and good.

45. Elf On The Car Mirror

Via Mymommystyle

What is he doing up there? Seems like our elf has prepared to distract you while driving. Oh? Maybe he is planning to help you to focus better? Whatever it is, this is a stunning idea for he will be traveling with you all the time.

46. Elf Fishing

Via Nouveausoccermon

Elves are quite talented–very talented actually. Look at the elfie fishing from a fishing bowl! Is he really fishing or annoying the little fish inside? We guess the latter one because elfie is a naughty boy. 

47. Chandelier Design

Via Snapshotofasweetlife

If your chandelier wants some sprucing this Christmas, you can make use of the little elf. Just hang him on the chandelier and watch the view. No worries, he isn’t afraid of height.

48. In The Laundry

Via Nouveausoccermom

Imagine one day you’re about to clean your home and you find the missing elf in the laundry box. How surprising! But the plot twist is, you’re the one who kept the elf inside because it’s a nice idea for an Elf in the Shelf game. Try it!

49. Unicorn Ride

Via Calforniaunpublished

If you have a unicorn plushie, then this idea is an easy-peasy one. Simply grab your colorful unicorn plushie and place the elf on top of it. Let him enjoy a nice ride because he’ll be leaving soon for the north pole, won’t he?

50. Elf And Santa Play UNO

Via Snapshotsofasweetlife

Here is our elfie showing everyone how back in the North Pole, he and Santa play with UNO cards. This is a great idea that will inspire everyone to chill and play UNO once in a while during this season.

51. Sack Race

Via Snapshotsofasweetlife

With his other friends, little elf wants to play a game. What game will suit him? Well, as he is quite competitive and enthusiastic, we believe the sack race would work perfectly, what do you say? 

52. Reindeer Ride

Via Mymommystyle

Our little elf is so versatile and bouncy. Yes! Look at him happily sitting on a reindeer and planning his return to the north pole. But before he returns, he wishes to show your kids his driving skills! 

53. Bike Ride

Via Makingmemorieswithyourkids

Elfie isn’t done yet in showing off his driving skills. Well, look at him flexing his motorbike skills. Isn’t he looking like an action hero coming to save the scene? This idea surely will be loved by your kids.

54. Hide And Seek Part 2

Via Elfontheshelf

Now that we once saw elf playing hide and seek, here is round two. Amidst a load of marshmallows, two elves are in for a hide and seek game. Would you care to join them?

55. Elf Is Recovering

Via Elfontheshelf

Aw, man! Poor elfie has met with a small accident. That’s worrisome, isn’t it? Here’s the good news: he is healing. And Santa has sent a sweet get well soon card, as well. This will remind your kids and everyone to act and be safe.

56. Shh, Elf Is Studying

Via Makingmemorieswithyourkids

Most of us dislike maths because it is tough. But look at our elf studying mathematics and checking whether your kids are studying too! Clever boy.

57. Elf Milk

Via Makingmemorieswithyourkids

Hmmm, milk that the elves factory has produced. I am sure kids will need no convincing to drink milk for breakfast this morning. 

58. Spiderman Elf

Via Msullivanphotography

After the elf’s journey as Captain America, he is back with another superhero look. The elf is the spiderman now. Look at him stealing everyone’s heart by hanging upside down on a spider web! 

59. Elf Is Sick

Via Simplyorganized

As it is winter season, our elfie has become a little sick. He is now resting quietly with all the meds near and is reminding everyone around to take good care of their health. Aww, how sweet!

60. Humble Elf

Via Simplyorganized

After all the help our elf has done in decorating the tree, he has left a note to say that he hasn’t done much help. How humble can he be? He indeed did a great job, didn’t he? You and the kids could always let him know. 

61. Mrs. Claus Lipstick

Via Cometogetherkids

If you want to trick your kids to believe that Mrs. Claus is existing, then this is your go-to idea. With the help of old lipstick, you can make it look like the elf has written a good message on the mirror using Mrs. Claus’ lipstick. Your children will want to know more about her and you’ll enjoy the storytelling as well.

RELATED:  41 Best Christmas Truffles

62. Guess Who Got Caught!

Via Simplyorganized

It seems like your kids didn’t eat the gingerbread house, rather, it is the elf. How are you going to punish him because your children will be cautious too! Don’t scold him too much, though! 

63. Bingo Mates

Via Elfontheshelf

Here is another game that elves love playing. It is bingo! Look at these two happily killing time by playing a fun game. Shouldn’t you also play it along with your mates? Of course, you should because it is Christmas time.

64. Elf and Flower Craft

Via Lilblueboo

With a small vase and some beautiful flowers, you can evoke the trimming skills inside your elf. Grab a scissor and give it to him, for he is about to stun the crowd with his flower trimming skills.

65. Drummer Boy

Via Frugalcouponliving

Pa rum pum pum pum! Our elf is now a great musician. Honestly, what can he not do? That is definitely unanswerable but anyway, look at him being a pro at creating music via tin drums. Crazy, right!

66. Shower Time

Via Sheknows

Be it your favorite shampoo or not, elfie will still love it and enjoy a nice shower time. He is surely up for a late-night relaxing shower! 

67. Baking Time

Via Elfontheshelf

Are you planning to bake some fresh cake this Christmas but your kids aren’t excited about it? Say no more! The elf is on his way to sit right next to you like a good boy and to inspire your kids to be like him. 

68. Angel, Is That You?

Via Lilblueboo

Yes playing with food is a big no-no. But will anyone get mad at a cute elf playing with rice grains and depicting himself as an angel? We don’t think so. You could always appreciate his creativity!

69. Keep the Toys Clean

Via Thekeeperofthecheerios

It’s time to tidy up those toy vehicles! Are your kids’ toys dirty and they won’t clean them? Then let the elf get them to do it. With his responsible action of cleaning toy cars, he will surely get your kids to follow his path too.

70. Secret Code

Via Spotofteadesigns

Make your daily elf hunt a learning experience for the kids. This elf has written a hidden message that your children can find if they follow the instructions. This is a great way to help your kids enjoy the season of Christmas.

71. Save the Elf From the Shark

Via Thekeeperofthecheerios

Seems like our elf is stuck in a bridge that is about to break. That’s dangerous because below the bridge a shark is waiting for him. Can you ask your kids to save him, please?

72. Dunk Tank

Via Thismamaloves

Do you want to bring in a carnival feel this Christmas? Here is a dunk-tank idea then! Your kids will love tossing little marshmallow “snowballs” at the target to see who wins the game. 

73. Elf Hiding In The Silverware 

Via Paperheartfamily

Look who we found after a long day of searching. It is the elf who was lost since morning hiding among the silverware. How in the world did he get in there, your kids might ask but the truth will only be known to you.

74. Elf Wrapping Gifts

Via Rachelswartley

How adorable are this elf’s string-tied brown paper packages? As a present from your elf to your children, you can fill them with anything your kids have been yearning for.

75. Peek-A-Boo

Via Snapshotsofmylife

After wrapping gifts for your kids, little elf wants to check out the big gifts that you have prepared for your kids. He is so naughty, isn’t he? Shouldn’t we tell him not to peak and spoil the surprise? 

76. Educated Elf

Via Thesimpleparent

This elf is well-versed in the alphabet! Yes, look at him letting everyone know his message via cereal crafting. Isn’t he a genius? Only Santa knows how many languages he can speak.

77. Elf-Thoven

Via rachelswartley

Beethoven is amazing but can he be as good as our Elfthoven? Look at this adorable elf playing beautiful carols with the help of a piano. But the sad part is, he only plays when none is around. 

78. Movie Night

Via Elfontheshelf

It’s movie night, so turn down the lights! For an elf-sized drive-in experience, set up your iPad to play your child’s favorite Christmas movie. It’s an excellent method to spend a good movie night with the kids and the elves.

79. Banana Minions

Via Calforniaunpublished

Our elf is extremely talented and this time he has planned to do graffiti art. With some bright-yellow bananas, our elfie has flexed his skills by turning them into Minions. Pretty amusing, right?

80. Freshly Baked Donuts

Via Elfontheshelf

Tell your children that your elf returned from the North Pole with some freshly cooked doughnuts! They are so fresh and hot that even Santa wants one but sadly he is far far away. 

81. Goodbye

Via frugalcouponliving

Goodbyes are never easy. Elfie is leaving us and going back to the north pole. Before he leaves, he wants to brighten your day with a message made of colorful alphabet paper pieces. How thoughtful of him!


To conclude, Christmas is a beautiful season that brings back a lot of memories and creates many new ones every year. We hope these Elf on the Shelf ideas add a lot more special moments and laughs to your home this Christmas.

Written by bros

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