Little gnomes are off to help my son's class celebrate Saint Nicholas Day! Many European children leave a sock, stocking, or shoe by the fire in the hopes of a little treat from Saint Nikolas.
My dad is Czech. We celebrated Saint Mikulaš. He visited on a carriage led by a white horse. An angel and a čert (pronounced chert) traveled with him. The cert is a trickster devil who told Saint Mikulaš all the naughty things while the angel told all the kind, good things. You hoped that the angel had more to say than the devil :)
My son is learning about celebrations all around the world. He left slippers that they sewed together out in class today in case Saint Nicholas visited their school (spoiler alert! he did!)
These little gnomes didn't take very long for me to make. I kept things simple while my son was at school one day. In case you need to make many gifts quickly, here's how I made this collection.
- I painted the bases with watercolor paint and just a bit of sparkle with Iridescent Watercolor Medium mixed together.
- While the paint dried, I cut a little triangle and adjusted until I liked the height for the hat. I cut twenty by holding one and cutting felt without tracing. After all, imperfections are part of the fun. I sewed them with a few stitches, starting from the bottom and going up. I added a bell at the top and tied off. Set aside and repeat nineteen times.
- The capes are simple rectangles. I could have curved the corners at the bottom. Saint Nicholas wears a long cloak anyway. I cut a long strip of felt, measured around the peg person to find the right fit, then cut twenty. I tied a knot in the thread, started in the back midway, then ran a stitch towards the front. I secured onto the dry peg dolls with a few stitches at the front (pulling the first stich to help gather the cape a little). I ran a few stitches towards the back and tied a knot. The hat would hide all of the knots. Repeat nineteen times.
- Finally, I tucked a tiny bit of stuffing into the hat and glued onto each little gnome. Magic!
My daughter helped sew a few hats and cloaks. Thank you!
I have found, when creating larger projects, it helps me to complete all of an element at once. Say, sew twenty hats, instead of trying to complete one character at a time. It sure is gratifying to see them all come together at the end!
My son came home bubbling with stories about everything he found in his little stocking. Here's to all the gift-givers and magic-makers :)