If you like this blog, visit my cooking blog, Cooking Finland.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Thursday is craft day! Yarn Elves (lankatonttu)

Thursdays are a difficult day around our house, the weekend is almost here, but not quite, and the kids have a lot of homework.  We all need a little break, so I'm declaring Thursday to be our official craft day, and I'll be posting instructions here every week.  Check back often, and craft along with us!

As many of you who read my other blog, Cooking Finland, know, my husband is from Finland, and I have been an exchange student there.  So a lot of our crafts will be following instructions from Finnish websites and other traditional Finnish crafts.  The Finnish school system really values handicrafts and practical arts, and there are a lot of really great ideas in blogs coming from Finland.  Also, I like for my kids to learn about their cultural heritage through experimentation.  Hope you enjoy this series, too!

Today's craft is yarn elves.  These are really cute and would make great tree ornaments or package toppers.  If you have ever made a corn husk doll, the instructions are very similar.  For anyone who can read Finnish or is motivated enough to figure out what Google Translate really means, these are the blogs that I looked at to find instructions, and

These are my supplies:  two colors of yarn, a DVD case (if you don't have a Finnish war movie like in this picture, I'm sure any other case would work...), and a pair of scissors.  You can use regular scissors, mine have all disappeared and I had to use kids school scissors.

Wrap the yarn for the arms around the short side of the DVD case (loosely!).  I wrapped about 15 times, you can do more or less depending on how thick you want the arms and how thick your yarn is.

Pull the yarn off carefully and tie one end a little from the end.  This makes the hand.  

It is REALLY IMPORTANT to tie the knots tightly, so I wrapped the yarn around about 5 times and tied again.  We don't want any little elves falling apart on us.

Now lay the arms on the DVD case as in this picture and wrap the contrasting yarn around the DVD long-ways.  This time I wrapped about 16 times.  I left the end of the yarn toward the bottom so that when I trimmed the feet it would disappear, but you could also glue it into the hat later if you start from the other end.

This time I just cut the yarn off at the bottom.  Very Carefully.

To make the head, tie, then wrap and tie again as for the arms.  Then I criss-crossed the yarn to make the torso, and tied and wrapped again for the waist.  All of this should be done with the same piece of yarn, don't cut it after you tie off the head.

Now it is time for the little elf to spread 'um.  I separated half of the yarn for each leg and tied off feet and wrapped and tied again, as with the arms.

After he is all tied off, you can trim his feet and hands carefully.  Don't cut any of the strings too short, he might unravel...

I cut a pie-shaped piece of felt, then hot glued it in back and to his head to make a hat.  Online, I found a picture that I want to try next, she crocheted the hat on, and they are adorable!!  Click here to look at it.

Happy Crafting!!!

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