Elf On The Shelf: 25 Super Simple Ideas That Take Seconds To Set Up

Elf on the Shelf is back!
Elf on the Shelf is back!

Elf on the Shelf is back!

Elf on the Shelf is back again and ready to wreak havoc on your household.

For the uninitiated, parents hide the elf in different locations around the house each day from December 1 through to Christmas Eve. Kids then take great joy in tracking the elf down.

As the years have gone by, some parents have grown increasingly elaborate with their creations. But for the rest of us time-starved suckers, simplicity is key.

That’s why we’ve scoured the internet to find a range of relatively easy placements for your elf – with many of them requiring little to no effort at all. Thank us later.

1. On an actual shelf

The clue’s in the name. Stick your dear elf on a shelf with a note perhaps explaining where they’ve been – and what they’ve been up to – this past year, and watch your children’s faces light up when they realise what’s happening. Extra points for dusting your shelf with a sprinkling of snow (flour) and making elf footprints.

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2. In the fridge

Again, super easy. Make sure you clear some space and if you really want to make the kids smile, you could pop their elf next to a special treat for them to eat.

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3. In the washing machine

If you’ve got a couple of elves, pop one inside the washing machine (preferably with dry clothes pre-wash) and stick another elf on the outside of the door as if they’re trying to rescue their friend.

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4. Drawing a picture

Grab the crayons and some paper, start drawing something and make it look like your elf has been unleashing his inner Neil Buchanan.

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5. Hiding in the loo rolls

Stack some toilet rolls and hide your elf within them. What could be easier?

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6. Playing Jenga

If you’ve got KitKats or chocolate fingers in your house, create a Jenga-style setup with your elves and let your little ones have a snack when they come in from school.

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7. Wearing your little one’s shoes

A few parents have tried this one and it’s super easy – simply get a couple of rolls of wrapping paper and pop your elf’s legs inside each tube. Then pop each tube in your child’s shoes. 

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8. Causing mischief with the toothpaste

If your kids are less than enthused about tooth-brushing time, it’s time to draft in your elf to help make things interesting.

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9. Holding up signs

Tell your kid how great they are by creating some little signs for your elf to hold up. They don’t need to be anything too extravagant, some bits of coloured card will do just fine!

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10. In the bath

Ok so this one requires a little bit of effort but if you’ve got some spare cotton wool you could pop your elf in the sink and surround them with it to recreate a bubble bath. Make sure you leave a bar of soap nearby so they can have a wash!

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11. In elf hospital

Pop some plasters on your elves’ arms and make them some little beds using old tissue boxes and blankets out of toilet paper. They’ll be better in no time.

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12. Hiding in a tub of Pringles

If you’ve got some empty Pringles tubs, why not cut out the face of the logo and hide your elves inside?

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13. Trapped in a balloon

If you’ve got a balloon to hand, you could simply write ‘help’ on the side of it and leave it on the sofa ready for your kids to rescue them. It’s kind of sinister but they’ll probably love it.

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14. All wrapped up

If tortillas are a staple in your house, why not wrap your elf up in one and pop them on a plate? Don’t forget to cut out a hole for their face to poke through. If you want to go one step further, pop some lettuce in with them.

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15. Creating condiment art

If you’re feeling artistic, draw Santa on your chopping board using squeezy ketchup and mayo – then make out like your elf did it.

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16. In the bowl of Cheerios

Or any cereal for that matter. Just don’t add milk because things can get very soggy and stinky, very quickly.

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17. Listening to music

This one’s super simple. You’ll need your phone, some old headphones and a way to attach your headphones to your elf’s ears (blue tack or glue dots might work best).

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18. Climbing the cupboards

If you’ve got some spare bows left over after doing your Christmas wrapping, stick them to your kitchen cupboards and stage a climbing expedition.

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19. Hanging off the Christmas tree

If your tree’s up, it provides the perfect place to hide your elf. Hang them from a coat hanger (like the pic below) or nestle them in amongst the baubles so your kids have to look a bit harder for them.

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20. Having a baking mishap

More hanging around, this time in the kitchen. Hang your whisk from the kitchen drawer with your elf in tow. If you want to get even more creative you could splash a bit of flour onto their face and have a mixing bowl on the counter.

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21. Melting a snowman

Oops. Elf accidentally melted the snowman in the oven. To recreate this, you need a couple of googly eyes, buttons, a small carrot and some twigs. Pop them in a glass oven dish with a bit of water, et voila!

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22. Taking a selfie

All you need for this one is your phone – stage a selfie (or five) and let your kids join in the fun.

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23. Doodling on the eggs

If you’ve got a few seconds to spare, grab a marker pen and doodle funny faces on your eggs. Pop your elf nearby and ask your kids to find the eggs in the morning. They’ll have a surprise when they do!

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24. Helping with the wrapping

Well, it is Christmas Eve! Get the elves helping with wrapping the presents by either wrapping them up or popping them peaking out from, or falling into, a Christmas gift bag or stocking.

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25. Saying goodbye

The elves have gone, Santa’s been and you have your life back... Until next year!

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