Make a DIY Elf Door this year and start a new Christmas tradition! You can incorporate this with Elf on the Shelf or use the door on its own.
This post contains affiliate links which means if you click on a link and make a purchase, I will receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. Thank you for your support!
I’m always trying to think of new traditions for my family to incorporate during the holidays. Right now, we just have a handful of Christmas traditions but I’ve been wanting to add another one. In August I got an email from Jane.com with a cute little elf door. What at fun idea! I thought to myself as I clicked on the link. As cute as it was, I didn’t want to pay $24 for the door plus the other accessories (fence, lights, etc) and then pay for shipping. I knew I could do it for cheaper myself and starting looking around online.
How to Make a DIY Elf Door
It turns out that Hobby Lobby’s miniature dollhouse collection was the perfect solution. (If you don’t have one nearby, or a similar store, you can also check out the full supply list below for similar items on Amazon.) I already have acrylic paint and brushes to paint the door and instead of using miniature fencing, I decided to cut some out of removable vinyl using my Silhouette Cameo, which I could then stick to the wall and remove at the end of the season.
*NOTE* If you don’t want to stick vinyl to your wall, you can also use a piece of scrapbook paper and tape or glue the door to it. Then add the vinyl fence, lights, etc. This solution has worked well for us in the years since I first made our elf door.
Supplies Needed for a DIY Elf Door
- Silhouette Cameo (or other cutting machine)
- miniature door (unfinished)
- miniature doorknob
- miniature fence (removable vinyl or wood)
- miniature Christmas light bulbs
- acrylic paint (in desired colors)
- paint brushes
- thin jewelry wire (silver or gold)
Step 1: Door
First, I painted the door frame white and the door a bright red and let it dry. Then I glued the doorknob on using some Tacky Glue and let it dry.
Step 2: Fence
Meanwhile, I opened up my Silhouette Studio software and grabbed a picket fence silhouette from Google. I was able to get the silhouette by using the ‘Trace’ function, then I saved the image in my library to use later on. To determine the size of the fence, I measured the height of the door (about 7.5″) and then used a ruler to visualize the height of the fence. Then I resized it in the Silhouette Studio and cut it out on my white vinyl.
Step 3: Lights
To make the strand of lights, I removed the gold wires that were strung through the lights. Then I cut a length of wire about 24″ long. I strung the first light on and then twisted it at the top a couple times so it wouldn’t slide around. Then I threaded the next light on and spaced it about 1″-1.5″ from the first light and repeated the twist at the top. I continued around until I reached the end of the wire, leaving about 1″ at the end.
Step 4: Assemble
I decided to put the door in our kitchen/dining area because we spend a lot of time there. This meant it would be visible to the kids so they would remember that the “elf” is going to check on them. I placed the door above the baseboards and stuck it to the wall using tape I had rolled up and put on the back, making it easily removable at the end of the season. Then I put about 3″ of vinyl fence on either side of the door.
Finally, I strung the lights around the door, draping them across the top and bending the wire and securing the ends under the top part of the vinyl fence.
How to Introduce the Elf Door
Ultimately, I kept it simple and told my kids that there is a magical elf door that leads directly to the North Pole. Elves can come through it and check to make sure the kids are being good and then report to Santa. You could be more elaborate if you want and do Elf on the Shelf type things but I don’t want to stress myself out by committing to do that every night.
As I was setting it up, I explained to my daughter about the elf and the magic door. I tried to keep it simple so I could remember what I told her. If I make a mistake, I’m sure she’ll correct me. *wink* When my son woke up from his nap, he noticed it and went right over to investigate. He’s not quite old enough to understand “elves” and “magic” but he thought it was fun anyway. If you have younger kids, you can always move the door up higher above a table or counter so it’s out of reach of little hands.
I had so much fun putting this little elf door together! I hope this will be a fun tradition we can enjoy for years to come.
Want to save this post for later? Hover over the image below, click on the “Pin it” icon and save it to your Christmas board!