Elf House

This stylish little Elf House is actually a night light, for the bedside table. 

Age: 12 and up

Difficulty: Medium

Time scale: 3 out of 5


  • Tin foil
  • Flower pattern large rubber stamp
  • Small paint brush
  • Dark brown paint
  • Rag
  • Float medium
  • E-6000 glue
  • Small to medium sized glass jar with lid
  • Exacto knife
  • Small letter stamps
  • Pasta machine or roller
  • Toaster oven
  • Battery operated tea light

Sculpting tools:

  • Needle tool
  • Rubber tipped shaper
  • Small Ball end tool
  • Bake and bond

Polymer clay:

  • 2 oz. package pink
  • 1 oz. purple
  • 2 x 2 oz. Pkg. medium green
  • 1 oz. lime green
  • 1/4 pkg. light pink
  • 1/8 pkg. dark pink
  • 2 oz. medium brown
  • 1/2 oz. dark brown
  • 1/4 oz. white
  • 1/4 pkg. gold
  • 1/2 oz. dark purple
  • 1/2 oz. medium orange

*if adding the mushroom window awning, you will also need medium blue, light purple and hot pink.

How to Make an Elf House

using-tinfoil-as-a base-for-polymer-clay

Crumple an 18 x12 inch piece of foil into a cone shape.

Use E-6000 to glue the wide end of the foil to the bottom of a small jar.

Let dry.

The bottom of the jar is now, magically the top, from this point forward. 


Mix a 2oz. Pack of pink polymer clay with 1oz. of purple.

Run through the pasta machine on the thickest setting. Mix only partially, if you would like streaks of color.

Cover a glass jar, but only over the edge. Don't cover up where the threads start. (Where the lid screws on.)


Roll the jar over a flower patterned rubber stamp, to transfer the design onto the clay.

Use exacto knife to cut two windows with rounded tops. Space about 5 inches apart and 21/2 inches down, from the top of the jar. (Actually, the top of the jar becomes the bottom and the bottom becomes the top.)

To make the shapes even, draw the window shape on a piece of paper and cut it out. Use this as a pattern.


Make the criss cross grill in the window with pink clay, rolled into a skinny snake.

Use small snakes of gold clay to make the window frames.


*If you like to make things a little more complicated, you can make a mushroom awning on the one side, instead of a matching window on each side.

In this case, cut out a window, only on one side. On the other side, make the mushroom window awning.

Use light purple clay for a stem and medium blue, for the cap on the mushroom. It will be more a half a mushroom, sticking out the side of the house.

Use your finger to pull away the clay from the jar to make a peek hole, partway under the cap. (Not as big or the same shape as the other window, but more of a wonky, out of round circle.)

Use a sculpting tool to make ridges, on the underside of the mushroom top and on the stem.

Roll small balls of hot pink clay and squish on to the mushroom top, to make dots.


Condition and roll out a piece of purple clay on about a #5 setting on the pasta machine.

Use an exacto knife to cut out a door that measures about 3 x 2 inches.

Round over the top.

Make lines in the door using a needle tool to make wood grain.

Put the door on the jar.


Use a tiny bit of green clay to make a little leaf for the handle on the door.

Make a tiny ball on the back of the leaf and squash it slightly.

The leaf will then have a bigger area to grip the door.

Add a drop of bake and bond on the back of the leaf and push onto the right side of the door.


Make a skinny snake of gold clay and use for trim around the door.

Flatten a piece of gold clay and cut into a 1/2 inch triangle with one point cut off. Make two.


Attach to side of door for the hinges.

Make three tiny screws for each hinge, with a tiny ball of clay.

Squish down onto the hinge, two beside each other and one near the cut off edge of the triangle.

Add a line across the centre with the needle tool.


Condition two packages of medium green clay.

Run through the pasta machine on the thickest setting.

Cover the tinfoil. Double up the clay thickness, to make sure there won't be any weak spots.  

At first the roof design on the elf house, was going to be curled over. This is a case of "create on the fly".

It didn't look right, so I gave it a twist and put a kink, tipping the top up. I didn't want an elf house that just looked like a jar, wearing an elf hat. 

Squeeze and twist to make a little mushroom shaped top. 



Make sure the tinfoil is covered well.

This is where a picture really does speak louder than words. Blump, skinny, blump, isn't a very helpful description.

Pull the clay down on the bottom edge, in finger width sections to make a scalloped edge.

This will have to be baked, lying down. If you are using a small toaster oven, right now would be a good time to check and make sure it will fit! 


Roll a lime green snake shape and place around the wider edge on the top and centre of the roof.

This is where it is very helpful to have really warm clay.

Use a rubber shaping tool and pull up to smudge the lime green clay along the edges. 


Make ridges in the clay.

Now, smudge the other, lime green snake.  

Pull upwards with the rubber tool, smudging into the darker green. 

This technique makes a really unique pattern in the clay. It's fun to do but the clay needs to be really warm and soft.


Add a wider snake of lime green, just up from the scalloped bottom edge.

Pull up and downwards, with the sculpting tool, to smudge the clay.  


Roll out a small piece of light orange clay.

Use letter stamps to put a name in the clay.

Is it the name of the fairy or elf that is living in your garden? The recipient of the elf house? You decide.

Cut out, in a rectangle shape.

Leave a 1/4 inch edge, all the way around.

Bend the piece to curve it, so it matches the curve on the top of the door.

Stick on, 1/2 inch above door.

Use the end of a sculpting tool to make a design around this edge.


Mix a marble sized piece of light, pink clay with tiny bit of dark pink.

Roll a small piece into a ball.

Shape into a tiny flower with 5 petals.

Put a really little, dark pink piece of clay in the centre. Make about 11, tiny flowers.


Make about 12, tiny green leaves with green clay.

Place flowers and leaves, up the elf house, just over from the door, on the left side and up to the name label.

Bake the elf house in a toaster oven.

Using a small toaster oven is a bit of a challenge, when it comes to baking this. Make a tinfoil tent and cover, to prevent scorching.

I have a confession to make...the optional mushroom awing on this elf house, came into existence, because of necessity. It was because of a scorching incident! 

If you decide to make the mushroom window awning, it should be put on the opposite side from the way the roof bends. (It will just look a bit more balanced.)



Cover the bottom of the lid of the jar with mixed brown clay. Bring it up the side, in a small area, adding lines to make it rock like.

Use a mix of light and dark green clay for the sides of the lid.

Make an uneven scalloped edge with ridges about an inch high. It should resemble grass.

Add a thin layer down over the inside lip of the lid, but not so far down that it interferes with the function of the threads. 

Test the lid on the jar, to make sure it will tighten.

Remove from jar and bake the lid.


To make the pattern and the lettering on the elf house, more visible, apply brown paint, mixed with a bit of float medium or extender. (Extender, will increase paint drying time. The float medium, will make the paint more translucent, like a stain.)

Work in small areas. Apply a bit of paint and then wipe gently with a damp cloth.

Let dry.

Set a battery operated tea light in the bottom of the lid and gently screw the lid onto the jar.

In the dark, this little elf house gives off an enchanting, soft glow. Peak in the window and see if the elf is home.

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