How to: make a fire gnome

Today I am going to share with you how to make a fire gnome using a pinecone. This craft is suitable for a family to share together.

If you haven’t read my earlier blog post – Marking the seasons: an autumn gnome garden – you will wonder why they are called fire gnomes. In our home they help our garden gnomes store the autumn treasures in the cave in the Gnome garden and then fulfil their destiny by entering bonfire on 5th November. Find out all about it in my previous post —->

Oakhorn the Gatherer (garden gnome) on the left, Bracken (fire gnome) on the right.

These gnomes don’t have to be destined for the firey furnace though – you could use them for all sorts of seasonal decoration and storytelling! The inspiration for these comes from the All Year Round Book which I reviewed here —->

What you need (for one gnome)
Pinecone
Beeswax modelling wax or plasticine
A small about of sheep wool for his hair and beard
Wool felt scraps
Sewing thread

How to make them

Step one:
Flip your pinecone upside down and see if it will stand up – if not you will need to trim off the scales until it does. It’s worth spending time here as if your gnome is wobbly and keeps falling over he will drive you crazy! I found a pair of round nose pliers and strong kitchen scissors useful to pull out the scales.

Step two:
Whilst you are fiddling around getting the pinecone to stand up upside down, someone else can warm the beeswax modelling wax and shape it into a round to form the head. The size of your head depends on the size of your pinecone – but aim for your sphere to be around 1/4 to 1/3 of the height of your pinecone. Poke a hole in the sphere and press the onto the top of your pinecone over the stalk.

Step three:
Wrap the wool around the wax sphere to form a beard and hair. Press into the warm wax to hold in place.

Step four:
Make a pointed wool hat from a triangle of wool felt folded together. The size of this will vary depending on the size of your wax sphere.

Last year’s fire gnomes

Step five:
Name your gnome and pop him in the gnome garden to get busy!

This year we added wool felt capes and an extra pink blob of modelling wax for a nose.
The fire gnomes help the garden gnomes store the Autumn offerings.

Had a go? I’d love to see how yours turned out – tag me @polly_had_a_dolly in Instagram!

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