Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Home for the holidays: Mason Jar Elf Cottage

While the wildly popular "Elf on a Shelf" has taken the world by storm in recent holiday seasons, his pint sized ancestors have been part of folklore in cultures around the world for centuries. From magical to mischievous, in a variety of incarnations and called by different names, these tiny friends seem to capture our imaginations especially around the winter holidays. 
So whether you share your home with a gnome, Nisse, Elf or Brownie or two, you can keep the wee folk warm and toasty this season in their own cottages fashioned from repurposed jars and basic craft supplies.
clockwise from top paintings by Swedish artist Jenny Nystrom
vintage Spanish Christmas Card found on Pinterest
Ein Apfelchen furs Rentier (An apple for the Reindeer)
Foto: Getty Images / Per Breiehagen

You'll Need:
Assorted jars, preferably with smooth sides
 multi surface (glass friendly) craft paint
clear or white glitter
faux wood contact or decorative paper
party hats
faux moss, snow, printables, accessories as desired
flameless votives
I first rinsed the jars and allowed to dry.
I then decided on a design and painted around window frames or any area I wished to remain clear first.
Then I filled in around clear areas with colors of choice (I chose frosty white with brown trim) this took two coats.
While paint was wet I sprinkled with glitter for a snowy finish.
I fashioned doors out of faux wood paper (Modge podged onto sturdy cardstock) but for larger projects you could opt for a popsicle stick elf door like the version I shared on my Scandinavian Christmas post
The roof was simply faux wood paper attached to party hats (left over from my Autumn Apple cones) or folded to form a roof shape.
Moss and a printable sign add the finishing touches.
Display with wintry props and forest friends
Pop in a flameless votive or two (I used salad tongs for the tall one)

Pennywise is now on Youtube: our elf cottage tutorial below

Wishing everyone the joys wonders of the Winter Season!

Don't Like to Paint?
I adapted this idea from a toadstool cottage -(a jar candle covered with polymer clay) I found online which is adorable. Unfortunately for me the instructions are in Chinese but the step by step photos are pretty clear.

Wishing everyone the joys wonders of the Winter Season!


  1. Replies
    1. Thank you! They are lots of fun to make :)

    2. Wonderful! How we love elves and pixies and brownies and of course, fairies! Gnomes are our favorite though! Thanks for sharing this! We will be making these laterthis week! We always seem to need more paint! :)

    3. So glad you liked them Terri!- I hope you give them a try-they could really be in any color- I chose white as I had it on hand and was going for a wintry look

  2. Beautiful! Thanks for sharing at Project Pin it! I pinned the to the Project Pin it board on Pinterest.


    1. Thanks Denyse! So glad you enjoyed it and Thanks for hosting your parties!

  3. These are sooo cute!! Such a great idea.
    Mary Alice

  4. I think your inner artist gives you a special way of looking at things. Love the jar houses.

  5. Super cute! Thank you for joining Home Sweet Home!

    1. Thanks! and Thanks for hosting your delightful parties! :)

  6. You are so creative. These are a great repurposed decoration. So fun!

  7. Replies
    1. Thanks so much and wishing you a Merry Christmas!


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