Project Guide

How to Make a Santa Gnome

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Source the Greenery
Cut pine branches next to gardening shears and gloves.
  • Look around your yard (or get permission to forage in your neighbor’s yard) and trim some branches. 
  • Try to find branches that are thick at the base and full throughout. 
  • Use sharp garden shears and gardening gloves to protect your hands. 
Create the Base
A person bundling pine branches together with floral wire.
  • Pull together several branches that are full at the base and bundle them together.  
  • Secure the branches with floral wire.  
  • Pull in other greenery as needed to fill out the bottom of the gnome’s body. 
Cut the Chicken Wire
A person cutting chicken wire with garden shears.
  • Wearing your gardening gloves and using shears, cut a piece of chicken wire that’s 1-foot long and 1/2-foot wide. This will serve as the structure for the gnome’s hat.
Shape the Hat
A person rolling chicken wire into a cone shape.
  • Bend your chicken wire into a cone-shaped hat, keeping it wider at the base and narrower at the top.  
  • As you roll it into a cone, tuck the cut end of the wire around the other cut end to secure the shape. 
Wrap Hat With Moss
A person layering sheet moss onto chicken wire.
  • Fill a bucket with water and drench the sheet moss.  
  • After five minutes, drain the water from the bucket and gently squeeze out the moss.  
  • Take big pieces of the moss and wrap them around the base of the hat. 
  • Secure the moss with floral wire.  
  • Repeat these steps until the entire wire cone is covered with moss. 
Fit Hat on Base
A person fitting the moss hat onto the bundle of pine branches.
  • Fit the Santa gnome hat on the tied base of the pine bundle.  
  • Push it down for a snug fit. If it’s not snug, add more pine branches to your bundle. 
Decorate Your Gnome
A person attaching a red ornament to the end of the moss hat.
  • Use one ornament for the nose and one ornament for the top of the hat.  
  • Cut a piece of floral wire and thread it through the loop on top of the ornament and secure to the tip of the hat. Repeat for the nose.  
  • If you’re making a gnome with a tipped over hat, bend your hat over to one side to give it this look. 
Add a Mustache
Yarn wrapped around a person's hand and arm.

Take some yarn and use this simple method to help make the mustache for your Santa gnome.


  • Hold the end of the yard between your thumb and forefinger. Wrap the yarn down to your elbow and back up and around your hand.  
  • Wrap the yarn 20 times to create a full mustache. Cut it free of the yarn ball when done. 
  • Cut a 6-inch piece of yarn. Wrap the piece around the middle of the mustache and tie it in a knot.  
  • Using the excess of your 6-inch piece of yarn, secure the mustache to the pine bundle just at the base of the gnome’s hat, below the ornament nose. 
Decorate With Your Santa Gnome
The completed Santa gnome decoration on a fireplace mantel with swag and string lights.

Enjoy the magic of the holiday season and decorate a mantel with your Santa gnome. Alternatively, create a trio of Santa gnomes and place them by a doorway inside or out on the deck, porch or entryway. Complete the festive scene using fresh garland and Christmas lights.  

This DIY Santa gnome adds natural and old-world charm to your Christmas decorations. To ensure the Santa gnome’s live greenery lasts throughout the holiday season, lightly spritz the moss with water every two to three days. Keep the gnome away from heating vents and direct sunlight if possible. You can also spray the moss and pine branches with anti-desiccant spray to help seal in moisture.  

When you’re ready to get the materials and tools you need to make a Santa gnome, The Home Depot delivers online orders when and where you need them. 

Photography and styling assistance provided by Lucy Mercer.