How to Make a Gnome House For the Holidays

by Theartge
3 Materials
2 Hours

Every Christmas home needs a DIY gnome house! Instead of buying or building one of these adorable Christmas gnome houses, you can make your own using a jar and clay. Here's how!

Follow along to make a gnome house out of polymer clay just in time for the holidays.

Take the lid off a mason jar

1. Disassemble a Mason jar

To start making my Christmas gnome house I took the bottom off of a small mason jar and put it off to the side.  

Twist and knead your polymer clay to warm it

2. Prep the Polymer clay

Next, I prepped my polymer clay by twisting it around to heat and soften it up.  

Spread the polymer clay around the jar

3. Press the clay on the jar

With the clay soft, I started to flatten it out and press it onto the jar. Be sure not to go over the screw lines of the jar.  

Press the clay so that it covers the jar

I continued to add clay and shape it until I had the jar covered to the top. I made sure it was nice and smooth,  

Make lines in the clay all along the surface

4. Add details to make it look like wood

Then I made lines from the bottom to the top. These were my guide for where I wanted to add fake wood logs made from more clay.  

Press rolled clay pieces against the outside

To make the wood logs, I rolled pieces of clay and then stretched them from the bottom to the top of the jar. I pressed down on both ends to stick them to the first layer of clay.  

Smooth together all of the rolled pieces

I kept doing this until the entire jar was covered in little log pieces.  

Cut the door out of the gnome home

5. Carve out the gnome house door

Next, I had to decide how to make the gnome house door. I went midway up the jar and cut the clay in the shape of a door. I removed the piece in the center of the door.  

Add windows to your gnome home

6. Make the windows

To make some windows, I little squares about an inch by an inch and removed all of the clay from them.  

Press the clay thin over the windows

I then went back and pushed a very thin layer of clay into the window and door holes...

Create window panes in gnome house walls

...and cut out small amounts for window panes. When you put lights into your jar, it will light up the windows and make it look like someone is home.  

Roll tin foil to make the roof

7. Make the roof

Next, I grabbed 2 feet of tin foil to make the gnome house roof. I just rolled it up and then pressed the top of the cone until it was smooth. I also flattened out the bottom by pressing it down on the table.  

Wrap clay around the tin foil cone

When I had a shape I liked, I wrapped the cone in clay and rolled it on the table to smooth it out. Be sure not to put any clay on the bottom of the cone and make sure that the size fits on the top of the jar.  

Use a scissor to mark the gnome house roof

To make the cone look more like a tree, I took a pair of small scissors and made snips all around the tree starting at the top and working down.  

After I had the tree covered in these little cut marks, I used a sculpting tool to lift each of the pieces up a small amount to give the tree a little shape. 


Add details to the door of the gnome house

8. Add the final details

I also created small lines in the tree branches with the sculpting tool and on the logs to mimic wood.   

Bake the pieces of the gnome house

9. Bake

When my clay was also formed and ready to go, I placed both pieces in the oven. Your piece may be different but mine took about 15 minutes in total to bake.  

Paint the gnome house

10. Paint

After the pieces had finished baking and cooling, I started to paint them. Since the bottom was going to be a tree trunk, a light brown worked well for the base coat. 

Painted gnome house to look like wood

I then added some highlights and a little black in the lines of the bark. 

Painted gnome house roof

For the top, I painted it green so that it looked like an evergreen tree.  

Topping the roof with a Christmas tree star

I finished the evergreen off with a little start that I stuck on with hot glue.  

Hot-gluing moss to the base

11. Attach to a base

Since this was going to be a Christmas tree gnome house, I found a base to display it on and covered it with moss.  

Spraying the base with faux snow

12. Spray with faux snow

Once I had everything down that I wanted, I gave the moss, the base of the gnome house, and the tree a little spray with some fake snow. Be sure to do this in a well-ventilated area or outside.   

Fill the gnome house with fairy lights

13. Fill the jar with fairy lights

Finally, I filled the jar with some fairy lights.  

DIY Christmas gnome house

Christmas gnome house

This cute little Christmas gnome house will add warm light to any room this winter. You can also even hide some candy in it, or maybe even a small present. 

DIY Christmas Decorations

For more festive decor projects, discover Hometalk's best  DIY Christmas gnomes.

Suggested materials:
  • Polymer Clay
  • Canning Jar
  • Tin Foil
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2 of 4 comments
  • Rose Rose on Dec 26, 2021

    Love this for my K classroom so much! Will make like three or four, for our window ledge, in different sizes & find some inexpensive mini gnome characters to stand outside or “peek” out windows (from inside the jar “windows”)! Thank you-your inspired idea has inspired MORE ideas!!!

  • Chris Chris on Nov 15, 2022

    just adorable!how you could look at a mason jar and come up with this is SO creative!