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It’s winter and everything is looking a little bleak. Sure, the lights look great at night, but the yard could use something festive. We have a tree stump in front they looks ugly, now that growing season is over.

What can you do in a short amount of time, with just a few supplies and a budget of $5?

Make this adorable and festive winter DIY Gnome for less than $5 – it’s a fun and easy project.

There’s also a quick two-minute video below that you can follow along with. My first how-to video!

Be sure to follow along to the end for a special surprise!  


gnome assembly materials


Support. Many instructables suggest using a tomato cage and floral wire. This design uses bamboo sticks and zip ties. Use what you have on hand.

Hat. Depending on the size of the Gnome, you may get away with a standard Santa hat from the dollar store. My first Gnome was about 5 feet tall – I found a Santa hat chair cover at Dollar General for $1! A Santa hat also works for smaller Gnomes.

Zip ties.   Easy to work with, get a $1 pack from the Dollar Tree.

Nose.  A decorative pick at Dollar General for $1 was used. If you have stockings or knee-highs, you can cut a piece and stuff it with an old t-shirt or cotton.

Arms. A pair of $1 red socks from the Dollar Tree worked well. For the stuffing, I used recyled plastic bags – they don’t soak up rain water and they’re very lightweight. And, I they can still be used when the season ends.

Clippers. Hopefully you will already have these on hand. If you do any type of gardening, they are a must-have. I love Fiskars and Corona brands. They are comfortable, cut branches quickly and they are reliably sharp.

Gloves. Depending on the type of evergreen, some cuttings may produce sticky sap or be a little prickly. Plus, it’s probably cold out. Protect your hands.

Evergreen branches. The amount you need depends on the size of the Gnome and how full you want it to look. For my five foot Gnome, I got about two dozen, two feet branches. Enough to fill a reusable tote bag.


Here’s a how-to video on assembly the Gnome, with written instructions to follow.


  1. If you’re using bamboo sticks, gather them on one end and ZIP tie them together. Fan out the bottom “legs”. This is easier if you are putting this in your yard; you can push the sticks or wire into the ground for additional support.
  2. Add the branches. I started from the bottom, working around the perimeter and working my way up. I snipped off excess ZIP ties or wire cutters at the end.
  3. Add the arms by stuffing socks and attached them to pole or cage with ZIP ties. I used recycled plastic bags to stuff them.
  4. Place the hat on top to determine how far down the nose should be.
  5. Tie the nose into place with ZIP tie. I used a round decorative pick for my first Gnome; a fuzzy Santa ornament for the other. Each one was $1 each.
  6. Secure the hat with a zip and/or safety pins. We had very strong winds and the hat did not budge.
DIY gnome less than $5 snow 1

DIY Gnome #1 covering tree stump 

DIY gnome less than $5 snow 2

DIY Gnome #2 out back for the critters

Now for the the Surprise.

A few weeks ago, I wrote a post about what you can do to help birds in the winter. Well, this was a surprise. I put some seeds on the old tree stump, which is now covered from the element and guess what – the birds love it!

They’re not the only ones who love it – look who comes to visit in this quick video.


So there you have it – You solved the problem of adding some festive decor, covering up an old stump or provided additional habitat for the birds. The solution is this fun and creative DIY Gnome that cost less than $5 to make. The surprise was that you had some furry and feathered friends absolutely loving it!

Hope you had fun making this Gnome and enjoy the season!


Here are some Resources used for this DIY project, available on Amazon:

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