Show of hands, please – how many of you out there feel like the Elf on a Shelf is creepy? High maintenance? Maybe you like the idea of elves, but don’t have the time to keep up with it every day. I have an alternative for you!
Elf pockets! This is something my mom did with my brother and me when we were little. She hung a little crocheted pocket on our bed post, and if we were good the whole day we woke up to a surprise the next morning. The elves left goodies in our pockets overnight! Sometimes we would try to stay awake long enough to catch the elf, but we never did.
What is it and how do I make it?
The elf pocket itself can be made from anything – crochet, knit, or sewn. All that matters is that it is a pocket to hold stuff, and has a loop to be hung from. It doesn’t need to be large; less than 6″ square is perfect.
Ours were crocheted granny triangles with a single crochet chain for a handle. She made one just like that for Monster, and maybe next year she’ll be making some for the girls, too!
I used part of a fat quarter to sew this one. All I did was cut out two pocket shapes, sewed them together, and added some ribbon.
Not good at sewing? No problem! Another option is to use fabric glue or iron-on adhesive for the seams. You could even use a back pocket from an old pair of jeans. Just cut off the pocket and add a handle.
If you want to get extra fancy, decorate it! Break out the glitter glue and gems. Add some lace. Maybe some jingle bells? The sky is the limit. This also makes a great project for the kids to decorate.
What do we do with it?
Hang it on your child’s bedpost, wall, or doorknob. If you have a light sleeper or don’t want to risk waking up your kiddo, I recommend the doorknob. While your child sleeps, slip in a little treat. When he wakes up in the morning, tell him that he was so good the day before that the elves brought him a goodie.
You can start this any time you want. Some may want to begin right after Thanksgiving. We always hung ours up on December 1. You could also just use it the twelve days before Christmas.
I love this because it encourages your child to be on his best behavior or the elves can’t come. Plus a little surprise every morning is like a teeny tiny Christmas present every morning. It doesn’t have to be anything big. Here are some ideas:
I’m so excited about the elf pocket this year. Monster is finally old enough to understand what’s going on. All year I’ve been stashing tiny little things away, so I’ve got a head start. I can’t wait to pass the tradition on to the next generation.
And don’t get me wrong, the Elf on a Shelf definitely has its perks. I love seeing the photos of elf mischief in my social media feed. But after a month of dinosaur mischief, I’m ready for a break! And I’ve got enough tiny ones watching me all day – I don’t need anything else!
Have you ever done anything like this with your family? What would you put in the elf pocket?