Friday, February 3, 2012

A huggable gnome doll for a birthday boy

Finally--the Top Secret Birthday Project is revealed!  Of course, his birthday isn't officially until Sunday, and we are celebrating tomorrow, but I think it will be relatively easy to keep him away from my blog, since he has absolutely no interest in it.

Adrian loves gnomes, and even has a "gnome-friend" named Thorwald.  He sometimes writes letters to him, and a couple of times a year sends his old "Dolly" off to Magic Mountain to hang out with the gnome-folk.  Dolly is usually gone for a week or so, and then returns with a little gift from her travels--a pretty stone, an acorn cup or some such thing.

I actually did look on the internet for a gnome doll--not that I would have been able to afford it--but only came up with little wooden and needle felted ones...cute, but not cuddly.  I realized I would have to make one myself.  I used a great tutorial on making Waldorf dolls for the basis of the doll and ordered a few materials from this great supplier (there was a lot I had on hand already).

I had a bit of a dilemma when it came time to do the face.  The Waldorf babies have these tiny little noses and real baby faces, and I needed a old gnome.  So, onto the basic head shape, beneath the "skin", I needle felted a big nose and cheeks and a chin.  I had to accentuate the nose by sewing the skin fabric down around the nose.  I made separate ears from fabric and sewed those onto him.

The hair and beard were the most time consuming, as I had to make felted "mats" for them, attach them to his head and face, and then sew and needle felt the roving to them.

The clothing was the easy bit.  I made the cap from some beautiful, 3mm thick merino felt from this Etsy shop.  Quality felt isn't cheap, but for a special project you wouldn't want to go with anything but the best, right?

I am sooo looking forward to Adrian opening this gift tomorrow!

For more wonderful, creative pursuits, check out Natural Suburbia and Creative Friday!


  1. Nadja, this gnome is wonderful, I love the detail of his face! You are amazing.
    Happy birthday to your little one for tomorrow.

  2. He is just perfect...wise and gentle and fabulous! I want to invite him to tea! You really must make and sell these...could you? Would you?

  3. I agree whole-heartedly, you are AMAZING! +JMJ+

  4. Oh wow, he's such a handsome fellow! I'm so impressed.....the sweet details! His little red nose, his great pouch and belt, his shoes, everything!

    Happy Birthday to your boy!

  5. What an amazing present! I am also a gnome lover and he is fantastic!

  6. i love it, he is one lucky boy to have such a wonderful Mama

  7. Oh, Nadja! He is so fabulous! And how your dear boy will love him! Handmade is so wonderful, how you can make exactly what you know will delight him so very much. Have a jolly day tomorrow!

  8. You are so talented! I like the way it looks and these tiny details (face, clothing and etc.) make it so real. Great work!

  9. Nadja, he is the most gorgeous gnome. You have done a wonderful job. I'm sure Adrian will adore him. Jacinta x

  10. Oh my goodness! That's amazing! Man, I love gnomes.

  11. Way to go Nadja! You're very talented and your son is sure to love his very own cuddly gnome . . . very cool!

  12. Oh wow. This is going to be the most special birthday gift ever, and what gorgeous, gorgeous work. I can't stop looking at his face, it's so beautifully made and expressive! The clothes are just perfect, and I love the look of that super-thick felt for the hat, too.

  13. What a beautiful, thoughtful gift. So amazing! That nose is perfect!

  14. That gnome is amazing. Gorgeous work! I hope everyone is all better now.

  15. Какой хорошенький!
    Здорово тут у вас, так уютно!
    Вот только как вы все успеваете?..


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