We’ve been making sock gnomes at The Heath Business and Technical Park in Runcorn. The next free session is on Tuesday 15th December any time onwards from 10 am – just drop in. Everyone is welcome- it’d be nice to see new faces too. All materials are provided kindly by SOG who manage the Heath site so no need to worry about a thing – just come to The Café and you won’t regret it.

We’ve put lots of safety measures in place so that you can be worry-free.

However, if you want to make a gnome at home then this is what you’ll need:

Approx. 10-12in/26-30 cm cardboard cone – I made mine from a couple of sheets of card sticky-taped into one larger piece then rolled into a cone, taped and trimmed to shape. You could buy a polystyrene cone but they’re more expensive and trickier to find.

·      A second cone with the end cut off or use a plastic funnel

·      A triangular piece of hairy, fluffy fur – I got mine from Aberkhan Fabrics ( there are a few branches) Alternatively, cut off white cotton twists from a brand-new mop-head and stickytape into a dangling row for a beard

·      Two pairs of fluffy socks- you only need 2 patterend socks but if you buy the double pack from Primark for £2 then you can have a different pattern for the jumper and the hat.

·      A single man’s white sock – again Primark.

·      A 1kg bag of rice

·      5 elastic bands

·      A bell – The Range

·      A powder blusher and brush

·      Glue gun

·      Sharp scissors

Instructions

·      Fill his vest! Use the funnel to pour the whole bag of rice into the white sock then bang the filled sock gently on the table so that the long sausage shape becomes more ball-like. 

·      Elastic band the top of the sock tightly and cut off the excess sock leaving at least 2 in/ 4 cm 

·      Make his nose. Gather a table-tennis sized ball of rice just below the elastic band and use another elastic band to secure it. Rice will escape as you’re fighting with the elastic band so I always start larger.

·      Dust powder blusher over the nose. Don’t worry if it goes on his vest- it’ll be covered up.

·      Add his shirt. Put the gnome in his vest inside one of the socks, making sure that the heel is at the back of his body. Pull his shirt up but leave his nose out and elastic band securely above. Again, you can trim off any excess sock on top but I found there was very little left over with these socks.

·      Give him a beard. Along the top edge of his beard- mine was about 8 in/20cm wide and 4 in/10 cm long- make a 3-4 cm cut, in the centre downwards towards the point at the bottom. This notch will allow you to pull the beard under his nose, tucking it under. Pull it tightly up and around so that virtually all of the nose is surrounded by beard. When you’re happy with the way it looks, use the glue gun to stick it in place. Do a little at a time then you won’t burn yourself and it will stick more efficiently. You need to wait a  few seconds each time for the glue to cool and set otherwise it could get messy! 

·      Make his hat. Scrunch the cut-off excess white sock ( how much used will determine the size of his pom pom) into a ball and place it in the end of the other fluffy sock. Elastic band it into place to make a pom pom.

Keeping the heel at the back, place the hat sock with pom pom onto the cardboard cone. Use the glue-gun to put a stripe of glue at the outside brim of the cone, doing a little patch at a time until you’ve glued all of the edge of the sock onto the card rim.

·      Put his hat on. Put glue above his nose and at the top edge of his beard and push the front edge of the hat into place, tucking it behind the nose. Glue under the edges of the sides of the hat and then the back of the hat. I used quite a lot of glue!

·      Thread a bell onto an elastic band and fasten it under the bobble- this jingles better than glued bells. 

·      Finally, style his beard, give him a name and a home and most importantly, give yourself a pat on the back.