How to Give Your Elf on the Shelf Bendy Arms & Legs


We love our Elf on the Shelf.  His name is Alfie.  The kids think it’s so much fun to find where he is hiding or what funny thing he got into every day.  And I love watching them!  Ahh.  Memories.  Honestly,  I have just as much fun trying to think of funny things for him to do.  When they notice he’s moved from a spot, they tear through the house looking for him.  It is hilarious and so much fun!

We got Alfie just last year, so we’re still fairly new Elf on the Shelf parents.  :)   But, when we opened the box, I was surprised that his little felty arms and legs weren’t bendy.  I saw so many posts with Elves doing hilarious and clever things that required bendy limbs.  (Like bench pressing marshmallows, or zip-lining into the Christmas tree, or baking cookies.)

I wanted our elf to do these hilarious and clever things, too…. so I fixed him!

I performed a little elf surgery, and in 5 minutes (and for 1 dollar and without sewing!)  we now have an elf that can compete with all the other clever bendy-armed elves.  Alfie feels much better about himself now that he can grasp things!  😉

But, since I made Alfie bendable last year, he’s already fixed.  I needed an unsuspecting elf  to perform surgery on and take pictures of, so that I could share it all with you.  The Healthy Hen and I hatched a plan.  Her elf, Fred,  is boring and un-bendy.  He feels sad.  (She’s more sporty, less crafty!)  We met in a dark parking lot, late at night m with our elves in Kroger bags.   The switch was made.  Our children searched empty houses for elves that were not there.  heehee.

I sliced, cut, poked and prodded Fred all while my kids were in the next room!  :)  It’s done.

And he feels so much better.


What you need:

  • Wire
  • Scissors
  • Wire Cutter (you could even use scissors depending on how thick your wire is.)
  • An elf

What you do:

  1. Choose a wire.  (any thick wire will do. Floral wire, steel wire, whatever you have) The shiny colored wire I used is from the Dollar Tree.
  2. Get your wire cutters and wire out.
  3. Snip a teeny tiny hole in the hand or foot of your elf.  Do not let your children watch.
  4. Straighten out a length of wire and shove it into the flimsy elf limb.  You might have to wiggle it a little bit because there is useless cardboard in there.  (really for thirty bucks an elf you’d think they would have done this for you!)
  5. Get the wire in there as far as it will go.
  6. Snip off the excess wire, leaving just a little bit sticking out.
  7. Wiggle the last bit in by pulling the hand or foot over it, so that it doesn’t come back out of the hole later.
  8. Repeat for all limbs.
  9. DONE!  You now have a bendy elf.  Congratulations.  Go and pose him doing something fantastic!
  10. You could stitch up the 4 tiny holes, but I didn’t.  I just kind of smooshed the felt around until the holes looked kinda closed.  You can’t even see them.  And the kids don’t touch the elf, so no biggie!


If you’re stumped for ideas of what funny things your elf can do each day, check out this sweet Elf on the Shelf calendar that Steph made at A Little Moore.  She rocks!

We got Alfie last year in the middle of December.  So it’s not too late for you to run to the store and start this hilarious tradition.  Or you can buy one here.

Here is a little video I made to show the process.  It’s my first.  Be kind!  :)


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