27 Elf on the Shelf Ideas to Steal This Christmas

These Elf on the Shelf ideas will elevate your holiday season!

masked elf on the shelf on toilet paper

Are you looking for some creative Elf on the Shelf ideas?

Time to add some humor to the holidays with these Elf on the Shelf ideas! Whether you’re new to the popular Elf on the Shelf Christmas tradition or have been participating for years, we could all use a little creative inspiration to keep things fresh and funny!

holding an elf on the shelf by the tree

Fun for all ages!

Even though my kids are now older than they were when we first started this tradition, they actually still get a laugh and think it’s funny if I set up scenes with their elf. Sometimes they even take turns creating the fun for us.

I won’t pretend that this is a daily occurrence for my family because half the time I forget about it! LOL. However,  it’s a fun tradition, and, if an elf somehow brings some joy, why not?

2020 elf on the shelf ideas

Today I’m sharing 27 creative yet EASY Elf on the Shelf ideas anyone can pull off!

I think everyone can agree we all need less stress and more humor- especially this holiday season!

tiny mask for an elf on the shelf

Trust me, my favorite Elf on the Shelf ideas take less than 10 minutes, and not a lot of materials are needed.

Some of these ideas were photographed by a few other talented Hip2Save team members over the years, so I wanted to give them a shout out and special thank you for sharing! 

1. Facemask Elf Hammock to let your elf relax.

facemask as a hammock elf on the shelf

A facemask doubles as a perfect elf-sized hammock for your elf to relax in. I used some faux branches to hang this hammock, but you could use candlesticks, hooks, or any other simple items to hang.

2. Make light of our new normal with this Elf Quarantine Jar.

elf with mask covid elf on the shelf idea

Even elves sometimes have to self-quarantine! Set up a jar with some Lysol and hand sanitizer. I made an easy elf face mask by cutting a small piece from a disposable facemask and using a few dabs of hot glue to attach a small piece of the elastic so it would fit around the elf’s face.

You can even decide how long your elf needs to quarantine! 😂

3. Play tic, tac, bow.

tic tac bow elf on the shelf

Photo credit: Elf on the Shelf

Take on a new spin of tic, tac, toe by having your elves play with bows.

4. Elf “Spare a Square” TP Idea ensures a good laugh.

elf on the shelf with toilet paper covid idea

Last year, toilet paper was one of the biggest topics, and this elf needs to know if you can spare a square! This is a fun and easy setup using a roll of toilet paper and a paper sign.

5. Wrapping Paper Mischief to prank the rest of your household.

elf on the shelf wrapping paper toilet

Elf wraps the toilet with Christmas wrapping paper for a silly prank!

6. Do you Wanna Build a Snowman?

elf on the shelf doll in freezer with elsa and olaf frozen

Elf gets FROZEN with characters from the Disney movie.

7. Even your Elf needs a nap.

elf on the shelf sleeping on tissues

A box of facial tissues makes a perfect bed for nap time! He’s even folded one for a soft pillow to snooze on.

8. Dress up your Elf on the Shelf in costumes!

person holding up cookie costume for little elf in Target

On your next Target visit, check out the dollar section as we’ve spotted countless hilarious costumes at $1 for your elves to play dress up! Pizza, milk, and cookies are some of the costumes we’ve seen, so scoop them up quick before they sell out!

9. Hide your elf in your mom’s purse.

elf in the purse paper hearts family

Photo credit: Paper Heart Family

Hide your elf in someone’s purse to bring him on the go!

10. Dogs rule, Elves drool!

dogs rule elves drool elf on the shelf idea

Don’t forget to get the dog involved in your elf tradition! If you have a chalkboard, whiteboard, or mirror, this playful scenario will work great!

11. Elf Refueling Station for all the coffee addicts.

elf on the shelf refueling station

Elves need plenty of energy to fly back and forth to the North Pole! This elf clearly doesn’t mess around and gets her caffeine fix straight from the K-cup!

12. Elf steals your snacks!

elf on the shelf eating treats meandbmaketea

Photo credit: Me & B Make Tea

Not even your holiday goodies are safe around your elves!

13. Elf is involved in some shower shenanigans.

shower shenanigans elf on the shelf

Our elf is hanging from an umbrella that’s balancing on the shower curtain. What a conundrum!

14. Do you wanna build a snowman… out of Toilet Paper?

elf in a toilet paper snowman

This elf stacked three rolls of toilet paper and used marker and ribbon for snowman details! Such a cute idea!

15. Elf takes a bath.

elf on the shelf taking a bath

Miniature marshmallows make a perfect “bubble” bath, paired with a tissue paper hair towel!

16. Elf has a hot cocoa party.

hot cocoa elf on the shelf idea

I love when our elf brings fun activities to do from our Christmas bucket list! These CUTE candy cane spoons and hot cocoa mix can be found at the Dollar Tree!

Hip Tip: Print off our Christmas bucket list if you’re out of ideas to celebrate the season. There’s even a blank one to create your own!

17. Elf roasts mini marshmallows.

elf on the shelf roasting marshmallows

This is a fun and easy scene to set up using a candle, BBQ skewer, and mini marshmallows!

18. This glow-in-the-dark Elf will light up your home.

glow in the dark elf

Glow in the dark bracelets fit perfectly around Elf for a vibrant neon effect at nighttime.

19. Good Deed Elf is here to encourage you to do better!

good deed elf on the shelf

Elf can help kids complete random acts of kindness with these FREE printable cards at Over the Big Moon.

Hip Tip: Check out more random acts of kindness ideas and grab a free printable list to create on your own with your family to complete throughout the year!

20. Your Elves are flying high on this hot air balloon ride.

hot air balloon ride elf

Helium balloons and containers from the Dollar Tree can make a fun and frugal hot air balloon ride for elves. Up, up, and away!

21. Elf hides in mom’s jewelry.

elf on the shelf hiding in jewelry

A closet jewelry collection can be a great disguise for Elf!

22. Even elves can have a sick day.

sick day elf on the shelf

Even elves get sick sometimes! Luckily there’s always plenty of cold and flu supplies around the house to help him! This lucky guy even has a magical reindeer friend and elf sidekick to help him get well!

23. Yoga Elf is showcasing his skills.

elf on the shelf doing a yoga pose

Elf stays zen and fit with yoga, complete with mini felt mat and rolled towel.

24. A Christmas Story Elf to ensure some comedic relief.

fragile lamp elf on the shelf idea

If your family needs some laughs, consider building this cute leg lamp award scene from the A Christmas Story movie! You can use a leg lamp ornament or mini leg lamp night light to get in on this fun!

25. Give the Pooping Elf some privacy.

elf on the shelf chocolate kiss

Elves poop chocolate kisses! Don’t forget he may need some reading material, too! 😂

26. The elves are having extra fun zip lining.

ziplining elves on a christmas tree

These lively elves have tied a string from the Christmas tree to the fireplace and are ziplining like they’re on a jungle vacation!

27. Elf gets injured.

elf on the shelf injured

Does your Elf need to stay still? Use this genius cast idea to have him on strict NO FLY orders for a few days! It’s even signed by all of Santa’s reindeer. 😊

elf on the shelf book and girl elf

Do you participate in Elf on the Shelf?

What are some of your favorite Elf on the Shelf ideas? Share with us in the comments so we can all collect more fun ideas! 

Print your free Christmas bucket list to create with your family this year! 

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