How to Draw the Elf on the Shelf

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The Elf on the Shelf began as a children’s book published in 2005, entitled The Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Tradition. The story recounts the tale of a “scout elf,” sent by Santa Claus to watch children from Thanksgiving until Christmas Eve. Each night, the elf reports on whether the children have been naughty or nice.

Accompanying the book is a small plush elf, which the family can use to perpetuate this tradition in their own home. Each night, the elf is moved to a different location, and each morning, the children make a game of finding where he hides.

The Elf on the Shelf has appeared in an animated television show entitled An Elf’s Story: The Elf on the Shelf. The line has expanded to include additional elf dolls, plush “elf pets,” and a birthday tradition book.

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A Jewish counterpart called Mensch on a Bench was also released for Hanukkah celebrations.

Would you like to draw the Elf on the Shelf? This easy, step-by-step elf drawing guide is here to help. All you will need is a pencil, pen, or marker and a sheet of paper. You may also wish to color your finished drawing.

If you liked this tutorial, see also the following drawing guides: Fairy, Grinch, and Santa Claus.

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​Step by Step Instructions for Drawing​ the Elf on the Shelf

How to Draw Elf on the Shelf: Step 1

1. Begin by drawing the elf’s head. Start with a long, curved line to outline the shape of the face and jaw. Use a “C” shaped line to form the ear, and another curved line to continue the hairline. Use another long curved line to craft the top of the head. Then, use a series of curved lines, meeting in points, to outline the shape of the hair upon the forehead.

How to Draw Elf on the Shelf: Step 2

2. Draw a curved line beneath the head to enclose the neck. Extend two curved lines outward from the neck. Then, connect the lines using a zigzag line, forming the collar of the elf’s garment.

How to Draw Elf on the Shelf: Step 3

3. Extend a long, curved line from one side of the collar. Double the line back upon itself until it almost reaches the collar. This is the elf’s arm. Then, draw a curved line across the end of the arm to indicate the hand.

How to Draw Elf on the Shelf: Step 4

4. Draw two long curved lines from the opposite side of the collar. Allow them to meet the first arm so that it appears that the two arms overlap. Draw a curved line across the bottom of the arm to form the hand.

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How to Draw Elf on the Shelf: Step 5

5. Draw a curved line descending downward from each of the elf’s arms to begin outlining the torso.

How to Draw Elf on the Shelf: Step 6

6. Use curved lines to sketch in the bent legs, filling the space between the torso and the arms. Beneath the hands, extend two curved lines that double back upon themselves. Band the shapes with curved lines to differentiate the legs and feet.

How to Draw Elf on the Shelf: Step 7

7. Use a long, curved line to enclose a curved shape on top of the elf’s head. Above this, enclose a curved triangle. This forms the elf’s pointed hat.

How to Draw Elf on the Shelf: Step 8

8. Detail the elf’s smiling face. Use curved lines to craft the mouth, nose, inner ear, and eyebrows. Use circles for the blushing cheeks, and ovals for the eyes. Detail the pupils, and use small curved lines to indicate the eyelashes.

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How to Draw Elf on the Shelf: Step 9

9. Give the elf a shelf on which to sit. Use straight lines to draw an angled rectangle beneath him. Draw short lines down from each corner, and connect them using long straight lines, giving the shelf a three-dimensional appearance.

How to Draw Elf on the Shelf: Step 10

Color your elf on the shelf. His outfit is typically red with white details.

Check out our character drawing guides, where you’ll find Santa Claus, the Grinch, and more.

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The Complete Elf on the Shelf Drawing Tutorial in One Image

How to Draw Elf on the Shelf

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