— Uncategorized —

17 Last Minute Elf on the Shelf Ideas using items on hand

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read the disclosure here.

Does this situation ever happen your life? After a long day during the extremely busy holiday season, you finally hop into bed, get yourself comfortable and think “Oh crap! That Elf needs to move!” Well, this has happened to me more than once! Here are 17 quick, easy, and mostly free ideas using items you probably have lying around the house!

You do not have to spend a lot of time and money to make the time the elf visits fun!

Here are 17 ideas to try:

Idea 1: Elf arrives along with a welcome letter! Exciting and simple!

Our elf keeps it simple on day one and handwrites a letter to the kids. It usually says something about how much he missed them and looking forward to hanging around this holiday season! This is a simple sheet of paper and pen. No printing necessary. However, if you want cool letter ready to print I found this one at Yummy Mummy Kitchen:

Elf on the Shelf Letter {free printable}

Idea 2: Elf causes mischief! Elf gets him/herself into the candy stash!

We always a bowl of candy left over from Halloween. If you do too, simply set it out somewhere, unwrap a couple of pieces, and set the Elf in the bowl! You can also put this in a strange hiding spot to get extra giggles!

Idea 3: Elf wraps the kids doors and locks them in their rooms!

We had some extra wrapping paper after wrapping gifts, so Olaf thought it would be funny to wrap the doorway shut! *This isn’t free if you don’t have extra paper, but can still be pretty inexpensive. Wrapping paper can be purchased for around $1 at many stores!


Idea 4: Elf finds a favorite book for the kids and lays it is a fun spot with a note that says there will be family story time after dinner! This is a fun Elf read:

How to Catch an Elf

Idea 5: Elves get sick too, right?

It never fails. My kids almost always come down with something during the extremely
busy time between Thanksgiving and Christmas! When you are too busy taking care          of them to plan something for that Elf, the Elf can take a sick day too!
Just add a thermometer, tissues, elf cough drops and the elf laying under a blanket somewhere funny!

Idea 6: Elf brings a blank Christmas List for each Child to fill out.

The Elf can bring a piece of paper with each kid’s name on it for a Christmas list!
*These are fun keepsakes to look back at as the kids get older! You can just use a blank sheet of paper or here is a cute one you can print for free from My Mommy Style:

Free wish list printable for easy Cyber Monday shopping

Idea 7: Kids a little overly excited for the season and starting to be a little naughty?
Our elf has made a little “On strike until behavior improves” sign and sat on the tree for a day or two before.

Idea 8: Elf Party
The elf can get into the XBox games and grab a controller and some snacks and can party it up all night! He can also invite friends. I’m sure Barbie is up for a party!

Idea 9: Elf decorates the tree
This is my kid’s least favorite, but it is hilarious to see their faces when they notice. Our elf has grabbed their underpants and hung them on the tree! My youngest gets so angry with that elf when he does that!

Idea 10: Elf Makes Breakfast
The elf can leave out some veggies or other healthy foods for breakfast the next morning. The expressions can be hilarious!

Idea 11: Elf Makes Lunch
Same idea as number 10, but he can pack the kid’s school lunch the same way!

Idea 12: Hide n Seek
The elf can hide their favorite toy! Our elf likes to hide the kindles! Leave a note explaining —– has been hidden!

Idea 13: Elf finds trouble
Our Elf has found himself in trouble on more than one occasion! Here is one idea that we have done:

The army men took the Elf hostage and tied him up to the train track


Idea 14: Nerf Fights
We have more than one elf, but this can done with any stuffed animal/favorite doll. Our elves like to have Nerf gun fights!

Idea 15: On strike (our elf went on strike multiple times one year)
Our elf has written out messages in Cheerios and m&ms before. He’s written out “Santa’s watching” and “Behave”

Idea 16: Snow angels
Our elf has gotten into the flour and made snow angels. Please note this is one messy shenanigan!

Idea 17: Freezer Fun
Once our elf hid in the freezer with a note explaining he missed the cold weather!

Bonus: Good bye Letter

You can always write your own, we usually do, but here’s a cute one you can print from This Worthey Life:


If you don’t have an elf you can choose from many options here!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.