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Elf Surgery–Making your Elf on the Shelf Bendable

This post contains affiliate links to items I used to make Elf on the Shelf bendable.

I’m showing you how to make your elf on the shelf bendable. Mistletoe (our elf on the shelf) underwent surgery. He came for a quick visit from the North Pole while my boys were at school and after a bit of anesthesia we quickly got to work adding ‘bones’ to his body. He was sick of having limp, wet noodle legs and arms and a top heavy head. I kept seeing pictures of elves with bent legs and arms and our elf just had stick straight legs and arms so I did some investigating.

Making the Elf on the Shelf Bendable

To make elf on the shelf bendable you will need the following supplies:

  1. Start out by using a seam ripper to rip out two stitches from the end of each hand and foot large enough to put the wire through.
  2. Cut your wire to length. (For the correct measurements I put the wire into the arm to get the length, pulled it back out and snipped it.)
  3. So that the sharp ends of the wire didn’t threaten to tear our elf I bent each raw edge in. In the end, each piece of wire was a bit shorter than the respective arm or leg but were the perfect fit after I sewed them in.
  4. Once the wire is inserted into the limb use coordinating thread and needle to sew his hands and feet shut again. I used a simple whip stitch.

Photo How-To // Make Your Elf Bendable

DIY Tutorial - how to make your elf bendable

DIY Tutorial - how to make your elf bendable

DIY Tutorial - how to make your elf bendable

DIY Tutorial - how to make your elf bendable

Now Mistletoe is having a lot more fun posing, kicking, bending and getting into mischief.

elf-on-the-shelf   elf-on-the-shelf-props

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Monday 29th of November 2021

[…] How to Make Your Elf Bendable Insert wire and perform “surgery” on your elf. You’ll be able to pose your elves in so many more positions with these simple DIY instructions. […]


Friday 8th of December 2017

Thank you so much . I have been coming up with ways to make my elves do there thing and it is so hard this is going to help out so very much. Merry Christmas


Wednesday 6th of December 2017

You can do the same this by sliding a straightened out paper clip through the spaces between the stitches! Muuuuch easier, and less time consuming!


Wednesday 30th of November 2016

We have the elf on the shelf that has the stitched up joint bends. I can't seem to feed the wire through because of this. Any ideas on how to get past that?


Thursday 30th of November 2017

I'm having the same problem.


Tuesday 19th of November 2013

Love this tutorial! Pinning this so when my son gets old enough I'll be able to make mine bend like everyone elses...


Monday 25th of November 2013

Thanks Katie!! :)

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