Organize an Elf on the Shelf swap. Each person makes just one set of props, but gets several others in return (like a cookie exchange). All the creativity with a lot less work!
For all of the things I like to be creative with, I’ve found Elf on the Shelf isn’t one of them. It’s already enough pressure just to remember move our little elf Chippy from place to place each night. Thus, my post last year for 2-minute Elf on the Shelf ideas.
My mom, the ultimate crafter, sent my sister in law and me a text a few weeks ago asking if we’d like her to create some things for our elves this year, without hesitation we both replied “yes please”! On Thanksgiving, my mom handed me a sack of 7-8 Elf props ready to go. My mom rocks!
For those of you who don’t have a crafty grandma in your life, I got to thinking about how you could benefit from some ready-made elf props. Then it came to me – host an Elf on the Shelf Swap, like a cookie exchange!
How to host an Elf on the Shelf Swap
- Gather a group of people interested in swapping ideas and props to include in your exchange. It could be a group of co-workers, school moms, friends, family, etc.
- Assign each person 1-2 Elf concepts (or let them pick themselves).
- Have each person buy for and assemble their assigned Elf on the Shelf concept for as many people as are in your group. They can bag them up and label them with any instructions. (My mom printed a picture of each idea and put it in the bag.)
- Pick a time to do the swap. You can either do this as a fun get together and you can assemble your items at the same time, or if you’re pressed for time, just arrange a time to do the exchange.
What I really like about this is that you won’t have so much time or material go to waste. One of the things my mom made our elf was a little barbell out of marshmallows and a toothpick. Easy, right? If you don’t have marshmallows on hand though, who wants to buy some just to use two for your elf? Here you could make 10 of them in under 10 minutes and give 9 of them away in exchange for 9 other ideas. Less waste, less time!
The ideas can still be super simple and easy, like these bags my mom provided for Chippy to do a sack race with one of Carter’s other toys. Carter thought it was so funny that Chippy was beating Iron Man.
Check out these ideas perfect for an Elf on the Shelf Swap or check out my Easy Elf on the Shelf Pinterest board.
- Sack Race (above, you just need two or more paper sacks)
- Elf Kisses
- Marshmallow Barbell
- Toilet Paper Roll Swing
- Toilet Paper Snowman
- Paperchain Countdown
- Kids Mission Envelopes
- Mustache Photos
- Minecraft Santa Elf
- Superhero Cape
- Photo Booth Props
If you’re like us, every night it’s a “game time” decision on what our elf will do, and we lack creativityat that time of night. We still have a rule that it can’t take more than about 2 minutes to set up or clean up, so with a few ready-made ideas, it will make things a lot easier – and our elf might do something other than move from shelf to shelf, at least for a few nights!