How to Make Lady Garden Gnomes Costumes

Written by araminta matthews
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How to Make Lady Garden Gnomes Costumes
Some gnome myths suggest that female gnomes wear beards just like their male counterparts. (Gartenzwerg image by conny from

Gnomes are tiny, benevolent fairy creatures from folklore who are characterised by their diminutive size and their pointy hats which resemble the cone-shaped hats wizards are often depicted as wearing. Garden gnomes are decorative lawn ornaments created to represent these woodland spirits. Because they are based in folklore, their appearance is open to interpretation; but, the iconic image of a female garden gnome with a red conical hat, a blue shirt, a red skirt and a yellow apron is strong in popular culture, and a costume can easily be made to fit this image.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • 1 yard red felt
  • Fabric stiffener (optional)
  • Red satin ribbon
  • Yellow ribbon
  • Over-sized long-sleeved plain blue shirt
  • 3 to 4 yards red fabric
  • Tape measure
  • 1 yellow pillowcase
  • Pins
  • Scissors
  • Yard stick
  • Sewing needle
  • Thread
  • Pen

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  1. 1

    Fold the red felt in half lengthwise. Cut an isosceles triangle through both wings of the fabric with a base of 1 foot and a height of 1 to 1 1/2 feet to create two same-sized triangles.

  2. 2

    Pin the triangles together along the two legs a half-inch from the edge of the fabric, leaving the base open.

  3. 3

    Stitch the two legs of the triangle together and remove the pins. Turn the hat inside out, pushing the point of the hat outward with a pen, and flip up the brim. Stitch ribbon to the inside of the hat in line with the side seams to create hat straps to tie below your chin. For a stiffer hat, treat the felt with fabric stiffener.

  1. 1

    Measure your waist with a tape measure. Divide the measurement in half and add one inch for the waist and 10 inches for the hem.

  2. 2

    Fold the red fabric in half width-wise and mark the fabric along the fold the waist measurement from Step 4 (half the waist plus 1 inch). Using a dotted line, extend the waist line 5 inches on either side. Parallel with the waist line, slide the ruler down the fabric about 4 feet and draw a hem line (half the waist plus 10 inches). Lay the ruler so it touches the end of the solid waist line (ignoring the dotted lines) and the end of the hem line on one side and draw a line. Repeat for the other side.

  3. 3

    Cut out the skirt. Cut the fold to create a waist opening. Flip the fabric inside out. Fold the hem line upward half an inch and pin on both pieces. Fold the waist line down 3 inches and pin on both pieces. Stitch the hem and the waist line along the pins and remove the pins.

  4. 4

    Pin the sides of the skirt from the hem line up to the stitches you made 3 inches below the waist line to leave room for a drawstring. Stitch the sides of the skirt.

  5. 5

    Put the skirt on and place two slits about 1 inch long and 1 inch apart in the centre below your belly button. Thread ribbon through the hole to create a drawstring.

  1. 1

    Cut the pillowcase bottom seam so it is open at the top and bottom. Cut one side seam of the pillowcase and wrap it around your waist so the original pillow case opening is around your waist line. Trim off any excess material along the sides and bottom.

  2. 2

    Create two slits about 1 inch long and 1 inch apart in the pillowcase opening hem and thread yellow ribbon through it to create a drawstring similar to the one you made for the skirt.

  3. 3

    Put the shirt on so the bottom hem hangs over the waist of the skirt. Cinch the apron around your waist so it puckers the shirt like a belt.

Tips and warnings

  • Add striped socks and clogs to complete the look. Select a polka dot pattern for the skirt, or a patterned pillowcase for the apron to rev up the look.

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