By Nicki Byrnes
December 16, 2022
Do you have a stash of old wine corks you’ve saved “just in case?” How about a collection of yarn scraps, because, “you never know?” Good news – I have the perfect project to use them up and create timely gifts, festive winter decor, or cute little handmade toys.
Enter Mini Cork Elves. At just 4″, they use a wine cork for the body, about 5 yards of yarn for the sweater and trim, and about 8 yards for the hat and trim. They look adorable in winter colors like grey and white, Christmas colors of red and green, or any fun combinations of your choosing. For example, I depleted a small stash of mint yarn I had on hand, and combined it with grey and white to look modern and wintery. See some of my color ideas here.
Simple crafts supplies can be used for embellishments, like small buttons and bells for their sweaters, and a tiny pom pom for their hat. See what you have on hand before you run out. You can draw on a face, just eyes, or my favorite, eyes and a little nose, and the result is undeniably adorable.
If you’re familiar with amigurumi, you are comfortable working in the round on a small scale and assembling the parts to create your little elf. If the term is new to you, amigurumi is a form of Japanese crocheting or knitting small objects out of yarn. It is typically done in the round and uses stuffing to create the 3D form. For this project, we are using up the old wine corks you’ve been holding onto instead of stuffing. Or in my case, a giant bag of old corks my sister-in-law gave me! If you’re making a collection of elves and the corks are different sizes, that just gives them personality.
If you’re looking for a unique gift this winter or a sweet little addition to your house, give these elves a try! They can be used if you’re starting the tradition of Kindness Elves instead of an Elf on the Shelf. They’re a wonderful surprise in the mail and are easy to ship due to their small size and light weight. They look adorable as a little army of Santa’s helpers on your shelf. And, they can be packaged up in creative ways and sold at markets. I can only imagine the different characters that will be dreamed up!