DIY Christmas Gnomes from Repurposed Air Freshener Containers

Repurposed Air Freshener Containers into Gnomes

From December 1st to December 23rd I’m sharing three Christmas projects per week, for Twelve Days of Christmas Projects.

Welcome to Day Four!

You can find links to all the other projects at the bottom of this post, or click here.

There’s nothing I love more than to repurpose something that would usually be thrown in the garbage or into the recycle bin without a second thought.

I think there are probably many things like that.

Things that we use everyday that, once we’re done with them, could be repurposed in fun and creative ways.

Like the air freshener containers that I’m using for this project to create some easy and fun DIY Christmas gnomes.

The other things I need for this project are some $1 knee socks, and a $2 dish mop. Both found at the dollar store.

repurposed air freshener containers into DIY gnomes using socks

My family is originally from Finland, and gnomes were always a part of Christmas growing up. Gnome ornaments, gnomes garlands, and gnome figures just to make a few things.

Gnomes, or Tontuu, as they’re called in Finland, are thought of as protectors of the home. To me they always meant good luck and glad tidings.

There’s something comforting about Christmas gnomes. I guess it’s because they take me back to my childhood Christmasses.

This is the first time I’ve made gnomes for myself, and I have to say it was very easy and a lot of fun.

Creating body of DIY Christmas Gnome

cutting sock in half to create body and hat of gnome

The first thing I did was cut the foot part of the knee sock before the heel. This will cover the air freshener container to create the body of the gnome.

turning sock inside out for body of gnome

I turned the sock inside out so it looks a little different from the rest of the sock. I just didn’t want to have to cut another sock for the body.

I kept the hard piece of used up air freshener in the container because it still smells like lavender.

covering air freshener container with inside out sock

Then I just put the air freshener container into the sock. It fit perfectly.

Make sure to remove the plastic labels and close the air freshener containers. You shouldn’t have to glue them together.

I removed the top piece from the container so the lavender small can come through.

You could use a brand new air freshener with a Christmassy smell to make these gnomes also.

Creating beard of DIY Christmas Gnome

removing twine from mini mop to use for beards of Christmas gnomes

I didn’t have anything to use for a beard, so when I was shopping for the knee socks I wandered around the dollar store and I found the dish mop that you see in the first pic.

It looked like the perfect beard material to me. All I had to do to get the twine out was stick some pliers in there and twist to loosen it up a bit. Then I was just able to pull out the twine a few pieces at a time.

cutting twine into lengths for gnome beard

Then I just cut them into lengths. You don’t have to be too precise here because you can trim them once they’re glued on, but too long is definitely better than too short.

gluing twine onto gnome body for beard

This was my first one and it was a little cumbersome with glue. I got much better with the second and third attempts.

I glued the twine on in layers. Be careful about burning your finger here. You could use use a cool melt glue as well I think.

I used a popsicle stick to kind of push the twine pieces in place on the glue.

After I had my beard the way I liked it, I glued the sock onto the air freshener.

close up of gluing twine in lawyers onto gnome body

Here you can see a little better. On the right is one layer, and on the left is two.

I did three layers on each gnome.

Creating hat of DIY Christmas Gnome

cutting top half of knee sock to create gnome hat shape

To create the hat I cut the knee sock into a conish shape in a length that I liked.

turned sock inside out and hot glued seam to create gnome hat

I turned it inside out and hot glued the right sides together at the seam.

You could also sew this if you like, but for me hot gluing was super quick.

Just make sure to get a consistent bead of glue along the seam.

GIY Christmas gnome from repurposed air freshener container and knee sock

And here’s my first finished DIY Christmas gnome. He has a wooden bead for his nose, which is glued onto the beard. No matter what kind of gnome you’re making, the nose is really what makes the whole thing work.

The knee sock hat is pulled on over the top of the beard, and I added a green craft puff at the top for some fun.

Easy peasy!

Supplies needed for this DIY Christmas Ghomes project

  • Used air freshener containers
  • Christmassy knee socks
  • Dish mop
  • wooden beads
  • crafts puffs/pompoms
  • pliers
  • scissors
  • hot glue gun
  • hot glue sticks

Easy DIY Christmas Gnomes from Repurposed Air Freshener Containers

DIY Christmas gnomes from repurposed air freshener container and knee sock

And here you see my DIY Christmas gnome with two gnome buddies.

I trimmed their beards with scissors in a way that looked good to me. This is entirely a creative judgement call.

I didn’t even notice until I was done that the reindeer that I thought was co cute on the knee sock is now upside down. lol.

Oh well. You just never know what surprises will be in store for you when you’re creating and repurposing.

And I don’t mind things being a little quirky. I embrace the quirky! 🙂

I hope my DIY Christmas gnomes, or Tontuu, have inspired you to make some for yourself.

It would be greatly appreciated if you would pin this project to your favorite Pinterest board, and also share it with your friends.

Easy DIY Christmas gnomes from used air freshener containers and knee socks

Twelve Days of Christmas Project Links

DAY TWELVE: Quick & Easy Scarf Christmas Wreath

DAY ELEVEN: Repurposed Furniture Legs into Alternative Christmas Trees

DAY TEN: Easy Map Ornaments from Cosmetic Containers

DAY NINE: Vintage Cookie Cutter Christmas Ornaments

DAY EIGHT: Displaying Vintage Ornaments in a Frame

DAY SEVEN : Repurposed Playing Cards into DIY Christmas Tree

DAY SIX: DIY Christmas Wreath from Glittery Thrifted Finds

DAY FIVE: Easy DIY Stuffed Clear Plastic Ornaments

DAY FOUR: Easy DIY Christmas Gnomes

DAY THREE: Easy DIY Felt Poinsettia Wreath

DAY TWO: Easy Angel Ornaments from Tassels

DAY ONE: Repurposed Hand Fan Christmas Trees

Thanks so much for reading and until next time,

keep on keepin’ on!


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  1. Paulette Moyer says:

    What an adorable idea! You could also use leftover yarn for the beard. Love this!

  2. Does the yarn go around the back or just as a beard?
    Really cute!

  3. Well, this is quite the co-inky-dink!!! I’ve gotten hooked on Gnomes recently!!! I’ve done a Diamond Dotz one…..do you have those up there?? So addicting! Plus another one I probably won’t get done for this Christmas. I’m so excited to see you gave me a way to make them!! I have to wonder, though, what other container I could use. I don’t use that kind of room deodorizer. Guess I could buy one, but doesn’t that defeat the purpose of recycling? You can bet I’ll find something!! Thanks so much for the idea!!!

    1. Wow Dona! That is a coincidence. You could use water bottles cut down a bit. Anything that sort of has a body-like shape.

  4. These are ADORABLE Tuula! What makes your gnomes extra special is that they are made from recycled materials…and dollar store finds. I love a good dollar store craft.

    1. Thanks very much Marie! I do love using things that would find their way into my recycle bin. And I often find inspiration just walking around the dollar store.

  5. Debra Hubbs says:

    These are so cute! I’m Swedish so also have a thing for gnomes.

  6. I have saved 2 of these containers and was wondering what I could make. Thank you so much for the inspiration. Will be making a couple of Christmas gnomes this weekend after picking up the socks at Dollar Tree.

    1. You’re so welcome Viola! I’m so happy you’re going to make these. 🙂

  7. Hi Tuula, these are adorable and using the air freshener containers is a great idea. I was thinking in order to save fingers from glue burns which I have had many , to sew the mop strings together in a line then glue. Might work. The other ideas I had was to spray the bear lightly with spray glue and dust irridescent or clear glitter on the beard. Or, just paint glue lightly in spots and then sprinkle. another thing that would give a maybe fluffier look to the beard is to comb out the threads before glueing. I also liked your idea for using a new air freshener container and letting the scent come through. Thank you for sharing your idea.

  8. You have managed to make having gnomes easy and possible! These Christmas gnomes with those Christmas sweater styled hats are the cutest! And the bases, well, genius I must say.

    1. Thank you so much Donna! They were such fun to create, and one of my favorite things is to think of ways to keep items out of my recycle bin.