The Master List: Ideas for the Elf on the Shelf

New Elf on the Shelf Master List Ideas are on Mama Cheaps!
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We started the Elf on the Shelf tradition with our daughter in 2009 when she was 1. Our elf’s name is Oboe and he arrives at our house each year after Thanksgiving.  The first year that Oboe spent with us, we constantly forgot to hide him in new places every night.  Fortunately Lily was too young to notice if the elf stayed in the same spot 3 days in a row.

Lily now LOVES her elf.  She bounds out of bed each morning and races to see what he’s been up to overnight.  The elf is also a good threat when bad behavior looms – because he’s always “watching.”  😉  Her excited reactions are our motivation on the nights that we just can’t. think. of. one. more. spot. for. the. damn. elf.

This list is a compilation of our pictures since then – along with some of Lily’s cousins’ elves, June and Carol!

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121613 elf on the shelf

121713 elf on the shelf

121813 elf on the shelf

121913 elf on the shelf

122013 elf on the shelf

122113a elf on the shelf

122113b elf on the shelf

122113 c elf on the shelf

Elf on the Shelf Magic Christmas Garden a Elf on the Shelf Magic Christmas Garden b Elf on the Shelf Magic Christmas Garden c Elf on the Shelf Magic Christmas Garden d

Elf on the Shelf Magic Christmas Garden e

Elf on the Shelf Magic Christmas Garden m

Elf on the Shelf Magic Christmas Garden n

121513 elf on the shelf

121413 elf on the shelf

121313 elf on the shelf

121213 elf on the shelf

121113 elf on the shelf

121013b elf on the shelf

121013c elf on the shelf

121013d elf on the shelf

12913 elf on the shelf

12913b elf on the shelf

12613 elf on the shelf

12513 elf on the shelf

12413 elf on the shelf

12213b elf on shelf

12213a elf on the shelf

12213 elf on the shelf

12113 elf on the shelf

elf on the shelf 1224 1

elf on the shelf 1224 2

elf on the shelf 1223

elf on the shelf 1222

elf on the shelf 1221 2

elf on the shelf 1221 1

elf on the shelf 1221 3

elf on the shelf 1221 4

elf on the shelf 1220

elf on the shelf 1219

elf on the shelf 1218

elf on the shelf 1217

elf on the shelf 1216

elf on the shelf 1214

elf on the shelf 1213 2

elf on the shelf 1213 1

elf on shelf 1212

elf on the shelf x

elf on the shelf w

elf on the shelf snowball fight

riding into town!

bird’s eye view

scaling the holiday decor

mid-day pick-me-up

let it snow!

keeping up with correspondence

born to be wild

batter up!

looks great! little full. lotta sap.


if you just believe…

blending in

well hello there

wash your hands!


misty water colored MEMMMMMories!


java break

bucking broncs

eagle’s nest

elf de soleil

kcup creeper

angelic wannabe

don’t forget behind your ears!

the wheels on the bus go round and round


the winning hand

baby it’s cold outside!

2 o’clock tea

ice carving skillz

where’s the fire?

art appreciation

the warm up


fond farewell


speed racer

don’t play with your food

flying high!



rub a dub dub

side gig

deep in the forest, hidden in the highest tower…

elf on the shelf my little pony

elf on the shelf m

take too long to decorate your tree… and your elf may take matters into his own hands…

operation ornament drop

elf on the shelf

elf on the shelf q

elf on the shelf

elf on the shelf

elf on the shelf

elf on the shelf

elf on the shelf

elf on the shelf

elf on the shelf

elf on the shelf

elf on the shelf

counting down the days!

elf on the shelf

elf on the shelf

elf on the shelf s

Johnny Appleseed’s lesser known cousin, Oboe Christmas Seed

elf on the shelf t

elf on the shelf u

wishing lily bean good luck on her first horse show!

elf on the shelf v

elf on the shelf y

elf on the shelf z

elf on the shelf 3

elf on the shelf 4

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  • Teacherjensue

    Those are so cute! You gave me some great ideas!

    • devon

      Thanks! 🙂

  • momontherun2

    You have a great imagination, thanks for sharing!!!!

    • devon

      LOL – thanks! And you’re welcome!

  • Jacki Scott

    love your ideas, so creative and neat to look at!

  • Guest

    Too cute! How about pinning him to the toilet paper roll like he has hanging on for dear life? A little boat in the tub? Do you have a Barbie or GI Joe vehicle? Sword fight with a snowman? Do you have a dog he can ride like a horse? A cat would be more like a bucking bronco, LOL On a shelf in the refrigerator next to a pie with a piece missing? Standing on the steering wheel of a car and holding on like he is driving? On the toilet seat like he is trying to crawl out after falling in?

  • Jessicadurst

    Our elf, Cookie, had his hands connected. Are there different versions?

    • Michelle

      I believe all of them have the hands connected but you can cut them apart…I cut mine apart so it could make snow angles in flour on the counter

      • Michelle

        oops, snow angels not angles =)

        • Con1new

          That gave me an idea. I love using “crutches” to help remember things, like which spelling to use. I’m going to try making a game of this. For instance, You can’t turn a corner with jellies, (spelled “gelies” from anGELS). Hope the kids can come up with a better one, as long asit helps them remember which is which.

    • Anonymous

      I cut our elf’s hands apart to make it a little easier to pose him. 🙂

      • Jilcat

        Love your ideas! I did a little “surgery” on our elf. I snipped a little hole at the back f each of his “shoulder” seams and threaded a pipe cleaner into each arm. Makes it so much easier for our elf to grip things and hold on to things. My favorite is to wrap each hand around the bottom of a candy cane (secure with tape) and hang the hook part of the candy canes over all kind of things….sort of like your zipline. I also made a little pillow, blanket, and felt eye mask and had my daughter catch him napping on the job.

  • Rdfaifer

    Great ideas!! Thank you for sharing 🙂

  • Moria Zuriel

    I LOVE

  • Moria Zuriel

    I LOOOOVE your ideas!!! But I love that your elf is named OBOE even more!

  • Kenedicheramie

    this is awesome

  • Rebecca Angeline

    That’s one BUSY elf!! LOL!

  • Jenalee2188

    just my opinion, the elf thing is a little creepy

    • Anonymous

      LOL He totally IS creepy!! He’s gotten less creepy over the years, but still. 🙂

  • Cpatfcrs

    I need to remember some of these for this coming Christmas……Sometimes the Elf “forgets” to move!!!!

  • Rclc88

    I LOVE this idea. I’m sure kids would get such a kick out of it!

    • Anonymous

      It’s so fun! 🙂

  • tascha

    Oh my! I loved looking at these photos! I can see how much you love your little girl to give her such a magical Christmas! ADORE!

  • Kcrbrown

    I love your pictures, thank you for sharing your ideas. I can’t wait til Christmas!

  • Brandy West

    I had an idea while looking at these. Combining the ice sculpture one and the fishing one. (sort of) He could be in the freezer, sitting on a small container (I’m picturing a Ben & Jerry’s single serving container) and dangling his fishing pole over an ice cube tray. Maybe even a little place card sitting beside him that says, “Ice Fishing”.

  • I had an idea while looking at these. Combining the ice sculpture one and the fishing one. (sort of) He could be in the freezer, sitting on a small container (I’m picturing a Ben & Jerry’s single serving container) and dangling his fishing pole over an ice cube tray. Maybe even a little place card sitting beside him that says, “Ice Fishing”.

    • Anonymous

      LOVE that idea!!

  • Lily

    I did this for my kids when they were little. I was lucky to have a red and green elf. They would move every night but the only rule was the kids could NOT touch them or they would loose their magic power for one day. The elves would always end up on the tree Christmas morning. It’s all about creating the memories!

    • Anonymous

      Oh yes – our elf definitely cannot be touched either. That’s a good rule to have – they are so tempting for kids to play with! 🙂

  • Sliver238

    That is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO stinkin cute! I can’t wait to do elf on the shelf with my children one day! Very creative ideas!

  • Grandmom

    Love your ideas. ALMOST can’t wait for Christmas so I can do these. (I say “almost” because I want to enjoy the summer……..please! 🙂

  • Keri

    This is the BEST and FUNNIEST thing I have ever seen!! I can’t wait to start this tradition! I don’t know where in the world to find an Elf… but, I’m on the hunt for him!

    • Brittany

      You can order online. Google Elf on a Shelf. Last year was our first year with an elf. We all loved it

    • Zjdennis825

      We got ours at Target…

    • Majorie603

      Hallmark stores have them with the story of the Elf o the Shelf.

    • Mysti is a great site for the Elf on a Shelf!

    • Karen


  • Linda Souther

    like your addition to the Santa show. They both crack me up. LOL

  • Irishmary44

    Well you certainly have given me some great ideas as I was having trouble thinking of places to put our elf too. Now I can hardly wait for our little elf to make his grand apparence the day after Thanksgiving!

  • Leticia R.

    This is so amazing i never heard of this before!!! I’m so glad i found this on Pinterest This is definitely something i want to do with my niece and nephew Thanks for the great idea!!!

  • Our elf joined us on a 13 hr car ride to grandma’s house for Christmas! The kids were well behaved, however the elf fell from his spot when daddy slammed on the brakes!! Luckily they were napping and when they awoke they thought the elf went to see Santa!!

  • MrsC

    Even though its July, this has totally gotten me into the spirit of Christmas. Your home looks like it could be my home with all of the princesses. Go Phils!

    • Anonymous


  • Amakra

    Ok seriously this is the cutest thing I’ve ever seen!

  • Ajshaffer9

    For the record, I love that your elf is a Phillies fan!!! 😉 Hopefully our elf will be too!!!

    • Anonymous


  • rachel

    This was sooooooooo much fun! You are very creative! thanks for sharing.

  • Dubydoodle

    Thanks for the smiles! I have 10 elves that hang all over my plants like the elf de soliel. I may start a new tradition this Christmas and have my husband and I trade off hiding an elf since our babies are grown. Babies do that . . .

  • Brenda

    I’ve watched my grandkids with this elf and its a highlight of their morning to see where he’s posed next. They know he can’t be touched or he’s gone till next Christmas!

  • Donna

    Fantastic ideas and very creative!!!!

  • Necifone

    You must live close to Philly, I see a picture of Longwood Gardens – I still love that place!

    • Anonymous

      We do! We are about an hour away from Longwood Gardens. 🙂

  • Green_monsta

    Tried using the Pin button and even tried entering it manually and it’s not working. Not sure what I’m doing wrong… The images aren’t coming up.

  • Lisa

    These are great inventive ideas! Thanks for posting. How about putting the Oboe outside of a pane of glass looking in thru the window.?

  • Damma

    this is such a cute idea. wish I had this when my kids were young and still home. You better believe that I’m passing the idea on to the kids so they can do it for their children.

  • Annette

    We once had him in a pilsner glass in back of the bar! We always have him in the tree on Christmas Eve and we said that he’s there so Santa can take him back to the North pole with him.

  • Mamamary

    We bought our elf today. So excited! He made mini pancakes for himself, then left the measured ingredients so my eldest can make pancakes when she wakes. Love your ideas and that you’ve done it without making him too naughty.

  • Nicole Edwards

    Just ordered my elf for the kids. what about putting food coloring in a gallon of milk and leave the elf in the fridge?? or on a tv stand with some popcorn around him like he’s watching a movie?

  • Crystal

    Love all of your ideas! If you have time, stop on over and share this linky and your elf activities in my linkup, too! I will be pinning all the elf post on Pinterest.

    THanks, Crystal

  • momma_of_3

    I was wondering where you got all the miniature sized stuff…i.e. tea set, hot chocolate pitcher and glass, the cookies, scooter, oversized chair and toilet & sink? I started Elf on the Shelf this year and love your ideas!

    • Anonymous

      We use all toys that are laying around the house – from Barbie and My Little Pony accessories to doll house furniture – everything comes from the playroom! LOL 🙂

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  • Wendy

    Go phillies!! Ha 🙂