Coming up with 24 unique, creative, and fun ideas for your Elf on the Shelf every December can be a challenging task, but don’t stress. The internet is full of inspiration, and most of these adorable little scenes take just a few minutes to put together. Here are some of our favorites, including tiny accessory packs from Etsy and Amazon, printable objects, and ways to fit the Elf into your existing decor.

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For more ideas, check out the official Elf on the Shelf Ideas page, or browse the #ElfontheShelf hashtag on Instagram.

Elf’s Christmas Movie Night Kit

Elf on the Shelf Christmas Movie Night Kit

Ready to take in some Christmas flicks with the kids? Put together a little Christmas Movie Night kit the night before and place it in the living room for them to find in the morning. The official Elf on the Shelf website has a tutorial for creating a cute little scene featuring a snack caddy or bento box, movie snacks, and an Elf Pets Reindeer.

Pool Party Elf

Elf on the Shelf North Pole pool party scene.

A little blue tissue paper and some Elf-sized pool floats and palm trees can create a tropical pool party in your sink. You can find all these Elf-sized accessories and more on the official Elf on the Shelf shop.

Special Delivery Elf

Two Elves on the Shelf pop out of a mail slot wearing personalized felt envelope costumes by Etsy user Damiline.

The kids will run around the house looking for the Elf, only to finally discover that they’ve got a special delivery waiting at the mail slot (or out in the mailbox). If you aren’t aware, Etsy is a great source of handmade Elf on the Shelf accessories, like these personalized felt envelope costumes by Damiline. You can even have them embroidered with your kids’ names to make them a little more special. In a rush to pull it off? Try painting or drawing your own version on some paper.

Paper Bag Toy Race Elf

Paper Bag Toy Race Elf on the Shelf idea by Stacy Molter.

Gather up some of your kids’ favorite toys, tuck them into paper bags, and viola! You’ve got an imaginative new way to present your Elf on the Shelf one day this December. This idea from Stacy Molter is quick and simple, but kids will really get a kick out of it.

Instagram Elf

Elf on the Shelf holds up a printable Instagram photo frame.

Your Elf is ready for an Instagram moment with this simple idea from Elf on the Shelf. All you need to do to recreate it is print out the Instagram photo frame from the Elf on the Shelf website, pose your Elf, and tape the frame to their hands.

Campfire Elf

Campfire Elf on the Shelf accessory kit by TheImaginativeHealer on Etsy.

This handmade accessory kit by TheImaginativeHealer on Etsy will help you create a cozy campfire scene complete with a miniature fire, two roasted marshmallows on sticks, four s’mores, four marshmallows in a bag, a little tartan blanket, and a plate.

Nutcracker Elf

Elf on the Shelf hides between two classic Nutcracker figures.

Save this idea for those nights when you’re tired and need the simplest possible scene to put together in less than a minute. If you already have some Nutcracker figurines on hand (or other similarly-sized festive figures), just pose the Elf to “blend in” with them.

Elf on the Shelf Santa Cam

DIY Elf on the Shelf

Instagram user Ashley Chung showed off this cute idea made from simple objects found at the Dollar Tree and Hobby Lobby. Her “Santa Cam” features a camera picture frame, kids’ magnifying glass, wired lights, silver stud ribbon, craft paper, and sticker letters, but you could create something similar with whatever you find.

Mermaid Elf

Elf on the Shelf sports an adorable “Merry Mermaid” costume from Amazon.

Did you know you can buy Elf on the Shelf products on Amazon, too? This cute little “Merry Mermaid” costume is among them, ready to be posed on your Elf. Try creating a winter pool scene with a piece of blue paper, some white paint, and faux snow.

Soccer Goal Elf

Elf on the Shelf poses with Amazon's North Pole Goal and Gear soccer accessory kit.

Another item available on the Elf on the Shelf Amazon store is the North Pole Goal and Gear accessory kit. Dress your Elf figure up in a tiny soccer uniform and place it next to this folded paper goal.

Ball Pit Elf

M&M ball pit Elf on the Shelf scene by Ashley Byron of Stage.Organize.Sell.

A bag of red and green M&Ms, a sieve, and a tiny sign establish that this mini ball pit is for Elves only. This idea came from Ashley Byron of Stage.Organize.Sell, and it takes just a few minutes to put together.

Elf’s Toilet Paper Snowflakes

Instagram user Chloe Boyle arranged her Elf on the Shelf with scissors over a roll of toilet paper with ornate snowflake cut-outs.

Uh-oh – this Elf took a clue from their much larger friend, Buddy the Elf, and perhaps went a little too far in their attempt to spread some Christmas cheer. Not even the toilet paper is safe. All you need to recreate this idea from Chloe Boyle is a pair of scissors and some sacrificial TP.

Tangled Up Elf

Elf on the Shelf tangled up in dental floss.

Okay, so maybe Elves don’t quite know what to do with floss. That makes this little scene from Elf on the Shelf a real learning opportunity, featuring nothing more than some dental floss and a little sign.

Totally Tubular Elf

Snow tube Elf on the Shelf accessories available on Amazon.

An inflatable tube plus a matching scarf and ear muffs are all you need to create an adventurous tubing scene for your Elf. Get creative with some faux snow or even just some draped white fabric to act as the snowy hill.