60+ Creative Elf on the Shelf Ideas (With Stuff You Already Have in Your Kitchen)

Elf on the Shelf Ideas

I don’t have kids (yet) for many reasons. One very important factor? The elf on the freakin’ shelf. Not only is he indescribably creepy (what is he smiling at?!), but he’s a lot of work. 

That’s why I scoured the internet for the absolute best Elf on the Shelf ideas that Instagram, Pinterest, and bloggers have to offer. Because you shouldn’t be in this on your own. 

Though some are more elaborate than others, these Insta-worthy elf antics can be styled with items you probably already have in your kitchen:

1. 

https://www.instagram.com/p/SOXqk3K8K6/

#elfontheshelf

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Via @insta_xmas_elves_ideas

2. 

https://www.instagram.com/p/B4-sJCznmQh/

Are you dreading the return of your Elf on the Shelf? Our Elf has definitely been a source of stress in the past but never fear! Here are some amazing and easy ideas to help make your Elf a source of fun and not stress! Here are 10 of our easiest ideas!1. Google eyes! Have your Elf put Google on all of the condiments in your fridge.2. Elf Prints. Have your elves trace their body on a piece of paper.3. Marshmallow bath. Have your elves take a bath in a big bowl of mini marshmallows.4. Toilet paper! Have your Elf climb in a roll of toilet paper and roll down the stairs.5.Funny faces. Have your Elf draw silly faces on your framed pictures (behind glass) with a whiteboard marker.6. Stuffed animal races. Have your Elf race other stuffed animals in brown paper bags.7.Kisses! Wrap your Elf in aluminum foil and leave candy kisses around.8.Drinking syrup. All you need is your syrup bottle and a straw. 9. Lifting weights. Have your Elf lift weights made from mini marshmallows and a toothpick.10. Hide the candy canes. Have your Elf hide an.entire package of candy canes around the house and leave a note telling the kids to find them all!What is your best Elf idea? #christmas #christmasdecor #elfontheshelf #elfontheshelfideas #elfonashelf #elfontheshelfinspiration #christmasgifts #parenting #parenthood #parents #momlife #momsofinstagram #momblogger #mom #mommyandme #elf

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Via @wifeeclectic

3. 

https://www.instagram.com/p/B5BLFtVDK_Q/

Someone flew down for a little 2019 planning meeting 😏🎅🏼 . While we were at it, we decided to throw together a post with some of #Zippys greatest tips & tricks to give your elf a little inspiration! 🙌🏻 . Go to kissfmseattle.com/Molly to check it out! ❤️ #Zippy #elfontheshelf

A post shared byMolly Mesnick (@mollymesnick) on

Via @mollymesnick

4. 

https://www.instagram.com/p/B5THr6HJaHj/

2015 Day 19: "Bababanananana" #elfontheshelf #elfontheshelf2015 #kippertheelf #bananaminions #miduendepr #partyliciouseventspr

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Via @kippertheelf

5. 

https://www.instagram.com/p/B5TGPvGJPfP/

2015 Day 12: No wonder our chocolate stash was disappearing! Gotcha! #kippertheelf #elfontheshelf2015 #elfontheshelf #elfkisses#miduendepr #partyliciouseventspr

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Via @kippertheelf

6. 

https://www.instagram.com/p/B5TGK6LJWjv/

2015 Day 11: A friendly game of tic-tac-toe with Monks #kippertheelf #elfontheshelf2015 #elfontheshelf #partyliciouseventspr #miduendepr

A post shared byKipper & Rosie (@kippertheelf) on

Via @kippertheelf

7. 

https://www.instagram.com/p/B5S_CtGprHU/

2014 Day 7: Gone fishing on a banana boat #kippertheelf #elfontheshelf #2014edition

A post shared byKipper & Rosie (@kippertheelf) on

Via @kippertheelf

8. 

https://www.instagram.com/p/B5S7vQPA33O/

Special Overnight North Pole Pizza Delivery from your favorite elf! We have a limited number…Pre-Order your elf’s special delivery before they sell out!! Porch Pick-Up will be on Friday, December 6th. Place your order from the link in our bio. . . @cjscookieco – thanks for the cute labels! #macustomcookies #goldrivercookies #ranchocordova #fairoaks #folsom #sacramentocookies #sacramentobakery #sacramentobaker #shoplocal #elfontheshelf #elfontheshelfcookies #elfontheshelfideas #elfshenanigans #playwithyourfood #foodart #sactownpopups #pizzacookies #cookies #ilovecookies #instacookies #decoratedsugarcookies #popupshop #sugarart

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Via @maccustomcookies

9. 

https://www.instagram.com/p/B5TIZuRJ1jr/

2015 Day 20: Kipper is quite crafty! He built his own gingerbread house out of cardboard and candy. #kippertheelf #elfontheshelf2015 #elfontheshelf #gingerbreadhouse #miduendepr #partyliciouseventspr

A post shared byKipper & Rosie (@kippertheelf) on

Via @kippertheelf

10. 

https://www.instagram.com/p/B5TIR2pAh0a/

Elf packs are back! These are only a few examples of what could be in your elf pack.#christmas #elf #elfontheshelf #elves #holiday #etsy #etsyshop #handmade #mcsweetpeas

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Via @mcsweetpeas

11. 

https://www.instagram.com/p/B5S_RZ2AEox/

🎄Now accepting orders for next week’s Elf on the Shelf activity! Order your Mini Gingerbread House Decorating Kit for only $6 🏠 This activity includes: 1 assembled mini gingerbread house, 3 mini bags of icing, 1 bag of sprinkles to decorate with and a fun letter from your elf!If you have already purchased a Full Elf Package 📦, this activity is included in your package!#crumbsandconfetticc #shoplocal #supportlocal #giftsforhim #giftsforher #cookie #elfontheshelf #cookiesofinstagram #elfontheshelfcookies #cookiedecorating #chocolatechipcookies #sprinkles #sugarcookies #wiltoncakes #smallbusiness #smallbiz #lancastersc #rockhillsc #yorksc #indianlandsc #cloversc #fortmillsc #columbiasc #ballantyne #waxhawnc #monroenc #heathspringssc #kershawsc

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Via @crumbsandconfetti

12. 

https://www.instagram.com/p/B5SqWT-Jg84/

2013 Day 2: Flour Angel (at least he used a baking sheet… how considerate!) 😉#kippertheelf #elfontheshelf

A post shared byKipper & Rosie (@kippertheelf) on

Via @kippertheelf

13. 

https://www.instagram.com/p/B5SaDFJgZUH/

Found the Elf. Lemonade anyone? * * *#elfontheshelf #christmas #christmasdecor #elf #naughtyornice #naughty #happyholidays #purehousekeeping #clean #family #santa #mrsclaus #winter

A post shared byAmber Pierce (@amberlouisepierce) on

Via @amberlouisepierce

14. 

https://www.instagram.com/p/B5SW-jcnMXJ/

1 MONTH UNTIL CHRISTMAS 🎅🏼 Who’s ready for our 2019 Advent Calendar? ✨ Billy is ready and raring to go… #murgatroyds#fishandchips#christmas#elfontheshelf#billy#restaurant #adventcalendar#foodie #meetmemonday

A post shared byMurgatroyds Fish & Chips (@murgatroydsrestaurant) on

Via @murgatroydsrestaurant

15. 

https://www.instagram.com/p/B5SUQHkFLZ4/

#countdowntoChristmas #christmascountdown #elfontheshelf #elfonashelf #elf #elvesofinstagram #christmas #christmas2019 #elfideas #ideas #elfontheshelfideas #elfonashelfideas #christmaself #jolly #holly

A post shared byChristmas Elves (@christmaself2019) on

Via @christmaself2019

16. 

https://www.instagram.com/p/B5SUHsUlmKI/

#countdowntoChristmas #christmascountdown #elfontheshelf #elfonashelf #elf #elvesofinstagram #christmas #christmas2019 #elfideas #ideas #elfontheshelfideas #elfonashelfideas #christmaself #jolly #holly

A post shared byChristmas Elves (@christmaself2019) on

Via @christmaself2019

17. 

https://www.instagram.com/p/B5SPv1fgIhq/

#Day2 #Lollypants #elfontheshelf

A post shared byMichelle Harten (@knockanore) on

Via @knockanore

18. 

https://www.instagram.com/p/B5R4ys4F_8T/

Cereal anyone?! #elfontheshelf #elfontheshelfideas #elfideas #christmas

A post shared byJingles & Cindy Lou (@elf_shenanigans1225) on

Via @elfshenanigans1225

19. 

https://www.instagram.com/p/B5Rt0NmhDYF/

#elfontheshelf #elfontheshelfideas #elfonashelf #elf #christmas2019 #christmas #christmasdecor #christmastree #holidayseason #holiday

A post shared byMegan Torres (@thickgirlmegan) on

Via @thickgirlmegan

20. 

https://www.instagram.com/p/B5Qg0kmlJHH/

Elf’s Pizza 🍕- North Pole Style! #elfshenanigans #elfontheshelfideas #elfontheshelf

A post shared byPixietheElf (@pixielouelf) on

Via @pixielouelf

21. 

https://www.instagram.com/p/B5QKwqBl0eF/

Buddy and Button are happy to have new elf friends this Holiday season, but they are especially happy to have Rosie as a friend! They did not realize what a great cookie-baker she was! Can you say, “Macaron”? #elfontheshelf #elf #elfontheshelfideas #macarons #cookies #cookielovers #cookietime

A post shared byBuddy and Button (@buddyandbutton) on

Via @buddyandbutton

22. 

https://www.instagram.com/p/B5PYWKEg8fy/

What the frick?! We caught #rosannatheelf cooking fresh #lobster for herself! #elfreturnweek #elfontheshelf #elfonashelf #elfontheshelfideas #elf#thedadadadiest #christmas#christmasdecor #homecooking

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Via @thedadadadiest

23. 

Via DIY Sweetheart

24. 

Via Love and Marriage Blog

25. 

https://www.instagram.com/p/BqsuM1tHh1Y/

Those elves had jokes this morning 🤣😂. #AnyoneWantToast

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Via @brittany.empowers

26. 

https://www.instagram.com/p/BqxHP5Cnpzy/

Pearl living her best life🛁 #momlife #elfontheshelf

A post shared byCindy B (@sindcindcolo) on

Via @sindcindcolo

27. 

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bqw_KAJH51l/

Wreck it Ralph and his reindeer were up to no good last night #elfontheshelf #wreckitralph

A post shared byCaitie (@caitiefinnx) on

Via @caitiefinnx

28. 

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bqw56qUhpSJ/

#day6 Kevin loves a good pun….and a good sandwich. #kevintheelf #allchristmaserrythang #elfontheshelf #elf #christmastime #christmasdecorations

A post shared byCallie Gauthier (@calliejo4) on

Via @calliejo4

29. 

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bqw5nnfgqNv/

Caught the #elfontheshelf stealing my reese's… #christmasproblems

A post shared byAntonio Carlucci (@djcarlucci23) on

Via @djcarlucci23

30. 

https://www.instagram.com/p/BqxLovghsFu/

Crispy may be onto something. #PumpkinSpiceCookies coated in #nutella isn't the worst way to start a [email protected] @nutella @elfontheshelf #crispytheelf #elfontheshelf #ThoreauAldous #AugustStearns #christmastradition

A post shared byJenny Anderson (@jennbriar) on

Via @charlieblaikie

31. 

https://www.instagram.com/p/BqxLovghsFu/

Crispy may be onto something. #PumpkinSpiceCookies coated in #nutella isn't the worst way to start a [email protected] @nutella @elfontheshelf #crispytheelf #elfontheshelf #ThoreauAldous #AugustStearns #christmastradition

A post shared byJenny Anderson (@jennbriar) on

Via @jennbriar

32. 

https://www.instagram.com/p/BqutCeaBwSf/

Crispy is at it again! #elfontheshelf #crispytheelf #ThoreauAldous #AugustStearns #christm[email protected] @krusteaz

A post shared byJenny Anderson (@jennbriar) on

Via @jennbriar

33. 

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bq5HpnNBi08/

Crispy is ready for some cocoa this morning! #crispytheelf #elfontheshelf #christmastradition #ThoreauAldous #AugustStearns #cocoa #[email protected] @elfontheshelfadventures @elfontheshelfusa

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Via @jennbriar

34. 

https://www.instagram.com/p/Brn766Fhxob/

Stole a friend’s idea 😊 #elfmagic #elfontheshelf #elfontheshelfideas #thatfuckingelf #magicelf #magicegg #howdidhedothat @forgingfathers

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Via @charlieblaikie

35. 

https://www.instagram.com/p/BrTKs-EH4am/

Buddy and Bella obviously don’t have a dog back at the North Pole 🙊🤗. Logan called out their “joke” this morning too 😂. #YuckyCookies #ElfOnTheShelf2018

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Via @brittany.empowers

36. 

https://www.instagram.com/p/BrOGuoCnLGn/

Buddy and Bella found the syrups and the cold weather 😂. Must feel like home 😜. #ElfOnTheShelfIdeas

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Via @brittany.empowers

37. 

https://www.instagram.com/p/BrWHh3flBoq/

Buddy and Button bake a cake for Mrs. Claus. Mrs. Claus: Thank you! What is it? Elves: It’s a Bundt. Mrs. Claus: A Bun? Elves: Bundt! Mrs. Claus: Bun-k. Bunk. Elves: Bundt! Mrs. Claus: Bun-n-n-t. Elves: Bundt! Bundt!!! (Santa whispers) Mrs. Claus: It’s a cake! I know! Thank you! Thank you very very much! (Turns away, disgusted) There’s a hole in this cake. #mybigfatgreekwedding #bundtcake #bundt #elfontheshelf #elves #cakebaking

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Via @buddyandbutton

38. 

https://www.instagram.com/p/B5KnbaIBoh4/

Donut checkers with Groot! #elfshenanigans #elfontheshelf #elfontheshelfideas

A post shared byPixietheElf (@pixielouelf) on

Via @pixielouelf

39. 

https://www.instagram.com/p/B5IhKgHhdXH/

Warm bubble bath after a playful night! 🧼🍿🛁 #elfontheshelf #elfontheshelfideas#elfshenanigans

A post shared byPixietheElf (@pixielouelf) on

Via @pixielouelf

40. 

https://www.instagram.com/p/B5R38hRlEDS/

Drive in movie night 🎥 🍿 #elfontheshelf #elfontheshelfideas #elfideas #christmas #christmastraditions

A post shared byJingles & Cindy Lou (@elf_shenanigans1225) on

Via @elfshenanigans1225

41. 

https://www.instagram.com/p/B5TP8MlpJtv/

A post shared by Kipper & Rosie (@kippertheelf) on

Via @kippertheelf

42. 

https://www.instagram.com/p/B5TPk3ppxXb/

A post shared by Kipper & Rosie (@kippertheelf) on

Via @kippertheelf

43. 

https://www.instagram.com/p/B5TKyB1pq5O/

A post shared by Kipper & Rosie (@kippertheelf) on

Via @kippertheelf

44. 

https://www.instagram.com/p/B5TIZuRJ1jr/

2015 Day 20: Kipper is quite crafty! He built his own gingerbread house out of cardboard and candy. #kippertheelf #elfontheshelf2015 #elfontheshelf #gingerbreadhouse #miduendepr #partyliciouseventspr

A post shared byKipper & Rosie (@kippertheelf) on

Via @kippertheelf

45. 

https://www.instagram.com/p/BqlH9OFlcKl/

#christmas #christmas2018 #santa #elfontheshelf #elfontheshelfideas #countdowntochristmas #dailycountdown #christmascountdown #navidad2018 #santa

A post shared byChristmas Elves (@christmaself2019) on

Via @christmaself2019

46. 

https://www.instagram.com/p/BqKTMwKF2xq/

#christmas #christmas2018 #santa #elfontheshelf #elfontheshelfideas #countdowntochristmas #dailycountdown #christmascountdown #navidad2018 #santa #messyelfontheshelf #messy #elvesbehavingbadly #badelf #funny #silly

A post shared byChristmas Elves (@christmaself2019) on

Via @christmaself2019

47. 

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bq9yhCAnuT4/

What’s more fun than a candy cane garden? #elfontheshelf #elfontheshelfideas Check out the fun at EastCoastMommy.com

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Via @eastcoastmommy

48. 

https://www.instagram.com/p/BccZVySF0NG/

Looks like a "chocolate kisses for breakfast" kind of morning. #elfontheshelf #elfontheshelfideas #hersheykisses #tgif

A post shared byEast Coast Mommy (@eastcoastmommy) on

Via @eastcoastmommy

49. 

Via Mummy of Four

50. 

Via DIY Cuteness

51. 

Via Kainspired

52. 

Via The Creek Line House

53. 

Via The Keeper of the Cheerios

54. 

Via A Binge Worthy Life

55. 

https://www.instagram.com/p/BrQt0oHnMcJ/

Day 11:In queso you were wondering…it’s Taco Tuesday!! 🌮 #elfontheshelf #elfontheshelfideas #tacotuesday #taco #wheresmomsmargarita #everyonelovesqueso #tacosarelife

A post shared by_xomirandaxo_ (@_xomirandaxo_) on

Via _xomirandaxo_

56. 

Via Little Boo-Teek

57. 

Via Just a Little Creativity

58. 

Via  DIY Sweetheart

59. 

Via I Think We Could Be Friends

60. 

Via She Loves Science

61. 

Via Paper Heart Family

62. 

Via Frugal Coupon Living

 

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