How to Draw Elf on the Shelf: A Step-by-Step Guide

Are you ready to bring some holiday magic to life with your artistic skills? Drawing a cute and mischievous Elf on the Shelf can be a fun and rewarding experience for both beginner and experienced artists. In this article, we’ll provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to draw Elf on the Shelf. So grab your pencils, paper, and let’s get started!

What You’ll Need

Before we dive into the steps, let’s make sure you have the necessary materials to complete your masterpiece. Here’s what you’ll need:

  1. Pencils (HB, 2B, 4B)
  2. Eraser
  3. Drawing paper
  4. Colored pencils (optional)
  5. Markers (optional)

Step 1: Sketching the Basic Shape

To start, lightly sketch the basic shape of your Elf on the Shelf using a HB or 2B pencil. Begin with an oval shape for the head, a long curved line for the body, and smaller ovals for the hands and feet. Don’t worry about details at this stage; focus on getting the overall proportions and shapes right.

Step 2: Adding Features and Clothing

Now it’s time to give your elf some personality! Start by adding facial features like the eyes, eyebrows, and a mischievous smile. You can also draw pointy ears and add some loose strands of hair to give your elf a whimsical look.
Next, sketch the elf’s clothing. Draw a collared shirt with puffy sleeves and pants that are slightly baggy. Add a belt around the waist, and don’t forget the iconic elf shoes with curled-up toes!

Step 3: Details and Fine-tuning

Once you’re satisfied with the overall shape and clothing, it’s time to add the finer details. Use a thinner pencil, like a 2B or 4B, to darken the lines and add more defined features. Pay attention to the elf’s facial expressions, adding wrinkles or dimples that give your drawing character.
Add buttons to the elf’s shirt, a pattern or texture to the clothing, and intricate designs to the shoes. Don’t be afraid to get creative and add your own personal touches!

Step 4: Coloring Your Elf

Now comes the fun part – coloring! You can use colored pencils or markers to bring your elf to life. Traditional elf colors like red, green, and white are popular choices, but feel free to use any colors that inspire you.
Start by coloring the clothing, using light strokes and layering different shades to create depth and dimension. Then move on to the elf’s skin tone, using a light peach or beige color.

Step 5: Background and Final Touches

To make your elf stand out, consider adding a simple background. It could be a holiday-themed scene, like a Christmas tree or presents, or a plain background to keep the focus on your elf.
Once you’re satisfied with your drawing, give it a final once-over to make sure all the details are in place. Erase any unwanted lines, make any necessary adjustments, and add any final touches that will make your drawing stand out.


Drawing Elf on the Shelf can be a wonderful way to embrace the holiday spirit and showcase your artistic skills. By following this step-by-step guide, you’ll be able to create a delightful elf character that will bring joy and magic to your artwork. Remember, practice makes perfect, so don’t be discouraged if your first attempt isn’t exactly how you envisioned it. Enjoy the process and have fun creating your very own Elf on the Shelf!
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