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How to make cress heads elves

Posted by Dawn Isaac on 12 Dec 2013 at 11:17 AM


OK - so if you couldn't find any Paperwhite bulbs to drown in gin (and anybody who missed my last post will now be seriously confused) - here's another idea for some Christmas decs: cress head elves*.

Admittedly cress is not renowned as a Christmas garnish but I fully expect Heston Blumenthal to be using it to stuff his turkey within twelve months.

If you want to try this out with the kids - here's what to do:

Collage elves

1. Cut some green paper so it is the same height as a loo roll inner tube and wide enough to go around it. Add a strip of glue to one end of the paper, wrap it round and press the glued end firmly to secure it.

2. Cut a piece of red paper, half the height of the green piece, wrap it round and again glue it onto the bottom half of the tube - these will be the elf's natty red trousers.  Cut a strip of black paper for the belt and glue this around the elf's tummy where the pieces of red and green paper join.

3. Cut some arms for the elf out of green paper and cut out and glue on gloves in red paper at the end.  Attach the arms to the tube with glue and use the black pen to draw on some buttons and add a line to form the trousers.

4. Cut out the elf's face from a piece of white paper and draw on his (or her) features with a black pen. When you are happy with it, put a little glue on the back and stick it to the tube.

5. Cut out the elf's feet from the green card.  Make sure there is a tab of green card sticking out above the feet and attach this to the inside of the toilet roll inner using sticky tape before folding up the feet section so they stick out from the bottom of the tube. Then add a decorative belt buckle by sticking on a pompom.

6. Put some cotton wool in the yogurt pot until it nearly reaches the rim, firming it down as you go, and then wet it with some water.

7. Carefully sprinkle some cress seeds over the top of the cotton wool before sliding the yogurt pot into the end the tube.  Leave your elf on a sunny windowsill and make sure the cotton wool stays damp.  You will see cress seeds beginning to sprout within a couple of days.  When they are about 4-5cm high you can snip them off to add to salads or sandwiches.

This project can be found (along with 35 others) in my book - Garden Crafts for Children.  And, hey, come to think of it, that would make a great Christmas present too (Did you notice how I did that?  Pretty smooth eh?)

Oh - and you can also make a grass head version - here's a couple of videos to show you how:

part one and part two

*This is not the first time I've talked cress head elves on Little Green Fingers, but I have refined and slightly improved their look (rather like Miley Cyrus - in reverse).


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