100 Elf On The Shelf Ideas That Can Transform Your Home

For many households and families, the Elf on the Shelf is a regular visitor in December. Whether you're looking for mischievous poses to put your elf into or thinking of interactive ways for your kids to play with the helper, they are sure to help transform your home into a winter wonderland of magic and excitement. If you're new to this tradition, The Elf on the Shelf website has what you need to know about getting started with your elven fun, from the elf backstory to the "rules" of elf ownership.

These elves don't spend all of their time on shelves. They like to move around, get into mischief, and inspire imagination. Here are 100 Elf on the Shelf images that are sure to help you get creative with the elves in your home this holiday season. From adorable to downright silly, some ideas will make the kids giggle and even some that will make the adults chuckle. They can also act as holiday decor and add a little hygge to your house. But the most important thing is that you have fun!

1. Popcorn elf

That Elf on the Shelf is always getting into mischief. Next time you have a spill-over of popcorn, make the mess look cuter with your elf as the culprit!

2. Make your tree even more festive

It's easy enough to toss your elf onto the Christmas tree with the rest of the ornaments. Already dressed for the occasion, your Elf on the Shelf may go unnoticed for a bit.

3. Turn your elf into a curiosity

That elf won't be startling anyone from obscure hiding places if they're trapped in a curiosity jar (or a cake display). Keep them under glass and on display.

4. Looking down on you

Your elf will liven up the home from above when you prop him into a wreath or a door-framing garland. Don't let them make you feel too judged from way up there!

5. Sledding on the sly

Elves just like to have fun! Put unused gift bags to use as creative sleds for adventure-seeking elves. They look great under the tree or in your winter village display.

6. Give 'em a bubble bath

Add some cuteness to the bathtub with bubbles that won't ruin your elves. White balloons make great props and are easy to deal with at clean-up time.

7. Get the plushies in on it

You can't blame the kids for putting stickers on the mirrors anymore. If it's December, it might be the Elf on the Shelf doing it! This one had a little help.

8. Get messy with flour angels

Sometimes the Elf on the Shelf has a knack for making a mess, like when he dumps flour to make "snow" angels. This may not be the home makeover you were looking for.

9. Set up a scene

This elf appears to be living in the lap of luxury – just look at his festive mantel! A cute little scene like this is sure to transform your home for the holiday season.

10. Climbing the walls

If the holidays have you climbing the windows and walls, have your elf join in. Gift bows make good "rock" climbing accessories.

11. Doorway greetings

Your elf will liven up the place just hanging around being adorable. Add a greeting sign and put them in a doorway.

12. Advent adventures

Elves enjoy snacks, too, so watch out when they raid the advent calendar! This is a great way to display the Elf on the Shelf at least one day during the holiday season.

13. Display some elf art

If your Elf on the Shelf is crafty or artistic, display them along with their creative works. Tinsel ought to be in an art gallery!

14. Make a shoe train

Put those summer shoes to use while they're cast aside for the winter. Your child's stuffies are sure to enjoy "riding" in a shoe train.

15. Ziplining elf

Add a little excitement to your holiday décor with a ziplining Elf on the Shelf. Hook him from a doorway to the top of the tree so that he has quick access to deliver gifts and get into mischief. 

16. Hanging around upside down

Make use of the spaces you have to display your kid's elves, even if it means having them hanging off of mirrors and other household items.

17. Go a little bananas

Add a little creative fun to your kitchen decor with your elf and some banana art. This art is edible – just peel and eat!

18. Coordinate outfits

Elves don't have to stay in their basic red duds; you can buy them cute outfits and costumes, as seen in this photo. Make them go with your decor!

19. Get your game on

Setting up a tic-tac-toe board with your elf doesn't just look cute; it also encourages a little family fun.

20. Snow globe cuteness

This is a cute idea for your daily elf pranks, or it can even be turned into a permanent display if you have extra elves. Your kids will love this as a souvenir when they grow up.

21. Joyous decor

Elf on the Shelf easily makes any holiday decor more festive. In fact, even if you don't have kids, the elf would make a great holiday addition.

22. Decorate with elf selfies

Make use of that rarely used camera or Instax you have lying around. Displaying a cute set-up like this makes having an elf even more fun.

23. Organize a snowball fight

Set up a fun (and edible) snowball fight. The smaller-sized marshmallows make great snowballs for your Elf on the Shelf.

24. Cutest bathroom decor

Add your elf to the bathroom decor with a cute snowman toilet paper stack. This is an easy creation and is both cute and functional!

25. Put your elf on the payroll

Does your elf have a special talent? Put them to work. This elf is using their piano playing skills to earn some tips.

26. Riding on the train

A little cute, a little creepy; have some fun with the elves as part of your Christmas decor. This train scene beats the basic tree skirt look.

27. Elves like to have fun

You can do lots of fun things with your elf when food and construction paper are involved. This elf is having fun golfing with a candy cane and some marshmallows.

28. A little naughty elf thievery

This cute little thief makes for great decor. Don't worry; you don't have to actually rob the piggy bank. Scatter some change around the piggy and gift it to your little one afterward.

29. Make an elf door

If fairy doors in the flower garden are something you love, perhaps it's time to create an elf door inside the house!

30. Put your elf in a still life

If you want to turn your counter fruits and vegetables into art, put your elf with them. It's an instant still-life portrait!

31. Add some festive banister decor

These cute elves are on the ride of their lives. Grab a toy sled so that your elf can chill on the stairway railing.

32. Use the right signs

Sometimes the right sign and the right display place make the Elf on the Shelf brighten everyone's day. This elf's antics are sure to bring a smile to bathroom visitors.

33. Star Wars meets Elf on the Shelf

Try blending genres by staging your Elf on the Shelf with some of your favorite movie toys. This is a great way for kids and adults to enjoy the elves while they're out for the season!

34. Give the elf a break

The holiday season can be hectic, and sometimes your Elf on the Shelf needs a break. To accommodate him, make him a hammock and let him take a nap.

35. Cute decor and live plants

Transform your home for the holidays with your elf's antics. Santa's helper looks cute with a fishing pole and some goldfish crackers while sitting on a stylish plant.

36. Rock 'em Sock 'em Elves

Holiday time is stressful, and sometimes the elves get upset. Let them fight it out in a fun boxing scene.

37. Celebrate in every way

'Tis the season, so celebrate all of the December holidays with your elves. These two brought along some delicious baked goods.

38. Fixing a crooked clock

Got a clock or piece of art that won't hang straight? Make it look like it belongs that way with the strategic placement of an elf or two.

39. Elves hung from the mantel with care

Sometimes the best place for the elves is hanging from the fireplace mantel with the rest of the Christmas decorations. Look at how helpful they are! You can also have them hang from Christmas lights, turning the lights into a makeshift swing.

40. A wrapped up elf

Your Elf on the Shelf is a gift; treat him that way. This is a cute way to brighten up your home office or your child's study desk.

41. These bananas never go bad

These elves disguised as bananas are sure to brighten even the most dreary kitchen or dining room space. Bring joy to grabbing this healthy snack.

42. Make use of some excess decorations

You don't have to let any of those spare ornaments go to waste. Just wrap them around your elf! It'll add even more festive joy to your home.

43. Embrace the cuteness

Setting up the Elf on the Shelf with other toys for a book reading marathon not only looks cute, but it may also inspire your kids to read.

44. Snowman inspiration

These snowmen are edible (as long as you use edible ink markers to draw their faces), and they may inspire you and the family to head outside and build some snowmen out of the fresh snow.

45. Santa and friends

Bring the warmth of the holidays to your home decor by paring your Elf on the Shelf with some other holiday standards, like Santa and a reindeer.

46. Give the elves their own trees

Rather than making those little elves decorate your huge tree, get them some trees their own size. It'll add even more magic to your home.

47. A little puzzle time

Make family time more fun by introducing puzzles featuring elves, which Santa's helpers then put together. This is a great way to bring everyone together.

48. Make Taco Tuesday a fiesta

Make Taco Tuesday a bigger deal with the help of your Elf on the Shelf. Add a little pizzazz and some fiesta hats!

49. Give your holiday village an upgrade

Instead of the usual light-up houses and businesses in your holiday village setup, craft a fun little ski slope for your elves to enjoy. It may help you like the snowy weather more.

50. Get in on the fun

Have a little fun with some "pin the nose on the snowman." Remember, this can be a riot for kids and adults alike!

51. Elves make a great centerpiece

Set up your elves as cute centerpieces with some of your other favorite decor. These two look like they're enjoying a mug of something warm and tasty.

52. Elf-eating tree fun

While you're transforming your home into a winter wonderland, transform your tree into an elf-eating monster. It's cute, fun, and only a little bit creepy.

53. Add a bit of humor to a spare bathroom

This might not work well in a busy home with only one bathroom, but if you have a spare toilet, why not get goofy with your elves?

54. Does your elf have a green thumb?

It's easy to incorporate festive green and red colors around the house when you have live houseplants and an Elf on the Self dressed in red.

55. Googly-eyed fun

Transform your home into a place filled with giggles by putting googly eyes on things, including the Elf on the Shelf.

56. Show their sweet side

Elves love food, as you've seen. Display them with a collection of treats planned out to look fun–like this garden of Christmas trees.

57. Inspire entrepreneurial elves

Let the ingenuity of these entrepreneurial elves inspire you and the kids to go into business for yourselves. This is also a great way to display some of your decor uniquely.

58. Add another kind of magic to your home

The Elf on the Shelf adds magic and whimsy to your home, but they can do more. Set up a fun scene like this to show there's more to magic than Santa and his elves.

59. Get more elves

Why stop at posable elves? Decorate more of your home with elven goodies, like this cool orb ornament with an elf inside.

60. Celebrate your favorite holiday movies

From "A Christmas Story" to "It's a Wonderful Life," you can have fun recreating holiday movie scenes with your elves.

61. Eat your kisses

A quarter may seem pricey for a chocolate candy kiss, but this kissing booth is too cute to turn down.

62. Going on a sleigh ride

Of the many modes of transportation your elf will magically take to the North Pole and back, a sleigh ride seems pretty logical.

63. We love an elf in uniform

Elves enjoy playing dress-up. Transform your home into a fun place where your elf tries out different careers, such as being a firefighter.

64. Let the elf cook

Dine-in excellence with an elf-inspired meal. This elf is in the kitchen getting all of the ingredients prepared for a fancy dinner.

65. Give the gift of cash

Here's a little proof that money perhaps does grow on trees. Not only that, but green is a traditional Christmas color.

66. Disguise your online shopping habits

If your kids have been asking how Santa gets into the house undetected on Christmas Eve, you can tell them he entrusts the elf with packages sent through the mail. 

67. Deck the halls with toilet paper

It may not be a good idea to waste toilet paper these days, but this elf did such a good job with his toilet papering that it looks like a fancy tree decoration.

68. Enlist a little wrapping help

Put the elf to work with some wrapping projects. They're just the right size to deal with stocking stuffers and other small presents.

69. Allow for some play time

This elf is having a blast in a ball pit! This is an easy-to-craft setup, where all you need is a bowl and a package of puffballs from the store. 

70. Naughty or nice?

It's difficult to tell if these elves are trying to be helpful or attempting to make a mess. Mischievous or not, they're cute!

71. Proof of Santa

Add a little extra fun by sharing a photo of Santa with your Elf on the Shelf. Hang the picture, frame it, pr put it on the fridge – this is where your creativity comes in.

72. Don't forget Grinch Day!

Everyone has a bad day now and then. Whether you're grumpy or the kid is, let the elf express that Grinch spirit through a cute Grinch costume.

73. Construction paper fun

Construction paper garland has been a family tradition in many households for decades. Get your Elf on the Shelf into the fun by adding them to your handmade decor.

74. Add a little glitter to your decor

Silver glittery reindeer are just as festive as your Elf on the Shelf, so these two look great together. Perhaps your elf returned from the North Pole on his new friend?

75. Fun with the fish tank

They say that watching fish swim in a tank is relaxing. Perhaps this elf needed a relaxing break after all of those trips back and forth from the North Pole.

76. Trapped elves

Sometimes elves bicker in the middle of the night, and when they do, one of them might end up under an overturned glass.

77. Get out the google eyes

In need of your morning cup of Joe? This caffeine-swigging Elf on the Shelf is sure to get a morning giggle out of even the grouchiest coffee drinker at wake-up time.

78. Hygge for elves

This elf must have read the House Digest article on maximizing hygge this winter. Add some extra feelings of warmth around your home by ensuring you have a comfortable and toasty Elf on the Shelf.

79. Enjoy childish games

Transform your home into a playland of childish fun and imagination. You don't need snow to build an igloo. It can be done with marshmallows instead!

80. Playing house

Some of the best Elf on the Shelf ideas mimic doll playing. Set your elves up in a fun scene like this one and watch the whole house smile when they see.

81. Your own psychic hotline

Got crystals? Transform your home into a spirit fair with tarot cards and crystal balls, and let your elves do psychic readings for each other.

82. Create a woodland scene

Get creative with your elves and some extra plushies. This little woodland scene is adorable and perfect for a snowless winter.

83. Make it feel real

Face masks are a part of everyday life now for many people. Let your Elf on the Shelf be part of reality by staging them with a mask as well.

84. Keep a Christmas countdown

Let the elves help with the holiday countdown. Each day, when they return from the North Pole, it's the perfect time to change the countdown!

85. Practice elf yoga

Transform your home into a relaxing place of stretching and meditation with some yoga-performing elves. Take a child's pose and let go of all of that holiday stress.

86. Start an elf arcade

Sometimes elves need a break for a bit of vintage fun. Mini arcade games make excellent elf props. Plus, they may make your kids want to learn how to play that old Atari system you have lying around.

87. Walking the dogs

Here's another fun way to combine your kid's favorite (or even seldom used) toys with the Elf on the Shelf. Dogs need lots of exercise, so walks are good for them!

88. Who's to blame?

Real dogs sometimes tear up toys and pillows. Of course, it's difficult to know if the dog did it in this silly scene or if the elf is at fault here.

89. Make your elf a maestro

Music is a must, especially during the holidays. Set up your elf to look like they're playing some tunes while you have Christmas music playing on the television or stereo.

90. Enjoy a craft day

Arts and crafts are relaxing, so why not have a nice crafting day with the elves? This therapeutic hobby is enjoyable for the entire family.

91. Play with your garbage

Before you toss your recyclables in the bin, play with them some. You can do so many things with junk cans and boxes, like creating an orchestra!

92. Create a family portrait

Create an adorable family portrait with your collection of elves and other tiny Christmas decor. You may end up with a photo worth using for this year's holiday card.

93. Get your elf in on the Christmas shopping

Elves are great at knowing what everyone in the house wants for Christmas. They hear all of your wishes and secrets and take them back to Santa.

94. Just hanging around

Bring joy to your home with an elf just "hanging" around. It's easy to put a ribbon through an empty toilet roll and make your elf a swing. This is an easy way to display your Elf on the Shelf on a busy day.

95. Get brushing!

Inspire your children to practice good hygiene and dental care with the assistance of your elves. Let them know the elves have an "in" with the tooth fairy, too!

96. Quarantine for a different reason

Elves make great comedians. Add a little comedy into your life by quarantining a farting elf under glass. It's sure to make everyone in the house chuckle.

97. Driving off to the North Pole

Elves travel back and forth from the North Pole in all sorts of magical ways. For these two, a fun car is their preferred mode of transportation.

98. Gross and silly fun

Make the holidays silly by playing with poop that isn't actually poop. This stuff is edible, even if you give it a gross name. Use chocolate-covered nuts, chocolate-covered raisins, or even brown M&Ms.

99. Get a little summer warmth

This elf is relaxing like it's the middle of the summer. You can tell it's chilly because of the warm hat, but those shorts sure make it feel like it's June! 

100. Elves in fancy coats

While you're transforming your home into a wonderful holiday winter wonderland, don't forget to get your elves some fancy coats.