Wool Roving Forest Gnomes

Wool Roving Forest Gnomes

The other day I was doing a workshop on making our Flower Fairies. While talking to one of the women, I mentioned that I was going to draw up a pattern for the very simple Wool Roving Forest Gnomes. She said, “You mean these?” And, she proceed to fold a piece of paper in half, and after a few snips with the scissors, opened the paper, and there was a pattern for these gnomes. “Wow”, I said marveling at her speed. “I think you must have made a few of these!” Her eyes twinkled and she said, “You have no idea. I can make these in my sleep. You may need to clean up the edges a bit, and after you make the first one, draw a circle for the base, but this should get you going.”

I wanted to credit her for the pattern, but she told me it was an old, traditional pattern, and belonged to the world. That may be the case, but thank you anyway, Vicky 🙂

So, I did “clean it up” a bit, and created a base. I then played with it to create 3 different sizes… the Papa, Mama and children. This is a wonderful sewing project for children, since all you need to do is an over cast stitch and running stitch. Also, I’ve seen them where their bottoms are left open, with the roving exposed making them extremely easy to do!

In many ways, these traditional Wool Roving Forest Gnomes are my favorite gnomes. All you need is wool, roving and embroidery floss, and I think they are absolutely adorable. Plus, I made all 5 of these in the time it took to watch 1 episode of Downton Abbey!!! Not bad 🙂

Note: You can get the pattern for the gnome’s family baby HERE.



  • wool felt
  • wool roving
  • cotton or silk embroidery floss (I used 6 strands of DMC cotton floss)
  • copy of pattern


Make a copy of the pattern.

Using the pattern, cut of your gnomes. I cut out 1 large, 1 medium, and 3 small. I had 3 children and Michelle has 3 children. I tend to think of children in 3s 🙂

Using 6 strands of floss, sew the straight edges together using an overcast stitch.

Cut a piece of wool roving. I can’t tell you exactly how much to use, you’ll have to play with it.

Roll the roving into a tube.

Tuck it into the gnome. You can use a pencil or chop stick to get the roving into the top of the hat. You do want to try to keep the fibers on the roving straight, especial over the face. This will keep the face neat and help prevent the roving from falling out the face.

If need be, trim away extra roving on the bottom. Then, using the overcast stitch and 6 strands of floss, sew the bottom onto the gnome.

Beginning about a 1/4″ under the face opening, sew around the gnome using a running stitch and 6 strands of floss. Leave long ends for tying.

Pull on the treads to gather the neckline.

Once gathered, tie in a knot. Then, tie a bow. I like to double knot the bow. Put knots in the ends of the ties where you want to cut off the extra thread.

And, tah dah… an incredible Roving Wood Gnome! Now, wasn’t that easy?

Mama and Papa Gnome

The three wee ones

And, a lovely family portrait!




  1. I love seeing new posts from your page because I always find something to inspire me. That’s aside from the smiles and “aaaw”s my family hears when I see a photo like the gnomes above. I’m not much for sewing, but I think I could make these quite easily with a little patience on the stitching. I’m thinking about making a couple of families of these for friends, with each little gnome representing a member of their family. Thank you so much for this idea! It’s such a gift to find people like you who put beauty into the world every day and are willing to share their talents so freely. I’ll follow your blog and Facebook posts for as long as you want to share with us! Thank you!!!

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words, Raedon. It is because of people like you that Michelle and I continue to share on Wee Folk Art. Have fun making them. Give yourself 1 or 2 to get comfortable making them, then, you’ll feel quite the pro! ((hugs)) ~Kimara~

  2. Too hot today to do much, but WOOL ROVING FAIRIES will come to the rescue

    and keep me busy! They are adorable, but I think that all of your fairies (and mine) are.

  3. I was wondering if polyester fiberfill would work as well as wool roving? I have a huge bag sitting in my closet not doing anything.

    1. Kimara

      Wool roving is “combed” with fibers that are long and continuous. Fiberfill is more “chopped” up with smaller lengths of fiber. When you roll the roving, the face is smooth and the fibers are firmly held together. If you use fiberfill you might have problems with the face becoming “fuzzy” and the fibers falling out. I use fiberfill for many of my projects when it is used as stuffing. I do recommend you use the wool roving for this project. Of course, since you have so much of it, you might want to try one and bounce him around a bit to see how he holds up. If you do make it with fiberfill, let me know how you think it turned out.


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