Skip to Content

Elf on the Shelf Hands Sewn Together – (How to make posable)

When you first buy an Elf on the Shelf, the first thing you notice is the hands are sewn together making certain tasks difficult to mimic when placing your elf doing different activities. So why are Elf on the Shelf hands sewn together?

The hands of the Elf on the Shelf are sewn together to help them stay in a seated position. According to the official Elf on the Shelf company, this positioning allows the elf to be easily posed and placed in various spots around the house. 

But there are also hundreds of pictures on the Elf on the Shelf website of elves with their hands separated. So clearly, it’s not essential to keep them together.

So many parents, myself included, do separate the hands so we have more options for the nightly mischief that Elf on the Shelf gets into.

In this comprehensive blog post, we will explore the reasoning behind this design choice and provide helpful tips for modifying your elf’s hands for increased flexibility.

From hanging elves in different positions during December to ensuring their stability when displayed, there are several factors that contribute to why an Elf on the Shelf’s hands is sewn together. However, with a few simple modifications, you can enhance your elf’s ability to grasp objects and maintain its playful charm.

We’ll guide you through using a seam ripper and needle-nose pliers to create bendable limbs while also offering no-sew alternatives like Velcro strips or magnets. By making these adjustments, not only will your it be more versatile but your Elf on the Shelf will continue to bring even more joy and excitement for your children during the holiday season.


Table of Contents:

Why Elf on the Shelf Hands are Sewn Together

Elf on the Shelf dolls have their hands sewn together to make it easier for them to maintain their position during the holiday season.

  • Easy positioning: Sewn hands allow elves to hang on hooks, shelves, and other areas around your home, making it simple to place them in different spots each day.
  • Stability: Connected hands help keep your elf securely in place without falling or losing its grip, ensuring it stays put until you decide to move it again.
  • Fun for kids: Hanging elves in various positions throughout December adds excitement for children as they search for them every morning.
  • Get creative: With their hands sewn together, elves can be positioned in all sorts of creative ways, adding to the festive atmosphere.
  • Design feature: The sewn hands are a deliberate design feature of the Elf on the Shelf dolls, not a mistake or manufacturing error.

So, if you’re wondering why your Elf on the Shelf has its hands sewn together, now you know.

Are You Supposed to Take the Elf’s Hands Apart?

When it comes to the Elf on the Shelf, the hands are typically sewn together as part of the elf’s design.

While it may be tempting to take the hands apart, it can be a good idea to keep them sewn together. They could swing from things like candy canes or cabinet knobs, or wrap their elf arms around objects and have their arms stay put.

By keeping the hands sewn, the elf remains in a consistent pose and can easily be positioned and repositioned by parents. Taking the hands apart may result in them getting lost or misplaced, which can detract from the overall experience.

However, it’s important to note that the elf’s hands being sewn together is not a strict rule, and some families (like mine) may choose to modify their elf’s appearance.

Ours just has small velcro dots sewn into each palm so it’s easy to join the hands when I want to.

Ultimately, the decision to take the elf’s hands apart or not lies with the individual family and their desired approach to the tradition. But if it’s your first time with Elf on the Shelf, you may want to leave them sewn together for now until you get a better idea of what kind of pranks your elf will be getting into.

How to Modify Your Elf’s Hands for More Flexibility

Take your Elf on the Shelf ideas to the next level by modifying their hands for increased flexibility and poseability.

  • Seam ripper: Carefully remove stitches from each tip of the elf’s hand with a seam ripper for better movement.
  • Insert wire: Create more flexible limbs by inserting thin wires into each arm, bending a small loop at the end of the wire before sliding it inside your elf’s arms. Just use wire cutters to snip off any excess length of wire.

With these simple modifications, you can create even more imaginative displays with your Elf on the Shelf during this festive season. It’s just a fun way to have so much fun with your Christmas elf.

And in terms of fooling your kids, bendable, posable arms are a great way to make your Elf on the Shelf seem more real.

But the ultimate accessory for Elf on the Shelf mischievous ideas is ELF FLEX (click to see on Amazon)!

This quickly (and discretely) attaches to your elf to make them:

      • Bendable
      • Flexible
      • Gripable
      • Hangable

It’s a #1 Best-Seller & Amazon’s Choice Product on Amazon Prime for good reason and at under $15.00, it won’t break the bank either!

No-Sew Alternatives for Flexible Elves

If sewing isn’t your thing, don’t worry – there are still ways to make your Elf on the Shelf more flexible and fun with a sew-free surgery option. Try one of these:

  • Velcro strips: Add a small piece of white Velcro to your elf’s palms for easy grasping of objects.
  • Magnets: Insert a single magnet into each limb to make your elf cling effortlessly to metal surfaces.

With these simple modifications, your Elf on the Shelf will be posable and ready to add even more excitement and magic to your holiday season by having your elf get into mischief.

Maintaining Holiday Magic with Posable Elves

Spice up your family’s holiday traditions with an adaptable Elf on the Shelf that can bring endless entertainment opportunities and teach children about responsibility during the festive season.

  • Encourage good behavior with nightly elf movements: Keep the magic alive by moving your elf each night after the kids have gone to bed, reminding them of the importance of good behavior leading up to Christmas Eve.
  • Keep the magical powers alive for children during the holiday season: When all the elves return to the North Pole, it creates a sense of anticipation and wonder for your little ones.

For even more engaging ideas, especially for slightly older kids, check out Pinterest, where you’ll find a ton of great ideas to display your posable elf.


Are Elf on the Shelf hands sewn together?

Yes, Elf on the Shelf’s hands are typically sewn together for stability and easier positioning, but you can modify them for more flexibility with the elf’s arm.

How do you get Elf on the Shelf’s hands to stay together?

Attach a small piece of Velcro or small magnets to your elf’s palms or limbs to keep them securely in place. You can sew them by hand, use a sewing machine, or just use fabric glue like this great one from Amazon. If sewing, just use white velcro and white thread for a discrete look. But red thread works too for holiday colors.

A hot glue gun can also work for adhering Velcro to your elf.

What is the controversy with the Elf on the Shelf?

Critics argue that Elf on the Shelf normalizes surveillance culture and raises privacy concerns. But some parents don’t like lying to their kids (and may not teach them to believe in Santa Claus either).

Others still feel like it’s just blatant commercialism designed to sell merchandise at the expense of children’s imagination. And still other parents just think Elf on the Shelf is just downright evil.

Does Elf on the Shelf have bendable arms?

No, traditional Elves don’t have bendable arms, but you can make your own posable elves or buy a flexible version on Amazon. Just click this link to check it out – ELF FLEX (click to see on Amazon)!

That will make your Elf on the Shelf posable.

And if your elf is planning that big day, having bendable, posable arms for your Elf on the Shelf gives you a lot more options when getting married.


Did you know that Elf on the Shelf hands are sewn together for stability during the holiday season?

But fear not, you can still modify your elf’s hands and limbs for a bendable elf using a seam ripper and floral wire or no-sew alternatives like Velcro strips, suction cups, or magnets.

Posable elves are essential for maintaining holiday magic and encouraging good behavior in children.

So whether you keep your elf’s hands sewn together or not, remember to create special memories and traditions with your family during this festive time. It’s just a personal preference.

I have a collection of free printables for Elf on the Shelf goodbye letters (5 seasonal and 2 final) you can download for FREE!

They are in Microsoft Word, that way you can personalize them with your elf’s name and also address them to your kids if you wish.

Use a cool font for your Elf on the Shelf goodbye note

Assuming you’ll write the letter on your computer and print it, I recommend using a sort of funky, hand-written looking font.

You may have some great ones, but there are a ton of free ones you can download too. Since this will be during the holiday season, you could also use some holiday-themed fonts too.

Here are my favorite free fonts for Elf on the Shelf goodbye letters

(just click to download them for free from the font website):

Like most fonts you would download online, these are zip files. Just right click to expand and then drag the folder contents into your fonts folder (that for a PC; I’m not super familiar with Mac).

Pic of the day: the Elf… by DJ Ghost is licensed under CC2.0 and was cropped, edited, and had a graphic overlay added. and Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay

Middle Class Dad is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to As an Amazon Associate, I may earn a small commission from qualifying purchases if you click to Amazon from my site and choose to make a purchase. This is no way increases the cost to you.

Jeff Campbell