18 Elf on the Shelf Ideas (An Elf-Sized Photo Shoot)

18 Elf on the Shelf Ideas (An Elf-Sized Photo Shoot) via lilblueboo.com


I decided to do Elf on a Shelf this year. It might be the only year I ever do it so I’m going all out. If you haven’t heard of Elf on Shelf, it’s a little elf that you move around every night and your kid has to find him in the morning. During the night the elf supposedly flies to the North Pole to report to Santa….which is why he’s in a different place every morning.


18 Elf on the Shelf Ideas (An Elf-Sized Photo Shoot) via lilblueboo.com

(Mr. LBB found our Elf on the Shelf at Barnes and Noble)

Some people just move the elf around every night to a different location……others put together extravagant scenarios as to what the elf did during the night when he returned from the North Pole. I guess you could classify me as the latter of the two.

Oh, and each family is supposed to name their elf….ours is named Buddy.

Elf on the Shelf Ideas - Martha Stewart Elf

Martha Stewart

Elf on the Shelf Ideas - Getting into Mom's Mascara

Getting into Mom’s Mascara

Elf on the Shelf Ideas - Playing Cards

Playing Cards


Snow Angel




A Date with Barbie


Syrup is a Food Group


Cheerio Donuts


TP’g the Christmas Tree


Emailing Santa


Miniature Elf Footsteps


Stuck Outside


Camping with Barbie’s RV


Copying Bum


Packing Lunch


Drive in Movie


Trying on Doll Clothes


In the Freezer



CLICK HERE to visit all the Elf on the Shelf posts THAT EVER WERE. 



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About Ashley Hackshaw

Living a simple, creative life in #smalltownusa Bryson City, NC. Renovating a 1960s ranch house and an old train depot. Thank you for reading! Read more in my about section. 


  1. 1

    Ok, I’ve heard people mention Elf on a Shelf but didn’t know what it was about until I read this. That is just WAY TOO CUTE, I would LOVE to do this too! Your photo shoot is just great as well, looks like so much fun!

  2. 3

    your elf is too cute! I never did the Elf on the Shelf, well, because I know that I would never keep it up for all 24 days!

  3. 4

    Wicked awesome. This is our first year too!

  4. 5

    This is so clever….you and your family are making wonderful memories! I love this one and am of course pinning it and mentioning my daughter so she can file it on her “Kids in a Loooong Time Board”

  5. 6

    You rock! I love it! We bought our Elf on the shelf Thanksgiving weekend and the kids are really into it. Finding it each morning is so fun, but you have taken it to a whole new level. We will try out some of these fun ideas next week. :)

  6. 7
    Sammi Hines says:

    Ahahahahahahahahahaha! These are hilarious! You’ve given me some good ideas for our elf! Which my daughter named Gnomeo lol. He is fishing in the bathroom sink today! Haha!

  7. 8

    These are so funny! I thought that Elf on the Shelf was kind of creepy before, but your version is really hilarious and cute. I especially loved the PG-13 ones from yesterday.

    Also, you are the most frequently posting blog that I follow, and it continues to amaze me that you’re blogging so much when you’re sick. Glad you’re finding the energy to do what makes you happy still. You’re in my thoughts, and I hope you continue to feel better.

  8. 9
    Amy Forrest says:

    I love your ideas! My children wake up every morning and hunt for “Sweetie Pie” Thank you for the creative inspiration!

  9. 10
    MarciaAudrey says:

    So cute. My daughter and I laughed out loud!

  10. 11

    love those mini cheerio donuts!

  11. 12

    Oh my gosh Ashley, thank you SO much for all of these hiliarous ideas! My girls jump out of be everyone morning looking for “Cookie”. They will LOVE finding him playing with Barbie, drinking syrup etc. Each one is better than the next ! You are SO creative. Hope you are feeling good , blessings sent your way!

  12. 13
    Amber Vaughn says:

    I just stumbled across this and can’t stop laughing. Seriously sooo funny. Thanks for the laugh this would be so fun to do at our house:)

  13. 14

    Just what I needed on this cold december morning. All smiles!

  14. 15

    I love it! Want one for next year! I’ve actually started doing something similar with my kid’s doudous when they started school in september. They love it. You’ve just inspired me with new ideas, thanks!

  15. 16

    That is too cute! You’ve got yourself a naughty little elf dont you? lol!

  16. 17
    Beth Morrow says:

    Lol…some great ideas…passing these on…your Elfie is a little
    stinker…I think he might take after his Mommie:)
    Hope you are having a great day!

  17. 18

    These are great!! You really go the extra mile! Thanks for sharing!!

  18. 19

    Love it! Will share with my friend whose elf visited for the first time yesterday. Her 10 yr old thought it was cool; her 6 yr old is freaked out!

  19. 20

    Aw, too cute! I want to be a 5 year old in your house…. your little girl must love all the fun stuff you do! So creative.

  20. 21

    I’ve always thought the Elf on a Shelf thing was a little creepy. But this photo shoot was delightful. Thanks for the laugh!

  21. 22

    Sorry… Buddy don’t look as cute as is supposed to look after the PG-13 Pictures… My mistake! :)

    So sad we don’t have that kind of elves here…. I’ll have to try with another character.

    Let’s be creative!

  22. 23

    i love the photo of buddy with aunt jemima…sooooo funny.

  23. 24
    The Thrifty Mama says:

    So cute! My favorite is the the one where he’s playing with dolly. These are just so stinkin’ creative.

  24. 25

    too, too funny!

  25. 26
    Dianne Brown says:

    I love your Elf pictures, even the PG-13 ones. I am a pre-k teacher, we have an Elf in our classroom. Thanks for sharing!

  26. 27

    These are so cute and creative. I especially love the “Elf”” reference. That is one of our favorite movies!

  27. 28
    Nicole Nelson Ritts says:

    Hehe so glad you used the doughnut idea! It’s just too cute!

  28. 29

    These are hilarious! Love them all. Hahahaha

  29. 30

    This is so funny! To be honest when i first saw “Elf on a shelf”… i thought it was a little creepy. A little elf, siting there, supposably “listening” to what your kids want for Christmas… kinda weird. I guess i never really knew what you were supposed to do with it, i thought it just sat there. I love the pictures and the little stories that you do. Drinking the syrup, upside down, brilliant. And photocopying his little bum-bum… love it. Way to go Ashley (read sarcastically :), change my perspective of “Elf on a shelf”. I kinda want to get one. My daughter is only 6 months though… might be too soon.

  30. 31

    SO cute! I LOVE the PG-13 ones LMBO!!

  31. 32

    Omg I SOOOOOOOOO LoVe this idea of elf on the shelf. It’s right up my ally. So it’s probably a little to late for me to do it this year : ( But I wonder if my 6 year old will be too old for it next year….Nahhhh!!! we all love the magic of Christmas & regardless it can only be a little fun if nothing else. Thank you so much for sharing with us what Buddy’s been up too. He looks pretty cheeky…hehehehe Enjoy the fun & the magic it brings to our little ones hearts. xx

  32. 33

    So much fun! The drive-in movie is my favorite. :)

  33. 34

    I’ve been out of town (Disneyland!) and just catching up … oh my word these are hysterical! I am SOOO going to use these ideas for “chocolate” our elf. PS- on our drive out to DLand, we passed the windmills (they are so cool at night!) & Loma Linda which made me think of you!

  34. 35

    OMG! I was thinking of getting our family one, but now that I’ve seen all the possibilites and fun this could bring, I’ve GOT to run out and get one! Thanks for all your brilliant posts! You are truly truly amazing. I’ve laughed and cried reading your blog since I started following you. You ROCK!

  35. 36

    Thank you so much for posting your Buddy! We just started this tradition this year….love all you did!

  36. 37

    My 7yr old daughter came home from school today looking everywhere for “an elf”. She said EVERY house has one that comes from the North Pole and that ours just must be hiding somewhere. She looked all over the house. We don’t have the elf!!! Guess I will be heading to Barnes and Noble tomorrow. Thanks for the ideas!

  37. 39
    Lindsay Varney says:

    Sooo cute! I love the little elf feet to track buddy down when he gets lost! Adorable. I think I need a little elf guy!

  38. 40

    Oh my! This is hilarious!! Thanks so much for giving me my biggest laugh of the day!! Thanks so much for sharing!

  39. 41

    I hope you don’t mind, but I simply had to share this on my FB page

    It was simply too cute not to!!

  40. 42

    So, Ernie the Elf isn’t nearly as cleaver as Buddy. I think I’ll have to show him what his colleagues are up to. Super cute! Thanks for sharing!!

  41. 43

    these are hysterical-thanks for some great ideas! i forgot to move our elf last night and had some very unhappy girls-this will help me make up for it!

  42. 44

    LOL!!! This is awesome! We caught our elf taking a marshmallow bubble bath this morning:-)

  43. 45

    :) These make me smile! :)

  44. 46

    Oh wow!! THANKYOU! These are some amazing ideas for our new little friend! <3

  45. 47

    Our little FREDelvin is pretty simple at night but what he does all day while we are gone is what has me concerned. Check him out.

  46. 48

    My kids had so much fun looking through these–Buddy in the freezer with the scarf was the best. Our little “Shelfie” might have to start having himself some fun!

  47. 49
    jeni mcintyre says:

    We just got our elf today and he hasn’t started getting into any mischief just yet. My question is, does he stay that way the entire day since he is not supposed to be touched?

  48. 50

    I love Elf and all the mischief he gets into. You are the most creative person I know, Ashley, and reminds me of the tooth fairy hiding money under your pillow. O no, I hope I did not give you another idea for the tooth fairy and her hidden life style. We all love you dearly! mom

  49. 51
    Lori Lewis says:

    what happened to the pages, i didnt write them down, i need to see that page again please pretty please

  50. 52

    those are halares Ilove them

  51. 53
    JoAnna Scott says:

    YAY! Our Elf on the Shelf flies in the day after Thanksgiving, it’s name is Daisy Flower. My husband and I try to be as tricky as we can, but moving it from place to place quickly leaves you scratching your head! These are fantastic ideas that will definitly help us out! THANK YOU!

  52. 54

    This will be our first year with our Elf, Elfis. We’re starting on Dec. 1st. I’m so excited! What are your “procedures” or “traditions” for putting him away after Christmas? Thanks!!

  53. 55

    i like it

  54. 56

    I don’t even have kids at home..I’m a “Nana” and the kids have their own at their house but I loved the idea and bought my own last year..so I do it too and post what MrBojangles is up to so my daughters can let the grandkids know,, the ages are, 10, 7 and 5..he actually showed up this year the day before Thanksgiving because the 5 year old found his elf at home and was worried he wouldn’t know he was going to know he was at at Nanas house for Thanksgiving..


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