Gnome art – Why there’s no business like gnome business

water colour gnomes

Gnome, Tomte, Nisse, Dwarf – they go by many names and are appearing with a multitude of cool gnome art creative twists

Gnomiacs anonymous

I confess, I am besotted with Gnomes. Quirky cute little bearded men enjoying all the great outdoors has to offer.


Germanic in origin, fishing in the neighbours pond with his typically ruddy cheeks, boots and happy wrinkled face. Brits like me will be familiar with this guy. Used to watch over crops and livestock, often tucked into the rafters of a barn or placed in the garden.

But, there is so much more to our bearded buddies!

They are abundant in popular culture. Popping up in everything from Sherlock Gnomes (2018) to Fortnite

Yep, they’ve come a long way since German sculptor, Phillip Griebel, created his funny ceramic and terracotta men.

5 things you didn’t know about gnomes

  • 1. Garden gnomes bring good luck! Gnomes were regarded as good luck charms by our ancestors and would often be found living in the rafters of barns where they would help watch over livestock.
  • 2. Gnomes are banned from the Royal Horticultural Society Chelsea Flower Show Yes it’s true! Gnomist behaviour if you ask me. I’m convinced they are planning a revolution
  • 3. There are three types of gnomes
    WORKER gnomes carry tools like fishing rods, shovels, or hammers;
    AT-EASE gnomes typically carry a pipe – clearly some sort of distant relation to Gandalf – and finally
    CULTURAL gnomes who have a musical instrument in hand.
  • 4. Gnomes are vegetarian Their typical diet is nuts, mushrooms, peas, beans, potatoes, apple sauce, fruit, berries, tubers, spices, vegetables, and preserves for dessert. Although, they are partial to the odd tipple of fermented honey, fermented raspberries, and spiced gin. Nom nom. 
  • 5. Gnomes kiss by rubbing noses Nose rubbing is their equivalent to the good old handshake. Just be sure they don’t have a cold before you pucker up!

A gnome by any other name

Crafting and Scandi fans, will be familiar with Nisse, Tomte and Tonttu. Mythological creatures from Nordic folklore today typically associated with the winter solstice and the Christmas season. Similar to gnomes, these are short, bearded folk who appear wrapped up for frosty weather. For instance, donning conical or knitted caps in red or some other bright colour. All manner of themes and fabrics are used to great effect – check out these cuties by Bronte Gnomes

Wrapped up in his finest heathery-hued Harris Tweed

Aren’t they just adorable? I am totally onboard with the gnome thing.

But wait! Michelle, you can’t sew to save your life and you have an intrinsic fear of glue guns?

Sadly, true! (I’ll leave leave the fuzzy variety to the professionals like Brontes Gnomes.

Clay gnomes

Instead, I’m completing a challenge to produce a miniature gnome a week for an entire year! Everything from farmer gnomes, to artists and wizards.

You can check them out on British Craft House

Wilberforce hoping one day Chelsea Flower Show will let gnomes compete
Gnome art tattoo

DIY gnomes

Gnome tattoo art

Surely, that’s not a thing? It absolutely is. Check out this beauty and read more about gnomes in tattoo art here

Meet Bob, names after master painter Bob Ross. This Gnome is always nostalgically painting his homeland

Fabric Gnomes

If you fancy having a go at making your own fabric version, an old fluffy sock will serve you well. There are plenty of tutorials on Pinterest. I quite like this one here

Edible Gnomes

I know – sounds a bit wrong doesn’t it? And these certainly look too nice to eat. But I probably would get over that very quickly. Check out the wonderful world of edible gnome art Naomi has to offer and much more at

Felt Gnomes

These two adorable felt patterns are available on Etsy. They reminded me so much of my little clay gnomies. So cute lots of personality. LOVE the little floral details on the top from LTTS doodles . And on the bottom we have Igar from Lily’s Funny Show. He is part of a whole Tomte family so could be a lovely Seasonal gift.

felt gnome with flower in his cap


And if you are ….errr hum …. as adept at sewing as me you might prefer these free colouring pages. Mini versions can be downloaded from here with kind permissions of Supercoloring* and perfect for using in bullet journals

*Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 License. You are free to share or adapt the gnome colouring pngs for any purpose, even commercially under the following terms: you must give a link to this page and indicate the author’s name and the license.

Clay wizard gnome in blue and gold from Made By Me Crafts with bucket of magic sparkles next to a red panda

So there you are. You now gnome all there is to know about gnomes!

You are an official gnomiac. Welcome to the club.

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