How to Make a Valentine Gnome with Air Dry Clay

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I finally got on the gnome bandwagon! To put a unique spin on the gnome-making trend, I decided to create a Valentine gnome using air dry clay! This was even more fun than I expected…

Two valentine gnomes sitting in a planter.

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How to Make a Valentine Gnome

These Valentine gnomes have such character and quirkiness, I think I’m in looooove! While there are many sock gnome versions around, you won’t find as many clay gnomes.

Valentine gnome with blue hat and pink heart on his hat.

Kids from preschool age to teens would enjoy making these Valentine gnomes as much as grownups would. For younger children, it’s a great craft for developing fine motor skills.


Steps for Making the Gnomes

I put together a quick video tutorial with all of the nitty-gritty details on how to sculpt gnomes. After creating my air dry clay ornaments, I knew I need to explore more projects with this medium!

Click the photo below to watch the step-by-step process!

Valentine gnomes with text overlay reading "Valentine Gnomes Tutorial".
Full YouTube tutorial (click above to watch)

If you’re in the market for preschool crafts, I also highly recommend my salt dough ornament recipe. It makes plenty of dough for a classroom, and the dough is more pliable for small hands.

You might also enjoy these air dry clay projects for kids that come in one handy kit.

Two valentine gnomes sitting in flower pot.

I think these two little gnomes look like a match made in Heaven…

Two valentine gnomes that look like they are kissing in a flower pot.

Air Dry Clay Tips for Making a Valentine Gnome

  • Use toothpicks or small pieces of wire to attach the nose or limbs to your gnome for better stability. (You’ll see in my video what happens when you don’t do this the first time.)
  • Plan for your gnomes to dry 24-48 hours before painting them.
  • Always cover your remaining clay while working to prevent it from drying out.
  • If your clay has dried out too much, add a small amount of water with your fingertips and knead the clay to moisten it again.

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Valentine gnomes made with air dry clay with text overlay reading "Valentine gnomes".
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  1. I attempted the male gnome and he is cute! But his hat kept going limp and it was like he was melting. I put him on his side but then he started losing his shape. What am I doing wrong. The clay is used was from hobby lobby

    1. Hi Kellye! I’m sorry to hear you’re having trouble. That’s no fun. What brand of clay are you using? My clay is fairly firm, and I add water when I need to make it more pliable. Maybe you can try letting him dry out a little and then slowly add water to mold him back to shape? Did you watch the YouTube video to see how I made his hat? If not, perhaps that will help.