Remember back when we were kids, and all our parents had to do to make us behave during the weeks leading up to Christmas was to drop the occasional "Santa's watching" threat? Thanks to the advent of Elf on the Shelf, the holiday season is now a lot more stressful for moms and dads — particularly for those looking to stand out on social media. Of course, it can be just as stressful for those of us who are just interested only in easy and cheap Elf on the Shelf ideas, because if it can really take a toll on our the bank accounts. What started out as a relatively simple concept (the elf was supposed to just sit on the shelf, remember?) has turned into a highly competitive craze requiring parents to make regular visits to the craft store and stage intricate overnight scenarios for their kiddos to discover in the morning. What if you're not into creating elaborate vignettes worthy of an Academy Award for set design?
With a little ingenuity and the willingness to incorporate items you probably already have lying around the house, it's definitely possible to come up with winning Elf on the Shelf poses that won't cost you a dime (or, hopefully, your sanity). And lucky for you, there are already plenty of ideas out there to borrow and call your very own — your kids will never know the difference! Some of our favorites are even celebrity approved.
So if you're in the market for some inexpensive, creative elf on the shelf ideas, look no further than the list below.
You don't need a set of Beatles dolls like Alyssa Milano to stage this scene — any old dolls will do. And even a toy piano could work!
12Cirque du Light Fixture
Tori Spelling's Elf has some serious acrobatic skills, not to mention a very brave reindeer companion.
Former Spice Girl Emma Bunton's Elf has been up to no good, we see. The coolest thing about this gingerbread house is that it's made out of graham crackers (easy, cheap, no baking involved!). You can probably even pick up an affordable pre-made one at your local supermarket if you don't have the time to whip one up yourself.
If you're willing to share your beauty product stash with a plastic doll like Sarah Michelle Gellar did, this is a cheeky way to show off your Elf's mischievous side.
15Angels in the 'Snow'
Tori Spelling has so many good Elf-related ideas, we had to share one more! It looks like the "snow" in this pic might be sprinkles, but you could also use glitter, salt, or sugar.
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