9 Elf On The Shelf Ideas Using Christmas Decorations That Are Festive & Easy

The closer it gets to Christmas, parents usually find themselves getting increasingly exhausted, while their kids get increasingly excited. Two weeks into December is the time when parents really start to get weary — if they're not already — of moving the scout Elf around, drawing a blank when trying to think up new and creative spots for it to be found the next morning. Luckily, we have a handful of ideas for your Elf on the Shelf using Christmas decorations you probably already have set up in your home. And the bonus? They won't make an additional mess, unless you count the sticky fingers your kids might end up with after devouring the candy canes the Elf brings.

From letting your elf take a ride on that train set that's already set up to drawing a "bauble bath" using a bowl and a few sparkly ornaments borrowed from the Christmas tree, these clever elf on the shelf set ups using existing Christmas decorations won't set you back any further financially, while still letting your elf do all the exploring and adventuring they wish to around the house. Let's face it, you're not the only tired parent just trying to inject a little magic into your kids' Christmas this year, so if there's already a festive holiday getup in your home, let it do the heavy work and incorporate the elf into what's already there.

Here are some easy ways elf on the shelf ideas using Christmas decorations around your home that will delight your kids just as much as if you had spent all night creating an elaborate scene just for one morning photo op. Trust us, they'll love it just as much.


Sledding Adventure

Most of us have a sled ornament hanging on the tree, or if you don't they're easy to find in a store at the moment. Put out a little white fabric, from snow like bedding, to a white pillowcase, and let your elf have a little ride.


Mess Of Bows

I haven't met an Elf on the Shelf that doesn't love to make a mess every now and then. But choosing a mess that involves less clean-up is your best bet. A bag of bows for your Elf to spray around overnight is an easy fix. You probably have a bag of these for all the Christmas presents you'll be wrapping this year anyway.


Jingle Bells

Does your Elf like to hide in spots for your kids to find every morning? How about upside down inside an extra-large jingle bell?


Lookin' At Lights

One of the most fun things about the Elf on the Shelf is having him or her do things that people would do, but on a miniature scale. A ride in a toy bus to look at the Christmas lights is equally hilarious and adorable, and something your family is probably doing this holiday season, too.


Wrapping Paper Stilts

The official Elf on the Shelf site also has some clever ideas, including this elf who is using rolls of wrapping paper as stilts to help decorate the Christmas tree.


Train Ride

If you have a toy train set around the house, or a special one that gets wrapped into your Christmas decor each year, the Elf is just begging for a ride.


Tub Time

Strip a few sparkly baubles from the tree and use a bowl or toy bath to give your Elf a "Bauble bath!" Very clever and beyond simple.


Candy Cane Delivery (Or Robbery!)

Is this elf trying to help put this simple candy cane decor up, or is he trying to nab one for his own snack? Unclear. Either way, it's a cute way to incorporate the elf, and to add some very low key, yet festive, holiday spirit around the window frames in your house.


Snow Globe Elf

If you have a glass vase and a few mini toys or decorations, like these bottle brush trees laying around, you can create your own makeshift snow globe. Use sanding sugar, or regular granulated sugar, to represent the snow, and you have an instant hit on your hands.

Check out Romper's new video series, Romper's Doula Diaries:

Watch full episodes of Romper's Doula Diaries on Facebook Watch.