My Elf on the Shelf Came From Dollar Tree… AND It’s NOW Personalized

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More Christmas

dollar tree elf on the shelf

Trying to find a budget-friendly Elf on the Shelf?🎅

If you’re looking to snag an inexpensive alternative to the popular Elf on the Shelf Christmas Tradition, look for small plush elves sold at your local Dollar Tree (note that product selection can vary greatly from store to store). At my local Dollar Tree, they had both boy and girl elves in a couple of different styles for just $1!

Dollar Tree elves

Most plush toys can be easily personalized and embellished using heat transfer vinyl, including these cute Dollar Tree elves!

If you have a vinyl cutting machine, this is a quick and easy project! Simply cut names and carefully iron them to your elf. You can even include the year and other holiday-related shapes!

Personalized Dollar Tree Elves

Supplies Needed:


1. Cut lettering and images out of heat transfer vinyl.

I used the font called Niagara Solid, sized at about 1.5. Remember to mirror the lettering when cutting HTV and place the vinyl shiny side down on the cutting mat. Go here for detailed directions and tips on using HTV. 

2. Weed out the vinyl names and details using a craft weeding tool.

3. Carefully transfer names to the elves using an iron.

Set your iron to high (I used the cotton setting), use parchment paper to protect your elf from burning, and press vinyl with an iron for about 8 seconds at a time. Peel back the clear backing carefully to see if the vinyl has transferred. If not, iron again for a few seconds.

These are so darn cute and really easy to make!

I’m sending personalized elves to my little nephews as part of their Christmas gift! SO FUN!

Even if you don’t end up personalizing, this is a great money-saving alternative to the original Elf on the Shelf!

I like that on these particular elves, the legs don’t really have stuffing, so they can sit on things easier to move around.

Check out more fun Christmas Crafts!

Join The Discussion

Comments 38

  1. Sham

    Love this!!!!

    • Lina D

      Thanks Sham!!!

  2. Amani

    This is exactly why I told my hubby I NEED a Cricut machine. 😊

    • Lina D

      Ha! Yes you do, I’ll vouch for ya 👍🏻

      • Linda Rocco

        Hello. If dollar store has these elves again will you be making them and taking orders?

        I remember meeting someone at dollar tree doing same thing, wondering if your the same person .

        Do they have girl elf ?


  3. Shelley P

    OMGOODNESS so frickin’ adorable!! I already bought a few of these elves because they were super cute for a dollar. This is such a great idea for them!! Love it! ❤️

    • Lina D

      Thanks Shelley!

  4. hellfire gainz

    They have been selling them for a few years now on etsy and craft sites.
    I decided to purchase some from dollar tree and I hand sewed a name to each Elf and year. Not personalized just any elf name and am using the elves names which are found in Santa’s letter to use for a clue hunt game Christmas eve to find their stalking. The elves will be in each stalking.

    One elf I named jinx as his head was on backwards 😂

    • Lina D

      Great idea on the sewing! The clue hunt sounds fun!

  5. Mary

    Very cute! Been wanting the new circut machine. This is making me want it more! I have the old one from 9 years ago. Thanks for sharing.

  6. D

    Very cute idea! I don’t own a Cricut machine but want to try other options… Maybe a steady hand and some fabric paint or iron on letters that don’t require you to iron on the underside of the fabric. It would be cute to add a tutu and bow on the girl ones! Dollar Tree here I come.

    • Lina D

      Yes I didn’t even think of puffy paint maybe – or iron on letters! Great idea

    • Dana

      I DO own a Cricut but can’t figure out how to use it so it’s under my bed with 50 rolls of adhesive paper!😬

        • Darlene Livergood

          Are you interested in selling the vinyl?
          What crucit do you have?

  7. Amber

    Very cute

    • Lina D

      Thanks Amber!

  8. Molly

    Love this! What a great idea. Need more crafts like this.

    • Lina D

      Thanks Molly!

  9. racel

    I bought these the last few years and also bought floral wire from dollar tree to put inside the arms and legs to make them bendable and poseable

    • Lina D

      That is genius!!!! Thanks for sharing Racel.

  10. BENTLEY2822

    Very cute idea.

    • Lina D

      Thanks so much!

  11. Susan Crawford

    These look so much better than the original elf on the shelf. I find the original elf just plain creepy.

    • Lina D

      Oh haha! Thanks Susan!

  12. Deb

    Oh, my! I’m Jewish and don’t have any little kids around and I want to do this! Soooooo cute!

    • Lina D

      Haha thanks Deb 👍🏻

  13. Olivia

    This is a great idea! I just ordered a Cricut Maker and a bunch of accessories last night to give to myself for Christmas! Who am I kidding- it won’t stay in the box that long! 🙂 I am SO excited!!! If anyone has any tips about what type of vinyl I should have on hand before it arrives (brand, color, type, whatever) I am open to suggestions! I love all the colors that are available, but I know there have to be some that are everyone’s go-tos for most projects. Eeeekkkk!!!! Happy dance!!!

    • Lina D

      Oh I’m jealous! You’ll have so much fun with it! I like the Siser brand heat transfer vinyl and Cricut or Oracle adhesive vinyl. Enjoy!

      • Olivia

        Thanks, Lina! I’ve never owned a Cricut before, so I am super excited! And I’m a go big or go home kind of girl, LOL. Do you find that white and black are the colors you use most frequently?

        • Lina D

          Yes I remember d to go with those and for some reason light blue or even metallics – so fun!

    • Amy

      I also use the Siser brand, and while Michael’s is now carrying it, I pay far less by ordering it from Expressions Vinyl. You want HTV (heat transfer vinyl) for iron on projects. There are many colors, patterns and even printable. Good luck, enjoy and welcome to the Cricut family!!

  14. Ashley

    Soooo cute!

  15. Maria

    You can buy Dollar Tree elves online but you need to buy a minimum quantity – 4?

    • Darlene Livergood

      Could you send me the site to order them from?

  16. Katey

    What setting is your iron on?

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      High -cotton is what I use. 👍

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