25 Elf On The Shelf Dollar Tree Ideas – Pay UNDER $24 for ALL the Supplies Needed!

Hip2Save may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you via trusted partners and affiliate links in this post. Prices and availability are accurate as of time posted. Read our full disclosure policy here.

More Crafts/DIY

Make these 25 Elf on the Shelf ideas using Dollar Tree supplies only! You’ll save money and stress while the kids still enjoy the magic of the holidays!

elf pulling dollar tree bag

Sleigh these Elf ideas, not your budget!

Have you seen these expensive pre-made Elf on the Shelf kits? 🤑 In addition to the steep cost, most of the stuff you get in those kits is paper, flimsy, and for one-time use only – don’t waste your money! This year, we checked our lists twice to give you an easy-to-follow 25-day plan of elf antics using only Dollar Tree supplies (or things you might already own)!

Best of all, these supplies are versatile and durable so they can be reused with your kids’ dolls or toys OR stashed away to create new ideas next Christmas!

If you complete all 25 ideas below you’ll spend just $23.75 or less at Dollar Tree!

*Plus, download this FREE printable and grab all your Elf on the Shelf Dollar Tree supplies at once so you’ll be ready once December rolls around!


Steal these 25 creative Elf on the Shelf Dollar Tree ideas:


1. Elf gone fishing

elf on the shelf fishing in sink

What you’ll need:

  • Goldfish crackers$1.25
  • Any string, yarn, fishing line, etc. you may have at home

I also used a skewer I had at home for the stick (Optional: skewer, pencil, popsicle stick, etc.), but you could also tie the string directly to the Elf’s hand if you don’t have a ‘stick’.


2. Elf sponge cake

elf sitting next to a sponge with sprinkles

What you’ll need:


3. Elf sleepover

elf and dolls laying in socks

What you’ll need:

  • Socks – FREE

4. Kisses for everyone

elf wrapped in tin foil like hersheys kiss

What you’ll need:

Need help making this ‘kiss’ shape?

hand holding elf wrapped in tape

Try using a small round Tupperware lid as the kiss base. Then wrap your elf in a seated position, place on the lid, and shape the aluminum foil as needed.


5. Want to see a rainbow?

elf sitting next to plate of skittles

What you’ll need:


6. Walking the pups

elf walking paw patrol pup toys

What you’ll need:

  • Pipe cleaners– $1.25
  • Paw Patrol toys, dog stuffed animals, or any dog-shaped toys at home

7. Elf ball pit

elf sitting in a bowl of pom poms

What you’ll need:


8. Let’s play jingle bell-iards

elf and toys playing billiards

What you’ll need:


9. Snow much fun it is to ride 🎶 ...

elf going down wrapping paper ramp

What you’ll need:

  • Wrapping paper– FREE
  • Paper towels, paper plates, or napkins – FREE
  • Cotton balls (reused)

Have some leftover wrapping paper from last year? Make this easy ski ramp from the cabinets to the countertop! You can have the Elf slide down on just its knees (no sled) or use a paper towel, napkin, or paper plate for the sled– so easy & FREE!


10. Elf pool party

elf on a unicorn inflatable in water

What you’ll need:

  •  Pool cup holder inflatable – $1.25

11. ‘Tis the sea-sun

elf sitting in pink sand

What you’ll need:

  • Pool cup holder inflatable (reused)

Tip: Consider reusing the inflatable pool cup holder from the Elf pool party above for the Elf at the beach too! (There were so many cute options at Dollar Tree, I just wanted to show a few, but you can just grab one!)


12. Mission Elf-possible

elf hanging on ceiling from string

What you’ll need:

  • Pipe cleaners (reused)

We love that with this kit you can reuse so many of the items because they either come in a multipack or are durable and long-lasting, unlike one-time-use paper goodies from other Elf kits!


13. Elf gone jet skiing

elf on a toy doll jet ski

What you’ll need:

  • Doll jet ski– $1.25 (Look out for the kayak option at your local DT too!)

How cool is it that you can keep these fun items once the Elf heads back to the North Pole? Plus, we can’t believe this doll jet ski that fits Barbie-sized dolls is JUST $1.25?!


14. Elf-taught chef

elf cooking on bbq

What you’ll need:

  • Doll BBQ – $1.25

Does your kiddos’ Barbie need a new BBQ? Look for this adorable grill in-store at Dollar Tree– the lid really opens and closes! I also made the apron out of paper and used my kids’ Shopkins (or other pretend food) inside the grill. The Elf really doesn’t have to be expensive, just use what you have!


15. Elf movie night

elf holding remote eating popcorn

What you’ll need:

  • Doll couch – $1.25
  • TV remote, blanket, or popcorn from home

16. A faBOWlous time for a sELFie

elf taking a selfie with bows behind it

What you’ll need:

  • Party bows – $1.25 (I also found a mini 6-pack of bows in-store at my local DT!)

17. Eye didn’t do it!

elf with googly eyes stuck to it

What you’ll need:

Have the Elf put googly eyes on favorite family pictures around the house for a silly morning surprise!


18. Elf snow globe

elf inside craft snow globe

What you’ll need:


19. Elf goes to the park

elf on the shelf on doll swings

What you’ll need:

  • Doll swings– $1.25 (Look for the doll merry-go-round and seesaw too!)

We spotted these miniature Waggles Playground accessories in-store at Dollar Tree and could not resist the cuteness! Consider grabbing all three options to make the ultimate playground for just $3.75 or use one piece for each ‘Elf day’!


20. Elf snowball fight

elf and elsa having snowball fight with cotton balls

What you’ll need:

  • Cotton balls– $1.25 (You can also use marshmallows if you have some at home making this idea FREE!)
  • Barbie, Elsa, or other toy doll, action figure, etc. at home
  • Optional: Sprinkle flour for additional ‘snow’

21. Elf shoe ‘shining’

elf wrapped shoes in tin foil

What you’ll need:

  • Aluminum foil (reused)

22. Elf feeds the ducks

elf sitting on sink feeding rubber ducks

What you’ll need:

That’s a bench from my kids’ Bluey toys, but feel free to sit the Elf right on the edge of the sink and place whatever bread, crackers, seeds, etc. around it to ‘feed’ the ducks!


23. Mount Elf

elf at the top of a pile of couch cushions

What you’ll need:

  • Couch cushions– FREE

How many couch cushions can your Elf stack?


24. Shaving cream snowmen

elf making shaving cream snowmen on mirror

What you’ll need:


25. Make an Elf igloo

elf in cotton ball igloo

What you’ll need:

  • Cotton balls or marshmallows (reused) 

doll couch in store at dollar tree

The BEST part about this Hip “Elf Kit” is that these items really are quality and CUTE!


If you create these 25 Elf on the Shelf Dollar Tree ideas you’ll get to keep:

  • Doll couch
  • Doll BBQ
  • Doll jet ski (or kayak)
  • Pool cup holder
  • Miniature pool table
  • Miniature doll swings
  • DIY snowglobe
  • 3 toy rubber ducks
  • One pack of cotton balls, googly eyes, pom poms, pipe cleaners, aluminum foil, shaving cream, goldfish crackers, wrapping bows, Skittles, Hershey’s kisses, and 2 sponges

Total cost for everything JUST $23.75!

elf holding dollar tree sign

If you’ve been following us on Facebook, then you’ve probably seen our Hip Sidekick, Paige, suggest to start collecting these items now for the Elf if you see them in-store!

Plus, when you use our free printable you can grab everything you need in one fell swoop so you’re not rushing at the last minute when it’s time for the Elf to arrive! AND, at just under $24 you can rest easy knowing this complete 25-day list won’t break the bank or your holiday budget.


Do you still need an Elf on the Shelf? ––> Grab one HERE!


We’re sharing 33 MORE Elf-tastic ideas to last you all winter long!


About the writer:

Chelsey is a writer & photographer with both a Bachelor's and Master's Degree from Arizona State University. She holds 3+ years blogging experience not only for Hip2Save, but various other publications in the health, lifestyle, and education field.


Join The Discussion

Comments 16

  1. Julie

    Thanks for all these awesome ideas!

    • Jessica (Hip Sidekick)

      You’re very welcome, Julie! Have fun! ❤️💚

  2. sara bonert

    These are cute, but man, how I hate this thing!!!!

    • Jessica (Hip Sidekick)

      Glad you enjoyed the list of ideas, sara! 🤗

  3. Annie

    amazing

    • Jessica (Hip Sidekick)

      🤩 Very happy to hear you’re loving these elf ideas, Annie!

  4. sbh

    these are good! All year I look for new ideas. I can’t do the bathroom ones because we only have one bathroom so using the sink or tub makes things hard for us ha ha ha but will definitely try all the others!

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      Yay! Glad this list is helpful! Hope you have a wonderful holiday season! 🥰🤗🎄

    • Diane

      Love all the ideas.
      I would like to add that if the cost of an actual Elf on the Shelf is out of your budget Dollar Tree sells a stuffed elf version.
      When our kids were young they always like to help with the cooking. A few cookie or brownie mixes would be fun as well.

      • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

        Yes! Great suggestions, Diane! Thanks for taking the time to mention this. 💞

    • Madonna Lowrance

      Kitchen sink!

  5. Brooke ONeill

    This genius and sooo helpful! Our elves are typically very boring ( because Mom gets tired). I LOVE that its all planned out for me here!

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      Woohoo! You’re welcome, Brooke! 🙌❤️ Glad these ideas will be so helpful this year!

  6. acgold

    My favorite tip (trick) a friend did- Their elf broke it’s leg- so she wrapped it like a cast and he couldn’t move every night! LOL!

  7. michellewestdesign

    does Dollar Tree sell the Elf on the Shelf Style plush?

    • Jessica (Hip Sidekick)

      Great question! I haven’t personally spotted one at my location, but you could always call your store ahead of making a special trip to be sure. Sometimes inventory varies from store to store. ❤️

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

It's not your Grandma's coupon site!

Sign up for a Hip2Save account (it's free) to access all of the awesome features!

Forgot Password?

Don't have an account? Register

Forgot Password

Don't have an account? Register

Become a Hip2Save Insider

Don't Miss Out! Join our large community of insiders - it's totally free! Once you join, you'll be able to save & share your favorite deals, rate posts and recipes and add items to your HipList and Cookbook! What are ya waiting for?!



Already have an account? Login

Thank you for rating!

Would you also like to leave us a comment?