13 Elf on the Shelf ideas that will wreak havoc this Christmas

As Christmas draws near, parents are breaking out a beloved holiday tradition that is sure to keep their children on the nice list this year.

Elf on the Shelf is a newly-found Christmas tradition that continues to grow in popularity year over year. The annual ritual is based on the 2005 book, The Elf on the Shelf: Christmas Tradition, written by Carol Aebersold and her daughter, Chanda Bell. Each Elf on the Shelf kit consists of the children’s book and a Scout Elf, complete with an adoption certificate.

The story of the Elf on the Shelf follows magical “scout elves” who are sent by Santa to the homes of children who celebrate Christmas. These scout elves are said to have been dispatched from the North Pole to watch over children throughout December. They report back to Santa Claus each night if the children have been naughty or nice.

When they return to the home, they hide in a new spot in the house for the children to find the next morning. Although, these scout elves tend to get into some mischief and can find themselves in sneaky locations.

Unfortunately, Santa’s scout elves aren’t sneaking around the house themselves and do need some help from parents. Each night, parents are supposed to move the little elf around the house to create the illusion that he is popping up in different locations.

While Elf on the Shelf can become an exciting tradition, it also does require some creativity from parents, considering it continues throughout the entire 25 days leading up to Christmas.

Luckily, here are 13 Elf on the Shelf ideas going viral on TikTok, which are sure to wreak some havoc this holiday season.

Toilet paper down the stairs

It seems like these elves got into some mayhem when they tried using the toilet. In one TikTok video, which has 1.3m likes, user @mikalamacfadzen grabbed her family’s Elf on the Shelf and some toilet paper for a “last minute elf on the shelf idea”.

She stuck the little elf inside the roll of toilet paper so that only its face, arms and legs were visible. Then, she lined the paper along the steps with the Elf on the Shelf at the bottom of the stairs, clearly looking as if he rolled down them himself.

“If you don’t have stairs you could hang this over just about anything,” she added.

Ceiling fan snowfall

Although this Elf on the Shelf idea involves some arts and crafts, it will give your children a core memory that will last a lifetime. Simply cut up some pieces of plain white paper into squares. Then, grab a ladder and sprinkle the paper squares on top of each ceiling fan blade. When your children turn on the fan, the room will become a winter wonderland.

This TikTok user took their Elf on the Shelf and tied it to the ceiling fan’s pull chain, along with a sign that read: “Help! Turn on the light.” When the fan turned on, the pieces of paper went flying almost like they were falling snow.

Face doodle prank

This is a controversial Elf on the Shelf idea that has sparked some debate on social media, but the videos are definitely viral-worthy. Earlier this month, TikTok user @hairbyholliekate received nearly 72m views on a video of the Elf on the Shelf prank she pulled on her son.

The clip showed her son waking up in the morning with fake glasses and a mustache drawn on his face. Sitting next to her son’s bed was the naughty Elf on the Shelf with an open marker on its lap.

“Watch my son react to his elf drawing on him,” she wrote in the video.

The funny video showed her son repeatedly asking, “Why’d he do that to me?” before pointing to the elf and saying, “You!”

Elf pool party

An Elf on the Shelf pool party can go a long way with some mini pool floaties from Amazon. Fill the bathtub with water and situate the elves inside the float or inflatable drink holder. Then, scatter the floaties so it looks like the Elf on the Shelf is soaking up the sun at a pool party.

Melted Snowman

Poor Olaf! For this Elf on the Shelf idea, all you need are two googly eyes, a baby carrot, and a small bowl of water to create a melted snowman. Some TikTok users also added a sign to their Elf on the Shelf creation, which read: “I tried to bring you a snowman from the North Pole but he melted”.

Hostage elf

Not only does this idea make it look like the elf got into some mischief overnight, but it might just encourage some flossing! Take the little elf and wrap some floss around it, almost to make it look like it’s been tied up. Sit the elf on the counter in the bathroom, alongside the sign: “Is this how you floss?”

Kissing booth

For a sweet treat, set up an elf-sized kissing booth in your home that’s decked out with Hershey’s Kisses. To create the kissing booth, find an empty cardboard box or package and cut a square hole in the center. This will be where the little elf will peak its head. Parents can also decorate the kissing booth with Christmas-themed wrapping paper to make it more festive. Then, line the kissing booth with some Hershey’s Kisses for a funny play on words.

Gone fishing

Even Santa’s elves wish to go fishing! This Elf on the Shelf idea simply requires a bag of Pepperidge Farm goldfish crackers, a candy cane, and some string or dental floss. One TikTok user took the floss and tied it to the candy candy to create a makeshift fishing hook. Then, they wrapped the string around the goldfish cracker, and situated the scout elf’s arms so that they’re holding the candy cane. Below the fishing hook, set up a bowl of goldfish as the fishing pond.

Another person even took it a step further when they used their toilet bowl as the pond.

Snow angels

This easy Elf on the Shelf idea just needs one item: flour. Dump a hefty amount of flour onto the kitchen counter and lay the elf on top of the flour. Then, with the elves arms and legs, make divots in the flour so that it looks like the elf was making a snow angel.

Marshmallow snowball fight

Don’t put the flour away just yet. To make it seem like your elves got into a nasty snowball fight overnight, sprinkle that bag of flour over the stovetop, counter, or a baking sheet. Grab some marshmallows and stack them like how you would a snowball fort. Have the elf sit on one side of the flour, with another elf or some other toy on the other side.

Christmas tree zipline

Nothing says mischief like an Elf on the Shelf ziplining across the room. To make the zipline, you will need string, tape, scissors, and the toy elf. Cut a long piece of string from the length of the Christmas tree to a sturdy item across the room. Tie the ends of the string, one on each side. Then, tape the elf’s hands over the string so it looks like they are going across the zipline.

Perhaps even use a candy cane or a clothes hanger so that the elf can actually travel from end to end, like in this TikTok.

Bow climb

TikTok user @krystaldunn_ made it seem like her elves were making a sneaky escape when she taped Christmas bows to the front door. Then, she taped the arms and legs of her family’s Elf on the Shelf with one bow on each end.

Midnight snack

What elf doesn’t like milk and cookies? For this “midnight snack” Elf on the Shelf idea, stack some cans from the pantry all the way up to the kitchen countertop. Then, open up a sweet treat and stick your elf inside the bag or container, so that it looks like they used the cans to reach for the snack.

One TikTok user went viral when she opened up a tray of Oreos and rubbed some of the cream onto her elves’ noses too. Plus, you can even snack on the cookies as you set it up.

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