This blog post may contain affiliate links.
Friday, August 11, 2023

Epic Over the top Elf on the Shelf Ideas

If you think it may be your last year doing the elf on the shelf and you want to go out with a bang, or you just want to do an epic elf arrival or unforgettable elf departure, then check out these awesome over the top elf ideas. Be warned though they may take some time to set up, so only take them on if you're a dedicated elf enthusiast.

buddy elf breakfast set up by elves in the kitchen


Before you decide to try any of these options please be prepared that some of them can get messy and will require clean up during the day, or the next day, so factor that in when deciding what day to do them. 

You also may want to limit your elves to only one or two epic ideas during December, or one for the arrival and one for the departure, otherwise your kids may expect this level of awesome from the elf every night. However, if you know it's most likely your last year this is a great way to go out with a bang and have the best elf season while you still can.

The beauty of all of these ideas is that they're so over the top that the kids will believe only the elf could have pulled it off because there's no way mum or dad would do any of them on purpose.

1. Epic Elf Arrival

epic elf arrival with balloons and gifts

Kick the season off with a bang with an epic elf arrival complete with balloon garlands, December 1st boxes and advent calendars. You can get lots of cute Christmas and elf themed balloon garland kits and even personalised elf arrival balloons. I definitely recommend using a pump to fill them all or it may take you a while.

2. Balloon Shower

elf filled shower with balloons.

If you have a freestanding shower with a screen, the elf can have fun and fill the whole shower with balloons. Who says you can't have bubbles in the shower?

3. Balloon Bubble Bath

elf balloon bubble bath

If the elf wants to have a bubble bath they can fill the bathtub with white balloons to make epic bubbles. 

4. Hot Chocolate Bath

elf made a hot chocolate bath

If you want to go all out, the elf can fill the bath with hot chocolate! Or at least it seems like they did.

Obviously don't fill your bath with actual hot chocolate, because eww milk after a few hours will smell and it's going to be a pain to clean. Instead, get a packet of chocolate powder put it in the bath and fill it with warm water. once it's filled enough add some marshmallows to the top to get the same effect as a hot chocolate. Also make sure your elf is secured somewhere that it can't fall into the water.

5. Epic Elf Cereal Fountain

elf cereal fountain

Cereal fountains have been a popular choice for elves the last few years, however if you want to make a really epic one, have it go from the ceiling to the table {or kitchen counter}. Be warned though this one will take a while to set up so don't leave it until the last minute, you'll need at least an hour, possibly longer, depending which technique you use. It looks really good if you have Elf cereal, otherwise Fruit Loops or Cheerio's work well.

There are many different ways to achieve a cereal fountain, but the best way is to start by making the shape of the falling cereal out of aluminium foil. Tightly squish the foil until you've created the shape you desire. Once it's done you can either hot glue gun the cereal onto it {this takes the most amount of time}, or melt some marshmallows and cover the foil in the sticky marshmallow goo then roll it in cereal which will stick to the marshmallow {you may have to do this one in smaller sections}.

6. Spaghetti Breakfast {Buddy Elf Style}

kitchen covered in spaghetti by buddy elf

Make a big impact and biiiiiig mess with spaghetti in the kitchen to recreate Buddy's spaghetti breakfast. You'll need to cook up a heap of spaghetti, then cover it in lollies and maple syrup. If you don't have maple syrup {or don't want to risk attracting ants overnight} then use food colouring and individually wrapped lollies as shown above. You can also add printed out buddy memes around the kitchen.

I do not recommend letting the kids eat it in the morning! You'll either need to clean it throughout the day, or make sure you don't need to use that part of the kitchen for the day.

7. Cover Kitchen in Post-It Notes

elves cover kitchen with post it notes

This one will have a big impact, but won't take too long to set up or clean up {compared to the other epic ideas in this post}. If your elves love playing pranks then stock up on post-it notes and have them cover the whole kitchen. 

You can get all different colours and shapes to make a really fun visual display. If you have more time they could also draw pictures, emojis or messages onto the post-it notes.

8. Wrap the Kitchen Cabinets

elf wrapped kitchen in wrapping paper

Another way to make a big impact in the kitchen, but less mess, is for the elf to wrap the kitchen cabinets and drawers in Christmas wrapping paper. I suggest roughly measuring the space ahead of time and buying jumbo wrapping paper rolls {think 10m or more} then you should be able to do the whole kitchen in the one print.

This will take some time to set up, however if they're wrapped carefully you should be able to still use the kitchen with the wrapping paper in place. Also, if you pull it off carefully when taking it down you should be able to reuse it for presents. If I did this I'd probably just leave the wrapping paper up until Christmas day as added decorations.

9. Balloon Christmas Tree

christmas tree decorated with balloons by elves

Who needs baubles and ornaments when you can use balloons instead? The kids will get a huge surprise when they wake up and discover the Christmas tree has been elfed and covered in colourful balloons. 

Depending on the size of your Christmas tree I recommend getting a bulk pack of balloons. Also I'd recommend using a balloon pump so it doesn't take you hours to blow them all up. If you have a real tree, be careful placing them as you don't want to accidently pop them.

10. Fill the Loungeroom with Balloons

elf filled loungeroom with balloons
Image: @theelf_onthe_shelf

You can reuse the tree balloons to go even bigger and fill the entire loungeroom with balloons. You may need a few more balloons than you needed for the tree though... there's 200 balloons used in the photo above. This is also a great idea to celebrate a birthday if any of your kids have a birthday during December while the elves are visiting.

11. Sweet Treat Hide & Seek

elf hiding sweet treats in cups game.

Surprise the kids with an epic and sweet game of hide and seek where the elf {or elves} hide sweet treats under different cups in the loungeroom or the kids bedrooms. Will they pick the right cup to find a prize or will it be empty? 

12. Toilet Paper the Loungeroom

elf covered loungeroom with toilet paper

Cheeky elves sure do love to get up to mischief and what's more fun than tp'ing the house! Cover the loungeroom with toilet paper and the kids will know for sure only an elf could get away with doing that! 

If you carefully pull down the toilet paper afterwards you can reuse it for some of these other funny elf ideas using toilet paper.

13. Elf Love Bomb

loungeroom filled with streamers
positive elf love bomb sayings for kids

Fill the kids bucket by love bombing the loungeroom, or hallway, with positive and encouraging notes hanging from streamers. This is similar to the heart love bombing we do for Valentine's Day. 

Fill the notes with all the amazing personality qualities you love about your children. This is a great way to boost their self esteem and confidence and remind them why they're special.

14. Hanging Balloons

elf hanging in room full of balloons

Whenever I look at this picture my brain starts singing I came in like a wrecking baaaaalll... although that's probably not appropriate depending how old your kids are. Even if they don't understand the Miley Cyrus reference, they'll still have loads of fun trying to knock down all the balloons hanging from the ceiling.

The easiest way to do this is to use red and green ribbon tied to the balloons and stuck to the ceiling with tape. Make sure you use strong enough tape so the weight of the balloons don't pull it off the ceiling overnight.

15. Snow Day Inside

elf filled the house with snow
Image: @thelef_onthe_shelf

The kids can have an epic snow day inside the house when the elves fill the room with snow. This one may get messy though, especially if some snow fights ensue! You'll want to make sure the elves bring dry snow, either jumbo snow soft balls, packing peanuts, bean bag beans or white pom poms.

If you're environmentally conscious and worried about waste, the jumbo snow balls can be kept and reused for Christmas decorations and activities each year, or packing beads are eco-friendly and can be dissolved in water.

16. Fairy Light Fun

elf hanging from fairy lights

The elves can spread some festive Christmas cheer by decorating the house with fairy lights and hanging ornaments. Once they're done decorating they can use the string lights as a zipline for even more fun.

17. Christmas Obstacle Course

elf obstacle course

Set up an obstacle course in a hallway using streamers, Christmas lights and balloons. See if the kids can escape without knocking into any of the festive obstacles blocking their way.

18. Grinch the Lounge Room

elf turned the Christmas tree into the grinch.
Image: @elfontheshelf_sahmstyle

Grinch the entire lounge room! Start by covering the tree with a green plastic tablecloth with the Grinch's face drawn onto it. Add a bunch of green balloons and some green streamers. You can also add some Grinch wall decals to the wall as shown above with You're a mean one Mr Grinch.

19. Elf Wedding

elf getting married

Who doesn't love a wedding? Even elves can get married - to other elves, Elsa or even Barbie. You can get wedding clothes for both male and female elves to make the wedding look realistic, and other toys can be the guests.

Be prepared though if this isn't your last year with the elves then your kids may expect there to be baby elves appearing in the future. There's heaps of newborn, infant and toddler elf options available though.

20. Gift Wrap the Car

elf wrapped car in christmas wrapping paper

If you have lots of time and lots of wrapping paper, the elf can get to work and wrap the entire car! I suggest only doing this on a day where you don't need to use the car as it'll have a bigger impact if it stays wrapped all day.

Once again if you carefully remove the paper you should be able to reuse it for presents. Also make sure you only tape the pieces together by overlapping the paper, you don't want to put tape onto the car paint.

21. Glad Wrap the Car

elf saran wrapped the car

Ok this one might be completely insane, I admit that, however how epic is this elf prank?! You will need heaps and heaps of cling wrap and quite a bit of time to pull this off, but the results are worth it. Take it next level with a message from the elf on the cling wrap like above.

*As a side note, I do not recommend doing this to your car outside if you're in Australia as December is HOT and the thought of heat melting plastic wrap onto car paint is terrifying.

22. Elf the Car

If you don't want to commit to wrapping the car in wrapping paper or saran wrap, and you still need it to be functional for the day, you can still elf the car. The elves can decorate the car with fairy lights inside. Draw sayings and pictures on the car windows with chalk pens. Add tinsel to the inside or outside of the car. You can also get novelty wiper stickers that wave as you use your windscreen wipers, magnetic stickers, reindeer antlers and hanging elf or Santa legs to attach to the car.

23. Fishing in the Bath

elf fishing in the bath with real fish.
Image: @scout_ourcheekyelf

If your elf wants to go fishing for real, you can set up a real life lake, complete with goldfish, for fishing in the bath tub. How cool that the elf can actually go fishing for real live fish.

This one is next level dedication and I definitely do not recommend it unless you're experienced in looking after fish, because nobody wants to walk into a bathtub full of suffocated fish. A milder version is to set the elf up on top of a fish tank with a fishing pole.

24. Elf Abducted by Aliens

elf being abducted by aliens.

One of the most epic ideas shared in our elf group last year was the elf being abducted by aliens. To recreate this you'll need an alien toy or picture and some alfoil to wrap around a light fitting to look like a UFO. 

If you don't have a dome shaped light, you can make a UFO out of cardboard then wrap it in alfoil and hang it from the ceiling. Finish the look by adding some green led lights. Then hang the elf so it looks like it's being teleported up into the UFO.

If you're looking for even more fun, easy, or elaborate Elf on the Shelf ideas, join our Facebook group Elfing Around for lots of inspiration from parents all over the world.


outrageous elf on the shelf pranks for December


Disclosure - This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience, which means I may make a small commission at no cost to you, should you make a purchase. All images featured in this post have been used with permission from members of our group Elfing Around.

This website is not endorsed by, directly affiliated with, maintained, authorised, or sponsored by Elf On The Shelf®. All product and company names are the registered trademarks of their original owners. The use of any trade name or trademark is for identification and reference purposes only and does not imply any association with the trademark holder or their brand.

Would you like to comment?