Large DIY Outdoor Wooden Christmas Gnome – Free Pattern

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Christmas gnome on porch

Everyone needs a Christmas gnome sitting on their front porch during the holidays! If you don’t have one yet, there’s no need to wait for one of these little fellas to show up, you can build your own with my free pattern. This large Christmas gnome is a replica of the smaller scroll saw gnome that I created.

If you are looking for the smaller scroll saw Christmas gnome, you can find it here.

This larger gnome sits proudly on the porch, or wherever you want to put him, and ushers in the holidays with some kind words written on his chalkboard. He’s designed in multiple layers so you can have fun putting him together and painting him to look exactly like you want.

This gnome measures 33 1/2 inches tall by 18 inches wide.

As you can see, we painted ours to look almost exactly like our smaller indoor gnome.

Large gnome on porch and small gnome in house

Parts You’ll Need

  • Free downloadable pattern (click the button above to download)
  • Painters tape or some way to attach the pattern to the wood
  • 4ft x 4ft sheet of plywood (you won’t use it all)
  • Jig Saw
  • Paint, stain, or whatever you want to use to detail your gnome
  • Clear coat or polyurethane – if you want an additional layer of protection along with a nice sheen
  • Wood glue

Building The Gnome

Step 1 – Place The Pattern and Cut Out

The pattern is designed to be printed on standard 8.5″ x 11″ printer paper. You will need to assemble the pattern by matching up each section of the gnome. You can use clear tape to connect each part of the pattern so that you are left with one single pattern in the end.

Once the pattern has been assembled, you can simply tape it into place on your wood surface. I used painter’s tape and taped the pattern down from the backside onto the wood. I also added a little tape around the edges so it wouldn’t flutter around as I sawed. It’s not perfect but it’s good enough to hold it in place as you cut with a jigsaw.

Gnome pattern taped to plywood

A jigsaw makes a perfect saw for cutting a pattern like this and you should have no trouble cutting all parts of the pattern.

I used my DeWalt cordless jigsaw and was able to cut it out with very little splintering. No matter what jigsaw you use, a clean wood blade should do the job perfectly, providing you with a clean-cut that requires little sanding.

If there are areas where you have trouble getting into, you may want to use a scroll blade on your jigsaw or a scroll saw if you have one. I didn’t need to use anything other than my jigsaw and was able to cut out the pattern perfectly.

Step 2 – Sand and Align Pieces

Once you are finished cutting out all of the pieces, you will need to sand them. Since these will probably be built with cheap plywood, it’s important to get these sanded as smoothly as possible so that the finish will look good. Of course, it will most likely be sitting outdoors so it’s up to you how much time you actually spend on this.

People will see it from a distance so it doesn’t need to be perfect. Make sure all of the pieces align that you cut out in step one and sand any stubborn areas to fit better if necessary.

I used an orbital sander to do most of the work on sanding all of the pieces. Starting with 120-grit sandpaper to round off any rough areas or knock off sharp splintered areas and then finishing up with 320-grit sandpaper for a smooth finish.

An orbital sander will make quick work of it and should be all that you will need. Of course, you can also hand sand it if that’s all you have. Either way, you will just want to make these look as good as possible before you apply a finish.

Step 3 – Apply Finish

This is the fun part because you can be creative and come up with something totally unique. Feel free to use the design that we have on our gnome or enjoy creating your own unique masterpiece.

We used acrylic paint on ours and made him look nearly identical to our smaller gnome that we have indoors. You can view the smaller gnome here and print out the free pattern. We also used black acrylic paint on the chalkboard rather than actual chalk paint. Chalk paint is a good idea if you intend to change the message often. Otherwise, no one will ever know the difference!

Be sure not to paint the areas where the glue will be applied.

Step 4 – Assemble the Pieces

Once you are happy with the way everything looks, it’s time to assemble all of the pieces. We used Titebond III wood glue to hold ours together. You shouldn’t need anything more than this but if you want some extra help in keeping things together, you can also add some small brad nails. This isn’t necessary for most applications but it depends on where your gnome will be displayed and how much abuse it will take.

Our gnome sits on our covered porch and only sees action between Thanksgiving and Christmas so wood glue is all we needed.

Step 5 – Apply Protective Clear Coat

Once your gnome has been completely finished, it’s a good idea to add some type of protective layer. This can either be some type of polyurethane or an acrylic clear coat. We chose to use an acrylic clear coat on our gnome. We used gloss but probably should have gone with satin instead. Unfortunately, our local stores didn’t have satin so we used what was available.

This just helps to add a layer of protection to your gnome and makes it more water and weather-resistant. It’s not a necessary step since the acrylic paint used probably already offers protection. However, this is just an additional step that you can take to add a sheen to the gnome and some added protection to make it last for many years.

Step 6 – Enjoy

You should now have a finished gnome that you can enjoy for the holiday season! Whether you display him on your porch, in your yard, or inside your house, he’ll bring some cheer to all who encounter him.

Front and back view of Christmas gnome


With only the cost of some plywood, glue, and paint, you can create a classic holiday gnome that will be a yearly tradition! If the large gnome isn’t enough, try out my smaller gnome for a matching one that can be on display inside your home. Most of all, have fun and create something unique!