Melisa Raney
Elf on the Shelf

If you're anything like us, you're both excited and annoyed that your home is taken over by a mischievous elf for close to a month each year.

It's awesome to see your kids light up when they see the elf's new hiding spot, but such a hassle when you wake up at 2 a.m. realizing you forgot to move the dang elf again.

Some elves make their debut the day after Thanksgiving. Others don't show their face until December. Even so, that's still 24 days of creativity.

Here are a few ideas to get you through the holidays that are easy to pull off in an apartment.

1. The Elf drops in from the North Pole

A couple of helium balloons help your elf's arrival go off without a hitch.

elf hanging from light

Photo courtesy of Melisa Raney


2. Hot chocolate hot tub

Elf taking chocolate hot tub bath

Photo courtesy of

3. TP tower Elf

Bathroom? Check. Toilet paper? Check.

elf in toilet paper

Photo courtesy of Pinterest

4. Climber Elf

Elf climbing with candy cane

Photo courtesy of Pinterest

5. Elf rollercoaster

Elf in dryer

Photo courtesy of Instagram

6. King Elf

Elf sitting on Lego throne

Photo courtesy of

7. Bow attack!

This one is easy to pull off in an apartment. The bows won't leave marks behind so you don't have to worry about losing your deposit over elf misbehavior.

Elf with bows in kitchen

Photo courtesy of Pinterest

8. Sleepover in socks!

elf and toys in socks

Photo courtesy of Pinterest

9. The sick Elf

This move usually buys you a few days of not moving the elf because he's just too sick to move! [Insert evil mom laugh]

sick elf

Photo courtesy of Melisa Raney

10. Sprinkle angel

We really like this one because the baking sheet keeps the elf's mess contained.

elf making a snow angel of sprinkles

Photo courtesy of Pinterest

11. Marshmallow roasting (with a flameless candle)

elf making a snow angel of sprinkles

Photo courtesy of Melisa Raney

12. Damsel in distress

Elf laying on toy train tracks

Photo courtesy of

13. Utilize your car!

If you're running low on places to hide the elf around your apartment, move him outside to your car. There are so many places to hide!

Elf in a car with a blanket

Photo courtesy of

14. Elf in a jar

Because the elf is a jar, your kids can get away with "touching" the elf without him losing his magic. It's a good way to let your kids show the elf around your home and ride to and from school.

Elf in a jar

Photo courtesy of

15. Cookie time

Have your elf deliver baking supplies to make cookies for Santa on Christmas Eve! This is perfect for a day or two before Christmas.

Elf with cookie baking supplies

Photo courtesy of Melisa Raney



About The Author

Melisa Raney

Melisa is a former television news reporter turned freelance writer (because standing outside during hurricanes got old fast). Some of her work has been featured on CNN as well as local TV stations in Florida and North Carolina. Melisa currently lives outside of Atlanta and is a mother of two wonderful kids who occasionally make her head explode.