Easy Last Minute Elf on the Shelf Ideas [2024]

Are you struggling to think of Easy, Last Minute, ELF on the SHELF ideas? Don’t panic! Christmas is such a busy time of the year and it’s totally normal to feel a little overwhelmed and behind with something during this season.

Why not follow along with me this year, and get that elf sorted in just 5 minutes each night.

I’m talking quick, yet fun, Elf on the Shelf Ideas that you can set up in 5 minutes! All those elaborate set-ups are just fine for parents who have the time, but if, like me, you’re rushed off your feet with a thousand things on your to-do list, these quick and easy ideas are perfect for you!

A pin with text reading, Easy, Last minute, elf on the shelf arrival idea. An image of a cardboard box with tape wrapped around it with the word fragile on it, a red envelope is stuck to the front of the box with the words, love from santa on it. This is attached to a red helium balloon and sitting outside a front door.

Elf on the Shelf Grand Arrival

This is the most planning ahead you’ll do for this whole thing. Promise!

Buy your elf and a helium balloon. I picked both up this morning in town when I was running errands!

Then I packaged up our elf, with a few sweets, in a box marked fragile. I stuck a red envelope to the front saying, ‘Love from Santa’. Inside the envelope I wrote a little card to my kids, from Santa, introducing their new friend, ‘Rhubarb’. (My kids like silly names!)

Then I attached the helium balloon. I’m going to pop it outside the front door first thing in the morning before the kids wake up, so it’s all ready for them to find when they open the door.

It will be just sitting there on the doorstep, as if Santa just dropped it out of his sleigh and it had just gently parachuted down to our front door step. The perfect magical arrival.

An elf with its head stuck in the sweetie tub and empty wrappers lying at its feet.

Elf’s Midnight Snacks!

For the first night I’ve kept it super simple. Our cheeky elf has gotten into my son’s sweetie tub and he’s been snacking! He will be in trouble in the morning, that’s for sure!

A toy elf hanging off a ceiling lights with lots of tinsel.

Just Hanging Out

Tonight our little elf is practicing his acrobatic skills…on our ceiling light! He’s pinched some tinsel from the Christmas tree too! I wonder how long it will take my little ones to spot him hiding away up there in the morning…

An elf reading a Christmas story in his blanket fort.

A Snuggly Blanket Fort

This evening our elf made himself a cosy blanket fort, with lots of cushions and blankets. He pinched the kids little Christmas tree to put inside and was busy reading a Christmas Story in there the last time I saw him!

An image of the elf on the shelf baking with a kids baking set.

Bedtime Baking

Last night our Cheeky Little Elf was busy baking some cupcakes with my daughter’s play kitchen. He got a little mixed up with his ingredients though, and seems to have put corn on the cob in his mixing bowl!

An elf on the shelf poking out of a snowman he has made out of toilet roll. An example of a fun, easy last minute elf on the shelf idea.

Do you want to Build a Snowman…

I love how quick and easy this Last Minute Elf on the Shelf idea is! Simply draw on some eyes, mouth, nose and buttons for your toilet roll snowman and position the elf in it. This one made my daughter giggle!

The Elf Watching TV

Enjoying the Big Screen

Ok, so this is the easiest of them all. It’s ideal for when you have completely run out of time, or, like me, you have been soundly sleeping and then suddenly woken with a start as you realise you have forgotten to move the blinking elf!

This was actually really funny, as my daughter seemed most shocked at the elf for this one! She shouted, ‘Naughty Elf Watching TV at Nightime!’ Hehe!

elf on the shelf having a fashion show with teddies and tinsel, wearing barbies dress as a last minute easy idea

Elf on the Shelf’s Midnight Fashion Show!

Last night, our elf, Rhubarb, was busy rallying the teddies and barbies to set up their own Fashion Show!

Of course, our dear elf was the star of the show, walking that runway with the confidence of Santa!

An image of the elf on the shelf making snow angels in salt on the kitchen counter as an example of an easy , last minute elf on the shelf idea

Snow Angels!

Who doesn’t love making Snow Angels at Christmas time? Our elf certainly enjoyed himself making them in a pile of salt on the kitchen counter top last night!

A photo of the elf on the shelf riding a toy horse and having a race with some teddies as an example of an easy elf on the shelf last minute idea.

Elf Horse Racing

Elf decided to have a race with his friends last night. The dinosaurs held the tape to mark the finishing line and Elf raced his magical unicorn, while his friends raced on more conventional horses.

Elf on the shelf made a tinsel doorway swing to play on.

Tinsel Doorway Swing

Who’s always wanted one of those cool doorway swings? I know I have, and it turns out our little Elf wanted one too! I’m just a little jealous I don’t fit in it!

A super easy elf on the shelf idea is sitting him up with daddys laptop.

Playing on Daddy’s Laptop!

Our cheeky elf was up late last night playing on Daddy’s laptop! Thankfully he couldn’t figure out how to turn it on! If your elf is a little smarter (and naughtier) than ours then they might type rude words, like poop, on the computer while you all sleep!

Elf on the shelf is wrapped up as a gift under the tree with just the tip of his hat poking out!

Elf Wrapped Up!

This was a nice easy one. It took our kids quite a while to track down our cheeky elf this morning. He really does like a bit of hide and seek!

Elf on the shelf on top of the tree hugging the angel.

Elf on the Tree

Tonight our Elf, Rhubarb, took a liking to the Angel on the top of our Christmas Tree. He climbed right up there to join her and has been hugging her ever since!

Elf on the shelf is in the fridge sitting on the big bottle of juice with a straw in it.

Elf in the Fridge!

This morning the kids found our cheeky little elf in the fridge! What’s more, he was happily drinking their orange juice, right from the carton, with their favourite novelty straw!

Elf on the shelf having a tea party with toys.

Elf’s Tea Party!

Our little Rhubarb decided to host his own Tea Party last night! He invited his friends, the kids favourite toys, and they raided the kids play kitchen for yummy snacks!

The Best Last Minute Easy Elf on the Shelf Ideas for Busy Parents

I hope you have found these quick, easy, last minute Elf on the Shelf ideas useful and it’s allowed you to bless your little ones with the magic of Christmas without spending every evening stressing about the blooming elf!

If you found this helpful, feel free to share it with other parents.

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Pin text reads, Easy Last Minute elf on the shelf ideas. 4 photos of ideas.

Pin text reads, Easy Last Minute elf on the shelf ideas. 3 photos of ideas.