Crocheted ‘cheeky’ elves and Santa in a chimney adorn postboxes

Crocheted ‘cheeky’ elves and Santa in a chimney adorn postboxes
Crocheters across the country have adorned postboxes with festive toppers (Stanley’s Crochet Workshop/Sarah Simpson/PA)

Crocheters across the country have adorned postboxes with “cheeky” elves and a Santa stuck in a chimney as they embrace the festive spirit.

52-year-old Elaine Fallais has spent her December decorating a postbox near her home in Swarland, Northumberland, with a festive topper, which she changes daily while donning an elf hat.

“I sneak out at about 10.30pm at night, put on my elf hat and change the topper, which takes a few minutes,” Ms Fallais, who is retired and used to work in the banking industry, told the PA news agency.

Elf in different scenarios on a postboxSome of Ms Fallais’ festive toppers (Elaine Fallais/PA)

“People in the village say I’m the Swarland Banksy.”

She is raising money for the The Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS) through the project.

“I’ve been doing the toppers since last Christmas and change them pretty much every month,” she said.

“And then I thought, I’m doing this work and people are loving them and taking pictures of them – how can I do this to the better of someone else?

Elf with Christmas puddingOne of Elaine Fallais’ postbox toppers (Elaine Fallais/PA)

“As we are in rural Northumberland, the air ambulance actually landed in a field (here) to help someone who then sadly passed away.

“Then I thought – what better charity, because it’s well used up here.”

The topper has been inspired by the elf on a shelf phenomenon, which sees parents move a toy elf around their home to ensure their children are well-behaved ahead of Christmas Day.

Ms Fallais said: “I thought I’d roll in elf in the shelf by having an elf rescued by the air ambulance and in other scenarios.”

So far, her toppers have seen the elf hanging from a spider web and covered in snow, all while wearing a Santa costume.

Crocheted postman and vanOne of Elaine Fallais’s toppers, which shows postie Pete running over the elf (Elaine Fallais/PA)

“There is also one of our local postman – postie Pete – running over the elf,” she added.

The postbox also features a handmade wooden and crocheted advent calendar, which holds “little treats” and were provided by ladies at the local craft club, for those who make donations to the fundraiser.

Stanley Jackson, who lives in Essex, created an elf topper, which sits atop a postbox he bought from Home Bargains and has on his drive at home.

“Last year, I made a snowman topper, which I put on a postbox near us, and kept putting toppers on that postbox but they kept getting taken,” the 13-year-old told PA.

“So, what we thought, is if I bought my own postbox and then I made a postbox topper, then it would be a nice thing for people to come and put their letters to Santa in.

“The elf is Santa’s elf, who has come and put up a postbox to take the letters back to Santa.”

Boy standing next to postboxStanley Jackson with his elf postbox topper (Stanley’s Crochet Workshop/PA)

It took the youngster – who started crocheting during lockdown and posts his work under the name Stanley’s Crochet Workshop on social media – a couple of days to make.

He said it “feels very nice” to see children coming to the postbox to put letters inside.

“After school, I’ve been sitting by the window watching in case anyone walks past just to see their reaction,” he added.

As for advice for young people hoping to get into crochet, he said: “Never give up, even if it does get difficult – just keep going because after a while, you will pick it up and you will start getting better.”

Stanley’s mother Kristina, who is 39 and works in a senior school, added: “Me and his dad are so proud of him.

“He’s always looking for the next thing that he can crochet and he’s raised so much money for so many different charities from his work.”

Postbox topperSarah Simpson’s festive topper (Sarah Simpson/PA)

Sarah Simpson, an administrations assistant who is based in King’s Hill in the borough of Tonbridge and Malling in Kent, created a topper which features some very expressive festive characters.

“Basically, Santa’s got stuck, Rudolph’s upset and the elf went and stole Santa’s cookie while he’s stuck in the chimney,” the 38-year-old told PA.

“Because I’ve got three children and we have the elf on the shelf, I thought it would be nice to add a cheeky elf.”

Topper on postboxMrs Simpson’s postbox topper took a couple of weeks to make (Sarah Simpson/PA)

She spent around two to three weeks – on and off – making it, with the “easiest” part to make being the chimney, which she made using a box and chunky wool.

The trickiest part was adding all the details to the various characters, including the reindeer and elf, as well as making crocheted Christmas lights.

The link to Ms Fallais’s fundraiser can be found here:

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