Erin and Ben Napier Are Having Lots of Fun with Vintage Yard Gnomes

published Jul 6, 2023
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headshot of erin and ben napier
Credit: Photo: Getty Images; Design: Apartment Therapy

You don’t need to make big plans to have the best time with your kids this summer. Just ask Erin and Ben Napier of HGTV’s Home Town fame. To bring a little whimsy to their daughters’ summer fun, Ben has been shopping for vintage gnomes — yes, you read that right — on secondhand sites and hiding them around their property. Think of it like summertime Elf on the Shelf. What could those gnomes be up to?

“[Ben] has been spending his free time buying vintage gnomes on eBay and hiding them in the tree hollows in the woods,” Erin wrote in a July 3 Instagram caption. “And the other day he casually said ‘look at that guy in there’ and the girls are FREEEAAAKING OUT Y’ALL. So, big summer plans happening over here.”

“I would have lost it as a kid,” one person commented. “I would still love to come upon one.” Another added, “What a cute idea to keep their imaginations going and believing in magical ways.”

Although vintage gnomes definitely have a charming (and yes, somewhat eerie) look to them, gnomes are having a moment right now and it’s actually so easy to find these little guys at craft and hobby stores if you’re not having much luck with secondhand sources — Ben may be causing a shortage in the secondhand market, truth be told.

Target is selling a set of four mini gnomes, all in different yoga poses, for just $13 right now. They’re weather-resistant and are small enough to fit in plant pots and even the smallest tree hollows.

And how cute is this 7-inch standing gnome from Michael’s with a little camera? He’s trying to prove humans exist while your kids are trying to prove that gnomes are real.

Go gnome wild this summer like the Napiers and bring summertime whimsy to your own backyard.

Buy: Juvale 4 Pieces Mini Garden Gnomes, $12.99 (originally $17.99)