This paper reports the application of the space-time conservation element and solution element (CESE) method to the numerical solution of nonlinear waves in elastic solids. The governing equations consist of a pair of coupled first-order nonlinear hyperbolic partial differential equations, formulated in the Eulerian frame. We report their derivations and present conservative, nonconservative, and diagonal forms. The conservative form is solved numerically by the CESE method; the other forms are used to study the eigenstructure of the hyperbolic system (which reveals the underlying wave physics) and deduce the Riemann invariants. The proposed theoretical/numerical approach is demonstrated by directly solving two benchmark elastic wave problems: one involving linear propagating extensional waves, the other involving nonlinear resonant standing waves. For the extensional wave problem, the CESE method accurately captures the sharp propagating wavefront without excessive numerical diffusion or spurious oscillations, and predicts correct reflection characteristics at the boundaries. For the resonant vibrations problem, the CESE method captures the linear-to-nonlinear evolution of the resonant waves and the distribution of wave energy among multiple modes in the nonlinear regime.