Sunday, 14 February 2016

How To... Painting Wooden Peg Dolls

I don't know how long these little guys were around before I found them floating around the world of Pinterest.

As soon as I saw these I knew that my kiddies would love them, and I knew that I would be able to do it myself. Their designs are so simple and understated that it is easily achievable - even for someone like me who has very little artist/painting skills.

Wooden toys are classic, and they are great for allowing children to use their imagination to grow their own play. Not every toy has to light up, talk, sing, move, back flip. These toys are coming back into fashion, and for a great reason. They are made from natural resources and THEY LAST... They are not going to break or rust or run out of battery. I thought, what a great idea for Christmas presents, especially since they look just like something the little elves have been working on in Santa's workshop.

The possibilities for these little wooden dolls are completely endless. You can create their favourite characters from movies (Disney, Harry Potter, Star Wars, Lego), superheroes, simple rainbow versions for learning colours and matching, animals, you could even make a family to match your own! You are only limited by your own imagination as these are truly so easy to make.

I love that they are so simple (even the fact that their faces are clean). Children are able to imagine with them, create their own views on the emotion that the doll is feeling during their play. It is such a difference from the toys you will find lining the shelves nowdays.

So today I'm going to show you how you can replicate these gorgeous little peg princesses at home. I hope you then have the confidence to go off and create your own. First gather your supplies.

Step 1 – Gather your supplies

Wooden Peg Dolls* - Acrylic Paint* - Mod Podge* - Paint Brushes* - Pencil

Head on over to my Etsy Store if you would like to purchase ready made DIY kits, which contain everything you need to create this little peg people at home without have to spend a fortune stocking up.

Once you have all your supplies you can get to work. As you can see I like to store my paints upside down so that I can easily see which colour is which. Also you can buy as few or as many colours as you like. .

When you have everything you need you can get started. I have made a set of 7 Disney Princesses and a set of 2 Frozen Princesses.

Step 2 – Preparing the dolls

Using a light pencil draw the pattern directly onto the wooden peg doll. Remember that it doesn't have to be perfect and you can fit bits up as you paint over it later. This is just a rough guide to help you to keep everything looking even. I find that using a small piece of cardboard (such as a business card) wrapped around the doll will help you to get really nice straight lines.

I’ve included some patterns to help get you started on the princesses. You can embellish on them later to give them as much detail as you like. This is just the base sections for each colour.

Here is my Elsa doll all ready to be painted...


Step 3 – Painting the hair

These little dolls do not need a lot of paint at all, so a little trick that I do is I give the bottle a shake and use the small amount in the lid. Also, the paint dries very quickly, which means that you can easily go over and do your second coat almost as soon as you have finished the first.

I always like to start with painting the hair, as they are yellow, brown or black.


Sorry about the quality of the last photo, it is the only one I have of all the hair finished. I do like to do my painting at night after the kids are tucked up in bed, and I can sit watching TV on the couch.

Step 4 – Painting the body

The next step is to start filling in their clothing. It’s easiest not to just work with one doll at a time but the set as a whole. Using one colour at a time, for example light blue, you can fill in parts of Jasmine, Cinderella, Ariel, Elsa and Anna, before switching to your next colour.

Don’t forget to paint the bottom of the doll for a completely finished look.

Step 5 – Adding details

Once sections of your paint have dried you can start adding any extra details you like. Highlights in Rapunzel’s hair, Anna’s white streak of hair, Elsa’s snowflakes on the back of her dress, any other embellishments to their clothes… let your imagination run wild.

Step 6 – Painting the face

Once you are happy with your dolls you can finish by adding their face. Again you can do as little or much as you like. I always find myself umming and arring about adding a mouth. With these ones I didn't think that they needed it. When my children play with them I wanted them to be able to decide on their current emotion.

To do the face you can use some black paint and the end of your paint brush to carefully dot them into place.

However, my trick is to use a paint marker (like this one) to simple draw the eyes on. WARNING … if this is the way you go I suggest that you first paint a layer of mod podge onto their face and let it dry. This will stop the paint marker from bleeding into the wood and leaving you with sad looking dolls!

Step 7 – Sealing

Now that your gorgeous dolls are finished it’s time to seal them so that your little ones can play with them. I use mod podge as it is non-toxic so I know that it’s safe for little kiddies who may put them in their mouths.

You just need to paint a coat on top and leave them to dry.

You’re done.

Aren’t they so cute? And they take practically no time at all to do.

I love that that can be adapted to suit anyone all you need it a little imagination.

Now you can go off and make some for yourself. You can check out my Pinterest page for some more inspiration and ideas, head on over to my Website to purchase your own DIY kits, and comment below if you have made some of your own peg dolls I would love to see them.

Looking for an easier way???

Check out my new ETSY STORE, where I sell DIY wooden peg doll kits. Everything you need to create the adorable little figures at home. We have so many different sets to choose from so be sure to head on over and have a look!!!

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