Call me Peggy

Introducing Peggy, the sunburnt prima ballerina, and her friend, Esméralda, the Spanish flamenco dancer!

Inspired by our latest obsession with dancing, and the apparent need for one of my daughter’s dolls to have its own doll, we made wooden peg dolls! We are becoming crazy doll ladies! 

While my daughter’s chubby toddler hands weren’t quite steady enough for this activity, she had a ball assisting with the choosing of materials and colours, sorting of ribbons and pom-poms, and of course playing with the end result. I just loved watching her maternal mannerisms and the delicate way she showed the little dancers to her dolls.

The possibilities are endless when it comes to painting, dressing and accessorising peg dolls – you can keep it simple and just paint them, or you can use anything and everything from your craft box.

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Here is what we used:

  • Coloured or natural wooden pegs, available from craft stores
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Fabric scraps (alternatives: old baby mittens or socks, cupcake patty cases, artificial flowers)
  • Ribbon, felt & pom-poms for accessorising
  • Acrylic paint and a long, thin paintbrush
  • Scissors
  • Craft glue 

And the steps we followed:

  1. Choose a coloured or natural peg (we used a yellow one for our Spanish flamenco dancer and a red one for our “sunburnt” ballerina… the toddler’s choices).
  2. Paint the hair, facial features, feet, and, if your doll is going to have a skirt, paint a bodice. Painting the face can be fiddly and require a steady hand – if too tricky, just use a Sharpie pen instead.
  3. While the paint is drying, cut circles of fabric to size (about 6cm in diameter) and cut a small hole in the middle to fit around the doll’s waist. You can also cut off the end of an old baby sock or mitten and tie it around the doll – we used a pale pink newborn mitten with a frill. I’ve also seen cupcake patty cases and artificial flowers used as skirts.
  4. Glue the skirt or dress onto the doll using craft glue or a glue gun.
  5. Glue a pom-pom onto the doll’s head in the same colour as her hair – this is her bun.
  6. Glue pipe cleaners onto the centre of the doll’s back and shape them into your desired dancer’s pose. Note: traditional peg dolls don’t have arms – they are often just painted on the sides. We added them because the boss (my daughter) wanted them.
  7. Add any hair accessories you think the doll needs or ribbons around the waist or bodice.

That’s it! ¡Olé!

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