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Thursday, December 27, 2012

Wooden peg doll family

This project wasn't hard, and I really had fun doing it!  And the best part is not only did I get to customize it to represent our crazy family, but it was a fraction of the cost that I saw them being sold for, around $50-$60 for a set of 6-ish!!!  And I love the way they turned out, and so do my girls!
Blank wooden peg dolls
Acrylic paints, 5-6 bright colors + black + skin tone
Varnish spray (semigloss)
Small paint brushes

The wooden pegs were easy to find.  They are all over Etsy.  If you type in "Wooden Peg dolls" or Wooden peg family" you'll find more than you can shake a stick at.  This is the set I got since there are so many of us and I wanted extras.  But there are many smaller sets like this one and this one.  And this one would be adorable for a winter set!

Or ornaments like these.  I think I'll be doing these next year!

I've mentioned before that I am far from creative, but I'm an awesome thief of other people's crafty ideas.  My inspiration came from these and these.   But don't stop there... go ahead and search around Etsy and find what inspires you!  Like these of Snow White and the 7 dwarfs.  Or these Asian cuties.  So adorable!

Choose 5-6 paint bright paint colors that coordinate.  Too many colors, and they won't go together.  The acrylic paints are about $1-2 apiece at the craft store.  I set out the project and supplies and used about 30 minutes of nap time for several days, leaving everything out each day so I didn't have to put it away and get it out each time.  To paint the cuties, I used two brushes, one was pretty small, about the width of a cotton swab and one very very small for the details.  Start with the skin tone on the face and neck and be sure to dip down on to the body a bit if there will be a v-neck.  (I've also seen some with the plain unpainted wood for the face, and I like those too!)  Then you're going to have to paint backwards starting with the foundation colors of the top and bottom clothing colors, then adding more details like belts, collars, and hair color.   Then lastly the final details of bows, flowers, earrings, and faces.  This is the fun part!  Find things that match your family's personality like suspenders, glasses, an apron, barrettes, hair bows...
You can use a tooth pick for a spot of black for the eyes.  Allow each coat to dry in between.  This project took me several days, and I just left it out between coats and came back the next afternoon.

This is the progression of the 4 days I worked on the project.  That sounds like a long time, but it was only about 20-30 minutes each time.  Notice that I started from the bottom under layers and worked to the details.
When they are done and totally dry, I finished with a coat of spray varnish.

I spent about $20 total on this project as I had most of the paints on hand.  It would have been closer to $100 on Etsy for my big family, and they wouldn't have been custom.  Needless to say I am so happy with the final project!

If you don't know why littlest Mimi is looking ticked off, you'll have to go back here to find out.  Let's just say it suits her fiery temper!

If anyone does decide to make them, let me know how they turn out!


  1. Beautiful!!! I'd love to try to make these! Not sure if I will though, lol.. Maybe my older daughter would:)

  2. What a neat project! They turned out super cute!

  3. I'm definitely DOING THIS!!! LOVE IT!!!

    I found...ok STOLE an idea on fb that involved the childs hand/footprint that is conformed to depict The nativity scene. Ours came out awesome and my version cost me LESS THAN 10 bucks!! I gave it as a gift to my babygirls grandmother.

  4. these are so cute! you are so creative - i'd love to feature you in a guest post sometime :) if you're interested you can email me at
    Happy Holidays!

  5. Those are adorable! What a fun project to work on! Might even give these a try for our little family of 2. :o)

  6. Oh my goodness, I might just have to make these (and I have no kids :))
    (found you via the Pinterest link up)


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