Monday, 31 January 2011

Monday Makery - Peg Dolls

Peg dolls are a wonderful traditional part of childhood creativity. People have been making them for such a long time. Not only are they great fun to make but children will play for hours with them afterwards. I remember making these peg dolls when I was young and I think its one of those creative pleasures that will always be enjoyed.
You don't need much to get started and there are endless possibilities in the way of fashion, hairstyles and faces. You can add fairy wings using felt or card sprinkled with glitter , pirates in paper hats, make woolen pompoms for colourful tutu's, add moustaches and glasses simply with felt tip pens. Children will love being able to appoint different characters to the pegs using scraps of fabric and imagination. You can add arms. though I've always preferred the simple lines with no awkard looking pipe-cleaner limbs. If your children are too young to be able to co-ordinate wrapping wool, fixing with glue and cutting fabric then let them paint or colour them with pens instead. Its great to use lots of different materials and you'll be surprised how easily the pegs become characters with colour.

Here's what you'll need:
  • good old fashioned clothes pegs
  • scraps of fabric
  • wool
  • PVA glue
  • felt tipped pens
  • scissors

    Here's how to get started:

    Making a female peg doll.
    1. Starting with the bare body draw on faces to the bobbly head. If you'd like to draw on shoes add them to the end of the prongs.
    2. Take a piece of fabric and cut a 3in x 8 in (8cm x 20cm) rectangle. Using a little glue half way down the peg wrap the fabric around the middle of the peg gathering it to make a skirt.
    3. Take a length of wool and tie it around the top of the skirt to hold it in place and tie a knot.
    4. Keep wrapping the wool around the upper body of the peg towards the head and fix it in place with a dab of glue. You may need to hold it in place until the glue is dry but impatience often lends itself to a heavy book leaning on top!
    5. Now she's dressed its time to make her hair. To make curly locks wrap loops of wool around your fingers, tie in the middle with a short piece of wool and cut the ends. Make your loops longer or shorter depending on the hairstyle desired. 
    6. Secure the hair in place with a little glue and hey presto your first peg doll!
    Now she'll need a friend

    Making a male peg doll:
    1. Start in the same way, drawing on eyes, nose, mouth and a moustache or beard if it tickles your fancy!
    2. Starting from the centre of the peg wrap the wool around the peg moving towards the feet, again securing the begining of the wool with a little PVA glue. Continue wrapping the wool down one 'leg' to make a trouser leg. Cut the wool at the end and glue the end in place. Continue wrapping the woolen trousers down the other prong gluing the begining and the end of the wool in place each time.
    3. Finally this gentleman needs hair! Make curls using the same technique as before or cut short pieces of wool and glue to the top of his handsome head. Alternatively you could give him a rather dashing gelled look by using felt tipped pens to create his hair. 
    4. If you'd like your little man attire to be a little smarter a piece of wool tied around his neck fastened in a bow looks very fine or a bright fabric cumberband adds a dashing splash of colour!

      Now they're ready to play. A shoe box house is the perfect place for them to turn into a home and they make great characters for puppet shows too. If you have a go yourself why not use them as place names, making each doll look like the expected guest. They'll look fabulous pegged onto the lip of a glass on a table or a paper cup at childrens parties.

      Have a go and do send us your pictures.


      1. my favourite is the pompom one, loooooooove it!
        happy monday!

      2. Amazing posts...i like so much.
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