I'm posting this a little prematurely, but I just could not help myself. Aren't these ballerina friends so cute?!? I've made one for each of my daughter's friends to go along with the Altoid tin ballerina stages and other surprises at her birthday party. Thank goodness all of her friends RSVP'd so fast! These dolls take forever to make.
The peg dolls are so much fun to play with, but I will warn you up front that they are not fun to make. Besides the fact that they take forever (really!), they are also very difficult to paint because of their general size. Add a wild toddler that can't wait to play with them, and you've got a recipe for frustration. If you're brave and patient, then read on for the tutorial. If you don't end up making them, well... I don't blame you ;)
How To Make Wooden Peg Ballerinas
These "dolls" are sold at many craft stores. They are simply wooden pegs that are sold in sets of 8 or so. You'll need paint and some tiny paintbrushes. I like acrylic paint, but I'm sure that other types could work (as well as using fabric or ribbon and mod podge instead of paint.)
Sketch the hair and clothing outlines onto the wooden pegs to serve as a guideline for the paint. Keep in mind that you will need to write very lightly on these, as sometimes the pencil markings can show through light paint.
After you've gotten the hair and other pencil markings finished, you can start painting. I painted the top a bright pink first, and by the time it was dry, I was able to grip the peg dolls comfortably while painting the bottom "tutu" and the hair.
Be as detailed or as simple as you desire. If you would like, you can use some varnish to finish these dolls off and to seal in the paint. This is not necessary but could protect the paint from being rubbed off over time.
Have you painted peg dolls before? What kinds of characters would you like to see in peg form? Let me know - I might paint some up and offer a giveaway if enough of you reply ;)
As you can see from the above photo, some of these wooden peg dolls need to have a second coat of paint or just some simple touch-ups. I'll get to that before my daughter's party... hopefully.