I’m obsessed with peg dolls. They’re perfect for little hands and have endless customization possibilities. I started with making a peg doll nativity last year and I’ve expanded a bit since then making favorite characters such as Charlie Brown. After seeing my mother’s fairy houses I knew I wanted to make a DIY peg doll fairy for her garden.
Educational Benefits of Making Peg Doll Fairies
What I have found with little peg doll fairies is that they open up possibilities for imaginative play. Whether she just has them flying around the house or if she plays with them in my mother’s garden, the play possibilities are pretty endless.
Creatively they’re also amazing. If you buy blank peg dolls it’s up to you to customize them. Paint them, glue things on them, give them faces. You can make the dolls look like anything you want!
My daughter loved painting the fairies. She really has some great fine motor control with paint brushes now so this project really honed that skill.
Materials Needed to Make Peg Doll Fairies
I like to use materials I have around the house already. I’m a crafty mom, but I’m definitely cash strapped mom most of the time. So I use craft paint I have lying around and any accouterments and accessories are picked up from the Dollar Store. You can get some pretty great craft accessories there like feathers, googly eyes, string, Popsicle sticks and more. You can also pick up stuff from Amazon (affiliate links below for your convenience) if you don’t have access to a dollar store or craft store.
- Peg dolls – I had the assorted group but I find I like the tapered girls the best. Next purchase I’m only getting those.
- Paint – Acrylic, I have Folk Art paint on hand for these types of projects.
- Paint brushes
- Paper plate or palette of some sort
- Embroidery floss – brown, yellow, red, black
- White school glue
- Mod Podge – I use the matte version
- Jar with water for washing brushes
- Ultra fine point Black sharpie
- White paint pen
- Glue gun
Painting Your Peg Doll Fairy
First I always paint the “flesh” part. This is my base. I typically paint the head, the neck, and partway down the body. I usually don’t know how I’m going to paint the clothes so going down the body makes sure I account for most “clothing” styles.
Helpful painting hint: Since you want to let the paint dry before each coat, I find having an assembly line painting process works well. I paint all the flesh colors on all the dolls I’m working on, then I move on to the next color starting with the first doll I painted. It saves me some time this way making sure I’m not waiting for paint to dry before moving on.
Next I work on the body. I went with my daughter’s lead and we worked with pink, purple, and blue mostly. I didn’t have many plans other than just solid colors. The second batch I did I included more reds and oranges.
After that dried I decided to do some decorations on a few of the dolls. I decided to paint on a few small details on a some of the dolls. Nothing too fancy.
I like these dolls to have very simple faces. Two back dots made with a fine point Sharpie are typically how I do it. But I was feeling adventurous with my second group and I got a little fancy adding eye lashes and giving two sets actual eyeballs with whites and everything.
Once that was done I wanted to seal it and make it look professional. Mod Podge is my favorite sealant. I like the matte version since it gives just enough sheen for it to look professional….ok somewhat professional. (Are there professional peg doll fairies?)
If you were looking to place these outside I recommend using a waterproof sealant like Krylon Crystal Clear Acrylic Coating. I have yet to try this but my next round of fairies and houses will be sealed with this so I can try building an outdoor garden.
Hair was the next step in the process. . I had some embroidery floss from my childhood – yes it’s that old. What girl doesn’t love making friendship bracelets?! Anyway, the yellow and red I had left over was perfect for some fairy hair.
To make the fairy hair I wrapped the floss around my fingers a few times. The distance of your fingers will decide how long your hair will be. I went for some hair that would fall past the “shoulders” of the fairy.
Once wrapped around my fingers a few times, I cut the floss at the top and bottom so I had two sets of single strands. To make sure I didn’t have creases in the floss, I wet the string first, smoothed out the creases, then let it dry on a paper towel. Otherwise the girls would look like they had just woken up and taken out their pony tails.
I started by putting white glue on the peg doll’s head. I laid the first set on top of that glue so that it was centered. On the back I placed a strand folded in half on the back of the head. I kept adding one strand folded in half until the back of the head was covered.
All fairies need wings so I took some features from the dollar store and found 2 matching ones. I hot glued them to the back of one of the fairies. After I did that, I trimmed the feathers slightly so they were more wing-shaped. On another fairy I cut some foam core board in wing shapes and glued that onto the back of another peg doll. To be honest, I like the feather wings best. They’re definitely more whimsical and fairy like. I’m going to experiment using different feather colors and using more than one color per fairy.
Here’s the finished results! I made 6 dolls, 2 of which I made into fairies. I hope you can see all the possibilities for customization as you make your own DIY peg doll fairy. They’re the perfect addition to have on hand when you make your own fairy garden.
What type of fairies do you put in your fairy gardens?