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How to make peg dolls

These charming and nostalgic peg dolls are made by Elyse Major and are made using from bits and pieces from around the home. If you’re searchign for ideas to keep the kids entertained, then look no further! These pretty peg dolls would be the perfect craft project for the school holidays…

Peg dolls: What you’ll need

  • One-piece wooden clothespin or “doll pin” with round top
  • Clear nail polish
  • Fine-point permanent markers
  • Pretty paper
  • Seam binding
  • Cupcake cases
  • Ribbons
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Tiny artificial (millinery) flowers
  • Self-adhesive gems
  • Craft glue, adhesive tape
  • Scissors
  • Pattern edge scissors (optional)
  • Small clips or elastic bands to hold pieces in place while drying.

How to make the peg dolls

1/ Apply a light coat of clear nail polish to the head of the clothespin. This will prevent the ink from bleeding into the wood grain when you draw the face. Allow to dry.

2/ Practice how you will draw the face and hair on paper first and, when ready, draw these onto the head of the clothespin. Use the permanent marker for all the facial features and the paint marker for the hair. Allow the paint marker to dry.

3/ If the doll is to have a necklace, trim a string of fused pearls to fit around the neck. Add glue to the neck area, place the beads around the neck and clamp the ends together at the back of the head. Allow to dry.

4/ For undergarments, use pattern edge scissors to trim a strip of pretty label and place it around your doll at the top of the “legs” before dressing. Create a bodice by wrapping, trimming, and gluing a piece of seam binding around the doll pin on the upper body.

5/ Fold a cupcake liner in half and make a small slit in the center at the fold. Open out and carefully slide onto the doll pin, adjusting to form a skirt. Fold the two outer thirds in so that they overlap at the doll pin’s back.

6/ Secure the skirt with a small piece of tape or pretty label, or with a dot of glue. Cut a piece of ribbon approximately 6in. (15cm) long and tie around to hold the skirt in place like a sash; finish into a bow either in front or behind the skirt.

7/ Cut a section of chenille stick approximately 6in. (15cm) long and bend in half; bend around the last bit at each end to make little hands and secure the sharp wire edges. Place the loop of the chenille stick behind the neck of the doll pin and glue in place. Bend and shape as desired to create arms.

8/ Tuck a sprig of millinery flowers into the doll’s arms. Add a small gem to one side of the head or add to the bodice.


  • Complete steps 1–3 to a handful of doll pins to make many peg dolls at once, and then dress each one individually.
  • The simpler you keep your dolls’ facial features, the easier they will be to mark.
  • Use smaller cupcake liners over regular sized liners to create peplums or bustles on dresses or fold up a liner at the neckline to make a high collar.

This peg dolls project is featured in our February edition of the Woman’s Weekly Craft Special and was taken from Tinkered Treasures by Elyse Major (CICO Books, £12.99). To buy this book for the special price of £10.99, including free UK p&p, call 01256 302699, quoting GLR8AV. Offer closes 19th March 2013.

If you’re looking for some other crafting projects, take a look at some of the fabulous range we have in the Woman’s Weekly Shop. Below, you can see a few of our favourites!

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