How to make wood peg dolls

Written by shauntelle hamlett | 13/05/2017
How to make wood peg dolls
A peg doll can be used as a Christmas tree ornament. (Edie Layland/iStock/Getty Images)

Wooden peg dolls -- also known as clothespeg dolls -- are easy to make toys that encourage a child's imagination. Most, if not all, of the supplies you'll need for this craft can be bought inexpensively at your local pound or craft shop. You can make the dolls as simple or as embellished as you choose. This project is a good way to use up scrap craft materials like left over quilting squares or bits of yarn or lace. The dolls make great stocking stuffers; it's also a great rainy day activity to make with children.

Lightly sketch an outline of the hair, face, and any clothing you want to paint on to the wooden peg. You can make a simple face by making dot eyes, drawing a small upside down "u" for the nose, and, of course, a larger "U" for a smile.

Paint in the outline. To make your work easier, paint the area furthest from the head first; for example, paint the body that will represent a man's trousers and shirt before you paint the face. This will allow you to hold the top of the wooden peg with one hand if you need to, in order to rotate the peg. Paint the hair last.

Allow your wooden peg dolls to dry. If you're pleased with the results, you can spray your dolls with a clear gloss varnish and you're done. However, If you still want to add a little more pizazz, once the varnish is dry, glue on scrap lace, fabric or yarn to continue embellishing your dolls.

Put your wooden peg dolls somewhere safe to allow the glue to dry completely; follow the glue manufacturer's directions for curing -- generally 24 hours is enough.


Use a hot glue gun to glue on embellishments to save time. Lace glued around the circumference of the doll becomes a pretty summer dress. You can use black thread and a very small rhinestone to create a diamond pendant necklace.


Wooden peg dolls are a choking hazard for children under 3 years of age.

Things you need

  • Wooden pegs
  • Small round acrylic paintbrush
  • Acrylic craft paints
  • Clear gloss varnish
  • Scissors (optional)
  • Scrap lace (optional)
  • Scrap fabric (optional)
  • Yarn (optional)
  • Coloured pom-poms (optional)
  • Multisurface glue (optional)

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