Wooden peg dolls are adorable! The last time we did this, the kids and I made ballerina peg dolls with tutus and they turned out beautifully. My girls are into mermaids at the moment and so we recently made peg mermaid dolls. They are easy!
- Birthday part craft/favour
- School holiday/weekend activity
- Puppet show
Craft foam sheets (Thick cardboard – from a box – works well too. Just colour with pen or paint.)
Wool / Doll Hair / Paper
Wooden pegs (I bough a pack from Spotlight)
Optional: pipe cleaners for hands
1. Cut the foam or cardboard to make a mermaid tail. Estimate using the peg as a guide or download the hand drawn templates I whipped up for this project with my kids here. First cut around the tail shape and use as a template on the foam. Then cut the foam.
Note: The kids and I used sparkle foam sheets. Because we wanted the sparkle to be on both sides, we cut two tail templates and glued them together, but you only really need one for regular (non sparkly) foam or cardboard.
2. Glue the tail into the base of the peg.
3. There are many different ways to do the hair. We used a variety of methods using paper, wool, doll hair and pen.
Pen – Draw hair on with pen. We did this for the merman and also the ballerina peg dolls. Great mess free option!
Paper – My daughter designed paper hair in two pieces (back and fringe) and glued it on.
Doll hair – This can be a bit tricky to work with but it’s cute and fun. Cut a section, arrange and glue. Tip: For working with a lot of hair, I find it helpful to gather it and tie a section in the middle somewhere before gluing.
Wool – this is my favourite look and it’s easy too. I’ve done this sort of thing many times for different projects and there is a particular way I do it.
a) Wind lengths of wool back and forth (approx double the required length). Don’t worry if the ends have loops from winding or are not exact, because it will be trimmed.
b) Take a small section of wool and tie a knot in the centre.
c) Trim the two threads.
d) Give the hair a trim on both sides.
e) Glue the hair on.
4. Add in details like the face and the rest of the tail with pen or permanent marker.
We started with a few but the collection grew.
KymJuly 7, 2015 at 11:56 am
Kelly, these are gorgeous! As soon as my two girls (6 & 7) saw these they asked if they could make some too. Thanks for sharing your how-to instructions. xo
Kelly - Be A Fun MumJuly 7, 2015 at 12:29 pm
It’s a pretty cute project! Hope they enjoy! They look great displayed in a room too.
Kat HoskingMarch 1, 2016 at 6:40 pm
Ahhh!! Peg dollies are the best! I want to run to the shops for some pegs now! We have a couple of pretty peg dolly angels on the Christmas tree, and they are my favourite!
» Three for Thursday – Quality time with McKennaI Try to DIYMay 5, 2016 at 6:16 pm
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KellyJuly 16, 2019 at 7:09 am
These are so adorable! I especially love the one with the blonde curly hair!! I have added it to our article on kids mermaid crafts. https://www.diythought.com/5-magnificent-kids-mermaid-crafts/