My little niece turned three this month. For her baby shower gift before she was born, I painted her a custom set of wood peg dolls. Her mom always tells me these have become some of her favorite toys. So, for her birthday this year, I wanted to give her a new set with numbers to mark her birthday. These are great because they're pretty and colorful, and will help with her number recognition. Of course, she's so smart she already knows way past three, but hey, it sounds good to say they'll help her learn, right?
Anyway, I've shared a few other custom peg doll projects here on the blog-
Custom Wedding Cake Toppers and the Butterfly Garden Fairies
But the difference in these Birthday dolls and the others I've shared is that they're a combo of hand painting and using stickers to decorate them. I did this for a few reasons-
1. Anyone (yes, anyone) can add stickers to painted dolls and make them look cute, so I thought I'd just show you how easy it is and help you build your confidence.
2. If you're on a time crunch like I was (I literally made these for her the night before I gave them to her) then there's nothing easier than stickers and ModPodge
3. The stickers are so detailed, shiny, and pretty that although hand painting is fun and unique, this medium can be just as fulfilling to use.
Alright, let's get started.
3 1/2" Girl Wood Peg Dolls
Acrylic craft paint
Paint pens (optional if you want to paint small details, etc)
Begin by painting the doll bodies in coordinating colors to your stickers. I like to give them different necklines and collars for some variety, but you could just paint them solid all the way up to the neck. It will still look like they're wearing little dresses. If you're nervous about getting paint on the head, use painters tape to tape it off.
Next, paint your dolls hair. There are a lot of different ways you can go with the hairstyles, here's examples of pigtails, a long braid in the back, and a short bob.
Next, give the dolls eyes. You can be as creative as you want on them. For mine, I prefer simple little brown dots. Paint pens work well for this part.
Now, to add the stickers.
First, cover the doll in ModPodge where you'll be placing your stickers. The ModPodge combined with the sticky back will make sure they stick.
Once your sticker is on, paint another coat of ModPodge over it to seal the sticker on.
You'll be surprised how well the stickers stay put, but obviously you would want to make sure the recipient of the dolls is old enough not to pick them off when she plays with them.
Needless to say, my niece was thrilled. She calls the dolls "Her Girls" and quickly introduced the newest three to the others she already had.
It will be fun to add a new one to her collection each year as she grows!