Easy Peg Doll Ideas – How to Make Astronauts
Ever wanted to make a peg doll but didn’t know where to start? Are you looking for easy peg doll ideas? Then you are just like me. One day, I bought a bunch of wooden peg dolls to start making some crafts, and then I realized it wasn’t as easy as I thought. I’ve had some failures and some successes. I wanted to share what I believe is one of the most straightforward peg dolls to make: an astronaut.
My son has been obsessed lately with all things about space. And I thought it would be an excellent idea to try and make some astronauts for him for some small world play. I tried to simplify the design as much as possible. I wanted them easy to make and for them to be recognizable. When he saw them, his face lit up, and he yelled, “Astronauts!!”. It was a success.
By the way, if your little one is also passionate about space, you might want to check space activities with toddlers or books about space that they will love 😉
What you will need
To make this astronaut peg doll, you will need the following materials:
- Plain wooden peg doll
- Washi tape
- White paint
- Paint markers: black, silver, and blue
I find that the finishing details are easier to make with paint markers. I am not an expert with fine paintbrushes, but I can defend myself with a marker. These are great, and I use them regularly on wood or pebbles.
Bring your peg doll ideas to life! Make an astronaut!
As you will see, it is very straightforward. But as with any project involving paint, it requires some time. The paint has to dry, so you need to allow some time between coats. I started one night after putting them to sleep while watching Netflix and finished them the next day. Then, I surprised my children with them in the afternoon when they came home from school.
I also made a second one in a 3-hour timeframe one afternoon. So it is doable.
Phase 1: Prepping the doll
The first thing you must do is protect the astronaut’s face. For that, I took some washi tape and placed it on the peg doll. The width was perfect, but I wanted it narrower in height, so I cut the excess with the scissors.
Once the tape was in place, I pressed it firmly in place, ensuring that the wrinkles were tight.
Phase 2: Painting
Now the painting process begins! I start by the bottom with one coat of paint while holding the doll from the top and the bottom. Once I’ve done it, I leave it to dry for at least 30 minutes. My white paint looks quite transparent, but when it dries, you see the white appearing. Don’t fret; do a coat and let it dry, and you will see.
After that first coat at the bottom, I would do the first coat of the head. Then, again, paint it as you did the bottom and let it dry for at least 30 minutes (so you ensure it is dry).
Now for the second coat, I did top and bottom at the same time. I held the peg doll from top and bottom and painted the doll. The very top where my finger was holding it, I painted it once I let it rest on the table. Allow drying for at least 30 minutes.
If you are happy with the level of white, you can leave the white painting here. You can always do a third coat if you wish.
Phase 3: Details
Now is the time for the finishing touches. First of all, it is washi tape removal time. Remove the washi tape by unsticking a corner, and the rest will follow. You must make sure the doll is dry so the paint won’t smudge to the protected area. Now you’ll have a white figure with a rectangle on its face.
Add the eyes. I keep it very simple and add two dots. I like to make mine with paint markers because I feel more precise than using a paintbrush. Feel free to use your tool of choice.
I then frame the helmet with some silver to delimit the face.
Finally, I added a badge on its chest. I went for blue and some silver dots, but you could use any color. You could even have your little one add a small sticker as the astronaut’s badge.
Phase 4: Varnish
Varnishing is an essential step if you use acrylic paint. If you skip it, your doll will likely get dirty and lose its color very quickly. Trust me, I know. And the white astronaut will not be white for long. So, after all the work, you want to make sure it lasts more than just one round of play.
Just give it a coat of varnish with your paintbrush, and it will be dry in 15 minutes and ready to play.
And voilà, you have your astronaut doll!
Vary it and make it more personal
As you can see, I’ve kept the design extremely simple but yet recognizable. You can make it as complex as you want and add more details or make the current ones different. To personalize it further you could:
- Paint the astronaut’s skin
- Different eyes
- Add mouth and cheeks
- Pains some hair
- Add a belt
- Add a microphone on the helmet
- Draw some jetpacks
Honestly, the sky is the limit. You can search Pinterest for more inspiration. There are fantastic creations out there that are just wonderful.
Let your little one take part!
This design is a straightforward one. If you prep the peg doll correctly and ensure the washi tape is well stuck and secure, they can paint the astronaut white.
You won’t probably split the first coat in two if a toddler is involved. They will get their hands messy, but they will feel proud once they see the final result. Then, you can either let them finish the second coat or do it yourself.
I can assure you they will have a great time doing this with you. If you’d like some tips on how to prep for children to paint at home, you can check out this article.
What can you do with your doll?
Peg dolls are not supposed to be toys for under 3-year-olds, and they usually serve more decorative purposes. They may chip if played roughly with them, but I don’t mind. I make them for them to play and have fun.
So here are some things you could do with them…
They can decorate….
Make them part of small world play…
… on kinetic sand…
… or on beans.
You can even use them as part of loose part mandalas.
They are nice to have around to spark some creative play.
I would suggest you avoid any type of play that might get the peg doll wet or moist. For example, do not use it to play in the tub or any kind of water play or play with water beads. They will very likely lose their paint and get ruined.
Easy peg doll ideas: a great way to start
Once you start painting peg dolls you will probably get hooked. This one is very easy but great to have around if your child loves all things about space at the moment. Try it! You’ll see how easy and fun it can be.
I hope you will enjoy doing some of these at home with your little ones, and hopefully, it will spark a new passion that you can share together.
Happy time creating! *
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