Tips for Painting Peg Dolls for Beginners By a Beginner - or The Things I Learned the Hard Way - Last December I got my first lessons in peg-doll painting from a friend who had been doing it for a while and was generous enough to share with me her supplies and the wisdom that comes from experience. A year later, I still think of many of the tips she gave me when I sit down to paint. And I've painted enough dolls now to have started my own mini store of experience-based wisdom. I'm still a beginner myself. Painting dolls for me is a crafty hobby, not a form of high art or a money-making endeavor. I know my designs will always stay simple. My techniques are rudimentary. But I've certainly learned a lot from just digging in and doing it. I thought it would be fun to share some of the tips I picked up from my friend and from my own experience as a year-old peg doll enthusiast. Maybe they'll help you avoid some of the mistakes I made and get you set to start strong! (ps - If I reference JoAnn's craft store it's because I think they have them everywhere, so there's probably one near you, and also because they're the only craft store I know of so far that takes unlimited coupons. Can't beat it. Any links in this post are affiliate links to products you can order off of Amazon. Amazon, sadly, does not take unlimited coupons.) (1) Use good paint. When I first started painting dolls I bought several bottles of 79 cent JoAnn's brand paint. After painting a few dolls I learned that cheap paint stinks. It can take 5 to 6 coats of cheap paint to cover an area evenly! That's ridiculous. Now when I need new colors, I buy Americana brand acrylic paint. It's more like $1.75 for a small bottle but it. is. worth. it. (plus... unlimited coupons.) (2) Use good brushes. Learned this the hard way too :( Cheap brushes will shed their hairs on your dolls. I'm not even talking super duper expensive brushes, just not dollar store brushes. The ones I've used the most are the Loew-Cornell brand. I've bought some multi-packs and some individual brushes and have been happy with most of them. Brushes that shed on my dolls, I promptly returned to the store. Here's a set I've been using for a while and they're holding up well... (3) Store paint upside down. I got this great tip from my friend! Not only does it make your paint box look pretty, but it makes it easy to see and choose colors. Also, it keeps your paint near (and in) the cap ready to use. (4) Work from the cap whenever possible. This is one of the reasons it's beneficial to store the paint upside down. When you're painting peg dolls, you hardly ever need a great deal of paint for any portion of the project. You can almost always get what you need right out of the cap. This prevents waste. Any time I've tried to squirt a tiny amount of paint onto a plate it always ends up being 10x more than I needed and it's wasted. So, choose your color from your upside down stash, shake it well, and then use what's in the cap or right at the top of the bottle. (5) Don't use glossy paint. In my experience, when using glossy paint it's harder to maintain even strokes and color, it gets gloppy very easily, it builds up in an unsightly way on the dolls, and it's harder than flat paint to paint over when adding a new color. If you like a glossy shine, wait, and use a glossy varnish, which is what I do. Don't use glossy paint. Just don't. (6) Metallic paint also gets gloppy. I still use it because some dolls just need a touch of shine, but metallic paints usually don't cover as smoothly and evenly as plain acrylics. Maybe someone more experienced than I has some tips for painting with metallic paints, or maybe there's a good brand to look for?? Input welcome! (7) When painting details and fine lines, use long, thin brushes. Learned this the hard way too. I thought I'd have more control over a short thin brush, but that's not the case. For fine lines and details use a long, thin brush. These pictured here are the Loew-Cornell Golden Taclon brushes in sizes 3/0 and 6/0 and the Loew-Cornell Soft Comfort brush in size 1. (8) Don't mix colors. Even though it sounds fun mixing colors till you get the perfect shade you've always wanted, there are two main reasons for not mixing colors. The first is cost - you typically waste TONS of paint when you add a little of this and a little of that to get a certain color. You're left with tons of paint on your plate after you've used the little amount you actually needed. The other reason is that you'll never be able to create that exact same color again, so if you ever need to make a repair or correction you're out of luck. You'll save yourself a lot of heartache if you just buy the color you want for $1.79. If you absolute must mix colors, try to save the extra in a paint container like this so that you have some spare set aside for repairs, etc... (9) Paint several (well, at least two!) dolls at once - you can still be productive while the others are drying. For example, I'll paint the facial skin of three or four dolls, and by the time I'm done with the last one, the first one is dry and ready for clothes. (10) Paint dolls from the skin, out. In other words, dress your doll. That means, paint the skin of their heads first, then put on their first layer of clothing and continue on to all the things that layer outward. I don't know how to say that more clearly, but you can see what I mean in the photo tutorial at the bottom here. (11) Use pencil to lightly sketch ideas onto the doll before you paint. It's not cheating! (12) Dry brushes well in between colors. Rinse and dry brushes well before dipping into your next color. Wet brushes can't apply paint properly or neatly. Gently squeeze brushes dry in paper towels or old rags. Don't twist or pull on the bristles. (13) Use thin coats of varnish to protect and seal your project. Thickly applied varnish can drip and dry bumpy. Ahh! After all your hard work you don't want that! Use a thin layer of varnish and if necessary, add an additional coat once the first is completely dry. Do the head or body first, wait for that to dry and then do the rest of the doll. I use Americana Dura Clear gloss varnish. Hmm... what am I missing? Those are the best tips I can think of for now. Do you love painting peg dolls?? (It's a bit addictive, isn't it?) What suggestions and tips would you add? * * * * * * Finally, to end here, a friend recently asked about a doll painting lesson... so if you can't come over and paint with me here some time (wouldn't that be so fun?!?!) I'm including a quick photo tutorial here. Nothing elaborate, just a quick visual step by step. Let me know if you have any questions! I painted Ruth from the Old Testament (for my daughter, Ruth) and St. Zita (for myself!). These two dolls took me three hours total. I love how Ruth turned out, but I'm already starting to plan when I'll have time to make another St. Zita. She didn't ending up looking like what I had in my head :( I prefer the dolls that are approximately 3 1/2 inches tall. They're small enough for little hands, but are big enough to paint details easily. These are the female dolls I like (though I use them for males who wear robes or religious habits, etc... as well). And this is a link to the male dolls I use. Supplies? Check. I panted the heads first. I painted the St. Zita's shirt and Ruth's under garment. Then I painted Zita's skirt and Ruth's over garment. I started adding some embellishments to Ruth while Zita's skirt dried. I drew on Zita's apron. and outlined it and started painting it Apron drying. I drew on Ruth's hair. Started on Ruth's hair. Added Ruth's head scarf and started on more details on Zita. Adding more details - broom and load of bread for Zita, sheaf of wheat for Ruth Few more details for Zita (flowers, rosary) while Ruth's wheat dries. Almost done! Just need to varnish :) Varnishing! * * * * * * And... here are some others I've painted in the past... Nativity St. Francis, Our Lady of Guadalupe, Sts. Clare, Kateri, Dominic, and Therese St. Vincent de Paul St. Jerome
Wire-crafting and doll-making are two skills that go hand in hand. By making a wire doll body, you can give the finished doll both sturdy form and flexibility. A basic wire doll body is also a good beginning wire craft project with a relatively low margin for error, whether you’re creating a doll whose form […]
Just realized that I never posted pictures of the dolls that I made for the Wee Peg Doll Swap over at We Bloom Here. I loved making these tiny little beauties and Kinsley was over the moon with them and of course had to have one of her own. I can't decide which one is my favorite. Each doll went off with it's own little pouch so the recipient can take their little doll with them everywhere they go. And all their accessories fit right inside as well. I'm already dreaming up little toadstool cottages for them to live in and tons of other doll designs. I can see now why people make so many of them, they are truly addicting. And a wee Ninja I made for one of the swappers. And yes, the picture focused on the greenery instead of actually on the ninja. I couldn't have done that if I had tried. Someday I will learn how my camera works. The dolls Kinsley received back in the swap were beyond adorable too. You can see them all in the Gallery at We Bloom Here.
Okay... so yesterday I tantalized you with hints of a tutorial involving knitting and peg dolls. This is not that tutorial, however, I think you might like this one as well. Halloween is less than two weeks away. Are you ready to go a little batty? SUPPLIES Peg dolls (any size, your choice) Black paint (I usually use watercolors, but for this project I used acrylics) Red paint (for the mouths) Colored pencils (optional, if you want to draw instead of painting the face) Black felt (or black paper) PVA or other white craft glue Fabric scissors Thin wire (optional) STEP 1: Paint your peg dolls, leaving room to add faces. STEP 2: Add faces using paint or colored pencils. STEP 3: Cut ears and wings from black felt Note: If you are making these with young children, using black paper instead of felt might be easier for them to cut. The result won't be quite as durable, but the children will enjoy them just as much. (Thank you, Lenka, for the excellent idea!) STEP 4: (optional) If you would like your bats to be able to hang upside down, cut approx. 4 inches (10 cm) thin wire (I used floral wire, colored black with a Sharpie). Fold the wire in a U shape and glue the bend of the U beneath the wings as depicted above. STEP 5: Glue the wings to the backs & the ears to the backs of the heads of your dolls. Q: What did one bat say to another? A: Let's hang around together! Happy (almost) Halloween...
(etsy.com) The characters in the books, television shows and movies that we love as children somehow seem to stay with us for the rest of our lives. Every smile (etsy.com) The characters in the books, television shows and movies that we love as children somehow seem to stay with us for the rest of our lives. Every smile