I’ve seen peg doll cake toppers before and thought they were adorable, so I decided to make DIY peg doll animals for a friend’s baby shower. I got carried away and made a whole little forest of them!
I’ll share pictures soon of the full baby shower, and maybe be on the lookout for another post about how I made a naked cake (and how cute it was with a little foxy family perched on top).
But First, A Little Craft “Fail” Secret…
See that cute little bunny? Yeah? Well, it was supposed to be a deer. Andrei told me it looked like a mouse. Half my Snapchat friends agreed with him, and half said bunny.
Zero said deer.
I asked if adding antlers would help because I’m not one to give up on my dreams, y’all. The answer? That’s a jackelope… *insert hysterically laughing emoji here* Sometimes you’ve got to just roll with it. So, my bunny is a deer.
I apologize in advance for the crappy step-by-step photos. This was a late-night hustle project getting ready for a baby shower, so I was trying to do everything in the half-dark, shooting with one hand. Because you do what you’ve gotta do, right? :)
This supply list will depend on what types of animals you’re painting. But since animals tend to be more natural colors, you should be able to mix all the colors you need starting with just a few select bottles of paint. The supply list below does contain affiliate links, so thanks for supporting my costs to run this blog.
- Plain wooden peg dolls, assorted sizes – You can get these in the kids’ section at Michaels if you just want a few.
- Kneaded eraser*
- Acrylic paint in animal colors
- Paint palette
- Paint brushes, assorted sizes
- Puff fabric paint in black
- Scraps of heavy fabric
- Hot glue gun and glue sticks
*You can use a regular eraser if you want, no problem. I just prefer the kneaded eraser because it lifts off pencil marks without leaving behind any of that messy, pesky eraser dust!
How to Make DIY Peg Doll Animals
1. Start by drawing the animal’s face directly onto the wood with a pencil. I find that mechanical pencils work well for this, since they always have a fine point.
If you make a mistake, just erase and start again!
Tip: If you have no idea how to draw animals, try doing a quick Google search for baby animal clip art to help point yourself in the right direction. Clip art is a better starting place than more realistic art or photos because it reduces the animal to its key, most characteristic features.
2. Paint the animal’s main body color, painting around the face you drew.
When you get to the face, you’ll need to switch to a finer/thinner paintbrush. If you make a mistake or go outside the lines, you can always paint over it!
3. Use a fine/thin paintbrush to fill in the animal’s face. Paint everything of a single color at the same time, so while you’re painting the face, go ahead and paint the chest as well.
Switch colors to paint the detailed features, like the eyes, nose, and feet/legs.
4. Use puff fabric paint to add a big dot over the nose. It will flatten a bit as it dries, so I added a second dot to make it even more dimensional.
I also added puff paint to the feet, but not all my animals had feet/legs.
5. Draw ears onto the back of a scrap of heavyweight fabric, like vinyl or heavy cotton canvas. Cut them out.
Paint the ears in the same color as the body. Add a triangle of peachy pink to the inside middle.
6. Run a line of hot glue along the top of the head, and let it cool for five seconds. Then, just nestle the base of the ear into the line of hot glue, and hold it there until it doesn’t wiggle anymore.