An Accidental Early Christmas Gift

Wooden Peg Animals | Inanorchard

At Christmas, I like to make one hand-made gift for each of my kiddos.  I try to keep it simple.  Someday they will not want hand-made gifts, but for now they all think it’s pretty cool, so I’m going to keep the tradition going.  This year I decided to make Miss P some wooden peg animals.  She loves animals and she likes carrying small-ish things around in her pudgy hands.  It seemed like a good fit.

Wooden Peg Animals | Inanorchard

I picked up a set of 8 jumbo wooden pegs at Hobby Lobby.  The set was on sale for $3.99.  I like the jumbo size for lots of reasons.  One: they fit well in Miss P’s little hand.  Two: they’re not so small that I worry about her choking on them.  Three: the bigger the peg the easier to paint!  I started by making a quick sketch of each animal.  I was mostly wanted to figure out what their faces would look like, and what types of animals I thought I could easily replicate.  It’s easier to figure out a design on a piece of paper than a round wooden surface.
Wooden Peg Animals | InanorchardYou can see from this picture that I used regular tempura craft paint, that you can buy at any craft store for about a dollar a bottle.  I started by painting each peg a solid color.  Once the main color had dried completely I carefully painted in the tummy and face shape.  I let that layer dry completely and then added the face details last.  For the eyes and heart shapes I used a small metal stylus tool.  It is a metal rod that has a small metal ball on the tip.  It makes it possible to paint tiny perfect, round shapes.

As I said, they were supposed to be Christmas gifts for Miss P.  I thought I was being so clever by starting on my hand-made gifts so early!  It was also nice to make gifts for someone who wasn’t tall enough to see onto the work table :)  Miss E would come in and watch me while I painted.  She was itching to get her hands on those peg animals.  She kept asking, “Do you think P will share with me?”   I got a little to careless though, not realizing exactly how observant and quick Miss P has become.  I was getting ready to snap a few pictures of the whole set when Miss P walked into the kitchen.  She took one look at those little animals lined up, gave a delighted squeal, and scrambled to get up on the kitchen table.

Wooden Peg Animals | Inanorchard

Oh well… the girls are both having so much fun with them!  It’s hard to tell who likes them more; big sis or little sis.

Wooden Peg Animals | InanorchardMiss E likes to match them all up and pretend that they are married.

Wooden Peg Animals | Inanorchard

Miss P likes to do this…

Wooden Peg Animals | Inanorchard

I used tiny bits of felt to make little ears for some of the animals.  I did use super glue to attach the ears.  It was such a small amount of glue that I wasn’t really concerned about the girls playing with them.  They’ve been playing with the peg animals for the last several weeks and the ears have all held up perfectly!  The only thing I would do differently, is add a layer of clear protective paint. Some of the colors (particularly the white) have chipped a little.  In fact I might touch them up and apply a clear coat to this set.

Wooden Peg Animals | InanorchardI had so much fun making these peg animals!  Miss E is going to get a special set of her own in her Christmas stocking.  I’m making her a set of peg people that look like all the members of our family. There are Etsy sellers that sell “family sets” of peg dolls, so I bought a family set of 6.  I think she’s going to love them!

Thanks for stopping by!  I’d love to hear your home-made gift ideas!

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6 thoughts on “An Accidental Early Christmas Gift

  1. Jenny K.

    Those are soooooo cute! Love all the colors and faces you made. I may need to copy this idea for some grandsons, OK? I hadn’t known about the stylist tool for faces, that would be so handy!
    Last Christmas I made them felt puppets. I found the idea in a library book. There was a hand puppet shaped like a cat, in orange with hand stitched details. Three grey mice, that were finger puppets, and one finger puppet wedge of yellow cheese. They seemed to go over well.

  2. Shannon

    These are just adorable. I do have to say tho, if I tried to paint a face onto a small spot like that, well, we’ll just say it wouldn’t look half this good. :)

  3. Jessica Yoder

    Love, love these……..I’m going to have my 14yr old make me some. She’s a way better artist than I am, and it will give her something fun to do. Thanks for the great idea, River will thank you ;) .

  4. Clarita

    You BLOW me away with your never-ending creativity! I love these, and I’m not even a kid! Do you even know how you could sell these sets?! Just absolutely darling.
    Beyond the cuteness factor though, I love how you spend time making special things for your children. They will grow up and talk about all the amazing things their mom made for them and all their friends will be awe-struck. I’M awe-struck now. :) xoxo

  5. Pettybunch

    I love these so much!! Like Jenny, I might “borrow” your idea and make some for the grands!
    When my kids were young, my Mama was crocheting some puppets for my girls. There was Little Red Riding Hood, The Three Little Pigs, the Big Bad Wolf, and I think even a Grandma. She was, of course, doing this on the sly. One day, we were visiting and Mama was working on one of the puppets. She was at the stage where you really couldn’t tell what she was making. My sister walked in and, in the hearing of all my kids, said, “Whatcha making, Mama? PUPPETS??” She has never lived down her inability to keep a secret. All we have to do is say, PUPPETS!


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