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.
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.
You 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.
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.
Miss P likes to do this…
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.
I 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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