As I recently posted, I have been doing a lot of oral story telling using props in our homeschool. A couple of weeks ago, I was trying to needle felt a gnome to accompany the book, Little Gnome Tenderroot, when I decided that I needed to find a quicker way to make story telling props. So, I started experimenting with peg dolls. I had made several peg dolls in the past for our seasonal and days-of-the-week gnomes, but hadn’t explored with them much beyond that. So, with St. Patrick’s Day coming up soon, I decided to made a leprechaun set. I used this free leprechaun pattern from Wee Folk Art, only substituting orange wool roving for the hair and beard, just because I happened to have some on hand and liked the look of it. I also “painted” a wooden bean pot using our Stabilo Woody Crayons. I filled the pot with toy metal coins that I purchased from Etsy. They are actually charms and I had planned to clip off the charm portion of the coins, but Sola said, “Don’t you dare! I’m going to make a necklace out of them!”
I then made an Easter bunny set, using the spring doll knitting pattern from This Cosy Life. I did a little extra, drawing a bunny face on the doll and felting some pink wool roving onto the ears. Originally, I had planned to make her basket and carrot pattern also, but I’ve been experimenting with mixing mediums in my story telling sets, so opted to use a dollhouse woven basket that we already owned and some needle felted some carrots instead.
Finally, I made Tenderroot, the character, who started the whole project series. The one difference being that I used Stockmar watercolor paints to color Tenderroot. This set of peg dolls has accepted the paint rather well, but I have had other peg dolls that would not absorb watercolor paint, because they had some sort of coating on them. I also used some curly wool to give Tenderroot a beard and hair. I’m not 100% satisfied with this doll, as I feel he looks an awful lot like Santa Claus. I may try to change his eyes to a more brown color in an effort to make him more Tenderroot-like and less St. Nicky.
If you are interested in making your own peg doll story telling sets, the book Making Peg Dolls is a great resource for patterns and inspiration.