Rainbow peg dolls are a craft that older kids, teens, and adults can make. DIY toys like these wooden dolls are commonly used by children for pretend or imaginative play and color matching games in Montessori and Waldorf education. A handmade toy and gift idea for Christmas and birthdays.
I absolutely LOVE how these DIY rainbow peg dolls turned out. My daughter plays with them non-stop while chatting away with them.
They are also super easy to set up as a color matching activity. Each box acts as a container for each different colored peg doll family and doubles as a container for color matching. You can also have the kids match up the different body types for another fun matching game.
Related: DIY Rainbow Colored Wooden Blocks
How to Make Rainbow Peg Dolls: A DIY Toy for Kids
My daughter and I figured out a way to work with each color once to get these done quickly and easily. We are not fans of taking a paint color out multiple times for the same project, so we figured out a way to make these that only requires you to get out each paint color once!
You can make the whole set in an afternoon, or make one color a day for a week and you’ll be all set… You’re welcome 😉
DIY Rainbow Peg Doll Materials:
- Wooden Peg Dolls (Contains enough peg dolls for this project and others listed below.)
- Small Round Paper Mache Boxes with Lids
- Acrylic Paint
- Incredible Nib
- Brush Set
- Foam brush
Note – The wooden peg doll set below has enough peg dolls to make rainbow peg dolls and a few other projects. You can also make Monarch Butterfly Peg Dolls, Peg Doll Boats, Fall Fairies, Winter Fairies, and/or Elf Ornaments.
Related: DIY Waldorf Square Geometric Puzzle
Rainbow Peg Dolls Handmade Toy for Kids: Directions
Work with one color at a time through the following steps. Once finished with one color repeat with the next color until complete. Please read the directions before you start your DIY rainbow peg dolls.
Read the directions in their entirety before starting this project. The steps below are designed to help you make rainbow peg dolls in the fastest and easiest way possible.
1. Paint the Inside of the Box and Lid
2. Paint the Peg Doll Bodies
- While waiting for the inside of the box to dry enough to paint the outside, paint the peg doll bodies.
- Paint one family at a time (mom, dad, kid, baby) the same color as the inside of the box you just painted.
- Hold on to the head and paint the bottom of each peg doll first then paint the body. Don’t paint the neck or the head yet, we will do that later. Just quickly paint the bodies starting at the bottom of each peg doll.
3. Paint the Outside of the Paper Mache Box and Lid
- While the peg doll bodies are drying paint the outside of the box and lid the same color.
- Note: We did not paint the bottom of the boxes.
4. Paint the Head and Neck of Each Peg Doll in the Same Color Family (Mom, Dad, Kid & Baby)
- Look at the head first to decide what part you would like to make the face.
- Paint a line from shoulder to shoulder right in the middle of the head. Don’t worry if it’s messy. They always look better when finished than you think they will.
- Paint back of head and neck.
- Carefully paint neck under face.
- Clean up the line around the face to make it as nice as possible.
5. Touch Up the Paint on the Peg dolls and Matching Boxes.
If there are any areas of the box, lid or peg dolls that need a little extra paint touch them up before moving on to the next color.
6. Repeat Steps 1 – 5 Until You Have a Set in Every Color Before Moving on to Step 7 Below.
7. Paint the Faces of the Peg Dolls.
- Paint all the faces at once.
- We used a tool called the incredible nib to do the detail of the face. It’s a brush that acts like a pen after you dip it in the paint. You can also use a regular paintbrush or a black paint pen if you prefer.
8. Apply a Sealant to the inside of all boxes.
- Use a foam brush to apply Mod Podge so you don’t ruin your paint brushes.
- Mod Podge is a waterbased glue and finish that will seal and protects the rainbow peg dolls. It goes on white, dries clear, and makes peg dolls look really clean and professionally made.
9. Apply Sealant to Peg Doll Bodies
- While you wait for the insides of the boxes to dry, apply Mod Podge the bottoms and bodies of the peg dolls.
- Start with the bottom and move toward the head, but don’t paint the heads yet. We will get to that in step 11.
10. Apply Sealant to the Outside of the Boxes
- While you wait for the bodies to dry paint the outside of each of the paper mache boxes.
- These cute little boxes become almost as solid as wood after they have been painted and sealed.
11. Apply Sealant to Heads of Peg Dolls
- Paint all the heads of the peg dolls once the bodies are completely dry.
As you can see these are super easy to make, but they take a bit of time to complete. An older child may like to try their hand at crafting these, while both younger and older children enjoy playing with them.
More DIY Peg Doll Crafts to Make for Kids
- DIY Monarch Butterfly Peg Dolls
- Peg Doll Boat Craft for Kids
- DIY Fall Peg Doll Faries
- DIY Winter Fairy Peg Dolls
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