Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Doll House Part 1: peg people

For Christmas this year I had the genius idea to build Ellaria a doll house.
She's almost two, and I'm pregnant with another girl due in a few weeks, so having a cool, handmade doll house for these two sisters seemed like a good idea.

Well Christmas is 20 days away, I'm 8 months pregnant, and wondering if my idea was so great.
So I hope it will actually get finished in time, and that Ellie will like it.
I could see her enjoying a box more than this dollhouse, so I'm trying to focus on the heirloom aspect of keeping it forever so I don't give up and scrap it.

So there will be a series of posts for each aspect as I try to get this house done.
First off--the dolls that will live in the finished doll house.
Initially I thought I'd just buy the dolls. 
But I hated all the dolls in the toy aisle.  
I was so surprised how sexy even little Polly Pockets were--mini skirts and busty tops?
My girl is two years old.
Then the fisher price family just looked lame.
So I decided to paint some wooden peg dolls for a simple, personalized doll that would be easy for little chubby hands to play with.
Also, NO CLOTHING ACCESSORIES  for me to have to clean up.
I hate little clothing accessories as much as I hate Legos.

So I purchased all my peg dolls online HERE.
It seemed the best price to get what I wanted as you can buy the larger dolls individually.  
The smaller dolls come in packs, so I have extra baby ones for future projects.
I wanted to keep the painting simple for a clean look and to make it easier for me.
So I decided no arms or sleeves, and no faces except eyes.
If I did it again, I'd leave the faces the raw wood rather than painting the flesh colors.
All the paint was just the basic craft stuff in small bottles.

I did take time to kind of personalize our little family.
I put a pair of scissors in my hand for my hobbies, and a stethoscope for my husband.
The kids are just normal.  RJ insisted on painting himself.  I helped with the eyes, and helped tape off his pants but he did pretty good.
The baby girl is due in 7 weeks!

Another little duo that was personal was my little sister and her cute baby boy.
He was born right before Thanksgiving and has so much jet black hair, he is just the cutest.

But then I got burned out trying to make real people and just finished off the rest with generic dolls.
Of each size of doll, I got the most of the large girls.
I figured little girls would best like the big dresses.

Then I had Ellie and 2 other little girls.

For these cute little hair buns, you can buy wood furniture buttons.
I drilled 1/4" holes in the peg head, then glued the buttons in using wood glue for buns.
Another tip for painting, any horizontal lines I taped off with masking tape so they would be straight and even.
I also found this little chart for ideas on girls hair.

 Next, the men.
We kept it simple with just tee shirts and jeans, except for my husband. 
There's another little boy to go with RJ, and I made two dogs.
One is supposed to be a dalmation and the other a bull dog.
They turned out kind of crappy. 

So we have little wooden people to live in the house, now to finish building the thing.
Then I will still need to decorate the inside!


Megan Steph said...

I am obsessed with this and will be making this for my daughter for sure! Thanks Jess!

Palak said...

Amazing! I love this post! The only thing that would have put it over the top would have been a picture of you, pregnant, drilling a hole into these poor doll's heads :)

Really though, absolutely amazing, and your daughters will be able to feel the love in each doll.

Can't Stop Stitchin said...

I have another grandbaby on the way, and LOVE these doll house dolls! Thank you so much for sharing your idea! You are so clever and talented. merry Christmas and hope all goes well for you and your family in the weeks ahead!

Lara said...

I just love this. You are so right about those crappy, overtly sexy dolls in the toy aisle! They are not appropriate for little girls, or perhaps for anyone at all. What you are creating here will be a perfect match for a child. I'm taking notes, as I have two little boys and a little girl that are big doll house fans. This is an incredibly special gift.

Jessica said...

Thanks! I kind of hope the next weeks go fast because I am uncomfortable, but then I feel like I have so much to do!

Jessica said...

I was surprised there weren't more "little" girl type dolls. They had cute chubby Disney princesses, but I didn't want Disney either for this.

Jessica said...

They are easy! You may be able to find the peg dolls in a store too, there's just no craft stores where we live.

Laura M said...

Really really cute! Did you coat them with something protective? I'd just be afraid that with play the paint would get chipped.

Charity said...

Those little dolls are so cute!
I had a bunch of plans for Christmas too that just haven't come about yet... I've only made one gift, and I had 20 on my list. =/
But even if you don't complete the dollhouse in the next 20 days, Ellaria will still love the little dolls. =)

Alida L. said...

Oh my, I LOVE the idea of a doll house with little peg dolls! The simplicity is charming and the fact that you don't have to clean up doll clothes puts it into GENIUS!

Jessica said...

Yes, sorry I forgot to post it. I used a gloss craft varnish. It's water based and looks just like the craft paint, but it's clear. Mine was Delta brand. It just took one coat.

Jessica said...

I think that's what may happen, present the parts and not the whole finished project!

shantel said...

I am amazed by what you have done while pregnant so much so I was almost shocked when you said "I'm due in a few weeks" haha! You are simply awesome!

kristin said...

Eeeep! These are so cute! Now on my "someday crafting" to do list. It would be fun figuring out how to represent everyone.

Crystal said...

These are so cute! I painted my first peg dolls last week and I'm totally hooked, can't wait to make more. These are great inspiration!

Shannon said...

Perfecto! You are a super crafty diva! My girls are 10 now. Man! I think I missed the boat on this one. Maybe I'll make them anyway and tell them it's a belated Christmas gift (by about 7 years or so :) ) Thank you for the inspiration!

Truly Myrtle said...

sooooooo super cute. I can't resist little people and yours are divine. Even the ones you think are crappy :)

lisa g. said...

this is amazing! i adore the simplicity, my kids would love this. i really dislike the regular toys from the stores, so much of it is cheap junk that costs an arm and a leg. and yeah, not a fan of the mini skirts and bustier tops either. i'm bookmarking this post for future reference. it would be a great family project to work on!

Kristie said...

Way cute. And I totally agree. Everything out there is geared way more adult that I want my kids to be at such a young age. So frustrating.
What you did is so perfect. And a family treasure for sure.

Tara Hatt said...

These are too cute!! Thanks for sharing!

nana said...

amazing,loving the memories it invokes of several Christmases ago when I was "buried" in dollhouse, flooring, wallpaper. drapes and FURNITURE. Oh my you have taken on a major task. Ours was three story and while i never electified it i did put little battery operated Christmas lights on it. As the girls grew in ability to "help" we finished decorating the different rooms. Since your son did such a good job of painting the little boy, he might like engaging in some DIY along with Elle. Just like "real life".You will never regret all the effort you are expending. Sorry you are having to be uncomfortable with so much to do. I am looking forward to seeing all the other phases.THANK YOU

Amy said...

I've never commented before, but these are just too cute not to say SOMETHING! Those dolls are so darling! And I really think you'll be glad you took the time to make them yourself so that it truly is, as you said, an heirloom. Wish I had some daughters so I could steal your idea!

Lynette @ My Craft Discovery said...

Ahh! I love these. What a big task you are taking on. I feel for you. I was pregnant last Christmas and just managed to make a stuffed toy for my niece and a few quick sewn projects. I love these dolls. I may have to make some just to put in my craft room on display. I love the dogs and all the details you put into it! Good luck on the house, it's looking great so far.

Delia said...

Oh this is SO cute! I love it. You amaze me with all that you do while you're pregnant too.

Stef said...

These are ADORABLE!!! I want some so much!!! Good luck with the dollhouse, Jess, I tried that one year, and I'll just say, it's okay for it to be an ongoing work in progress. :)

Amy (naptimecrafters) said...

So cute!! My mom is making my girl princess peg dolls for Christmas. My husband built her a castle and then we bought vintage fp little people furniture on ebay to furnish it

Jessica said...

Wow! A castle would be really cool. I bought furniture on ebay too! It was just a small batch, this house will be lame-o in the decor department! How fun your mom and husband are involved too!

Justine of SewCountryChick said...

I am so in love with this idea Jessica. i think I will try to make some too. I especiallly love the doctor and momma with the scissors. So precious.

Justine of SewCountryChick said...

Oh I didn't notice you did Lynette and her new baby too! Did you know I stayed with her when I went to SNAP last year? She is so lovely.

Sarah said...

Love this, so many options for open-ended play! Thanks for the great website source for ordering wooden crafty bits. I could get very carried away there. :)

photosarah said...

My great-grandfather was a wizard with wood. He made me a pretty elaborate dollhouse when I was younger, and it's now being saved for my future daughter. I've only appreciated it more with time, especially since he passed away a few years ago. I had many happy hours playing with it when I may have been a bit "too old" for doll houses, and it will definitely be an heirloom for a long time to come. I'm sure your daughters will treasure yours as well! Those plastic ones in stores today just aren't that special.

Scary said...

I have really enjoyed your doll house posts makes me excited for when my little girl is big enough to not to put everything in her mouth. I am pinning this and will come back to this in a couple years. What an exciting present for Ellie with the new baby coming.

Amy said...

I love this. I'm working on some peg dolls of my own but I'm having trouble drilling for the hair buns. What kind of bit did you use?

Julie said...

So did you purchase the bags of 10 or am I missing something where I can purchase a smaller amount of them? Thx!

Jessica said...

Yes, on the smaller pieces I had to buy the bags. Luckily I had friends who were interested in making some and we shared.

Ellen Z. Osborn said...

What a great idea -- I have two tiny grand daughters....


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