I started thinking about my twin babies’ first birthday about six months in advance. People were bound to ask us what to get, and what could I possibly direct them towards that would be small, inexpensive, and fit our increasingly eco-friendly lifestyle? After some deliberation, I came up with a plan; the personalised peg doll.
I’ve always thought painting peg dolls is a fun activity, but why not turn it into something truly personal that would make a beautiful first birthday present to (hopefully) stand the test of time and last for many years?
I bought lots of blank peg dolls, and painted a few myself, to see what would work. Once I had successfully created a very simple ‘mummy peg’ that somewhat resembled me, I posted a message on Facebook. I explained that rather than anybody buying the babies a gift for their birthday, we would love it if they could decorate a peg doll to represent themselves. I would send them a blank peg doll with a return envelope to make life as easy as possible. Family and friends responded with their wishes to take part, and I started packaging up blank dolls with little notes that told the recipient acrylic paint works best, although felt tips would be okay too, and that I didn’t mind if they were works of art or terrible; it’s the thought that counts!
After a few weeks, the dolls started arriving home. They’re all decorated in different styles, and I love them all! We have some that a lot of time and effort have gone into, with intricate flower crowns, and some that have been done by children with felt tip pen that’s bled into the wood a little. They’re all unique, and represent the person who has created them. What a beautiful gift!
Now, all that is left to do before the birthday next week, is to varnish them with toy safe sealer (I’m using Rustoleum from B&Q). The whole project has probably cost me under £50 for the dolls and second class stamps, and it’s cost the creator a little time and a stamp.
While the babies are a little young to appreciate the concept behind the dolls, I’m certain that they will be cherished gifts in the years to come.
If anyone wants to complete their own peg doll project, blank dolls are readily available at craft shops!