Not Painted Peg Dolls – The magic behind my work

You might look at my peg dolls wondering why they’re a bit more expensive than others you are seeing online.

Every single peg doll that passes across my table goes through a labour-intensive process. Firstly, I draw the designs in pencil straight on to the doll. This can take a few hours on each one until the features and details are just right.

When I’m happy, it’s time for burning my drawings into the wood using the art of pyrography. This is the technique of using a red hot tool to permanently scorch the line work into the dolls. This can be lengthy depending on the complexity of detail.

When I first began in early 2015 I was the only peg doll artist in the UK (and as far as I’m aware in Europe) to use pyrography to create peg dolls.

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Once this is done, I am ready to sand back the doll to tidy the burned lines and prep the wood for colouring.

Colouring

This is the lengthiest part of making Doli Dwt peg dolls. It can take at least A WHOLE DAY to colour one 9cm (adult) peg doll, and about a week to colour a whole family. This is because they are not just painted peg dolls. My go-to medium is coloured pencils. Again when it comes to creating peg dolls this is an unusual technique, as most are painted.

If you can imagine sitting down with a colouring book, it takes much longer to colour a section of the image with pencil than if you were to lay down a wash of paint. It’s the same with peg dolls. It takes a lot longer to lay down colour on them with pencil than painting them. However, I just love the beautiful effect pencils create on wood grain and the fact that it makes my dolls unique and instantly recognisable.

That’s not to say that I never use paint in my work. My mission is always to create the best representation of your loved ones’ outfits, and if a combination of pencil with acrylic or watercolour paint is what will give the desired effect then that’s what I will of course use.

You might enjoy taking a peep of this hyper-lapse video of me colouring a part of a peg doll to see what it involves!

There are lots of other videos of my processes, including wood burning, on my YouTube channel.

This recent commission for a beautiful peg doll family portrait highlights how each order comes together.

I’d already worked for this lovely customer in the past, creating cake toppers for her wedding. I was absolutely delighted when she emailed asking for an updated set to represent their growing family!

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As always, the process starts by working from photos to draw the peg dolls. These ones have some really special details in the shape of the children’s favourite toys, so they took a while until I was happy that they were just right!

Then I burn the whole family with the pyrography tool – sounds painful doesn’t it?! But I can assure you nobody is hurt in the making of my peg dolls. Except maybe the odd burn to my own fingers!

The fun really begins when I start to colour the clothes! This commission had some really exciting/challenging details to add. First up was this tiny floral hedgehog. When scaled down to fit the doll, it is smaller than my thumbnail!

Here are the finished two children with their cuddly toys. Lots of detail is packed into the tiny 6cm peg dolls! Spot the tiny monkey-face socks!

Mum’s dress is exceptionally beautiful! As with most pretty dresses, it had to be created in stages, sealing bright colours as I go so that the high-pigmentation of the pencils aren’t carried across to other areas while I work.

Dad’s shirt is not short of detail either!

Together they make a fab peg doll couple!

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I hope you agree that they are an absolutely gorgeous family. They were a total pleasure to recreate in peg doll form!

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Hopefully, this has helped illustrate that my Doli Dwt dolls are so much more than painted peg dolls. They are beautiful, detailed heirlooms that will be displayed and treasured for years to come.

If you’d love some for yourself, or someone you love, pop to this page for more information and guide prices. Then drop me a line using the contact form and we can chat about your ideas!

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~Peg Dolls ~ An Extended Family!

You might remember this lovely pair of peg dolls I made a few years back if you have a great memory! If – like me – you can’t remember what day it is, here’s a link back to the post where I first shared them.

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The peg dolls were a retirement gift from a daughter to her father to commemorate his career and all the admirable work he had done over those years.

Both her dad and her mum loved them, and it wasn’t too long until she got in touch asking if I could make all the grandchildren to add to the set. Of course!

Here they are, all six of them!

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Four lovely girls in a mixture of pretty patterns. Florals and stripes, always a favourite of mine!

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Not forgetting the handsome boys in their gear! Check out that splattered dotty little shirt! So cute!

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The grandchildren dolls were handed over to their Grandparents, and were very much loved immediately. So much so, that Granddad declared he needed dolls of his own children too, to complete the family.

My lovely customer got in touch to see if I could extend the family set again, this time with her and her brother and sister!

By now she knew my love of working with patterns and colour, and sent me pictures of outfits that didn’t disappoint!

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I love layering up the colours and stripes that make up a checked pattern! It’s time consuming but fun!

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I particularly enjoyed recreating the patterns in this scarf on this little lady peg doll. It was also fun adding the shading to get the “puffa” look to her body warmer.

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I actually captured working on some of these details in a video, which you can see here. I’m working on building more videos of my work and processes, so keep an eye on my YouTube channel. I hope to gradually add lots more of my pyrography stages and colouring of my peg dolls.

My lovely customer kindly shared a picture of them all in their forever home! A peg doll family which has been extended and built up over the past couple of years. They look so lovely together and I’m sure they will be treasured by all the family for years to come!

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Peg Dolls – A Happy Little Family

A request popped into my inbox last year asking if I could make a set of peg dolls as a wedding gift. Heck yes!

I was sent gorgeous pictures to work from of a beautiful family, including the furry four-legged members.

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The adults had very different styles which was fun to recreate. One is wearing a beautiful dress, while the other has a far more casual look of jeans and a sports hoodie. I loved this contrast between the two dolls.

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The lady in the dress certainly provided a few challenges! The dress is black, with quite intricate, delicate but really bright (almost neon) butterflies. We all know I’m allergic to black on peg dolls (!!) but this really was tricky. Finally, I decided that paint would be the best medium to create the right look; the opacity of the paint meant the colours are rich and bold against the black background.

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The couple’s son is an avid Newcastle United fan, so I was asked about recreating their strip. It was challenging to get those minuscule badge details on the tiny 6cm tall doll, but I got there!

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The little daughter clearly has a confident and individual sense of fashion, as little ones often do! I loved copying her outfit from her photographs. Her purplish leggings really are setting off her gorgeous top with the swallow motifs.

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Obviously, the dog and cat are adorable too. It’s always a pleasure to add animals to family sets of peg dolls. They are such little characters!

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They are such a colourful set altogether. I hope that they represent the vibrancy and fun that comes with family life for this gorgeous lot!
My customer was thrilled to give them as a wedding gift.

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As always, you can find out how orders for my personalised peg dolls work right here. I love creating peg dolls for people just like you!

Lastly – remember to keep up to date with us over on our Facebook page. If you’re not already following, please go and give us a like!

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Large Peg Doll Family Order – Fisherman’s Friend!

I love commissions for large peg doll family orders! This was a lovely request, as it was for a returning customer who had previous bought some of my Christmas peg dolls. She loved those so much that she also wanted a personalised commission.

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The stars of the show were the grandparents, who were to be the recipients of the peg doll family set. Granddad is a keen fisherman, so he was drawn in his fishing gear with a prize catch!

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It was brilliant creating this! It was completely different for me – my first fish on a peg doll, and a big one at that! I loved burning in the details and adding the blue and green colours to his fishy friend. It was interesting trying to make him colourful but still in tune with Granddad’s more neutral outfit colours.

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Not to be outdone, Grandma also had some special details of her own added to her peg doll. I decorated her with her favourite handbag and a very special scarf that was full of memories.

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These two handsome, cheeky little monkeys were also so enjoyable to create. Check out their awesome outfits! So much tiny detail and brilliant bright colours.

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To give you an idea of the scale I was working on with the boys, here is a picture while I was drawing on the details. The tip of my forefinger is roughly the same size as his little peg doll head! Working in such small detail really does test my eyesight, but I love the challenge.

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Mum’s outfit was really colourful too, literally from top to toe!
Even her grey tights had pink and aqua polka dots! Amazing! In addition to her jumper being covered in bright coloured hearts, her corduroy skirt was a beautiful fuchsia pink. It had embossed spots all over it, which I hinted at using subtle light and shade.

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What a lovely large peg doll family to recreate. I had such positive feedback too when they were received, with my lovely customer letting me know that she thought the peg doll of her dad might be the best one I’ve ever made. Such lovely words! Reactions like this make me smile so much and keep me doing what I do!

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As always, there’s lots of information about our personalised peg dolls on our dedicated page. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if we can make a truly unique gift for you or someone you love. My 2019 order books really are filling up fast already. I’ll look forward to hearing from you! *wink*

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Personalised Peg Doll Family – H&N Part Two

Last week I shared a post about a set of peg dolls commissioned for a lovely couple, H and her husband, by their daughter in law. You can catch it here if you missed it! When H received her personalised peg doll set, she was so thrilled with them that she got in touch straight away to ask if I could also create her three sons to complete their family.

So here they are:

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For once, I remembered to take some in-process photos so that I can share how each one is made with you. Hooray me!

I even filmed burning one of them from start to finish, in real time, if you’d like a peep into the work that goes into my peg dolls.

This is how the peg doll looks when he is ready for colouring:

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And here’s the finished article after hours of colouring by hand. I loved recreating his floral tie.

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H’s next son was to wear his favourite teams’ football kit. This is actually a remake of a peg doll I’ve made before, for H’s daughter in law. It’s always a lovely feeling to be asked to make a personalised peg doll a second time!

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Here you can see me carefully adding some of the details to his t-shirt.

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The final peg doll is proudly wearing his Navy uniform.

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This was a lot of fun for me to recreate, and it’s the first Navy uniform I’ve been commissioned to make. Also, it gave me the opportunity to break out the gold paint¬† which is reserved for the most special occasions!

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I loved adding these tiny painted details with a fine brush!

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So if like H, you want a personalised peg doll family, have a look at the information here. Then drop me a line using the contact form.