Meet the Peg Doll Family Maker – Part VI

Welcome to the final installment in our behind-the-scenes Meet the Peg Doll Maker series explaining more about how each beautiful peg doll family is made. The posts are inspired by the month long challenge that we took part in on Instagram, created by Joanne Hawker.

You’re joining us for day 26 – 31. For the previous days, please see the earlier posts in this series. Find them by clicking on the “Meet the Maker” tag in the Popular Tags cloud on the right of the page.

Day 26: Why I Do This

why i make peg dolls

It’s quite pertinent that today’s prompt falls on Mother’s Day. The life we’d dreamed and planned for is out of reach, so creating each peg doll family has become my daily purpose. My studio is my little sanctuary. Here I can shut out the world and focus on healing and rebuilding myself through my creativity 💕

Day 27: Goals

peg doll family with pugs

My overall goal is to keep bringing smiles to the faces of my customers! Just like this little peg doll family with the very special Boyo the pug did. He has only one eye and a permanently protruding tongue 💕

Whilst doing this, 3 of my mini goals for this year are:
1. Use more props in my photos to better showcase my products
2. Make “Wedding Wednesday” more of “a thing”. I’d like to give back to the IG community by promoting a weekly hashtag. A bit like Follow Friday, makers and suppliers of wedding goodies can share their work and network.
3. Exploring ways to create a small amount of “ready to ship stock” so that my lovely peg dolls are available to more people. It will be tricky though, as I feel the draw of my peg dolls is that they are NOT mass produced. Bespoke peg doll family orders are what I thrive on. I have some ideas but the balance needs to be worked out. I don’t want to compromise what I’ve built so far.

Day 28 : Organised

organising my peg dolls paperwork

I like to mostly keep organised digitally. I also colour code EVERYTHING!! I’ve got a nice old spreadsheet that tracks all my accounting, pricing and my order book. Mr T set it up to change colours depending where I am with each order which really helps me keep in top of things. I use Planner Plus app on my iPad to schedule and manage customers slots, promotions etc. Finally, my trusty notebook that I make my lists and jot my ideas down in. It also contains my Elevator Speech – have you got one? If not, as a creative maker you should! Xxx

Day 29 : Can’t live without

tea break essentials

I can’t live without tea. Tea, tea, TEA!. I just love a good cuppa! Any time, any place. I’m easy. To keep this tea-junky’s drug of choice on constant supply, Mr T bought me an iKettle. I can control  it from anywhere within our wifi range. I can switch it on from my studio and only come down from my work once it’s boiled.  Thus saving me precious munutes if standing around waiting 😂😂. It sends me a nice little text message to tell me it’s ready 😂.  All I need now is a butler to actually make the tea and bring it up to me, and my life will be complete 😉 I also can’t live without chocolate and sweets. My weight and teeth are not thankful for this 🙈 xxx

Day 30: Advice

thief of joy

 I think that this pretty art work by Deena Rutter for @modifyink sums up something that I tell myself both personally and professionally almost daily. It is so easy to see what others have, or do, and to get disheartened (or worse) when you begin to compare yourself to them. But when I snap out of it and become a bit more mindful of myself, my achievements and what we have, everything feels rosey again. It certainly isn’t easy at all…. it takes a lot of stepping back and sometimes cutting off from the outside world. I started by getting rid of my personal Facebook last Summer, and I haven’t looked back. Comparing yourself to others really does just make you miserable. Find joy in what you are, what you have, and the people around you that matter 💕

Day 31: Customers

peg doll customers

It’s the last day of March Meet the Maker today! 😢 Here are a few of my lovely lovely customers with their little peg doll twins 😊 I’m so grateful to be able to make things for such lovely people. I love making my peg dolls and think I would still be making them even if nobody bought them. But it’s so much nicer sharing that joy around by having customers who want to own them too!
I’ve really enjoyed taking part in Meet the Maker and have met some lovely new inspiring people to follow. I’ve also enjoyed learning more about those I already loved. Thank you @joannehawker for providing us with the challenge and daily prompts 😘😘😘 xxx

That rounds up the Meet the Peg Doll Maker series for this year! I hope you enjoyed the little look at what we do and how we create each peg doll family.

If you think we could make a wooden version of you and your loved ones, please drop us a line using the contact form!

Cwtch ♥ Mawr

peg doll family

Meet the Peg Doll Maker – Part V

Welcome to the penultimate post in our behind-the-scenes Meet the Peg Doll Maker series that explains more about how each beautiful peg doll family is made. The posts are inspired by the month long challenge that we took part in on Instagram, created by Joanne Hawker.

You’re joining us for day 20 – 25. For the previous days, please see the earlier posts in this series. They can be found by clicking on the “Meet the Maker” tag in the Popular Tags cloud on the right of the page.

day 20: Sketch books

peg doll family planning

Whilst I don’t tend to sketch my actual peg doll ideas, I’m a big list maker/visual planner. I’m also a bit of a pretty stationery hoarder. What is it about notebooks?! I love squared paper and found it perfect for mapping my fairaisle designs for the Christmas Jumper Birds I made last year. As well as physical notebooks, I also use my ipad to stay organised. My favourites include Paper and Planner Plus Xxx

day 21: Inspiration

peg doll family

My inspiration for my peg dolls is YOU GUYS and the fabulous photos you send me to work from! I always suggest that colourful and patterned clothing works best for each member of your peg doll family. Plus that means that it’s much more fun for me 😉. You rarely disappoint! 😍💕

Day 22: Close Up

peg doll lady in stripey top

Following on from yesterdays post, here’s a close up of a recent make. My customer didn’t have any clothing pictures to send me, so my brief was “mustard, navy and maybe some stripes”. Lush 💛💙

Day 23: Recent Make

peg doll wedding cake topper

This is a very recent make as it only got posted off to its forever home on Monday! I don’t usually show wedding toppers until after the couple’s big day. However this was a special commission for a baker to use on her cakes at Wedding Fairs, so I can share away. I am having a little play at using more props in my photos too. What do you think? Xxx

DAY 24: milestone

I was really unsure what to post for todays’ prompt. As I was thinking about I realised that, while it’s not a numerical milestone, it’s an achievement for me to actually be building the confidence to show and talk about what I do. So I decided to post this video I made last week to demonstrate that.
In the last couple of weeks I’ve been approached to exhibit at two different exciting upcoming events. One of which is one of the BIGGEST annual events in South Wales that draws people from all over the UK. Needless to say I was floored to be invited, but I think I have to turn it down. This is partly due to confidence, partly due to feeling we’re not big enough, and partly that the event, although massive, isn’t right for my peg doll family. I’m still mulling over the second opportunity though so watch this space! I believe in my pegdolls 100%…but my confidence in myself still has a way to go yet. I’m getting there bit by bit! 💕 xx

Day 25: Packaging

pretty packaging for every peg doll family

It’s always lovely to send off my pretty packages. 🎁 Each peg doll is individually wrapped in pink tissue, then all your peg doll family is wrapped together in stripey or spotted tissue, sealed with my branded sticker. They are placed into the stripey bag along with a business card and (new for 2017) a care card to help you or your recipient look after your investment. I usually work closely with my customers to make their dolls. As a result build a lovely rapport with them; so I always like to include a nice handwritten note to thank them for their custom. I feel it’s little touches like that which make buying handmade and bespoke such a special experience. It’s far better than mass-produced high street items. 💕

I hope you’re enjoying following along with this series of posts. The 6th and final installment will be along shortly.

Don’t forget, our order book is open if you would like your very own personalised peg doll family.
Just get in touch using the contact form.

Cwtch ♥ Mawr

peg doll family

Meet the Peg Doll Maker Series – Part IV- My Helpers!

Welcome to Part Four of my Meet the Peg Doll Maker series, helping you to get to know us a little more. It’s based on the prompts provided by Joanne Hawker for the month long Instagram challenge designed to help small business owners and creatives to tell the story behind their brand.

The prompt for Day 19 of  #marchmeetthemaker was Helper…As you know an awful lot of work goes into every peg doll I make, therefore a lot goes on behind the scenes. As much as I try to do almost all of it on my own, some family members won’t take no for an answer when they offer assistance. Especially those  four-legged family members! So I think you’ll agree that this prompt deserves a post all of its own! You’ll have to scroll through all the pics to fully grasp the roles of everyone here at Pink Elephant Crafts.

Little Pearl holds several key positions in the company and to be honest pretty much runs the joint here. She is :

1. Official Guard of the Pencils. Don’t. Touch. The. Yellow. Pencils.

cute kitten with coloured pencils

2. Stock Controller. Who knew that cats had such great numerical abilities?

cute kitten with wooden peg dolls

3. Storage Manager . This role mainly involves sleeping in stacked up boxes and on important bits of paper.

cute kitten hiding in peg doll storage box

4.Photoshop supervisor. Did somebody say the “mouse” is moving?!

cute kitten helps edit pictures of peg dolls in photoshop

5. Paintbrush inspector.  A sniff and a little nibble usually weeds out any duff brushes.

cute white kitten inspects peg doll artists paintbrushes

6. Grabber of Things from the Printer. An essential role in every office.

cute white kitten helps with the office printer

She is often joined by Cookie (our third cat Dexter has chosen not to be involved in the family business) and together they prowl the studio windowsill to guard against threats of corporate espionage (mainly from next doors’ dog).

cute cats in peg doll artists studio

They also help with the cleaning by ensuring anything on my studio desk is knocked to its “rightful” place on the floor.

cute cats on peg doll artists desk

That’s the main important roles here covered really.

Oh! Occasionally I get a little bit of casual help from two family members. Once in a while, Mr T redesigns and makes sure that my website and spreadsheets are all working. I break them a lot. He might make a cuppa every now and then too. Sometimes his Dad will make me a jig and drill a load of dolls for me. However, I have been considering bringing the pair of slackers in for a disciplinary 😉

drilling and sanding in the pegdoll workshop

Hehehe! I’m lucky to have so much support  in making my personalised peg doll families at Pink Elephant Crafts!

Cwtch ♥ Mawr

peg doll family

Meet the Peg Doll Maker – Part III

Welcome to part 3 of my Meet the Peg Doll Maker series, sharing a bit more of the stories and behind the scenes of making our peg doll families.

For more information of the Meet the Maker concept if you’re just catching up, see my previous two posts.

Day 13: Photography 📷

photographing my peg doll families

In our old house we had a perfect south-facing conservatory for taking photos of my peg doll families. They only ever needed very little post-shoot editing. But in our new house, our little side-return “conservatory” faces the west. It is unevenly lit because it only has windows along one side. So my current simple set up takes place in the massive bay window in our lounge. I’m still not 100% happy, it takes a lot more tweaking this way than it used to. Photoshop actions are my late night friends! I’ve always kept my photos very simple to allow the colours and patterns of the dolls to shine, I am thinking of changing this up this year. I will be keeping the white backgrounds, but hope to explore props and staging a little more 📷 💕🐘

DAY 14: Creative Friends

I don’t really have a real life creative business circle that I brainstorm with. Being an introvert suffering with anxiety and depression (oh my goodness, I sound a right barrel of laughs! I’m not a TOTAL loon, I promise!), makes it hard to “get out there” and network. However, IG is fabulous for being inspired by others work and the way they operate their small/creative businesses. So it is a bit of a godsend! I have been fortunate to cross IG paths with lots of lovely lovely makers. There are a few who stick in my mind not only for their talents and the beautiful products they make, but for the warmth and friendliness they extend to their followers. I love the time they take to respond to comments and messages. This is something that is essential in running a small creative business. Have a little peep at their lovely work and beautiful souls:
a) Deedee & Boo Designs
b) Daisylions
c) @rhubarb_hill_crafts
d) Glenbach Weaving
e) Jessica Kathryn Art

Day 15: Work Clothes.

my uniform worn when making peg doll families

Comfort is key. Every day I get up and change into my “uniform”. This consists of some sort of soft, cosy pjs and my slipper boots. I have a little preference for the pj bottoms with the cuffed ankles and pockets . This makes them perfectly good “around the house day wear” in my books! In fact a couple of my friends think this is hilarious and regularly text me to ask what “lounge wear” I have on today. Isn’t jealousy an awful thing 😉😄 The slipper boots are a must. Once my feet are cold there is no thawing out for me and I become a very grumpy Natalie, as Mr T will vouch.

PPE worn when making peg doll families

Here you can see the PPE I *should* wear.  It gets a bit smokey and dusty when I’m burning and sanding the dolls. I don’t wear it often enough though. I hope that’s not going to be something that bites me on the bottom in years to come 😨

Day 16: Time to Relax.

hand made in wales

Mr T has been working his IT wizardry in Reading all week but is due home anytime soon. I am excited to spend the evening doing our favourite everyday thing…cwtching up together in our cosy lounge with a film, or binge watching a good series 💕 We’ve got a cinema projector that we haven’t yet set back up since we moved in to this house. I can’t wait to install it. This sofa was made for maximum relaxing and big screen watching! I usually sit catching up on admin on the laptop or drawing out peg dolls as we watch. We are both night owls so it’s not at all unusual for us to be up until 2 or 3 am. This is great for me, but not so much for Mr T who has to get up in the morning! I think you have to listen to your body rhythms. For as long as I can remember I have been a night owl. I always find my most productive time of day is between 3pm and midnight-ish.  When I was a uni student, working as a teacher and with what I do now. No wonder working in a “normal” job has always gotten me down/unwell. I always feel like I “come alive” or properly come around about 2 in the afternoon no matter what time I get up before that. But I’m no longer beating myself up for it and just going with it. Of course, I am fortunate to be in a situation where I can do it, and feel much healthier and happier for it.

Day 17: Feedback

wedding cake topper feedback

I really have the loveliest customers who say the nicest things about my peg doll families. Feedback is so important that I have a whole page devoted to it on my website. Not only does is build up trust with potential customers when they see what people have to say about you, it absolutely keeps me going with what I do. It has given me a little purpose in life, certainly over the past 6 months. This email in particular was rather special. It made me cry knowing my work had made her cry!! Tears of joy of course!! 💕

 You can see lots more about what my lovely customers have said about my peg doll families by selecting “Feedback” from the menu at the top of this page 

Day 18: Hyperlapse

Find my Hyperlapse video here on YouTube

I am being a TOTAL cheat because I’m reposting the one I made for the December challenge! It’s got awful lighting and it’s off centre a lot of the time, but it took me soooo long to edit what I do into one minute. I couldn’t face doing another one! 😂 I’ve got one or two new followers since then, so it’s nice to re-show the process that every single one of my dolls goes through. Lots of people are surprised that I use pencil and not paint on my peg doll families. It takes a lot more time and effort but it’s worth it. When I shared this on Facebook in December, my Mother In Law gave me a row as she thought it made what I do look really easy 😂

That brings part III of Meet the Peg Doll Maker to a close. Stay tuned for part III; if you’re a cat lover, you are going to love it!

Cwtch ♥ Mawr

peg doll family

Meet the Peg Doll Maker – Part II

Welcome to Part 2 of my Meet the Peg Doll Maker series, helping you to get to know us a little more. It’s based on the prompts provided by Joanne Hawker for the month long Instagram challenge March Meet The Maker. For more information, see my last post.

day 7: How it’s made

peg doll gifts UK

These pictures are almost 2 years old. My work has improved since then but they still give a good insight into how I make my dolls. Most people presume they are just painted like the majority of peg dolls you see. However mine are a bit different. My lines are etched into the wood using pyrography. Then I colour them using artists pencils. This enhances the lovely wood grain rather than covering it up. It’s a lot of work and a long process (I’ll show you a bit more later in the month). Nevertheless it’s one that I relish and think is worth it 💕

Day 8: Where.

peg dolls made in wales

peg dolls made in wales

I work from our lovely little Victorian semi on the side of a little Pine-covered Mountain in the Welsh Valleys. The meaning of “Gwynfa” is paradise or heavenly in Welsh. So we knew this was exactly the place our hearts and minds need to be as soon as we saw it. Every day my breath is taken away by the beautiful views of the mountains from our lovely home 💕🏡

Day 9: Work in Progress

peg doll in progress

This is a very special little spoon peg doll on my desk right now. She is a special make for the lovely Sharon at Daisy Lions, who makes the most beautiful textile art featuring her wonderful little liberty fabric birds. The spoon peg doll has been pyrographed and is now being coloured.

Day 10: Recommend a Maker

peg doll silver charms

Yikey Mikey! Instagram is so jam-packed with amazing talent how can I pick just one? I mentioned some of my faves last week when I did my Stories video of my little studio, but one super lovely maker who didn’t come into that bracket then was @onelittlehut . Emily is a super talented silver smith and truly lovely to boot. She creates her jewellery in the most swoon-worthy shepherds hut that I’m a tad jealous of 😍 So if you don’t like pretty shiny things (say whaaaat?!) her feed is worth checking out for her interior design!

 I am still flawed by the amazing detail she packed into my beautiful bracelet that my husband had commissioned a few Christmases ago – the teeny tiny peg dolls are just like the first ever ones I made of Mr T and I – how she managed that I have no idea. I would have gone blind/loopy/all of the afore mentioned working so much detail on such a teeny weeny scale. Her customer service is also exceptional. Thank you Emily for rocking IG with your lovely work 💪🌹🌻🌸💕

Day 11: Post/Mail.

A post shared by Natalie (@pinkelephantcrafts) on

Our local post office has been closed all week for a refurb. So I have to drive over to the next village and today theirs was closed too 🙈 I wonder if they’ll be fitting a tv in the new PO, because whenever I go down I seem to be tearing the Post Mistress away from her daily dose of Loose Women in her lounge. Anyway, I eventually found one open this week and was able to get my parcels off to their forever homes.😂✉ 💕

Day 12: Brand

pink elephant crafts peg dolls logo

pink elephant crafts peg dolls logo Silly little story for you today! When we first thought about a logo, I scribbled my idea on a scrap of paper and clever Mr T brought it to digital life for me. I wanted it to encompass the various skills I brought to our products at the time, including embroidered and appliqued hoop art, illustrated cards and chalkboards.

Over time we have became focussed on the peg dolls and have considered rebranding to “Pink Elephant Pegs” to reflect this, but it would be a bit of a headache with all our packaging/cards/stall banners/website/domain and emails all needing changing 😪 We did however try changing the logo about 18months ago to represent our current work.  We settled on replacing the tools with little polkadot pegdolls. We launched it on Facebook and it got lots of 👍 until someone commented that they looked like…erm…willy warmers!!!🙈🙈 Needless to say I immediately reverted to the old one and haven’t really looked back since! I’ve managed to find it deep in our dropbox so have added a pic of it for your amusement 😂💕xxx

And that little giggle rounds up Part II of Meet the Peg Doll Maker. We hope you are enjoying finding our more about us! The next installment will be here soon.

Cwtch ♥ Mawr

peg doll family