Santa peg doll how-to

December 02, 2022

Every December I am compelled to make tiny people out of wooden peg doll blanks. Of all my compulsions, it's probably my nicest because it's a fun one! Last year I made elves and the year before that, angels. I already know what I'm going to make next year, but let's talk about this year, because this year I made a wee army of Santas. These little fellas would bring a smile to even the Grinch's face and while you may get a little glue on your fingers and some glitter on your cheeks (that will seem to never go away) they are super fun to make and will give you a few hours of creative fun. They are meant to be used as gift tie-ons or tree ornaments. 

Gather your supplies. Now I don't know if it will surprise any of you to know that I did not have to buy anything. Folks, I have a fully loaded craft room and I could never live long enough to gobble up the craft supplies I've squirreled away. However, normal people will need to purchase the following:

-2" to 2.5" wooden dolls--these can be found at your local hobby/craft shop but they tend to be expensive unless you purchase in bulk. It looks like Amazon's choices are more limited this year than they have been in the past but I found 150 2-1/8" dolls for $30 here (great price!) and 15 2-3/8" dolls for $11.50 here. Here are 50 2.4" dolls for $16.00 at Target. You'll also need:

-red felt (I buy all my felt, a wool blend, from Benzie, but for this craft, an inexpensive craft store acrylic felt will work fine.)
-red thread
-white felt
-red paint 50 cents, but do not choose the "subscribe and save option", unless you want that of course.
-black paint 87 cents, and same as above--choose the "one time purchase" button.
-red glitter I had a chunky glitter and a fine glitter. I used both but preferred the fine.
-white Elmer's Glue All. Not going to lie, I buy it by the gallon, but you can buy a small one at Target.
-fabric glue is optional as you can use the white glue above, but fabric glue is a little bit easier to use with felt and this is a good one for felt, but again, choose the "one time purchase" option.
-small rhinestones or sequins
-print the pdf pattern for hat and beard here I am new at this and it's a pretty rough pdf. When you print it, adjust it so the 1" square scale measures 1".

You'll also need fabric scissors, sewing needle, wooden skewer or toothpick, tweezers, paintbrush. Now that you have gathered up your supplies you can get started!

Paint the bodies red and let fully dry, approximately one to two hours. Since I make so many, 30 this year, I go with an assembly line style.

Next, paint bodies with Elmer's glue and sprinkle with glitter. Let dry overnight.

While the glittered bodies are drying, cut hats and beards out of felt and belts out of ribbon. For hats, cut a 3-5/8" circle and fold into fourths. The quarter circle is your hat template. You can also download my pdf (see above in the supplies list) with templates if you don't want to drag out that protractor. With NO seam allowance, whip stitch edges together and stitch on a tiny O ring at the top for hanging on the tree or tying to a package. For belt, cut a 3" piece of black ribbon. For beard, make an oval template 1" wide and 1 1/8" long. It took me a while to get the beard right, but when I finally did, I made a template so I could duplicate it 30 more times. That little beard template is also on my pdf, just so you don't have to reinvent the wheel.

The next step is to glue on the beards and hats. I pipe a thin line of glue to the underside of the brim, and for the beard, a thin line of glue at the top only. Let dry.

With fabric glue and tweezers, attach belt, rhinestone buckle and pompom. Let dry.

Last step: With a wooden skewer or toothpick, dot the point of the skewer into the paint and dot on black eyes. Repeat for the red nose. Either way, now you are done with your army of Santas! Your Santa can be used as a tree ornament or a gift tie-on. Right now you are probably wondering what on earth I am going to do with 30 Santas? First, I am having a luncheon/cookie exchange for 20 women and these little dudes will be the party favor. I will also save a few for my tree and then make sure I save several to give away to my neighbors.

See my how-to posts for peg doll elves here, and peg doll angels here.

Thank you so much for popping into my crafty corner this week. If you make any of my peg dolls I hope you will let me know! This post has an affiliate links. If you purchase something from an affiliate link, I will receive a small commission at no cost to you. Thank you so much for supporting the blog. If you'd like to make a comment, please scroll down. I reply to each comment and that response will appear directly below your comment. If you would like a personal reply, please know that I use the Blogger platform and they do not give me your contact information when you comment. If you would like a personal reply you can contact me using the contact form on the right side at the very end of my websiteIf you would like to receive Knitionary posts by email, please subscribe here 

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  1. What an adorable set of Christmas armies! I can just imagine how you arrange them in your Christmas decor, Kristen. The Washington Post had a wonderful article about this year’s White House Christmas Tree and its craft ornaments and how beneficial crafts are to us humans - tall and tiny alike. The First Lady, being a teacher was, of course, the “influencer” for this theme. I love how First Ladies in general, a non-paid position, get to make their mark during their “tenure” at the White House. This year it particularly hit home for us knitters and other crafters, didn’t it? Chloe

    1. One of my favorite shows to seek out, and it's not easy, is the annual White House Christmas tour with the first lady. I've watched them for years. What a gorgeous home to decorate and make your mark! I will search this new tour out. Usually I can find it on youtube.

    2. I don’t know if it’s the same one, but HGTV does a White Hose Christmas every year. This year the Internet tells me it is on December 11. They go behind the scenes to show the work involved. Chloe

  2. P.S. Over 30 years ago when my daughter was small I cut out all the felt pieces for a Better Homes and Gardens Nativity Scene but then never could muster the enthusiasm to finish it. That ‘s when I knew I wasn’t That Kind of Crafter. But I did knit your beautiful fun Sugarfoot design so apparently I am This Other Kind of Crafter. It got lost in a move, so a new one might soon be in the works. Thank you for your generosity with your patterns, Kristen. Chloe

    1. Oh yes, I can see all those tiny pieces of felt waiting to become a Nativity! I think I would run out of steam too. Also, thank you for the tip finding the White House Christmas show. I have it on record so now I won't have to go searching.

  3. You are amazing. The little people are so cute. I'm not "cut out" to do crafts like this. I can only imagine the mess I would get into!

    1. You are so funny. Well, with so much glue and glitter, you do have to deal with sticky fingers for a while! Anyway, you don't have to make any, I always give you one!

  4. Kristen, your little peg Santa’s are the sweet angels. I have always admired your talents. These remind me of the little crafts ai created when my kids were young. I also did craft shows. I should have kept a few. Happy holidays 🎄⛄️

    1. Thank you Linda. I would love to see the crafts you did years ago, but I know what you mean, I didn't save a lot of my older crafts either. I think the fun is in the making and I never worried about treating them like heirlooms!

  5. I am happy to feature your sweet Santa peg dolls today at Love Your Creativity. Merry Christmas Kristen.


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