Autumn Peg Dolls

Today we're celebrating Lá na gCrann (Tree Day) with these cute Peg Dolls.

There is a large green area at the bottom of our road and on it there is a small hill and a row of 9 Oak trees. We never pass by without climbing the hill to see the view or spending some time visiting these ancient trees.

At this time of year, amongst the fallen leaves, there are a million acorns and over the past few weeks, we have amassed a vast collection. They rattle around the bottom of my handbag. They hide in the little girls' coat pockets. They fill the nature table. They emerge shiny from the washing machine and no one knows how they even got into it in the first place. They gather dust on the bookshelves and there is even an egg carton full of acorns with faces on the kitchen counter, courtesy of Lile.
Acorns are things of beauty. Hard and glossy and full of magnificent potential. But it is the cups which hold these precious seeds that I love most of all. We will plant many of our acorns this year which would, in itself, be a nice little activity for Tree Day or on our woodland walks and the pretty little cups won't go to waste either!

They have become adorable hats for my autumn family of peg (clothes pin) dolls! These dolls are my Tree Day gift to the girls and I absolutely LOVED making them. I hope you will too!

What you will need:
Old fashioned clothes pegs/pins
Acorn cups
Paint (I happened to have paint samples to hand, but poster paint works just as well)
Paintbrushes (with small brushes)
PVA glue
Felt &  fabric scraps in autumnal colours
Needle and thread

First paint some hair and facial features on the pegs. (You can use a pen to draw on the face, but make sure you coat the head with clear nail varnish first to stop the ink running into the wood grain)
Then paint the torso and shoes/legs. Now it's time to dress them!

For trousers:
Cut two rectangles of felt/fabric. Feed through the gap in the peg and stitch down the sides.

Stitch or glue a waist band to the top of the trousers to finish them off. Then embellish with some little oak leaves. I hand cut lots and lots of these little leaves from felt in autumnal colours.

For a skirt/dress:
Place a cup on your chosen felt/fabric and draw around it. Cut out the circle, fold into quarters and snip the very tip off. Unfold  and stitch on some little leaves. 

Put the peg doll's legs through the hole. Hold in place with a band of felt/fabric which can be glued or stitched on to make sure the skirt doesn't slip down! Glue the acorn cup hats in place and voilá - cute little dollies!
I couldn't help myself. I just had to make a little Sábha and Lile Peg Doll for each of the girls, but I also made this sweet little family. Mr. & Mrs. Oak and little baby Dair. (The Irish  for Oak is Dair)

I also painted the inside of lots of acorn cups. I thought they might be used as cups, bowls and plates so that the dollies can have a picnic, but I'm sure the girls will come up with lots of other ideas.

I really love all of the different 'hats', each one is completely unique, but I think this is my favourite. I'm almost tempted to ask my cousin (who is a talented milliner) to make me one for myself! 
I set up a little forest scene for the girls after they got home from Naíonra today and they are enjoying playing with their new little oak-inspired friends.
Happy Tree Day everyone!


  1. These are so beautiful Sadhbh, what a lovely idea to celebrate La na gCrann... I bet your girls were delighted!

    1. Thanks Naomi! To be honest, I think I had much more fun making them than they did playing with them ;)

  2. Ooh, I'd love to make you an acorn cup hat. I'll start having a little think of how to do it x

    1. Really? Really??? I would LOVE that! I still have to finish your unicorn too... and I know you have a birthday coming up ;)

  3. Those are SO CUTE! Just gorgeous! I adore the hats!

  4. These are so sweet! I’m a big fan of your cards (and have a croméal badge on my bag!) so it’s lovely to stumble across your blog. I work in Moss Cottage and it’s so so lovely to see people buying your cards all the time, keep up the good work! Clio

    1. Thanks so much Clio! I'm a bit addicted to Moss Cottage myself, that's where I got the paint samples from!!

  5. You need to check out Salley Mavor!!!!! All your dolly dreams come true ;-)

    1. Oh THANK YOU for the recommendation! How beautiful. I predict many lost hours perusing her site!


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