Toddler Toys: Wooden Matching Dolls

This week Miranda and I have been using the blog as parenting therapy talking toddlers. Today is the last day of our toddler projects and I'm going to tell you right now -- it's NOT kid tested. Don't give me that look, I have a good reason. This one is for Christmas! Yup, this girl is working on getting ahead of the Christmas madness this year. Now that I've actually proclaimed that to the world I am positive I will fail, but I'm trying. 

I'm going to let you in on a secret: Christmas stresses me out. It hasn't always, but it does now. I have a relatively small family so I would wait for the Christmas spirit to strike and I would start my shopping and after a week or two I would be done and everything would be wrapped. The first year I was married, that's when it hit. Allen and I got married the end of September so about a month and half into the blissful life of marriage Christmas came up in the conversation. Allen has a good sized family when you add up the parents, grandparents, brothers, spouses, nieces and nephews. Somehow he truly (to this day) believes that my vows included the words "and do all of the Christmas shopping for all families." Hello stress. November hits and I think that my blood pressure immediately goes up - this year we have to add that it's the first year that Macie sort of "gets" Christmas. 

Since Macie is getting excited about Christmas I decided to make a few gifts for her to add to her stash of toys. I saw these little matching dolls from Gluesticks and immediately was in love. Macie loves stacking toys and things that fit into other things. She is the queen of stashing little toys inside of bigger toys so little wooden dolls are perfect for her. I love these because they were a pretty quick project and you can customize them however you want. If you are an amazing artist you could even make them look like your family -- I did not do that. 

Wooden Pegs
Mini Unfinished Wooden Cups
Acrylic Paints
Clear Gloss Spray

I found the pegs and cups in the wood section of Joann's but I know I've seen similar ones at Michael's so I'm sure you can find them at most craft stores. I had a coupon so I think all of the pegs and cups cost me about $5. I grabbed one of my baskets of acrylic paints (let's not talk about it) and my jar of brushes and got to work.

I painted the bodies of the little people to match the cups they would go into. I didn't want all of the dolls to look the same so some have stripes and others have polka dots. After painting the bodies, I moved on to the heads. Each doll got their own fancy hair-do as well - one even got a halo and angel wings. After they were painted and dry it was time for some gloss. 

Note: Gloss smells BAD. Spray everything outside. I was impatient and we were getting a ton of wind so I decided to do my spraying in the garage and it was a bad idea. I had to open the garage door and leave for awhile. Don't do that. Put a nice light coat of gloss on your dolls and then let it dry and evaluate if you need another coat. I ended up putting two coats on mine because I really liked the shine. It makes them seem more finished to me. 

Once the gloss was fully dry, it was time to put some faces on these little people. I used a fine tip Sharpie for my faces. You can make them as intricate or as simple as you like. Mine are more on the simple side. If you're wondering why I didn't put the faces on before the gloss, here's why - the wood is unfinished and the Sharpie will bleed into the wood. 

After adding some little faces, the dolls are done! It has taken a lot of self-restraint on my part to not give these cute little dolls to Macie. I'll have to keep you posted on how she likes them once Christmas comes. Have you started your Christmas shopping? Are you making any of your gifts? Share!!