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Peg doll and recyclables dollhouse

I bought these peg dolls for Emma quite a while ago, and today she asked to get them out and decorate them. I think they turned out quite nicely, especially given that it’s her first go at decorating a 3D object. I need to get her some non-smudging pens for this type of work, ideally in a range of colors instead of just black. Any suggestions as to what I should look for?

20090420_0500The dolls needed a house, so we took the lid of a shoebox and some scraps of cardboard and fabric and created this humble abode:


Emma loved this activity, and it was made completely from leftover scraps apart from the two dolls (99 cents for a package of two, and I think I got them 40% off). She spent at least an hour playing with the finished product this afternoon. Maybe we should take a second shoebox lid and build an addition onto the dollhouse. :)


MaryAnne is a craft loving educator, musician, photographer, and writer who lives in Silicon Valley with her husband Mike and their four children.

16 thoughts on “Peg doll and recyclables dollhouse”

    1. Must have been a busy week for you or something :)

      LiEr over at ikatbag.com wrote about using wood markers and I want to say also pre-treating the wood to prevent bleeding. I couldn’t find the post to link here, though…

  1. I realised I left the wrong link, sorry! Here’s the correct link:
    < HREF="http://sunnydaytodaymama.blogspot.com/2009/05/toy-pond.html" REL="nofollow">A toy pond<>

  2. We decided to adapt your idea and make a pond instead of a dollhouse. I posted about it and linked to this post. Thanks for another great idea, Sunnyboy loves it :) Here’s our post:
    < HREF="http://sunnydaytodaymama.blogspot.com/" REL="nofollow">A toy pond<>

  3. Use sharpies for her to color on the dolls. They work well and I know this because my little boys all did the same thing.

  4. So clever. Where did you get the dolls? I’ve never seen them, but think my little Beast would have fun dressing them up as pirates or animals or something.

  5. Happy Earth Day! Cute doll houses. I would love to add that to tomorrow’s crafting with recycled goods post on ABC:)
    Happy Earth Day!

  6. @ LiEr – thanks for the link – what a fantastic party for a little girl! I like the idea of using fabric scraps to clothe the dolls, too :)

  7. Very nice work, Emma! Peg dolls – I love. I still have a box full of them that I bought in bulk months ago. I used some of them for E’s birthday party ice breaker art activity. We used fine-tip permanent markers for the details- they were TUL markers from Office Depot. But Sharpies (which we didn’t have at home) work the same, too! We also used fabric scraps to wrap the dolls for clothes just so the guests wouldn’t be coloring all night!

    Here’s the link if you’re interested:


    I love what you did for the dollhouse! Cardboard (recycled boxes and box parts esp!) rocks!

  8. Fine-point sharpies are a great idea, thanks for the suggestion! I’d forgotten that they came in so many colors!

    I got the peg dolls from JoAnn’s. I think Michael’s or any other craft store would probably have them too.

  9. We’ve got some fine-point Sharipes in a rainbow of colors. I don’t think they smudge. As someone clearly not as crafty as you I have to ask: where do you find peg dolls?

  10. What about Sharpies? They make them in a range of colours.

    Cute dollhouse, by the way – and it would be relatively portable too!

  11. so cute, maryanne! amazing that something as simple as a shoebox lid (and some scraps) can be such a huge deal to a child…

  12. I just love how you post such simple activities for young children with free/inexpensive materials. The dollshouse is wonderful. Sunnyboy already has a lovely wooden dollshouse and furniture but I’m going to make one of these shoebox lid houses with him anyway as I know he’ll love playing with it! Thanks for this idea :)

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