Tuesday, December 04, 2012

The Art of Making: Wooden Crafts

With a gift list in hand, the kiddos and I have begun our holiday crafting. Inspired by a toy we saw at a friend's home, our first task was painting and finishing some wooden peg people.  A few of my nieces and nephews will be finding these little people under the tree this year. I found the people and cups at one of my favorite online wood shops, Casey's Wood. We decided to use non-toxic watercolors since the recipients will be on the younger side. Watercolors are not ideal for painting wood, but worked quite well for us. The medium left a more stained look on the wood.

Armed with the watercolor palette, we painted the people a rainbow of colors. Each of the kiddos got into the action throughout the day. I was a bit strict about how I wanted the colors applied and how each peg person needed a matching cup. Fortunately, we had a few pieces leftover and each commandeered several for their own. Eamon decided to use his as a gift for the person he drew in our homeschooling gift exchange. Aine painted hers for her dollhouse, and Benton just likes to carry his. Those extra pieces were painted magical combinations of colors which pleased both mama and kiddos.

Once all the paint was applied and allowed to dry for a few days, we lightly sanded the toys. A very fine grade paper was used to smooth the edges. This went quickly with so many hands. In order to help seal the watercolors a bit, we mixed up a finish for the toys. I heated 1 ounce beeswax in a double boiler. Once it was melted I added 4 ounces olive oil. With this mixture, we polished all the toys and even quite a few wooden spoons we found int he kitchen. The polish really brightens up the toys. All that is left is sewing a few cloth bags to hold the toys and mail them off. We are sure the recipients will enjoy them as much as we enjoyed making them.


  1. What a fun craft and one I would love to do here. I have knit a few little hats and 'body suits' for peg people and I think adding some that are painted would make a nice addition.
    Have fun elving!

  2. i love it! i think maybe i will give it a go for fiona's birthday. :)

    1. I think you should wait until after the holidays. Just sayin'

  3. these are great! i love using watercolors on wood actually. so pretty!

  4. Those turned out so well Heather. The colors looks very good!

  5. a gift from the heart!! perfect.

  6. Fun project and gift! I am sure the recipients will love them :)