OK fairy lovers, I have finally got my act together to give some instructions on how to make a vintage inspired fairy peg doll (or clothespin doll). These are perfect for adorning bedrooms, as bridesmaid gifts, and of course on top of Christmas trees!
I usually make them in batches of say 6 at a time in a little mini production line!
You will need: old fashioned wooden clothes pegs; scraps of lace, fabric and ribbon (the fairies in photos are all wearing Liberty tana lawn dresses cut from patchwork charm squares); embroidery thread or yarn for hair; pipecleaners (for arms); beads, trims & sequins; some pink paint (I improvise by using matchpots with a speck of red acrylic paint mixed in); black & red felt pens; and, most importantly, butterfly wings - I have used vintage Nottingham lace butterfly wings as well as sparkly Christmas decoration or feather wings; glue & needle & thread
- Paint head and neck and 4cm from foot tips pink. Tip: set peg on rim of plastic cup to dry
- Cut pipe cleaner to 11cm; bind and glue both ends with ribbon or tiny felt scraps to make hands
- If paint is now dry, paint or glue ribbon onto feet to create toning shoes; draw features on face - I use 2 small black dots for eyes, a teensy red heart for mouth and two small rosy cheeks of a touch of blusher rubbed on with a cotton bud/Q tip. Face painting is more tricky than it seems, if all goes wrong, try on the other side and you can cover the ugly face with hair later!!
- Cut pieces for clothes - if you are making more than one fairy, it might be helpful to cut cardboard templates then trace round these with a disappearing pen before cutting - it makes it much quicker. These sizes are for a standard 11cm high peg: knickers: 2 pieces 5cm x 4.5cm, glue lace trim on one 4.5cm edge and leave to dry; petticoat: scrap of lace 4cm long and 9cm wide; dress skirt: 6cm long x 20cm wide - glue lace along bottom edge, glue 6cm edges to make tube, run gathering thread around top edge; sleeves: tube 9cm long bx 2.5cm wide - glue along long edge to make tube, insert arms, trim cuffs with lace; sash: 6.5cm long x 1cm deep; bodice crossover: 11cm x 1cm
- Assemble clothes on doll: glue knickers pieces into tubes, put glue round tops of legs and position; glue petticoat to form a tube, glue over top of knickers; gather waist edge of dress skirt and tie onto doll, put glue under top edge to secure; glue arms at back of doll; take bodice crossover and place on back of neck, cross over front, bring round back, trim and glue in place; glue sash in place at waistline over top edge of skirt. Doll should now be dressed. Trim dress with beads, sequins etc.
- Cut a piece of ribbon approx. 60cm long. Stitch this securely to centre back of arms/bodice as this will tie the fairy to trees & other alighting points. Take your butterfly wings and stitch to back of fairy.
- Time to put on the hair - this can get in the way of dressing the doll so best to leave until last. For long hair, cut lengths of embroidery thread approx. 9cm long, tie in the centre and then glue and arrange on head. Bobbled knitting yarn can be piled up high a la Duchess of Devonshire - glue and stitch as you go. Decorate with lace, ribbon, rosebuds, felt hats as you wish.
- Last of all, the wand! Cut a length of wire (I use millinery wire) approx. 5.5cm long. Cover with ribbon, glue beads and ribbon onto the end and then secure with a couple of stitches to the fairy's arm.
- Make a wish!
More fairy photos follow.