I recently took part in a Catholic Saint peg doll exchange, and it was awesome! We all painted 36 of the same Saint, then exchanged so we ended up with 36 different Saints.
I am so excited about these little guys! Here’s the complete set I ended up with:
From left to right, top to bottom:
St. Joan of Arc, St. Patrick, Blessed Imelda, St. Sebastian, St. Rita, Venerable Archbishop Fulton Sheen, St. Dominic Savio, St. Gianna Molla, St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Lucy (Lucia), St. Juan Diego, St. Michael (NEXT ROW) St. Kateri, St. Rose of Lima, St. Paul the Apostle, St. Mary Magdalene, St. Nicholas, Blessed Mother Teresa, St. Augustine, St. Zita, St. Teresa of Avila, St. Francis, St. Padre Pio, St. Bernadette (NEXT ROW) St. John Bosco, little one– St. Dominic Savio, St. Martin de Porres, St. Faustina, St. Joseph, St. Maria Goretti, St. Clare, St. Ambrose, St. Cecilia, Pope Saint John Paul II, St. Therese, St. Veronica, St. Maximilian.
I loved how different these all were- they ended up with their own personality! Showing up and seeing the “reveal” of each Saint was so much more fun than painting them all myself.
How The Swap Works:
- Find some ladies who want to participate in a Saint swap. Those who live in town can trade in person, and those who don’t can ship them. (And before you throw yourself a pity party and tell me you don’t have any awesome Catholic friends who will want to do this, there are several facebook groups that specialize in Saint swaps, and they both ship, so you can participate wherever you are!)
- Decide on a number for the swap, and stick to it!
- Set a date that the swap happens. Out-of-towners will need to mail them in enough time. Make this farther out than you think you need to- these things are time consuming, and you want this to be fun, not stressful! Some of these are set 6 months out or farther.
- Decide on a standard size for your pegs. I will say that the Catholic standard seems to be the 3 1/2 inch “man” and “doll” pegs from this site. Not sure how that happened, but even if you’re painting your own, I’d say it’s best to do the standard size so that if you participate in trades in the future, they fit. Plus, it’s nice to have the bigger pegs- you can paint them more detailed and the bigger ones are harder to lose and more fun to play with.
- On the day of the swap, everyone brings a snack or drink to share, and whatever folding tables they have laying around at home. Everyone sets up their Saints, and ooh and aah for awhile. Then you take your box, go around, and get one of each Saint. Extra volunteer stay to pack up the ones that are being shipped so that no one gets stuck with all the work.
Why The Swap Is Better Than Flying Solo:
- I had painting peg Saints on my to-do list for YEARS but never picked up the first paint brush until I had the encouragement (and deadline) of a swap.
- It takes a lot of research and planning to design a Saint. Once you figure it out, it’s a lot easier to just keep making the same one assembly line style. You only have to decide on the shape of the hair once, the kind of eyes once, etc.
- The different styles are really beautiful, and it’s exciting to see what you get- like opening a present on Christmas morning!
- The fact that it’s a swap keeps you from being ridiculously anal. You can’t torture yourself over each brush stroke, you have to move on. That’s fine because it’s not perfectionism that makes them beautiful, in fact, quite the opposite… it’s the imperfect human touch that make these so unique.
- You don’t have to wait for paint to dry before you move on. By the time you’re finished with one color on all your pegs, the first one is ready for whatever is next.
- Working together brings a since of community, and isn’t that amazing? Look at me with all of these amazing Catholic moms standing with our peg Saints! This was a great time. 🙂
Reasons Why Flying Solo Can Be Better Than A Swap:
- If you’re a super good artist, you might be trading for dolls that aren’t as nice as the ones you painted.
- You can paint exactly the Saints that you want.
- You can do them on your own time with no deadlines.
- You can really put a lot of time and detail in, then enjoy your work for years to come!
- It could be special to your kids that you’re actually the one who painted them.
You can find my tips for painting peg dolls here.
For anyone looking for ideas on how to paint their own, or for anyone who loves Catholic eye candy, I’d like to share the close-ups of each of them with you. 😉
Blessed Imelda Peg Doll
This one is absolutely adorable! You could also use a small peg to indicate that she is child.
Venerable Archbishop Fulton Sheen Peg Doll
Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta Peg Doll
I like her little rosaries. Notice how you only need to give the impression of the rosary- it doesn’t have the “right” number of beads. Hey, it doesn’t even have a string! Just put some dots on with a toothpick, add a cross, and you’re good to go. Notice how they’re all different.
St. Padre Pio Peg Doll
This little guy has to have hands so you can show his stigmata, but the rest of him is fairly simple. When you choose what Saint you’re doing, think about the aspect that you need to be able to show off, and focus on that.
Saint Pope John Paul II Peg Doll
This little guy is too cute! Love the shines in his eyes, and his little hat. I also love the simple but effective design of his clothes. It’s so great to be able to paint these assembly line style- just figure out what works, and then make them all the same. That’s what makes this doable!
St. Augustine Peg Doll
St. Ambrose Peg Doll
Of all of the Bishop peg dolls I have seen, I really liked the design of St. Ambroses’ miter (hat). So much so that he gets a second picture so that you can see how this mom painted these. This kind of miter would work on any bishop- St. Patrick, St. Nicholas, etc.
St. Bernadette Peg Doll
St. Juan Diego Peg Doll
Juan Diego is the one I painted. He was easy to do because I decoupaged on Our Lady of Guadalupe. I will be posting full directions on how I made him (check bottom of the post for links to come). My favorite part about him is that the stars on Our Lady’s mantle glow in the dark!
St. Cecilia Peg Doll
This doll is so precious! She’s the only one that included a halo on her Saint, which I love, and I was so charmed by the colorful music notes across her dress. The rosy cheeks and little dots on her dress are a great touch, and the prayerful hands are so simple and elegant. I loved the way her hair came down in the back so much that I just had to turn one of them around for you!
St. Clare of Assisi Peg Doll
St. Dominic Peg Doll
St. Faustina Peg Doll
I really like how this one has the Divine Mercy image decoupaged on, but then the rays were painted over the top. This really gives it more of the feeling that it’s painted- wish I would have thought of that for Juan Diego!
St. Francis of Assisi Peg Doll
St. Gianna Molla Peg Doll
St. Joan of Arc Peg Doll
I really like this one having the girly lips and eye lashes since she’s wearing armor- that was a great judgement call.
St. John Bosco with little St. Dominic Savio Peg Dolls
This mom just really wanted St. John Bosco to have Dominic Savio with his- isn’t that adorable?! I can’t believe she made 2 sets.
St. Joseph Peg Doll
I love how he’s holding Baby Jesus, and Jesus is a little different in each one. I turned one sideways so you can see what’s going on.
St. Kateri Peg Doll
So much detail in this one. Notice how she has several different choices for eyes- all simple, all beautiful. I especially like the skin color down the hair to indicate a part.
St. Lucy (Santa Lucia) Peg Doll
I like how some of the eyes of these are looking in different directions. Also, the little dot details, rosy cheeks, and wrinkles in the clothes make such a great touch! Notice how her hands are far from perfect, but she’s absolutely beautiful. Remember to go easy on yourself as you paint yours!
St. Maria Goretti Peg Doll
This lady is a true artist. So beautiful! I especially love her big green eyes and the detail around her clothing.
St. Martin de Porres Peg Doll
I love this little guy! Check out the detail of his broom and mouse.
St. Mary Magdalene Peg Doll
I really like this one- note her bottle of perfume and her long hair.
St. Maximilian Kolbe Peg Doll
Wow- this one has a lot of detail! I turned one a little sideways for you so you can see what’s going on.
St. Michael the Archangel Peg Doll
St. Nicholas Peg Doll
St. Patrick Peg Doll
This one really demonstrates what a wide range of faces you could paint! He just has two very simple, very tiny eyes, and it works just fine.
St. Paul the Apostle Peg Doll
St. Rita Peg Doll
This one is so beautiful! Her eyes, her cheeks, her roses- what’s not to love?
St. Rose of Lima Peg Doll
Simple, and still absolutely adorable. I think just about anyone could accomplish this no-fuss design.
St. Sebastian Peg Doll
St. Teresa of Availa Peg Doll
Loads of detail in this one. My favorite parts are the style of mouth, eyes, and her book with the heart.
St. Therese Peg Doll
Look at the impression of the crucifix- simple and totally works.
St. Thomas Aquinas Peg Doll
St. Veronica Peg Doll
This one could have been a great candidate for decoupaging Jesus’ face on, but this mom totally painted all of them! She did a beautiful job. There’s no other detail on her, no arms, fabric folds, etc, and she doesn’t need it. The face is the “wow factor” of this one.
St. Zita Peg Doll
Simple and adorable. I like the way her arms are painted on, and the hands are just little balls. Seriously, don’t be overwhelmed to paint these- look how effective and simple this is. So cute.
At our Peg Doll Exchange, we were all asked to bring a 4×6 card stock print out about our Saint for each person as well. I punched holes in all of mine and made them into a book. I made a simple cover and laminated it for the front of the books. You can download this cover here.
When I brought them out to show Mark, my husband, he instantly noticed St. Martin de Porres, picked him up, and told me that he was always his favorite because he loved this book when he was a kid. I want my kids to have this kind of love and nostalgia for the Saints so much! Hopefully, these little guys will help with those kind of feelings and connections.
These are so special, and I ended up with so many Saints that are near and dear to my heart. My confirmations Saint- St. Cecilia, my birthday Saint- St. Veronica, and my closest-to-my-name-Saint- St. Lucy, were all represented! I also had a miscarriage between Lydia and Julian, and named the baby Samantha Gianna. St. Therese is Violet’s patroness (middle name) and we got St. Michael, patron of police for Mark. 🙂
Oddly enough, there were absolutely no Marys included in the trade at all. I want to add at least Our Lady of Guadalupe (to go with Juan Diego) and Our Lady of Lourdes (to go with Bernadette). I would also like to paint a Divine Mercy to go with St. Faustina, and definitely all the kids’ name Saints. Another I was surprised I didn’t see was St. Elizabeth Ann Seton since practically everyone involved was a homeschooler, so I’ll be adding her as well.
Every year, I’m going to add whoever the patron of our family is for the new year as well. I look forward to collecting them over the years!Pin It