Best Peg Doll Supplies For Beginner Painters

I have been painting peg dolls for a decade now, (my kids LOVE them!) and I would love to share my favorite materials for making them with you! Between the fact that I was an art major in college but I’m also a thrifty mom, I can tell you exactly where you need to splurge, where you can save, and what works best for peg dolls that hold up over the years. So let’s take a look a the best peg doll supplies for beginner painters. 

Disclaimer: Links may shared be affiliates, meaning that if your purchase the items I can earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. All thoughts and opinions shared are my own. 

Choosing Your Peg For Peg Dolls

These are the pegs I use for all of my peg dolls- this exact size and shape (unless I’m making a “child” doll). 

*NOTE* Thanks to the year of the Rona, with crafting at an all time high, these pegs have almost doubled in price, and the prices are changing daily. If you’re having trouble locating reasonable pegs, try these links as well:

Some Amazon links to pegs

Some Etsy links to pegs

We just love the big pegs and I would love to tell you why! 

  • small pegs are a choking hazard for younger kids
  • bigger peg dolls are easier to find (less likely to disappear behind the piano or into a couch cushion)
  • Details are easier to paint on a bigger peg
  • They fit perfectly into Melissa and Doug castles and other doll houses, etc
  • Basically, they are a great size for a toy!

I also only buy the “man shaped” pegs and just paint them as men or women. You can also get the pegs shaped like girl dresses, but I don’t for 3 reasons:

  1. The “bell shaped” pegs don’t fit in places like peg doll cars, they don’t line up straight in boxes, etc.
  2. The girl shaped peg dolls don’t work for printable peg dolls
  3. The girl shaped peg dolls are more expensive.

My kids do prefer the straight ones for lining them up and playing as well. 

Choosing Your Paint For Peg Dolls

I suggest cheap acrylic craft paints in matte. Here is a good starter set. Don’t forget some skin tones! You can also purchase these at Wal-Mart or any craft store. They’re usually around $1 per color, but they can be more if you’re getting something special such as a metallic or one with glitter. 

The reason why I say to use matte is because the paint itself is less globby, it’s easier to paint over mistakes, it’s better for adding face details in sharpie marker, they’re cheaper AND… you’re going to seal them in the end anyway, so your dolls will still be shiny when it’s all said and done. 🙂

Bonus Tip! Actually buy all the colors you want. I don’t suggest mixing your colors because it’s going to drive you insane when you’re trying to make touch ups on your dolls and you don’t have the right color. 

Choosing Paint Brushes For Painting Peg Dolls

You are going to drive yourself insane if you buy super cheap paintbrushes! You don’t need really expensive paintbrushes, but something in the middle of the road. Do not use any that come free with paint and don’t buy them at the Dollar store! Cheap brushes will leave bristles in your hard work. It’s just not worth it.

Here is a descent paint brush starter set for painting peg dolls.

Bonus Tip! NEVER leave your paintbrushes in your cup of water when not in use. This causes the wood to expand, bending the metal, and causing bristles to fall out into your work. 

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Another Bonus Tip! If you have some wonky hairs on your paint brush, just give it a little trim with some scissors. 

Mod Podge For Sealing Peg Dolls

I suggest Mod Podge because it’s so easy to use, it’s non toxic, and it doesn’t run face detailed drawn on by Sharpie markers that some acrylic spray sealers will. You definitely want to get the glossy Mod Podge, that way your dolls will be nice and shiny in the end! I suggest 2 coats of Mod Podge on your finished dolls. 

I have actually seen small bottles of Mod Podge at the Dollar Tree in the craft aisle, so check that out as well. 

Markers For Drawing The Face

It is waaaaaaay easier to draw on peg doll faces than to paint them! You can use either a regular sharpie marker, or you can get a black paint pen. This will save you a lot of frustration. 

Again, don’t pair a sharpie marker with an acrylic spray sealer! Seal with Mod Podge!

Foam Brushes For Peg Dolls

I really like to use a 1 inch foam brushes for putting down the initial colors, and also for sealing the pegs with Mod Podge. I always keep a big box of these at my house and I use them for various craft projects all the time. They’re very handy. 

Optional For Making Peg Dolls More Durable

After 4 children and over a decade of play, some of our peg dolls have some significant wear and tear. The beauty is that they can always be touched up, but I’d rather not haha. 

So for all my new peg dolls, I’m taking some extra steps for prolonged durability. 

  1. Primer. I am thinking that a primer on the peg before painting will help hold the paint on their longer. I have a few dolls where large pieces are missing from their heads, and I’m thinking primer would have prevented that. I have been using Liquitex brand gesso. I’m going to suggest a brush on primer rather than a spray primer to insure you keep your peg smooth. 
  2. Extra strong sealer. The Mod Podge works, and it’s what I initially seal my pegs in, but I am now trying putting an additional layer of a stronger sealer on top to hope it helps to prevent future nicks and dings. I have been using this Delta Creative gloss varnish. I have previously had multiple other sealers in different brands, but I really love this one! It’s very thick and shiny. The consistency is definitely a different world than some cheaper sealers I have purchased that have a runny consistency like milk. It also dries crystal clear.

Beware! If you purchase sealer at a hardware store, I don’t care how much it says on the can “crystal clear”… I have had many-a-crafts ruined by a yellowing finish! Just sayin. Don’t use anything that comes out of a hardware style paint can to seal your dolls, and do not listen to anything your husband has to say about this decision!!! 

Other Handy Supplies For Painting Peg Dolls

Here are some other small things I like to have around while painting peg dolls to help out.

  • Paper plate- I use these as my paint pallete
  • Designated paint cup- I like to use a juice sized glass that is actually glass. I like that it’s glass because it’s nice and heavy so it doesn’t move when I swirl my paint brush around. Also, it’s a designated paint glass so I never wash it- I just rinse it and then let the paint dry on it. I’ve been using the same one for years. It’s saved me a lot of washing time and it looks very artsy. 🙂
  • Toothpicks- I have seen a lot of non-artists say they find it easier to use toothpicks for making dots. 
  • Sand paper- sometimes the pegs will be a little rough on the face and it is definitely worth sanding them just a bit before beginning to paint. 
  • Paper towels or napkins- for drying your brush well when switching colors 

Hope you found this peg doll supply list helpful! You can find all of my peg doll resources here.



  1. Hey Lacy, I have bought two different sets of your peg dolls now…maybe three? I love them! But I have had a problem with the ink from the printer running or smudging when I paint the Modge Podge over it. Is this because of my printer? Do you have recommendations for avoiding this? Thanks!

    • Hi Elizabeth –

      Maybe you could try a spray fixative before sealing it. It might help with the smudging. Or, if possible, you could try to get them printed somewhere that has a laser printer. (I’m assuming you’re using an inkjet printer based on the smudging.)

      Angie, Catholic Icing Project Manager