Playing With Saint Peg Dolls- What To Do, How To Store, and More!

I knew one thing as soon as I signed up for the peg doll exchange– at our house, these were meant to be classic toys, not knick knacks to collect dust! I wanted the kids to really play with them.

playing with saint peg dolls

Well, wish granted. I seriously don’t think more than a handful of days has gone by since they opened them on Christmas that the kids haven’t played with these wooden Saint dolls.

My First Instinct For Storing Them

I will admit that my first instinct was to buy more of these spice rack shelves and line them up like I did for this photograph all the time. Ahhhh- so… pretty… to… look… at!

An Ideal World

catholic saint peg dolls

But then I realized that I truly want them to be toys for the kids to use all the time. They needed to be stored in a way that was easy for kids to put them away, and that the kids could carry them around in to different rooms. So I got a $5 basket from Wal-Mart for the peg dolls to live in.


storing peg dolls in a basket

Do they get lost sometimes? I suppose they do (at least temporarily). Do I find them laying around on the floor sometimes? Yep. Does it bring joy to my heart every time I see the kids playing with them? Absolutely!

I don’t usually allow toys to be stored in the living room, but I had somewhat of a change of heart with these little guys. They always seemed to find their way into the living room anyway, and again, they don’t make me want to cringe when I see them on the floor- they make me smile.

So I let the kids keep them in this cabinet we have by the couch.

storing peg dolls in living room

They keep the castle on top of the cabinet, and our blocks, doll house, and basket of peg dolls are stored inside.

storing peg dolls

The Peg Doll Castle

Although it seems that everyone is making their own cathedral for their Saints, I just knew I didn’t have the time, so I ordered this castle (which I got on sale). Once it arrived, I honestly thought it was too small for our dolls, but that hasn’t bothered my kids one little bit. They play with these guys in the castle all the time.

peg doll castle

peg dolls for playing

We also have this little foldable doll house (which I found at a thrift store) that we keep with the peg dolls. The kids love to play with the dolls in both, and with 4 kids of peg doll age, we have enjoyed having more than one thing for them to live in. Again, this house seemed a little small for the dolls to me, but the kids love it.

playing with and storing peg dolls

Having the dolls in the basket and the doll house and castle that are foldable make these really portable. The kids can easily pick them up and take them wherever they want to play!

peg doll play

Outside Play

The first time my kids asked to take these outside, I was like “WHAT?! Those things are hand-painted you crazies!” lol. I know I said I wanted them to be toys, but I never dreamed of letting them outside… but… my kids really wanted to play with them with the neighborhood kids, who don’t come in the house. So I made an exception and allowed them just on the front porch. Again, what’s the point of owning them if they’re not being used?

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playing with peg dolls outside

playing outside with peg dolls

Peg Doll Car And Bus

I saw these on Etsy and I knew they looked like a ton of fun! They’re actually really affordable. I only found one shop that makes them big enough for the size of peg I use. We got this peg doll bus, and this peg doll car.

peg doll cars for kids

We also have a big wooden truck they drive them around in a lot that was made by their awesome German great-grandfather. Sorry- he doesn’t sell them! I can’t say that this is probably the most Historically accurate way to play with these guys, but my kids love to push these cars around with their favorite Saints.

peg doll cars

Lining Them Up:

A favorite peg doll past time- lining them all up.

lining up peg dolls for play

I get it. I love seeing them all lined up, too. 🙂

lining up peg dolls

playing with peg dolls on book shelf

Peg Dolls With Blocks

Last, but certainly not least, my kids love to play with these dolls along with our wooden Melissa and Doug blocks. They build all kinds of things, from churches to rocket ships. Whatev.

playing with catholic peg dolls- mass

peg dolls with blocks

littles with peg dolls

playing with peg dolls with blocks

 A Tip For Sanity- Don’t Count Your Dolls

Don’t count your dolls all the time! It will just make you crazy, it will make you yell at your kids, it will make them sad, it will make you want to keep the dolls under lock down, etc. Yes, these are amazing, quality, heirloom toys. But you know what? We’re not supposed to be super attached to possessions. They’re just possessions. Besides, if you use my Printable Peg Saints, you can rest easy- they don’t take long to put together.

printable peg dolls for decopage

And hey, if your kids are anything like mine, they will all soon have their favorites and know them each by name, and your kids will be the first ones to know when one of their heavenly heros goes missing. 😉

 Check Out All My Saint Peg Doll Resources Here


  1. Jennifer says

    Lacy, ours are stored in a basket, too. It is much easier. I tried keeping them around the house and on “display” but then they didn’t get played with. With them in the basket, they do get played with more. My kids like them, and they especially like when we get new ones. God Bless and thanks for the site!

  2. Thank you so much for the Etsy shop for the bus! It is PERFECT! I needed to add a few things to a Easter basket and this will be great! Had to get the canoe for St. Isaac Jogues, which I now need to paint! So excited! 🙂 God bless you!

  3. Julie Culshaw says

    Thank you for posting this. I sent it to my two married daughters and they are going to make some peg dolls with their children. One of my daughters is in the orthodox church so their dolls will be saints in that tradition and they will be making some elaborate dolls with icons. A great way to introduce faith into the kids’ play time.

  4. I’d love to see a picture of a cathedral that someone is building!

  5. Ann-Marie says

    Years ago I was gifted a mini candle set, 12 candles, one for each month of the year. They came in this great divided box which I could never bring myself to get rid of. Now it houses our peg saint dolls. Four dolls fit per each space and it is awesome. But we are participating in a large exchange soon, so a basket looks likely in our future.

  6. Thanks Lacy for the fun ways to grow in our faith. The girls (ages 2,5) wanted a parish school building to go with their church. So they painted one up the other day. We used the “train Depot” from Michaels. You can check it out at

    Thanks again for all fun activities

    • So cool! And I love when kids are actually allowed to have a hand in things, even if it comes out less than perfect- it’s still theirs. 🙂

  7. Ann W Gonyaw says

    Hi Lacy,
    We used several of your peg doll templates for our VBS at the parish last year, which was on evangelization. The story for each day focused on someone who had encountered Jesus personally and went away to share that Good News with others. The craft each day was to paint the face and modge podge the body onto a peg doll. It was the best craft we’ve done in all 15 years of VBS! We used Mary Magdalene, Woman at the well (one of your women from the tomb), St. Paul (soldier from the tomb), and Peter. The children learned little mini scripts to share with parishioners who arrived on the last day for the evangelization activity. Each side of a tissue box served as the backdrop for the stories as well as storage for the dolls. It was beautiful!

    This year, our theme is Quest for Christ and each of the stories will focus on someone who searched for Jesus. The stories will be: The wise men, shepherds, Simeon, Mary/Joseph finding Jesus in temple, and John the baptist. I really want to continue the tradition of making peg dolls at this year’s VBS so the children can build a nice set of Bible people to tell stories at home. I can purchase the Nativity set for the wise men, shepherds and Mary/Joseph. I’m wondering if you have or would be willing to make a John the Baptist and Simeon that I could purchase and use?

    • This is so amazing! I am really glad it went well for your VBS program- it sound great! Unfortunately I can’t commit to painting more specific dolls at this point, but also check out my Saint packs. You may find someone useful for Simeon or John The Baptist. Good luck! 🙂 Thank you so much for your support and suggestions!