Peg Mermaid Dolls

Wooden peg dolls are adorable! The last time we did this, the kids and I made ballerina peg dolls with tutus and they turned out beautifully. My girls are into mermaids at the moment and so we recently made peg mermaid dolls.  They are easy!

Fun for

  • Birthday part craft/favour
  • School holiday/weekend activity
  • Puppet show



Craft foam sheets (Thick cardboard – from a box – works well too. Just colour with pen or paint.)

Wool / Doll Hair / Paper

Wooden pegs (I bough a pack from Spotlight)

Craft glue

Optional: pipe cleaners for hands



1.  Cut the foam or cardboard to make a mermaid tail. Estimate using the peg as a guide or download the hand drawn templates I whipped up for this project with my kids here. First cut around the tail shape and use as a template on the foam. Then cut the foam.

Mermaid tail template

Note: The kids and I used sparkle foam sheets. Because we wanted the sparkle to be on both sides, we cut two tail templates and glued them together, but you only really need one for regular (non sparkly) foam or cardboard.

2. Glue the tail into the base of the peg.

Mermaid Peg Doll

Mermaid Peg Doll


3. There are many different ways to do the hair. We used a variety of methods using paper, wool, doll hair and pen.

Pen – Draw hair on with pen. We did this for the merman and also the ballerina peg dolls. Great mess free option!

Paper – My daughter designed paper hair in two pieces (back and fringe) and glued it on.

Mermaid peg doll

Mermaid peg doll

Doll hair – This can be a bit tricky to work with but it’s cute and fun.  Cut a section, arrange and glue. Tip: For working with a lot of hair, I find it helpful to gather it and tie a section in the middle somewhere before gluing. 

Mermaid peg doll

Wool – this is my favourite look and it’s easy too. I’ve done this sort of thing many times for different projects and there is a particular way I do it.

a) Wind lengths of wool back and forth (approx double the required length). Don’t worry if the ends have loops from winding or are not exact, because it will be trimmed.

Doll Wool Hair

b) Take a small section of wool and tie a knot in the centre.

Doll Wool Hair

c) Trim the two threads.

Doll Wool Hair

d)  Give the hair a trim on both sides.

Doll Wool Hair

e) Glue the hair on.

Mermaid Peg Doll

Add Details

4. Add in details like the face and the rest of the tail with pen or permanent marker.

Mermaid peg doll

That’s it!

We started with a few but the collection grew.

Mermaid peg doll

Mermaid peg doll

Mermaid peg doll

More Peg Dolls


Ballerina Peg Doll

Ballerina Peg Doll

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Kelly loves life at both ends of the spectrum: wearing high heel shoes one day and hiking boots the next; sipping tea out of a pretty cup and slurping hot coffee from a camping mug; challenging herself physically and stopping for quiet unhurried moments to feel the wind on her face. Kelly and her husband Matthew seek to live a fun and adventurous life with their four children and pet bird.

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  1. Kym says

    Kelly, these are gorgeous! As soon as my two girls (6 & 7) saw these they asked if they could make some too. Thanks for sharing your how-to instructions. xo

  2. says

    Ahhh!! Peg dollies are the best! I want to run to the shops for some pegs now! We have a couple of pretty peg dolly angels on the Christmas tree, and they are my favourite!

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