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St. Zelie Martin Peg Dolls

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Monday, October 12, 2015

St. Zelie Martin Peg Dolls

In case you were wondering whether this is a Catholic mom blog, here's what I've been up to in my free time the past couple days:

Yep, I signed up for a Catholic saint peg doll exchange. This one was pretty small, only 11 of us, so I picked a saint and painted 11 of them. I'll send them all to the person organizing the exchange, along with the 10 other participants, and then I'll receive a set of 11 different dolls back, just in time for Christmas. Most of us chose one of our children's patron saints, so I chose Saint Zelie Martin for my dear unborn daughter. (I know she isn't technically canonized yet—6 more days! — but let's just call a saint a Saint, shall we?) I thought it might make a nice birthday gift.

Before starting, I read this tutorial, and just let the magic happen. Just kidding. Once I realized all that was involved, I kind of freaked out a little. (But it really wasn't all that bad!)

I had a rough idea of what I wanted her to look like.

Her signature 'do, lace details (as she was a lace-maker), and a baby (because she birthed 9 of them and also the two miracles attributed to the Martins involved healing babies). I obviously ended up swapping out the rose (an ode to her daughter, St. Therese) in favor of a rosary. In part because I forgot to get green paint, but also in part because St. Zelie had a great devotion to Mary. 

I gathered supplies. NOT cheap, people. NOT cheap. I used Theresa's advice from the tutorial linked above and did not skimp on brushes and paint, which I think was really helpful. 


All said and done, I've spent about $50. And it will probably be another $10 to ship everything. But I have SO much extra paint. So… consider recruiting me for your next swap. ;) For my next one I'll only have to buy the peg dolls and maybe some extra paint colors.

When I first got to painting, it was a slow process. I sped up the more confident I got with the materials. Overall, it was about 5-6 hours of painting, i.e., one nap time and two post-bedtimes. 

My friend, Lauren (also our own Zelie's godmother!!!), helped by painting the skin of the faces and bumping R&B jams from the 2000s from her iPhone. 

It's my favorite part, Lauren, my favorite part.

This little brush ended up being my favorite for all the small details. I preferred using shorter bristles:

At this point, I was like, Is this Saint Zelie orrrr a young Ruth Bader Ginsburg/Judge Judy? 

It was rather questionable. The lace was by far the most time-consuming of the details to accomplish.

Finally, the varnish. (Goes on really easily, looks even when it's dry. So don't stress about errors!) I painted the whole of the doll first and then once it dried, I painted the bottom to protect the writing on the bottom. 

And that's it! Boom shaka laka.

The rosary is hard to see! I would definitely choose a lighter color next time.

You'd typically also include the saint's feast day, but I didn't know whether that would change with the upcoming canonization, so I just nixed it. Sorry children!

I'm pretty happy with how they turned out, except the baby's faces creep me out a little. They remind me a tad bit of the elderly Spanish woman's failed attempt at restoring that classical painting of Jesus. But nevermind that. 

Have you ever painted peg dolls? Any tips for the elderly Spanish women residing in us all? 

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At October 12, 2015 at 2:46 PM , Blogger Sterling Jaquith said...

Oh my goodness, this is so rocking! I've been wanting to try my hand at Saint peg dolls and I think this will be my first. It's simple but elegant and who doesn't love the Martin family!?!? Thanks so much for sharing!

At October 12, 2015 at 3:06 PM , Blogger Carrie said...

Aaaaahhh I love this so much!!!

At October 12, 2015 at 5:26 PM , Blogger Julia @ I Camp At The Ritz said...

Gorgeous! And yes, pre-baby and rosary, she does bear a small resemblance to a certain Supreme Court Justice. ;)

At October 13, 2015 at 8:58 AM , Blogger Ellen Johnson said...

Wow! They look amazing!

At October 13, 2015 at 12:30 PM , Blogger Hannah Gokie said...

These are killer, girl. I'll definitely be recruiting you once I get my butt in gear and organize one! (Also, that old Spanish lady is me anytime I try to do anything artistic. So darn funny.)

At October 13, 2015 at 4:05 PM , Blogger kayyay87 said...

That last picture made me snort!

At October 13, 2015 at 9:01 PM , Blogger Theresa Breslin said...

Had to spice up the doll post somehow. ;)

At October 13, 2015 at 9:17 PM , Blogger cmmoran021 said...

Love this! Would definitely be interested if you organized one!

At October 14, 2015 at 1:32 PM , Blogger Theresa Breslin said...

I *think* I added you to the Facebook group Hannah (commuter above!) created. :)

At October 14, 2015 at 1:32 PM , Blogger Theresa Breslin said...


At March 19, 2016 at 1:38 PM , Blogger Theresa said...

Somehow just reading this post now! Ha! I laughed at loud at the Ruth Bader Ginsburg!!!!
They turned out so well! I hope you get to participate in another swap to use your supplies again!
(thanks for the link love <3)

At March 22, 2016 at 3:44 PM , Blogger Theresa Breslin said...

Yes, I did a HUGE swap, just in time for Christmas :)

Thanks for the awesome tutorial!


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