Part of the fun in raising Zoey is making things that delight her; I want to create lasting, meaningful toys for her that are made with love and will be loved! Wooden toys are classic and beautiful, when created and treated right, they can last a lifetime; so let’s make some!
It’s no secret that Cameron and I love Disney. Zoey’s middle name was inspired by one of my favorite Disney princesses, Belle, and that Belle in her name has also led to another Disney nickname, Tinker Bell. I cannot wait to create a whole set of peg dolls for her, but these two characters hold the most significance until she begins watching the classics on her own.
We’ve created a Peasant Belle Peg Doll, check her out!
This week I’ll be sharing the steps I took to create a Tinker Bell peg doll for Zoey.
- Blank peg doll (I used a “small angel” or “girl” shape/size)
- Small, flat & fine tip paint brushes
- Paint palette (or a tray for your paint)
- Green non-toxic acrylic paint
- Yellow non-toxic acrylic paint
- Light brown non-toxic acrylic paint
- Light blue non-toxic acrylic paint
- Light pink non-toxic acrylic paint
- White non-toxic acrylic paint
- Black non-toxic acrylic paint
- Non-toxic varnish (I used Duraclear Ultra Matte Varnish)
- With a pencil, lightly sketch Tinker Bell onto your blank peg doll.
- Begin painting your peg doll with the base layers first. I started with the green of her dress, the white of her wings and the yellow of her hair. Allow this paint to dry before moving on to avoid smudging, then apply a few more layers of each until you’re happy with the colors and textures.
- Paint the very bottom and edges of the peg doll green to signify her slippers.
- After the base layers have dried, paint a border of darker green on the edges of her dress. If you don’t have a darker shade of green, you can create some by adding a small amount of black paint to the original green and blending.
- Paint an accent of lighter green on the inner layer of the dark green border of her dress. If you don’t have a lighter shade of green, you can create some by adding a small amount of white paint to the original green and blending.
- The wings can stay matte white, or you can add a pearly white finish to give them a sheen. Once the wings have dried, border and accent them with light blue paint.
- Paint light brown accents on and around the hair.
- Once the hair has dried, paint a small light blue ribbon around Tinker Bell’s bun.
- Taking something small and round (I used the opposite end of one of my smaller paint brushes) dip it in black paint and dot the two eyes. Using the finest tipped paintbrush you can find, give her an eyelash or two on each eye.
- Once the eye paint has dried, add a highlight dot to each eye with a fine tipped paintbrush and white paint.
- Using the same method as the eyes, dip the opposite end of a slightly larger paintbrush into light pink paint and dot the blush under each eye.
- With a little white paint, give her a few sparkles of pixie dust on the hem of her dress or wherever else you feel it will look right!
- Allow for all paint to completely dry, then apply a varnish and allow it to dry. You can apply as many coats as you want for the finish you want, just allow them to dry in between applications and before handing her over to your child.
- Voilà! Tinker Bell is done and ready to be played with! Enjoy!
Last week, we brought some of the beach to Zoey with edible “sand” made out of graham crackers and oatmeal. After she was done playing, I could not let good food go to waste so I made her some teething cookies with the remaining “sand”.
Not too sweet, but sweet enough to be called cookies instead of crackers, these treats are a hit! They are springy, yet firm enough to soothe her teething gums and she likes them!…Although so does my husband so I’m going to have to convince him not to eat all of them before she can knaw on a few.
- Grease a baking sheet and preheat the oven to 325 F.
- Combine the ingredients into a mixing bowl and stir them with a mixing spoon until a thick dough has formed. You may need to adjust the amount of water or coconut oil you add depending on how juicy your bananas are.
- Section the dough into smaller portions and (using a flat surface and a rolling pin) roll out your dough to 1/4 of an inch thick. You will need to use flour to keep the dough from sticking to the rolling pin and surfaces.
- With a circular cookie cutter or a drinking glass (I used a drinking glass), cut cookies out of the dough and place them onto the greased baking sheet.
- Cook each sheet of cookies for 12 to 15 minutes. Be careful they are hot! Use the spatula or a spoon to test their springiness. They should be firm yet springy when pressed as they are brought out of the oven.
- Allow the cookies to cool before serving. These can be stored in the refrigerator for a little more firmness.
- Serve and enjoy, but please watch your baby as they eat this to make sure they handle the texture well!
Part of the fun in raising Zoey is making things that teach and fascinate her. I’ve seen the stacking toy done in so many fun and creative ways, but I don’t believe I’ve seen a felt doughnut stacking toy yet, so let’s make one!
My Dad, Zoey’s Grandpa Kev, made the base of this toy. If you do not have access to a competent woodworker/carpenter to make a base, I would recommend using the base of another stacking toy. You can switch out between the rings that came with the toy and felt doughnuts!
I have provided the patterns I used to make the four different sizes of donuts for my stacking toy. You’re welcome to use them if the base of your toy closely resembles mine, or you can make them as play food without the base. Another option would be to create your own patterns using the measurements of your base and a compass.
- Doughnut and frosting patterns
- 4 sheets (9” x 12”) of a doughnut colored felt of your choice
- A skein of closely matching doughnut colored embroidery thread
- 4 sheets (9” x 12”) of frosting colored colored felt of your choice
- 4 skeins of closely matching frosting colored embroidery thread
- Embroidery needle
- Fiber filling (stuffing)
- Print 3 copies each of the two supplied pattern pages.
- Use the first two copies to cut out a pair of each size of circle, one for either side of the doughnut.
- Create your own wavy frosting pattern within each of the circles on the third pages, and cut those patterns out for your frosting.
- Lay the circular patterns on the felt you’ve chosen for you doughnuts and pin them in place.
- Lay the frosting patterns on the felt you’ve chosen for the frosting; these can be all the same color, or different colors.
- Cut around the patterns. You can do this directly or trace around the edges of the patterns with a pen, then remove the patterns and cut out each shape.
- Place the frosting for each doughnut on one of the doughnut halves, aligning the center holes, and pin them to keep them secure.
- Cut a length each of three different colored embroidery threads for the sprinkles; there are 6 strands in each embroidery thread, split them in half three by three and peel them apart.
- Thread the needle with your first sprinkle color, and poke the threaded needle up from the bottom of the top of the doughnut, emerging through the top of the frosting, and pull it through. Create a sprinkle size length in any direction you choose and poke the needle back down through the frosting to underneath the doughnut. Repeat this process all around the doughnut in a pattern you prefer and tie it off underneath.
- Remove the pins, repeat this process and create sprinkles in two more colors.
- Thread the needle with thread that matches the color of your frosting. Begin using neat whip stitches around the outside edges of the frosting starting with your knot underneath the top half of the doughnut.
- Using the same thread color as your frosting, align the bottom half of the doughnut to the top, frosted half and use neat whip stitches around the center hole. To hide your thread, knot it and pull it up through the bottom of the frosted layer to begin. When finished, poke the needle through the bottom doughnut layer, but only come through the middle in between the top and bottom of the doughnut to tie off your knot.
- Thread the needle with embroidery thread the color of your doughnut. Once again, use neat whip stitching along the outside edge of your doughnut, concealing the knot inside. About two thirds around, stop stitching and begin adding stuffing. Keep stitching and stuffing as space allows until you’ve made your doughnut whole.
- To conceal the knot, tie a knot at the base of your string still attached to the doughnut and pull it within the edges of the doughnut, going through the stuffing and coming out somewhere near he center hole, then trim this piece off.
- Repeat steps 7 through 10 to complete each size doughnut.
With Summer solstice right around the corner, I was thinking about the beach and got inspired to make an ocean wave sensory bottle (not to mention I had all the ingredients already on hand)! Part of the fun in raising Zoey is making things that teach and fascinate her. And, if I’m being completely honest, I find sensory bottles fascinating too, so let’s make one!
- 16 ounce clear, plastic bottle
- 8 ounces of water
- Blue and green food coloring.
- 8 ounces of baby oil
- Place the funnel in the mouth of your bottle and use it to fill the bottle with 8 ounces of water.
- Remove the funnel and add several drops of blue and green food coloring until you reach your desired shade of ocean aqua. I used 8 drops of blue and 2 drops of green, as you can see that led to a very deep shade of blue green.
- Screw the lid back onto the bottle and shake the water until the food coloring is well incorporated, then remove the lid and replace the funnel.
- Add up to 8 ounces of baby oil.
- If your child is older and you worry about him/her undoing the lid, you can coat the inside of the lid with glue, then screw it back onto the bottle. This will secure the lid and make it harder for little ones to unscrew the lid and create a leak or spill the bottle’s contents. If you’re still concerned they may be able to get the lid off, please use cooking oil instead of baby oil.
Years ago, I purchased an old empty frame from a Goodwill store. I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to use it for, I just knew that I loved the decals on each corner and wanted to fix it up and give it a home. After years of procrastinating while the frame sat around and gathered dust, I finally decided to paint it and create a chalkboard.
First, remove and sand one side of the mounting board to smooth it out. Once it’s as smooth as you prefer clean it off and prime it, then begin layering coats of chalkboard paint until you’ve reached your desired chalkboard depth and texture.
Scuff the frame with sanding paper all over to allow for the paint to adhere better. Clean the frame and prime it, then begin layering coats of white paint until you’ve reached your desired depth of color (or lack of color in my case since I used white); I used acrylic paint.
Once both pieces are dry, you can reassemble the frame. Before writing or drawing on the chalkboard, you’ll need to prime it by coating it with chalk.
As you can see I just wrote the first thing that came to my mind here, but I intend on leaving this frame up as decor year round and changing it for different events, seasons or holidays!