Peg Doll Exchange

Hello World!  So today I hosted my first ever painted-saint, peg doll exchange.  I have been involved in one saint doll exchange before, and was the unworthy recipient of a gift of nearly 40 (!) painted saint peg dolls two summers ago.  But this is the first time I have hosted one.  Several of the ladies who participated in my Jesse Tree Swap also participated in this peg doll swap, so it was super fun seeing their beautiful handiwork again.  If you look closely, you’ll see that we are missing two of our Apostles.  With the swap taking place so close to Thanksgiving, some of our painters were not able to be present.  We’ll get our sets completed sometime after the weekend, I’m sure.
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We decided to go with a theme for our swap this time.  In past swaps I have sometimes found that I am less than faithful in actually displaying, using, and enjoying my saints (that probably has something to do with the fact that I am often removing the peg dolls from the mouth of my one-year-old!).  I guess I would rather keep them safely tucked away than have them destroyed, and so I was hesitant to participate in another swap if I did not anticipate a better use for the dolls.  The theme was the answer.  After batting around a lot of ideas, another mom and I came up with the idea of doing the Twelve Apostles and Jesus.  This idea probably springs from the fact that we are both Level 1 Catechists in the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd program, and so we have seen first-hand, for many years, how much enjoyment little ones can derive from a set of simple dolls.  Our thought with doing a set of Jesus and the Twelve Apostles is that we can use them for many scriptural depictions, and also that we can easily add on to them later.  So creating additional dolls for, say, a passion week set would be  easy because we already have this basic set.


If you have any interest in setting up or participating in a peg doll exchange, here are some ideas for possible sets:

  • Jesus and the Twelve Apostles (We went with Matthias rather than Judas)
  • The Passion Week set (could also be used for the Stations of the Cross): Caiaphas, Pontius Pilate, Herod, Veronica, Our Lady, Simon of Cyrene, St. Longinus, perhaps good thief and bad thief, Joseph of Arimathea, two Roman soldiers, an angel, Mary Magdalen
  • A Christmas Set: Shepherds, Sheep, Angels, Our Lady, Joseph, Baby Jesus, Three Kings (with three camels, made using wooden egg shapes), other animals for the stable
  • Mysteries of the Rosary Set: Angel Gabriel, Elizabeth, Christmas Set (see above), Simeon, Anna, perhaps some elders for the Finding of the Child Jesus, John the Baptist, a wedding couple, Moses, and Elijah, in addition to the Passion and Christmas sets above.

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I’d love to hear about any painted-saint, peg doll swaps that you have participated in.  I feel like I learn so much every time I participate in one of these swaps, about painting techniques, time management, and project organization, but also—most importantly—about the life of the saint that I am painting.  The projects really make these saints come alive for me.

God bless your day!

About The Author


I am a homeschooling mom of six kids, married to a patient, supportive, and crazy smart husband, whom I met on the internet in the days of screaming modems. Raised on the east coast, I am happily raising my family in the midwest. I love to collect and share traditions, recipes, prayers, crafts, and activities for living out the Catholic Faith in my home and family.

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