The Muppets are a classic, and are loved by everyone. Though sequels usually get a bad wrap for never being as good as the first, the newest Muppets movie, Muppets Most Wanted, certainly did not disappoint. I might even go as far as saying it might be my new favorite!! My daughter has already watched it multiple times since we got it!!
To celebrate the Muppets Most Wanted movie release (available on Blu-ray Combo Pack and Digital HD August 12th at Disney.com), I decided to make up some Muppet peg dolls for my daughter to play with while we watch the movie (again) and for keeping her entertained. I know she'll love them and can't wait to eavesdrop during playtime when she reenacts the movie!!
Peg dolls are fairly inexpensive to make, but do take quite some time and patience. Though the project might seem overwhelming, it is doable!! Just take your time and do your research. It helped me a lot while watching the movie and looking up images of the characters for color and drawing references
For this Muppets set, you'll need
- Wooden Peg Dolls: 7 "men" (2 5/16") and 2 "boys" (1 11/16")
- 1/4" Dowel Cap (for Fozzie's hat)
- Mechanical Pencil
- Good Eraser
- Acrylic Paints (all different colors)
- Small Paintbrushes
- Sharpie Fine Tip Marker
- Clear Spray Paint
- Muppets Most Wanted movie (optional, but highly recommended!)
Using a mechanical pencil, lightly draw the characters on the pegs. If you draw darker, it will be harder to erase if you make a mistake and can show through the paint. Take your time drawing, and keep a picture or two close by for reference.
Another thing to keep in mind is to simplify. There are a lot of details on some of the characters, so just try your best to make the work minimal while still having them be recognizable. After drawing everyone, I showed them to my daughter and asked if she knew who they were to make sure she could tell who they were supposed to be.
Yes, there are two "Kermits" in the movie - but they are very different! When doing your research, try to notice unique characteristics for each peg doll. For example, Kermit has a longer, narrower collar than Constantine. And of course, Constantine has his famous mole and he pulls that scowl face a lot during the movie.
This picture looks pretty creepy, but it's just to show you Kermit all painted! Use small brushes, and for more efficiency, paint one color for multiple characters at a time. That way you will have to wash your brushes less and will save you time.
The best tips I can give are to go slow and keep a steady hand while painting small areas (like eyes). To save paint from being wasted, I just used the inside of the acrylic paint lid instead of pouring paint out on a tray. You only need a tiny bit of paint for most areas. If I didn't have a specific color on hand, I just mixed up colors I did have to create the one I needed.
Once the paint on all the peg dolls are dry, you can use a fine tip Sharpie marker or something similar to add details. Even though I trust myself with a paint brush, I'd rather add small details with the marker instead. I used the marker on things like Kermit's eyes, Miss Piggy's pupils and eyelashes, and Camilla the chicken's eyes.
And of course, Miss Piggy needed some glam, so I used some glitter paint to sparkle up her fancy dress. As I watched the movie, I also noticed Animal's performance top had sequins, so I added some glitter paint to his sleeves. I really like adding little details like this because it really gives them a little more personality!
Once everything is all painted, give them all one last look-over and make sure you didn't miss any spots with painting or marker. If they're ready to go, stand them all up on a piece of cardboard (I used a pizza box) and spray them with a coat of clear spray paint to help protect the paint and keep them looking great. There's a lot of work put into these little guys and I want them to last a long time!