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Catholic Homeschool Articles, Advice & Resources

Peg Dolls for Saint Lucy’s Day – December 13


A fun craft for both boys and girls and even younger children, saintly peg dolls make it easy to teach about the lives of the saints we are celebrating.

Peg dolls are a fun and popular way for children to commemorate saint days. In my house, we have a large collection of these little people, built up over the years and much treasured. Even a very young child can be given a peg doll and some paints or markers and allowed to paint to their heart’s content.

The tradition of young girls dressing in white robes or dresses tied with a red sash on St. Lucy’s day is largely a Scandinavian one. The white dress symbolizes St. Lucy’s purity and the red sash her martyrdom. Her crown of candles symbolizes the coming light of the world, Jesus Christ. Even her name, Lucy (or Lucia) means light.

Boys might be more interested in painting Star Boy, a traditional part of the Saint Lucy’s Day celebration. Legend has it that a young boy named Staffan was the stable hand of King Herod on the night of the Nativity. When he saw the large burning star in the sky, he declared that a King greater than Herod was coming. Herod’s soldiers stoned the boy before beginning the slaughter of the Holy Innocents.

Traditionally, Staffan, or Star Boy, leads Saint Lucy and the three kings on the Epiphany Procession. Star Boy wears a cone hat and carries a star.

For this project you will need:

  • 3 ½ inch unfinished wooden peg dolls (available at craft stores)
  • White, red, gold, and yellow paint or paint pens
  • White felt scrap or white card stock
  • Black Sharpie marker
  • Red Sharpie marker

Various decorations such as star stickers, lollipop sticks, Christmas pine, glitter. This can be as involved or as simple as your child would like.

  1. For small children it might be less frustrating for mom to draw a simple face with the Sharpie markers on the peg doll. For the little ones keep the project simple.
  2. Paint the body white and the hair yellow. Allow to dry.
  3. Pencil in arms over the dried white paint.
  4. For Saint Lucy draw a red sash using the marker.
  5. For Star Boy put a star sticker on his tunic. Or paint a star using the yellow or gold paint.
  6. Using either the felt or card stock cut out a cone shape for Star Boy’s hat. Glue to his head.
  7. Decorate the crown with stars, glitter, and bits of greenery. We made candles from a cut-up lollipop stick.

About Mary Ellen Barrett

Mother of seven children and two in heaven, Mary is wife to David and a lifelong New Yorker. She has homeschooled her children for eleven years using Seton and an enormous amount of books. She is a columnist for The Long Island Catholic and blogs here . Meet Mary Ellen.
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