Thursday, November 30

Raccoon Peg Doll & Felt Playset Tutorial

Okay, guys. I'm about to open a world of fun and affordable gifts right before your eyes. Are you ready?


P.S. check out the rest of our Christmas projects and posts here:
http://www.morelikehome.net/search/label/Christmas

Because seriously, if you get the hang of this little set you can translate it to make a playset that fits anything - anything - your kids are interested in. Have you seen our little felt and peg doll camping set? This is basically exactly the same things. I just painted the pegs to look like raccoons and made the tent look like a leafy log. So read through this tutorial, then get creative and make just what you need - a castle with knight pegs, a cave with bear pegs, a hideout with superhero pegs, anything.

But back to our raccoons for now. This little playset has everything you need your kids need for hours of fun! (but no one will blame you if you want to play with it too)


Each raccoon has their own little leaf sleeping bag:


The table has plates painted right on so it's always ready for a raccoon snack:


And it all goes in this little felt log house, complete with a leaf door, leafy roof, and windows:


And that leafy roof? It opens up for easy play:




Just in case your raccoons need a little inside time.


And all the pieces fit inside when you're done playing:


Ready to make one? Here's all you need:
  • the pattern (download it here)
  • peg dolls (any size and quantity you want for your raccoon family)
  • wooden disc (for the tabletop)
  • small wooden pot (for the table base)
  • light gray paint
  • medium gray paint
  • white paint
  • black paint
  • pink paint
  • clear spray sealer
  • 1 sheet light gray felt (if you have any scraps, you only need a teeny bit!)
  • 1 sheet off-white felt (if you have any scraps, you only need a teeny bit!)
  • head pins (from the jewelry-making section)
  • E6000 glue
  • 4 sheets medium brown felt
  • 2 sheets light brown felt
  • 2 sheets light green felt
  • 2 sheets medium green felt
  • 2 sheets dark green felt 
  • matching thread

We'll start with the raccoon dolls. Use a pencil to draw the faces on the raccoons before you start painting. I really like the peg animal dolls by Shrimp Salad Circus. I used her design for my raccoon faces, but she also had a few other animal options plus some great tips to create peg dolls of any animals you want! Raccoons not your thing? Try making the set with foxes, deer, or bears instead!

Once you have the faces set, use a small drill bit to drill a hole where each ear will go.I found it's better to put them a little farther forward on the small heads so they don't end up with weirdly high foreheads.


Paint the the bodies light gray, right up to the edges of the face. I did two coats to get better coverage.


Then use a tiny paintbrush to fill in the nose and outline the eye area. It's hard to see in this photo, but the outside edges around the eyes are painted to look like little tufts. Don't forget the tummy, too.


Fill in the eye area with the darker gray, being careful to leave the white outline around the eyes. The dark gray has the same tufted edges as the white.


Use black paint to make the eyes and noses.


For the girl raccoons, I added little pink dots to their cheeks. You can see the tufts a little better in this photo. For the boy raccoons the tufts point more straight, but for the girls I tried to curl them up just a bit to be more feminine.


Let the paint dry, then seal the pegs with a clear sealer. 

Once that dries you can add the ears. These are the head pins I used:


Put a pin in each hole you drilled for the ears, and trim off the extra (I used needle nose pliers) so about 1/8" is showing. (less for the smaller raccoons) You want to make sure the wire won't show past the felt of the ears - we don't want anyone getting poked. NOTE: if you have a child who might put these in their mouth, I would skip the metal and try just gluing the felt onto the head. I don't know how well they would stick, but it's better than risking a poke in the mouth!


Squirt a little puddle of E6000 glue.


Dip the end of each ear peg into the glue, then put it back into the hole you drilled.


Cut out a small gray triangle of felt for the ear. I cut them a little larger for the big raccoons and smaller for the little raccoons. Use a toothpick to put a dab of glue on the center of the ear. Stick it to the back side of the ear peg.


Cut out a smaller triangle from the off-white felt and stick it to the front of the gray ear, covering the ear peg completely. Repeat with the other ear. And all the other raccoonies.


Let those dry and your little family is done!


To make the table, just paint little plates around the edge of the wooden disk. I did six plates for six raccoons. Paint a white circle, then add any decoration you want around the edges.


Glue the base to the bottom of the table.


Now onto the sewing! If you didn't do it yet, print the pattern here. Let's start with the sleeping bags. For each sleeping bag cut out one full size leaf, and one leaf trimmed along the dotted line. There are three sleeping bag sizes to choose from based on the size of your pegs. Stack the two leaf pieces and sew along the sides and bottom.


Cut the four front/floor pieces from medium brown felt. On two of the pieces, use the dotted lines on the pattern to mark and cut out the window and door. Stack those two pieces together and sew around all the edges and the window openings. Ignore the leaf door. That's in the next step.


Cut out the two leaf door pieces (I cut one side from light green and one from dark green). Stack them and sew around the edges. Sew leaf veins up the middle of the door just for fun.


Lay the leaf door over the doorway and sew along one edge to create the hinge.


Stack the two floor pieces and sew around all the edges. Then lay the front on top of the floor (with the door facing up) and sew along the edge at the bottom of the front to attach them. It should look like this:


Cut the log end pieces from light brown felt. Stack two pieces together and sew around the window openings, then sew a swirly pattern around the circle to look like the wood grain (I used darker brown thread so it would show up more). Also sew right around the edge - I didn't do this and the top edge gets a little floppy. Repeat with the other two end pieces.


Lay the end pieces on the floor, lining up the bottom edge with the sides, and sew right along the bottom edge. Like this:


Line up the sides of the front with the edge of the side pieces (it's a little tricky since they are rounded, but just go slow and you'll be fine) and sew along the edge.


Now you can get the roof ready. Stack the two top pieces and lay out your leaf roof on top to find an arrangement you like.


Sew the first row of leaves in place:


Then the second:


Then the third. I wasn't satisfied with my roof at that point, so I went back and sewed a quick line down the middle of each leaf to make it more leaf-like. Much better!


Lay the back of the roof piece on the floor, lining up the back edges (the sides will overhang since this piece is cut a little wider) and sew along that edge. This will make the back wall and roof of your house with one piece.


Remember how you attached the front wall to the side walls? Well you need to do that again to attach this back wall to the side walls. Go ahead and scroll back up to that better photo and take a refresher peek. You just need to line up the edges and sew them together. This is the trickiest part but just remember to take your time. Start at the back edge and sew your way up until the first row of leaves (don't forget to backstitch). Stopping here will leave the front open for play. Repeat with the other side. This is the only photo I managed tog get of this most tricky step. My bad, guys.


But if you made it through that part, your house is done!!!


Give yourself a pat on the back and take a little nap like these raccoon babies. You deserve it!


You can also make a playmat for your raccoon family using the mat pattern in our camping set tutorial.

http://www.morelikehome.net/2016/03/camping-playset-with-felt-and-peg.html

Or you can call it a night and get these guys wrapped and under the tree. Now shhh. My raccoons are sleeping. Actually, they're always sleeping because those little sleeping bags are m3's favorite thing ever.


He spent an hour tucking raccoons in and taking them back out.


Look at that sweet little birthday boy.



Have fun, and let me know if you make a set!


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