Saint Dolls!

Over the past two years while visiting my friends’ homes, I have seen these cute wooden peg dolls painted in the image of various saints.  While inquiring about them, my friends explained they were part of a “Saint Doll Exchange” in their homeschooling groups.  I’ve been told this neat concept has become quite the rage.  The idea stemmed from a local Catholic wife and mother Angie Robbins. She gives complete saint doll exchange instructions on her website Liturgical Saint Dolls.  Angie shared with me:

“As Catholic moms we are always looking for ways to teach our children about our faith. So I did some searching through Catholic homeschooling blogs and found this idea. As I started painting the saints I found myself learning so much about them that I did not know. I just had to share this idea with other moms! It just so happens that I run Opus Domini, a Catholic homeschooling support group here in the Columbus Diocese. These families decided to start a Saint Doll Exchange just like you would have a cookie exchange. It was so much fun! I now have over 70 Saint Dolls!  When company comes over, they quiz themselves on the saints!  This is also an inexpensive way to teach your children about the saints.  I am so excited to share this with even more Catholic families.”

I had the opportunity to take part in my first exchange this November and it has been a really fun way to learn more about the saints and be a little creative.   The process is pretty simple.  Find a group of ladies willing to participate, each chooses a different saint to paint and then exchange!  We had 17 ladies in our group, so after we exchange, I will start my collection with 17 different saints.  I admit, I have been given many talents, but art is not one of them.  I was a little bit leery of how my dolls would turn out, but they actually resemble a person!

I chose St Agatha, patron saint of my parish, because I didn’t know very much about her.  After some Internet research and studying the stained glass windows at church, I found an icon of St. Agatha I liked.  I also read about the life of this early Christian virgin and martyr, the patron saint of nurses and breast cancer.  I enjoyed spending a few quiet mornings with my cup of coffee and paintbrushes, praying as I painted for the intercession of St. Agatha.  This gave me time to contemplate her courageous life of virtue.   I included a picture of my saint below, but be sure to visit Angie’s site to see other ideas and some pretty amazing dolls.

Too busy to paint?  I found some places on Etsy, a website focused on handmade items, that sell intricately painted saint dolls.  Check out  St. Anne’s Pixies.

Want to paint the Holy Family as a doll exchange?  You could make a complete nativity set for Christmas!  You can also buy one at St. Luke’s Brush.

Happy crafting!






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