ballerina peg dolls {cake toppers}

Hosting a ballet themed party? Hoping to wow guests with your wood? These little ballerinas should do the trick. Use to decorate cupcakes or cake, or distribute them as party favours. Even better: put fire on their heads.

ballerina peg dolls | movita beaucoup

ballerina peg dolls | movita beaucoup

Materials: peg dolls, drill, pencil & eraser, acrylic craft paint, small paint brushes, fine-tip marker, mini pom-poms, glue, thin ribbon (about 1/4 inch wide), needle & thread, scissors, birthday candles, grit and fortitude.

Step 1: Buy peg dolls. Or, if you are a skilled woodworker, make ’em.

Step 2: Drill a hole into the top of your ballerina’s head. The hole should be the same diameter as your birthday candle – we used a 1/4 inch drill bit. (This step is optional if you don’t plan to set your ballerina’s head ablaze.)

Step 3: Sketch the bodice, hair and eyes onto the peg doll – bring your only friend wooden friend to life.

Step 4: Paint the bodice and hair. It is likely that you will need 2-3 coats of paint. A fine-tip marker works well for the eyes.

Step 5: If you opted not to drill candle holes, glue a mini pom-pom on top of your ballerina’s head. If you drilled candle holes, you can set a mini pom-pom (without glue) on top of the hole, and remove it when you want to insert the candle.

Step 6: Make the tutu. Secure thread to one end of a very thin ribbon, and then weave a sewing needle in and out at short intervals, pulling to create a ruffle. Make the ruffle long enough to fit your ballerina’s girth and then sew the ends together to complete the tutu. Place tutu on dancer. Squeal with delight.

ballerina peg dolls | movita beaucoup

ballerina peg dolls | movita beaucoup

Optional Bonus Steps:

Step 7: Surprise your guests by removing a ballerina’s bun.

Step 8: Shove a candle into her head.*

Step 9: Light on fire.

ballerina peg dolls | movita beaucoup

* Note: it is easier to shove a candle into your ballerina’s head before you place her on a cake. That said, trimming the base of your candle and ensuring it will slide easily into your dancer’s head-hole before placing her on a squishy frosting surface will ensure the whole operation runs smoothly.  

ballerina peg dolls | movita beaucoup

ballerina peg dolls | movita beaucoup


  1. AHAnto on July 28, 2014 at 8:49 am

    Be nice. Make a few dozen and offer them for sale.

    They look wonderfully serious about the job they have, to hold down the frosting and hold up the flame. This girl is on fi-i-iiiire!

    • movita beaucoup on July 28, 2014 at 9:16 am

      I have been thinking about selling some in my Etsy shop – you know, for people who aren’t teeny-tiny inclined! Dancers – even wooden ones – take their work very seriously. Especially if there is a buttercream reward…

  2. Wendi on July 28, 2014 at 9:24 am

    I would definitely buy some Tiny (wooden) Dancers.

  3. IgnorantBystander on July 28, 2014 at 9:55 am

    Not bad. The black, soulless eyes are a very realistic touch.

    • movita beaucoup on July 29, 2014 at 7:13 am

      What can I say? I know a lot of soulless dancers.

  4. Doug on July 28, 2014 at 10:06 am

    Good morning, good morning,

    Very creative Rachael! I would guess that a steady hand is needed for the drilling process—-yes—-to ensure that it is the doll head, and not the driller’s hand, which is drilled? Band-Aid anyone?

    While you have your drill in hand, perhaps a small round wooden dowel added to the underside of the doll, with a thin, single painted line down the dowel (to define the slender legs of the dancer) from the base of the dancer to a pair of black slippers painted an inch or two from the base, and with extra length of dowel below the slippers to facilitate placement into your cake, and you could have a ballerina performing a pirouette, or even a cocktail swizzle stick—or both. Cake and cocktails sound good to me.

    But I digress, I knew a dancer long ago who, following a tragic accident in the bath, suffered a nonfatal skull injury, and she was thereafter able to mount a 6 inch pillar candle atop her head. We never considered placing her on a cake though—would have been rather messy—and I suspect she might well have objected. Then again…….


    PS What luscious flavor of cake is hiding under the white icing—or is it frosting?

    • movita beaucoup on July 29, 2014 at 7:18 am

      Doug, I’m diggin’ the idea of ballerina swizzle sticks. Just imagine every bar in Halifax using ’em! It would really class things up – delightful! Speaking of delightful, I think I’ll mount a pillar candle atop my head before heading to the studio this evening…

      {The cake was chocolate, and that’s a vanilla Swiss meringue buttercream supporting the gals’ elephant feet.}

  5. Willow @ Will Cook For Friends on July 28, 2014 at 10:21 am

    Aaaah, those tutus are just too, too cute! (See what I did there?) You should absolutely sell these in your Etsy shop, because while you make them sound so easy to make, I highly doubt that an attempt by me would turn out anywhere near as fine as these. They’re perfect!

  6. Lan | morestomach on July 28, 2014 at 11:47 am

    this is ridiculous. i am so jealous of your creative gene right now.

  7. mellissa @ ibreatheimhungry on July 28, 2014 at 12:00 pm

    Ska. Wee. These are adorable. I don’t even need them but would buy them by the dozens if you were selling them on your etsy shop! These are just plain irresistible!!!!!!

    • Doug on July 28, 2014 at 12:18 pm

      Wonderful idea! An “army” of toy ballerinas bringing peace and culture to the world, instead of toy soldiers bringing war. I like it!


  8. Nancy @ gottagetbaked on July 28, 2014 at 7:32 pm

    Ok, Movita, now you’re just trying to make us all feel incompetent. Your dolls are so freaking cute. If I made one of these, it would look like the “fail” photos from those Pinterest fail photo collections. Of course, I’ll have to send you the photo after I’m discharged from emergency because it’s a given that I’ll drill a candle sized hole right through my hand. I hope you follow this up with a “man ballerina” doll. What would that look like?! If you made them, I’d buy one, call him Albrecht, paint rips into his tights and put him in compromising positions. Because Albrecht deserves the abuse!

  9. Maureen | Orgasmic Chef on July 28, 2014 at 7:50 pm

    How cute these are! And that’s a lot of fiddly work. You should sell ’em. 🙂

  10. Jenni on July 29, 2014 at 10:39 am

    Cutest. So much cute! This has etsy written Aaaaallllll over it!

  11. natalie @ wee eats on July 29, 2014 at 4:42 pm

    THESE ARE SO CUTE! And, not that there is ever a time you WOULDN’T want a ballerina for your cake, but just think of all the other things you could turn them into (like ballerina fairies!)

  12. tworedbowls on July 31, 2014 at 2:05 pm

    omg omg “This girl is on fire” I just burst out laughing at my desk. Also, you’re making me want to DIY my own wedding cake toppers, which is just madness. Make it stop. (But these are adorable.)

  13. Bluejellybeans on July 31, 2014 at 7:46 pm

    How lovely! 🙂

  14. Amy on August 1, 2014 at 10:53 am

    These are so cute! You’re so crafty, Movita. Love their interchangeable bun/candle holes and their adorable tutus!!!

    • movita beaucoup on August 1, 2014 at 11:36 am

      See? When you’re not at work you can participate in stuff like this! YAY! Until you have the baby, that is. Then you’ll have to take a 10 year break from the internet.

  15. shannon on August 8, 2014 at 8:35 am

    oh my goodness…those are the most…aaggghhhhhh SO CUTE CAN’T TALK CAN’T TYPE WORDS.
    i guess you couldn’t make like, 3 of those exactly like this for the Wee One’s birthday coming up? oooh that would be a tight timeline…maybe for my birthday. maybe for her birthday next year. SELL THEM IN THE ETSY SHOP RIGHT NOW can’t you see i’m struggling here and i need them.

    maybe my mom could make them for this year. just in the meantime.

    • movita beaucoup on August 8, 2014 at 5:47 pm

      WHEN IS HER BIRTHDAY? This needs to happen!

      • shannon on August 8, 2014 at 7:07 pm

        her birthday is the 20th of august, but her party isn’t until the 23rd. I would LOVE for it to happen, but i’d hate to press you on time, and i don’t know how long mail takes to get from you to me. If you think it would be something you’d want to do, email me, seriously: if not for this august, definitely i would pay to get some here for my birthday, or for christmas, etc. not kidding i LOVE peg dolls. We are a family who loves felted animals and peg dolls, mostly because they have eyes and not smiles and there’s something about that which is wonderful.
        oh, also: birthday pegs aside, i need to ask you if there’s a way to do something else peggish for a gift. you know what? i’m emailing you. right now.

  16. […] because if she doesn’t, awkward). I fell in love with these wee ballerinas the minute I saw this post; long story short, Movita flew these girls in all the way from Canada as a gift to my Wee One. How […]

  17. Celebrate “12 Days of Christmas” With These Merry Crafts | Natalie Weick on November 14, 2014 at 11:46 am

    […] Get the tutorial at Motiva Beaucoup » […]

  18. […] Ballerina Peg Dolls from Movita […]

  19. […] outer space! We obsessed over Movita’s peg ballerina troupe so much last year, my mom made the peg version of what NASA was up to in the […]

  20. Michelle @ MakeMeCake.Me on November 5, 2015 at 4:20 pm

    Making these as we speak (eeee! so cute!!). A question though, is that elastic thread you use on the tutu? Gracias!

    • movita beaucoup on November 6, 2015 at 7:41 am

      Nope! Just boring old cheap thread that I found in my craft room. (So glad you’re making them!) xox

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.