Shop Etsy

How-Tuesday: Mini President Figurines

Feb 15, 2011

by Julie Schneider

“I want it said of me by those who knew me best that I always plucked a thistle and planted a flower where I thought a flower would grow.”
— Abraham Lincoln

For this week’s How-Tuesday, Heidi Kenney from My Paper Crane plants the seed for a presidential project that can bloom on your craft table, from her new book, Every Day’s a Holiday: Year-Round Crafting With Kids. The book is packed with fun and clever tutorials for projects that are suitable to make with children and correspond to occasions throughout the year. Read on for tips on how to pay tribute to your favorite head of state in miniature.


What better way to celebrate Presidents’ Day, which falls annually on the 3rd Monday of February, than creating mini president figurines? The small wooden bodies can be found at most craft stores and here on Etsy. This project makes 4 presidents.

Every Day’s a Holiday on Amazon or from an independent bookseller near you.

Supplies you’ll need:

    • Small paintbrush
    • Acrylic paint (color of presidents’ hair and clothing)
    • 4 mini wooden figures
    • Black fine-point felt-tip pen
    • Scissors
    • Pipe cleaners in various widths and neutral colors, such as white, gray, brown & black
    • Tacky glue
    • Tiny plastic hats, bits of fabric, and other small presidential accessories (optional)



1. Choose the presidents that you’ll be re-creating. You may want to print out pictures of your favorites for reference.

2. Using a paintbrush and paint, add hair and clothing to the wooden figure. Start with the lightest colors, such as white and light gray (so you can paint over any mistakes with darker colors). Move on to the darker colors. Leave the faces and hands as unpainted, natural wood. Don’t worry about details; you will draw on faces, buttons and collars with the pen later. Let dry completely.

3. Using the felt-tip pen, let the children add eyes, nose, and mouth to each figure — small dots work perfectly and do not require such a steady hand. Supervising adults may want 
to tackle outlining the clothing, creating collars, buttons, shirt ruffles, and sleeves. Let dry completely.

4. Depending on the president you have chosen, cut small pieces of pipe cleaner to use as sideburns or hair curls, and longer pieces to wrap around the face for beards. Pipe cleaners come in many sizes and types, so experiment until you find the one that gives the look you want. Dot small amounts of glue onto the figures and hold the pipe cleaners in place for about 5 minutes, until dry.

5. Attach small plastic accessories, such as Abraham Lincoln’s famous black hat, using dots of glue. Allow the figures to dry for several hours.

Thank you to Heidi Kenney and the good folks at Chronicle Books for sharing this project with us. For more fun projects to make with kids, check out Every Day’s a Holiday.

 How to Make Nesting Dolls | More How-Tuesday Posts | Supplies on Etsy


  • TwinkleStarCrafts

    TwinkleStarCrafts said 9 years ago

    Love these! Combining history with toys is a great thing.

  • collectiblesatoz

    collectiblesatoz said 9 years ago

    Darling idea. History and vintage go together.

  • crowcanyon

    crowcanyon said 9 years ago

    OMG I LOVE it!! That is too adorable! What a creative and unique idea!

  • MaJentaDesigns

    MaJentaDesigns said 9 years ago

    fun idea, thanks for sharing!

  • theroyal

    theroyal said 9 years ago


  • ThoseThreeWords

    ThoseThreeWords said 9 years ago

    I love the idea that "every day's a holiday," something to celebrate each day! Fun!

  • iroirocrafts

    iroirocrafts said 9 years ago

    Who would have thought political leaders could be so cute?!

  • FluffyFlowers

    FluffyFlowers said 9 years ago

    freakin' cute as h-e-double hockey sticks. I've always wanted to try painting those little figures :)

  • jammerjewelry

    jammerjewelry said 9 years ago

    Wonderful article! Thanks.

  • MegansMenagerie

    MegansMenagerie said 9 years ago


  • feltonthefly

    feltonthefly said 9 years ago

    Oh how George's hair!

  • frommylifetoyours

    frommylifetoyours said 9 years ago

    How fun . Something to do on a raining day when your kids are home from school.

  • PlumeandPetals

    PlumeandPetals said 9 years ago

    I love these!~ How cute and fun =D

  • AmberGypsySky

    AmberGypsySky said 9 years ago

    hehe neato

  • overthemeadow

    overthemeadow said 9 years ago

    Very Cool! Great post!

  • catchalljewelry

    catchalljewelry said 9 years ago

    Aww these are so cute, they would be great gifts for history teachers too =)

  • chalkoholics

    chalkoholics said 9 years ago

    I'm going to have to make some of these!

  • tuckooandmoocow

    tuckooandmoocow said 9 years ago

    How fun!

  • Parachute425

    Parachute425 said 9 years ago


  • JojosBootique

    JojosBootique said 9 years ago

    Adorable - It would make a great school project

  • blessedvintage

    blessedvintage said 9 years ago

    very creative!

  • ShoponSherman

    ShoponSherman said 9 years ago

    I would make Reagan, Kennedy, Washington and Jefferson.

  • rarebeasts

    rarebeasts said 9 years ago

    These are great little beasties. I need to get makin!

  • buttonandthimble

    buttonandthimble said 9 years ago

    so cute and creative. abe lincoln is my favorite.

  • beachglassshop

    beachglassshop said 9 years ago

    great great great kid's project! Thank you!!!

  • amyfine

    amyfine said 9 years ago


  • bwithu

    bwithu said 9 years ago


  • trendlightly

    trendlightly said 9 years ago

    so cute!

  • girliepains

    girliepains said 9 years ago

    Creepy cool!

  • acuriousbrood

    acuriousbrood said 9 years ago

    Hail to the chief!

  • littlebugjewelry

    littlebugjewelry said 9 years ago


  • expressyourself

    expressyourself said 9 years ago


  • TheVinylChalkboard

    TheVinylChalkboard said 9 years ago

    These are adorable and they would make a wonderful project for those cold snowy days inside! Thanks!

  • HouseOfMoss

    HouseOfMoss said 9 years ago

    "Whatever you are, be a good one." -Abraham Lincoln

  • MsBittyKnacks

    MsBittyKnacks said 9 years ago

    Too cute!

  • Plinkjewelry

    Plinkjewelry said 9 years ago

    great read

  • jungledread

    jungledread said 9 years ago

    Haha - love that they're recognizable by their hair ^_^

  • WoodlandCottage

    WoodlandCottage said 9 years ago

    Clever! Love the Abes! Thanks for combining history and creativity, and sharing it with us!

  • MissHildebrandt

    MissHildebrandt said 9 years ago

    That is just darling! I'd like to see ALL the presidents

  • enjoyorigano

    enjoyorigano said 9 years ago

    I love this. It's a wonderful idea !! Cheers !!

  • daydreamjewels

    daydreamjewels said 9 years ago

    How cute! Thanks for sharing :)

  • emwi

    emwi said 9 years ago

    This reminds me of Christmas time crafts I used to do, but I like the idea of expanding from angels to individual presidents.

  • poorjimsvintage

    poorjimsvintage said 9 years ago

    My favorite president is Teddy Roosevelt. Just say'in.

  • sylvita

    sylvita said 9 years ago

    So cute! And i think the onesie featured in the related items is great too!

  • lulusnest

    lulusnest said 9 years ago

    Such a fun idea. I'm going to definitely try this out. Thanks a ton for letting us all in on your secret.

  • tripperdungan

    tripperdungan said 9 years ago

    These are Hilarious. Is there going to be a vice presidents addition? :

  • PickledTink

    PickledTink said 9 years ago

    This project is soooo cute! I actually have some wooden figurines to play with too that I bought from another great shop here on Etsy: Goose Greese Undone

  • WellCriated

    WellCriated said 9 years ago

    HAHA!! This cracks me up. :D

  • FrancesPhotography

    FrancesPhotography said 9 years ago

    I love this and I have a 5 year old and am taking notes. I also put the Everyday Crafting in my add to cart. Thankyou!

  • FrancesPhotography

    FrancesPhotography said 9 years ago

    I love this and I have a 5 year old and am taking notes. I also put the Everyday Crafting in my add to cart. Thankyou!

  • orchardfarmsoap

    orchardfarmsoap said 9 years ago

    So fun, I can not wait to check out her crafty book!

  • Iammie

    Iammie said 9 years ago

    So cute! Love it.

  • callmemimi

    callmemimi said 9 years ago

    :))) really adorable !

  • jewellerytreasures

    jewellerytreasures said 9 years ago

    the mini president figures made me smile when i saw the photo of them so cute! and a great crafts idea for the children

  • LittleWrenPottery

    LittleWrenPottery said 9 years ago

    How cute, I love peg people!

  • bmused

    bmused said 9 years ago

    These are adorable!

  • perfectwear

    perfectwear said 9 years ago

    very cute :)

  • KnitKnotDesigns

    KnitKnotDesigns said 9 years ago

    love these!! I can't wait to make them with my son!

  • julessabjewelry

    julessabjewelry said 9 years ago

    These are so cute. Brings me back to childhood and playing make believe. Thank you for such a wonderful crafty reminder.

  • toriska

    toriska said 9 years ago

    Very cute. I made some wooden dolls similar to this with wooden spools and wooden balls on top and they are my kids' favorite toy. I made each one look like a family member.

  • Asianexpressions

    Asianexpressions said 9 years ago

    Love them!

  • eyongs

    eyongs said 9 years ago


  • HadaraTLV

    HadaraTLV said 9 years ago

    Wow, great

  • WhisperingOak

    WhisperingOak said 9 years ago

    This is wonderful. What a great idea to work on this Monday. And what wonderful products to celebrate the holiday.

  • rebourne

    rebourne said 9 years ago

    i love these, but i want to see a president obama! this book looks awesome, i love doing seasonal crafts with my kids!

  • weartheheartis

    weartheheartis said 9 years ago

    Very informative post. If I had any talent, I'd try these. A good way to get kids interested in history, as well.

  • FrozenCreekWoodworks

    FrozenCreekWoodworks said 9 years ago

    Thanks so much for this. I have painted some wooden little guys, and never thought of using a felt tip pen for the details. Makes so much sense now that you explained! Thanks so much!

  • lauraprentice

    lauraprentice said 9 years ago

    What a fun presidential project. Finally something that isn't a flag!

  • polkadotscloud

    polkadotscloud said 9 years ago

    I' a big heidi kenney fa! I love her works!

  • poppylovesaparty

    poppylovesaparty said 9 years ago

    Adorable! I need to make an entire set!!! Off to purchase the materials! Thanks for the tutorial.

  • AnnTig

    AnnTig said 9 years ago


  • graphicspaces

    graphicspaces said 9 years ago

    WOW! These are the simply the cutest presidents EVER!!!

  • TangoCreations

    TangoCreations said 9 years ago

    Super cute!

  • IMarriedMrRogers

    IMarriedMrRogers said 9 years ago

    Totally doing this with my kids who love Presidents and love action figures...handmade action figures based on real people of action...woo hoo!

  • jenniejane

    jenniejane said 9 years ago

    Wow, so cute! Great job!

  • MaBille

    MaBille said 9 years ago

    Hi everybody! I just discovered this world of miniature cutsies! It is, as many of you wrote, very tempting!! Made me feel like sitting with a cup of coffee and starting a workshop on little figurines! Thanks for sharing!! Have a great day everyone!

  • carottelychee

    carottelychee said 9 years ago

    those mini wooden dolls rock... whatever you paint, it's cute because of the shape and proportions of them. i painted these lil' kiddos :

  • AllSoCute

    AllSoCute said 9 years ago

    ooohh awesome :)

  • gwenelle

    gwenelle said 9 years ago

    Adorable! Now I gotta get my hands on some of those sweet wooden figures :)

  • jiang888

    jiang888 said 9 years ago

    I’m happy to read this awesome articles..full of tips in enjoyable writing style Microsoft OneNote 2010

  • wolffgirl

    wolffgirl said 8 years ago

    Love this!!! I re-shared your Presidential creativity via my blog today in honor of the upcoming holiday:

  • 65+ President's Day Resources & Activities - In All You Do said 5 years ago

    […] Mini President Peg People | Etsy Blog […]

  • Presidents' Day Crafts for Kids - Metro Parent said 4 years ago

    […] Mini President Figurines […]

  • President's Day Crafts and Recipes | Fun Family CraftsFun Family Crafts said 4 years ago

    […] Mini President Figurines – Decorate small wooden figures to look like some of our most beloved presidents. Look at […]

  • President's Day Crafts for Kids Craft Ideas | DIY Ready said 4 years ago

    […] image via etsy […]

  • President’s Day Crafts for Kids - In Home and Garden said 4 years ago

    […] image via etsy […]

Sign in to add your own