My mother once found hand painted wooden jingle figures in the Czech Republic that were absolutely BEAUTIFUL. Years later, when I tried to find my own blank ones, all I could find were blanks of the Russian stacking dolls (which are also fun to paint, by the way). But these don’t open, and when you shake them, they JINGLE!!
After days of calling several Russian art dealers (never mind the difficulty of explaining what they WERE), I finally found someone I could buy a few from. I thought they’d be fun to do portrait orders on at local craft shows. Well, the time put into them was more than a craft show crowd was willing to pay, and the idea just fizzled.
So now I do my own things with them! This is King Arthur, King of all Britons, and his faithful sidekick, Patsy.
I’ve done Santas, animals, wookies and celebrities, but these guys are my favorite. If you’re not up to the task of going through the trouble of calling all over the world to find jingle dolls, there are nice alternatives at your local craft store–little paper mâché eggs, pressed cardboard shapes and wooden boxes. You could draw on them, paint, even mod podge little printed photos of family and paint on top if you’re feeling crafty. They make great gifts!