How to make your own paper dolls

If you are looking for a fun, inexpensive way to keep your children occupied, make your own paper dolls. This craft is suitable for children of all ages, including adults!

Playing with paper dolls encourages creativity. The dolls can be very versatile when you make many outfits and accessories for them. Here are the basic instructions for making your own paper dolls:

Materials needed: white glue, scissors, markers, crayons or pencil crayons, white paper (I recommend card stock), magazine pictures (optional)

  1. The first step is to draw an outline of your doll onto a piece of paper or card stock (I recommend using card stock because it is more durable). The dolls can be any shape, size, nationality or gender. They do not even have to be human. You can draw cats, dogs, rabbits, or anything that you desire. If you prefer, you can cut out pictures of people from magazines and glue them to the card stock.
  2. Decorate your dolls. Give them a face and some undergarments. Hair is not necessary because you can always draw wigs to place on the dolls later if you wish.
  3. Cut out your dolls. If desired, you can get them laminated before you cut them out. They will last longer if you laminate them.
  4. Using your dolls as a guide, draw clothing for them. Place your dolls on the paper and draw the clothes around them to get a good fit. It is not necessary to draw tabs on the clothes for holding them onto the dolls. I find that the tabs get in the way.
  5. Draw some accessories for your dolls. A well dressed doll always needs hats, jewelry, purses, shoes, tennis rackets, baseballs, ice cream cones, party hats, school bags and much more. Draw as many things as you can possibly think of…….there is no limit to the ideas you can come up with.
  6. Draw some pets for your dolls. Be creative: draw cats, dogs, lizards, parrots……anything your heart desires. You can even draw accessories for the pets such as feeding bowls, blankets, leashes, even doggie sweaters!
  7. Cut out the accessories, pets and clothes for your dolls. You can even get these laminated before you cut them out.
  8. Once you have finished your paper dolls, you may decide to draw a house or a background scene to place them on. I recommend using posterboard for this because it is fairly durable and is large enough to accommodate the paper dolls. The above are just basic instructions for making paper dolls. here are some ideas for making your dolls more unique and interesting:

Extra materials needed: wool, doll hair, fabric pieces, old photographs

a) Personalize your dolls! Use a photograph of yourself and cut it out. Draw some of your favorite kinds of clothing and accessories. You can even use a photograph of your pet!

b) Use fabric such as felt or velour to make clothes for your dolls. Draw the clothes on paper, then glue matching fabric shapes on top of them.

c) Instead of paper wigs, use wool, small scraps of fabric or doll hair. Draw the wig for your doll, cut it out, then glue the wool or doll hair onto it.

d) Choose a theme for your dolls. Make accessories to go along with the theme. For example, you could make paper Christmas ornaments, paper Christmas trees, Halloween costumes, or party outfits.

e) Make a special paper doll to send to a friend. Use an envelope that is large enough and insert a piec of cardboard into the envelope as well to prevent it from getting bent or folded during shipping.

f) Make some paper dolls to send to your local children’s hospital. It is a a wonderful gesture and it will teach your children the joys of giving.

The final step for making your own paper dolls is to have fun with them. Makeup plays and stories.
When you have finished playing with the dolls, find a sturdy box to store them in. A shoebox is perfect for this purpose. Keep the dolls in a dry place and out of the sunlight as this will cause their colors to fade.
Enjoy!

The final step

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