Fun Paper Dolls to Cut Out and Dress

by KathleenDuffy

These paper dolls are outrageous, fun and not just for the children! Whether your taste is High Brow or High Camp - there's something here for you. Sharpen those scissors sisters!

Paper dolls were always fun! Even back in the old days you could dress all your favourite film stars, including Shirley Temple, Jane Russell and Margaret O'Brien in the fashions from their best-loved films.

Just after the Second World War there were soldiers, sailors, airmen and women from the armed forces who needed help with their uniforms! Sportsmen and women, babies, Zeigfield Follies gals....the list is endless.

Then it all went quiet....

But now, paper dolls are back - and they are gorgeous, glitzy, fabulous and funny! They make a really unusual hobby for anyone who enjoys collecting things - and of course, if you have a child or know an adult who loves crafts, movies, fashion, pop, history etc - there's a paper doll for them!

Fashion conscious Paper Dolls!

They love striking a pose...

Apparently paper dolls first emerged in Paris in the 18th century, so it seems only right and proper to have a look at some paper dolls that celebrate the fashion industry! 

These examples are by the world-famous fashion artist and paper doll designer, Tom Tierney.  Tierney has had a brilliant and varied career as a fashion artist and since his collaboration with Dover Books he has helped to bring the paper doll industry to new heights.  He's got his own website, if you want to get to know his work.

Political Paper Dolls!

These could swing the vote in either direction....

 Barack and Michelle Obama are not only the first black President and First Lady to inhabit the  White House - they are also the first ones with any fashion sense.  So a paper doll was created to celebrate this important innovation!

George W Bush (looking remarkably fresh-faced) and his family are also represented in Paper Doll Universe! 

Not to mention Bill and Hilary with an uncharacteristically, hysterically flamboyant Chelsea - but no Monica unfortunately...

There’s also George Washington, as granite-faced as his Mount Rushmore carving. He can be seen in his long johns underwear before you dress him - no wonder he looks so grim...

However, the ever cheerful President Kennedy is no Puritan misery - you’ll find him with Jackie and the kids - but no Marilyn ...shame...

There’s plenty of politicos to keep you happily snipping away - or chopping and stabbing, depending on your political preferences!

Stars of the Silver Screen Paper Dolls

Is that a pair of scissors in your pocket or are you just pleased to see me?


Anyone who is Movie Mad will be in Hollywood Heaven with these amazingly glamorous paper dolls.

Imagine being able to say to Rita Hayworth, "Gilda, are you actually going out in that??  Get over here right now babycakes -  and put this on!" 

Or perhaps Marilyn looks just a little bit crumpled today and has to be on set by nine?  Another late night with Jack and Robert!  Sort her out, why doncha!

Maybe Loretta Young doesn't look quite so young this morning ... Perhaps the little white number will give her a lift?

These movie star wardrobe essentials will keep you on top of your game - it's your job to make sure the public never wavers in its devotion.

Paper Dolls - The Dark Side...

Just when you were getting all girly with the glitz and glamour of Hollywood - don't forget there's a dark side to working with scissors...

At last the evil side of the Hollywood Dream (or Nightmare...) is being recognised.  Never mind worrying about your kids finding bad things on the internet - paper dolls ain't so innocent nowadays!

 Did you think you could confine horror movies to the kiddie control button?   Are psychotic slashers as outmoded as space hoppers?

Think again....

Paper Dolls for the Academically Inclined

That's people who like art and stuff...


You might think that paper dolls were particularly attractive to people with little intellectual capacity, even a little bit common perhaps?

Well, you couldn't be more wrong!   Why there's a whole world of Paper Dolldom out there for those who love reading, and painting, and writing and all that arty sort of  stuff.  Just look at these amazing examples of upmarket paper dollmanship and don't let me hear you saying another word about  paper dolls not being for the intellectual elite...


See!  I told you...

Paper Dolls With the 'X' Factor

Except there isn't a Simon Cowell one...yet!

Now that paper dolls are truly trendy once more, it's only right and proper that pop music lovers should have their chance to snip away at their favourite stars.

Maybe you could enhance the experience of dressing these dolls by playing their hits at the same time as you're snipping?    

It's good to see a David Bowie paper doll - he's got his very own exhibition at London's Victoria & Albert Museum!  So who said paper dolls weren't cool?  I particularly like this artist's simple yet authentic representations of David Bowie and Rihanne (amongst many others)  - she was trained at the Royal College of Art which coincidentally is right near the Victoria & Albert Museum.


Paper Doll for Adults

These paper dolls are a niche market which is in its infancy at the moment. No doubt we will see it grow as the  paper doll market for adults grows.  These  will be appreciated by those wanting to pay homage to once marginalised stars, fashionistas, outrageous events, etc.

As a result, there's a few fabulous and edgy paper dolls.   Many of these are already, or will be in the future, collector's items. 

Who knows, maybe we'll see a Christine Keeler, or Mandy Rice Davies paper doll soon?

They are fun paper dolls - for people with a good sense of humour who like raunchiness,glamour and scandal. 

Who doesn't?


What is it About Paper Dolls?

Some thoughts...

There's little doubt that paper dolls are a fascinating subject.  I am sure Freud would have had a lot to say about them - why, for heaven's sake, do we as children, and now even as adults, find it so fascinating to dress and undress the representation of a real or imaginary person? 

Well - I suppose, looking back, dolls have always been used in magic and ritual throughout the history of the world, to perform spells in ritualistic situations.This brings to mind Voodoo dolls. Voodoo Doll 

Tombs, from Ancient Egypt to Rome have revealed clay statues of doll-like forms as well as wooden dolls with moveable limbs.

Today, dolls are being used in learning situations, and in modern police investigation procedures.

Dolls can often seem uncannily real, to be a friend or foe, an ally or enemy.  Dolls have such a strong effect on the collective consciousness that fear of them has its own name - pediophobia.Egyptian Dolls

So Many Paper Dolls - So Little Time

Paper dolls are loved because we are in control - we wield the scissors! 

Paper dolls have been adored by children for centuries and the examples I have given here will bring a lot of fun and pleasure.  Chosen carefully, they can make wonderful gifts for adults or children alike.

There are so many other paper dolls I would love to have shared with you,  including a homage to Martin Luther King,  a Doris Day doll endorsed by her for her dog charity, Twisted Fairy Tales (don't ask...), Barbie and Ken, Famous African American Women, and even Steampunk Paper Dolls.  The list is endless.

It's really great to see an old past-time  re-emerging in new forms! 

Hey - go easy with those shears!


Updated: 05/25/2014, KathleenDuffy
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KathleenDuffy on 05/27/2013

Hi Katiem2 - They're great aren't they! There's lots more styles and periods in history. I didn't have enough room except to scratch the surface. Glad you are going to find it useful. Thanks for your post. (Just off to bed here in the UK!) Nite :)

katiem2 on 05/27/2013

When I first set out to get my two daughters paper dolls I was hard pressed to find them. This is a fantastic collection. I'm going to have fun with my daughters, you never get to old for paper dolls especially if you love fashion and art., Love this!

KathleenDuffy on 05/26/2013

Yes - they're back! Hooray! :D

BrendaReeves on 05/26/2013

I didn't realize paper dolls were back. I loved them as a child.

BrendaReeves on 05/26/2013

I didn't realize paper dolls were back. I loved them as a child.

KathleenDuffy on 05/26/2013

I love them - I have some myself - the Russian Ballet Russe paper dolls - they are lovely! Thanks for your post.

pkmcr on 05/26/2013

Gosh I would never have imagined there would be so many options - but young kids are going to have great fun cutting out the various figures and then deciding how to dress them.

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