How To Make A Paper Doll

by jfay1995

An informative guide how to make paper dolls. Get your young girls busy creating.

How To Make a Paper Doll

Paper doll
Paper doll
Paper doll

Making Paper dolls

Get Your Girls Busy Creating


All little girls or the majority of them like to play with paperdolls and dolls and barbies. When I was little I was given a Raggeddy Anne Colorforms and other old fashioned paperdolls. I spent hours playing with them. When my mom and her best friend were little, they had trunks filled with paperdolls. They were the really old ones.

Nowadays, you can get the reproductions of all the old ones. Ebay is a great place to get the originals.

OPDAG magazine is an official magazie devoted to paperdolls. The editor is the daughter of a mother that makes lots of paperdolls. It is based in Kingfield, Maine. She puts out two magazines. One is called Paperdoll Review and is devoted to all the old ones and you can still buy the reproductions.

The other magazine is Paperdoll Studio and is dedicated to new paperdoll artists. I have been creating mine for eight years.

So here are tips for little girls to make their own.

1. A good lightbox is very helpful. Some toy companies sell some geared for children that are really cute if you're looking for something cute and girlie. I like a good quality lightbox that you can plug in. The kid ones usually take batteries and if they leave them on when not in use, the battery runs out and it collects dust for a while until they ask for it again. Sometimes they can see what they're drawing better with a no frills one. I got mine at Utrecht, or Dick Blick or Daniel Smith. Utrechts prices are good and they cater to artists and budding artists.

2. So they want to create. Let them get into it and express themselves. Let them get messy if they do. I've always been one not to interrupt a creative child. It's so important for them to get into the process.

3. Sometimes it might be helpful for them to choose a picture so they can get a basic outline. Sometimes children hav a hard time with body parts. But I would also encourage them to create their own if possible. Even I use an outline sometimes if I like the position of the body parts. But it stops at the outline. The lightbox helps them to trace the outline. Then they can go in and create their own face and hairstyle.

4. Have them create a bathing suit or a really short nightgown. Bikini or full piece. Or they can have the doll wear short and a tank top. Why I say this is when they go to create their other costumes and outfits they will have the freedom of creating things that are going to not sure the basic underwear garment that is on the doll.

5. I like to use a fine tip black marker. The grocery store sells them for a few bucks. A nice set of colored pencils and good markers are great. If you've got a serious artist on your hands a nice quality set of colored pencils and markers are great. If they're little the basic cheaper markers are good for them to use, as quite often the caps get left off the marker and then soon you have a dried up marker that is no good.

6. After they have the doll created, then the lightbox comes in handy to make their own outfits. Then they can see the boundaries of their doll and they can create the outfits to fit. Make sure they add some little tabs on the shoulders, waist, and maybe the legs, boots or arms. That way when cut out and folded they will fit the doll. They can color them and design them anyway they want. The design part is where they can get really creative.

7. Outfit ideas. dresses, pants, coats, sweaters, ball gowns, cosumes. Halloween themes are great right about now. Easter, Valentines day, etc...

8. Have them create a name for their paperdolls. Maybe they want to use their own name or maybe a favorite character or their favorite actress.

9. Another idea for little girls learning is getting a teen magazine and picking a picture and designing one from their favorite character. Tracing paper is good to have on hand. My son used to like tracing monsters and other stuff.

10. Also encourage them to create pretty backgrounds to their page. Hearts, flowers, etc... Make some props to go with the dolls.

11. The clothing is usually on a separate page, but you can also usually fit one or two on the same page as the doll. She will need to creat some on another page first and then trace her costumes somewhat onto the same page as the doll. But she can change the outfits a little as long as the boundaries are going to be the same as the doll.

12. It's important to teach them to be original and create their own as much as possible. Always make sure they sign their name when they are done. Sometimes it looks neat underneath their name of the doll.

13. And if your child would rather just play with a store boughten one, there are cute Disney ones, Barbie ones and sometimes different types of wooden sets. I think that Melissa and Doug company usually has several sets that are cute for little girls.

But if they want to take their time and create their own, they are becoming budding designers and fashionistas.

Cool Paper Doll Sets

Paper Dolls for girls
Flower Fairies Paper Dolls

For the first time, paper dolls are available from the Flower Fairies(tm) Friends series. With four different fairy dolls-two boys and two girls-and eight different outfits ...

$6.99  $2.84
Melissa & Doug Abby & Emma Deluxe Magnetic Dress-Up Set

Abby and Emma love to play dress-up and exchange mix and match outfits. These two wooden, magnetic friends come with stands and hundreds of dress-up options for hours of fun!

$19.49  $18.27
Brides from Around the World Paper Dolls (Dover Paper Dolls)

Four lovely brides model 28 elegant costumes from around the world. Bridal wardrobes include a Celtic robe from the medieval period, a Chinese tunic of red silk, a Philippine ...

$15.92  $11.94
Updated: 12/07/2011, jfay1995
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Rose on 11/19/2012

Excellent suggestions. I like how you gave examples of how even boys and teenagers can use paper dolls - not just little girls.

sheilamarie on 12/10/2011

I always loved paper dolls.

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