DIY Paper Dolls

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Our talented ten year old neighbor, Gia, is the best mother’s and babysitter!  She brings toys and thinks of new activities to do with my four year old while I’m working or teaching.  Last week, after writing class, I wandered over to the dining room table to see what they’d been doing.  I found them playing with a homemade paper doll and doll outfits.  The girls were pretending, imagining, and engaged.  I couldn’t wait to write a post about this fun and easy idea.

Draw the Body and Cut Out

Gia drew a girl body, decorated her and cut her out.

Trace the outline and use to design an outfit

She turned the doll over, drew the outline, removed the doll from the paper and used the outline to design an outfit. Once she’d designed the clothes, she cut out the clothes, adding on tabs. Simple. Brilliant. Later on, my seven-year-old took to the project with gusto, creating a paper doll city, with dolls of all shapes, sizes and colors, rooms and houses. (See above)  She even made a daddy paper doll for daddy when he played with her. Younger children can draw basic people with a circle head, rectangle or triangle body, and lines for legs and arms.  Help them cut out the shape so they, too, can make their own paper doll. Thanks, Gia! Fashion Design for Kids

A bit more about this blog…

If you’re a teacher, parent, librarian, or grandparent, my blog, Imagination Soup, is the perfect resource for you to find good children’s books. You’ll find Children’s Books by Age starting with board books for babies 0 and 1 year olds. One of the most popular book lists is Kindergarten Reading. This is a time when kids need good books and lots of practice. Once you move beyond early readers, you might be looking for chapter books for first graders aka. 1st Grade Books. At around age 7, kids are ready for 2nd Grade Books or Second Grade Books. The next level up is Third Grade Reading Chapter Books for 3rd Graders. 3rd grade reading books are generally for ages 8 and 9. Ages 9 and 10 are in 4th Grade so if you need 4th Grade Reading ideas, you’ll want those book recommendations. Find the Best Books for 5th Graders in my Fifth Grade Books list. Books for 5th Graders are for age 10 and 11. Age 11 and 12 is usually 6th grade. On this list, you’ll find 6th Grade Reading recommendations that they’ll love. 7th grade books are for kids around age 12. When kids turn 13, they’re in 8th grade in the U.S. Toys and games reviews and recommendations for kids for children who are ages 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13 and up — preschool, elementary, tweens, and teens — both boys and girls. Here are some quick links to get you started: Toys & Gifts for 3 Year Olds Toys & Gifts for 4 Year Old Girls Toys & Gifts for 4 Year Old Boys Toys & Gifts for 5 Year Old Girls Toys & Gifts for 5 Year Old Boys Toys & Gifts for 6 Year Old Girls Toys & Gifts for 6 Year Old Boys Toys & Gifts for 7 Year Old Girls Toys & Gifts for 7 Year Old Boys Toys & Gifts for 8 Year Old Girls Toys & Gifts for 8 Year Old Boys Toys & Gifts for 9 Year Old Girls Toys & Gifts for 9 Year Old Boys Toys & Gifts for 10 Year Old Girls Toys & Gifts for 10 Year Old Boys Toys & Gifts for 11 Year Old Girls Toys & Gifts for 11 Year Old Boys Toys & Gifts for 12 Year Old Girls Toys & Gifts for 12 Year Old Boys Toys & Gifts for 13 Year Old Girls Gifts for Teen Boys Gifts for Teen Girls

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  3. My mother sewed all of our clothes when we were growing up. My sister and I used to make paper dolls from the models in old pattern books that the fabric store gave us when they got new ones. We would find a figure that had a beautiful face and we would cut out her head, shoulders and upper torso. We would cut off her arms. Then we would cut out outfits for her from similarly sized figures by cutting tabs on the shoulders and cutting off the model’s head and then cutting out all of the rest of the figure. A single pattern book could yield a large number of dolls (heads) and outfits for women, men, children and infants…A veritable city of dolls.

    Those of you who sew will remember that the newer patterns in the front of the books are full page large illustrations, but in the back of the book, the older patterns are half page and smaller. You could have two sizes of dolls that way with proportional clothing and the small dolls were great for playing in a small area—like your bed when you were sick and had to stay home from school!

    To make homes for our dolls we scoured the women’s magazines like Woman’s Day and Better Homes and Gardens for full page ads that showed a room in a home. Eventually we netted kitchens, living rooms, bedrooms and bathrooms. On a rainy day we took over our entire living room at home and spread out our “houses” all over the floor. Then we populated the “houses” with whole families of paper dolls in wonderful designer clothes who went visiting back and forth for hours!

    I wish I had kept my homemade paper dolls. I have such fond memories of the time spent making and playing with them.