How to make paper doll cut outs

Written by angela castillo
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How to make paper doll cut outs
Paper dolls can be fun and easy to design. (paper angels image by GeoM from

Most little girls love playing with dolls, and paper dolls are no exception. The first paper dolls were created in Europe during the eighteenth century, according to the Cartoon Dolls web site. Mcloughlin Brothers created the largest amount of paper dolls in the United States during the 1800s. Paper dolls were hugely popular, and featured popular movie stars and cartoon characters. They were used in promotions and advertisements. Creating your own paper dolls can be an entertaining and inexpensive craft project to share with a child.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Thick card stock
  • Pencil
  • Tracing paper
  • Scissors
  • Crayons, coloured pencils or markers
  • Magazines
  • White craft glue
  • Folder or envelope
  • Computer with Internet and printer

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  1. 1

    Sketch your doll on a piece of thick card stock with a pencil. Start with a simple design that won't be difficult to cut out. Create a flat-bottomed base at the doll's feet. Design the doll with a swimsuit on so you can layer clothing on top.

  2. 2

    Place a piece of tracing paper on top of the doll. Design outfits with the tracing paper so they will fit over the doll. Add small tabs on the shoulders and sides of the outfits so you can attach the clothing to the dolls.

  3. 3

    Colour in the dolls with crayons, coloured pencils or markers. Cut them out carefully.

  4. 4

    Cut a piece of card stock that is 1/2 inch by four inches long. Cut a small slit on each side of the paper about one inch from each end. Then cut two small slits on the base of the paper doll. Place the paper in each slit to create a base.

  1. 1

    Purchase several fashion and home decorating magazines from a thrift store, or have friends and relatives save them for you.

  2. 2

    Choose pictures of celebrities and other people that contain the entire person's body. In the home decorating magazines, find furniture that is roughly the same scale as the people. Cut out the people and furniture carefully.

  3. 3

    Brush a thin layer of white craft glue onto the magazine pictures. Press onto a piece of cardstock. Allow to dry.

  4. 4

    Cut out the card stock around the magazine pictures carefully.

  5. 5

    Keep your paper dolls in a special folder or envelope so they won't get torn or bent.

Tips and warnings

  • There are free paper doll templates available online to download. You can choose the designs you want and print them on card stock.

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