Victorian Crafts for Children

The Victorian era lasted for just over 60 years in England, starting when Queen Victoria took the throne in 1837 at the age of 18. During this time, England experienced a lot of changes, both technologically and culturally. Many artistic crafts came into popularity in the Victorian era.

Reproduce these crafts to entertain children in a modern era.

Paper Dolls

Godey’s Lady’s Book published the first paper dolls in 1859. These dolls were meant to be coloured and cut out, then dressed in the various outfits provided. Paper dolls act as a cheaper manifestation of real dolls. Children can dress them up and act out various scenes that their imaginations invent. Victorian paper doll patterns are available on the Internet or within special craft books. Artistic people could draw paper doll patterns for kids to decorate and cut out.


Scrapbooking grew in popularity during the Victorian era, with the first noted use of the term occurring in 1854, according to the Oxford English Dictionary. Scrapbooking consists of arranging various mementos decoratively in a scrapbook. Scrapbooks can be themed, such as making an entire scrapbook about a particular hobby or person, or they can feature a bit of everything. Children can make scrapbooks as gifts for family or friends or for their personal collection. Scrapbook stores sell plenty of supplies, such as decorative hole punches, glitter, confetti, and stickers.


Découpage is a form of decoration in which paper cutouts are glued to an object. The object is then coated with a clear glaze, like a varnish or lacquer, to preserve the design. Many different things can be turned into a découpage piece, such as wooden boxes, vases, bowls and flower pots. Victorians used shapes such as flowers, fleur-de-lis and gothic-style crosses to decorate their items. These cutouts can be found online, though children may enjoy making their own cutouts instead.


The art of silhouette drawing helped people to pass the time in the Victorian era. Scientific American Supplement describes this craft in an 1885 issue of their magazine. To make a silhouette portrait, you'll need a lamp, some tape, black paper, white paper and a pencil. Take the black paper and affix it to the white paper, then attach this paper to a wall with tape. Point the lamp directly at the paper, then have the subject stand in front of the paper to cast a shadow onto it. Once the person has been positioned properly, take the pencil and outline the person’s shadow onto the paper. Then, cut the outline out, flip it so that the black side is showing, and glue this to paper.