Back when I was a child, I liked to play with paper dolls! I was of the generation where we would cut out the dolls that were in paper doll books–or maybe they had perforated edges where we could punch them out. Then we would cut out all the clothes with the fold down tabs. Oh, they were such fun! And if you talk to my parents’ and my grandparents’ generation, they would talk about how they cut girls and clothes out of the Sears Catalog and used them as paper dolls. And when you read Little House in the Big Woods, you read of how Laura and Mary would make and color their own paper dolls. Yes, I’m sure every generation of girls has had their own version of paper dolls.
Today’s generation has magnetic dolls. It’s the same concept as before, but now no paper tabs get torn off, and the dolls stay in good condition for a long time. They are even easy to make as long as you have a computer with internet access and a color printer. I made some for my daughter to take to a birthday present, and I made some for my niece’s birthday.
Here are the materials you need:
- Color printer
- Magnetic paper
- Metal pan to stick the dolls on
- Fabric cover, if desired
- Find a pan to stick the dolls on. The easiest thing to use is a cookie sheet. You can get a brand new one, or I used old ones that were ready to be discarded. I spray painted them, and they were ready to go!
- Get some magnetic printable paper. This paper is getting more expensive! When I first got Avery Magnet Sheets (5 sheets in a pack) off of Amazon, the cost was around $8.50 with a $2 coupon off. (I am a prime member.) Now they are $9.52 with no coupon. Hobby Lobby has a pack of 3 sheets for $6.99, and you could use a 40% off coupon with it. I have found that you can sometimes find better deals on Ebay.
- Print off free paper dolls onto the magnetic paper. At the bottom of this post I have included some links to the paper dolls that I have found. To print off the sheets, I would right-click on each page of paper dolls, click on “save picture as” and save the page into my pictures file. Then I would right-click on the picture in my picture file, click on “print”, make sure my paper size was set to the “letter” setting, make sure that the little box next to “fit picture to frame” was not checked, then click print again. (This is how my printer worked; every printer might be different.)
- Cut out the dolls.
- Make a fabric cover for the dolls. Here is the tutorial I used to make the cover. I usually use 1/4″ elastic and not 1/8″ elastic. I also do not put any letters on mine! (She bought paper doll books, cut out and put the paper dolls on adhesive magnet sheets, then cut the magnetic dolls out. This way wastes less magnet space, but you have to buy the paper dolls.)
Links to some free printable paper dolls:
- Teri Lee–An early 1900s Paper Doll
- Here is a whole collection of Teri Pettit’s paperdolls. I like the Strawberry Shortcake collection, The Ginghams, Friends Around the World, and 6 and Sweet 16 the best.
- Marilee’s Paperdolls Page
- Debbie Reyolds Paperdoll Set