Sunday, 13 July 2008

The Crafters' Way 56 - Paper Dolls

I write a weekly Craft column for a local paper. I share it here for bloggers or you can view it online at

I was flicking through the pages of a magazine recently when I spotted an advertisement featuring a paper doll. I started to wonder if they were still available. I ‘googled’ Paper dolls and found heaps of sites dedicated to the topic. It seems that the world’s new fascination with paper has reached this old fashioned ‘toy’.

As long as there has been paper people have used it for dolls. Paper dolls were used in ritual ceremonies in many ancient cultures. It was not until 1810 that the first manufactured paper dolls were produced. Paper dolls featured in magazines long before the one I was reading. The first magazine to print a paper doll was in 1859. The pages featured costumes for children to colour. Dress pattern manufactures saw the potential of paper dolls to promote their dress patterns. Dolls were published with a wardrobe of their latest fashions.

Today, paper dolls and their clothes can be found on internet sites. Many come with their own wardrobe of clothes and accessories, others allow you to make your own clothes. has lots of links and is one of the easiest sites to find your way around. Define your search by Child, Teenage or Adult. this site makes custom paperdolls using photos of your kids. Can also be printed onto magnetic backings. is a site especially for children. You can download dolls and clothes ready to colour in.

Another child friendly site is This site gives you lots, and I mean lots, of clothes and accessories to choose from. They have a choice of 15 different hats and shoes. Just like real life should be. A great, inexpensive activity for a rainy day.

Have a look at the sites above and let you inner child play.

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