When it comes to cheap entertainment, it's hard to beat free paper dolls--you don't even need to leave the house to get them. You can print the dolls and their clothing out from websites and spend hours using them to tell stories or put on fashion shows.
LoveToKnow Paper Dolls
If you're looking for something simple, LoveToKnow offers some paper doll printables that include a body, a bear and some clothes that will fit either the body or the bear.
If you need help downloading the printable, check out these helpful tips.
Other Places to Look
It's not hard to find paper dolls in stores. They're normally for sale in toy stores, craft and fabric stores, and doll catalogs. Finding free dolls is also possible, even though they are not as common now as they were over a century ago.
Free paper dolls still appear in certain magazines and sometimes on greeting cards. However, the best place to obtain a free doll is to access the Internet and download doll templates or cut-outs from websites such as:
- Free Paper Dolls: You'll find about two dozen pages of dolls to print, and themes include cheerleaders, baby parade, Japanese paper dolls, and more.
- Royal Paper Dolls: This is a site full of kings and queens, complete with beautiful historical costumes.
- Billy Bear 4 Kids.com: These paper dolls are kids with plenty of additional clothes to print out.
- Danielle's Place: Here, you'll find some cute and unique paper dolls, including a paper doll dog, snowman, "God Made Me" which resemble the child and even a troll paper doll with fuzzy orange hair.
- Katie's Historic Costume Paper Dolls: Print this fun, egg-shaped doll and then choose from outfits, such as Daisy Duke, Laura Ingalls, Hippie style or Marsha Brady.
How to Make Paper Dolls
A great craft activity for kids is to make a paper doll. This activity is twice the fun because not only can kids spend their time using their creativity when making their doll, but they can play with the doll for countless hours after it is complete.
To Make a Paper Doll
- Choose paper to use for the doll. The best type is a little bit thicker than regular computer paper. Card stock works well.
- Either trace a doll from a template downloaded from the Internet, or draw a doll outline on the paper.
- Using a pair of scissors carefully cut out the doll.
- Using crayons, markers or paint, decorate the doll with a face, hair and clothes.
To Make Paper Doll Clothes
- Using the outline of the doll as a guide, trace the body onto another piece of paper so that a shirt, pants, skirt, or dress can be made to fit. (Make sure to add tabs so that the doll's clothing can be secured when complete).
- Carefully cut out the clothing, being careful not to cut off the tabs.
- Decorate the clothing using crayons, markers, paint, yarn, ribbon, or any other type of decoration.
You can make additional clothing at any time. You can also create additional dolls, so your original doll has new friends.
There are sites, like Kiddley, that offer DIY paper doll templates.
Hours of Fun for Free
Paper dolls are the perfect way to save money and promote creativity in children. Not only are they designing their own dolls and clothing, they're creating stories around them that they can tell and act out for hours. In a time when toys seem to do all the work, these old school toys are a breath of fresh air. They stimulate the imagination and teach kids to think and create rather than react to something on a screen.