Paper dolls have been a favorite activity for children for generations. Even in the modern day with all the gadgets and screens, kids can still enjoy the simple fun of creating and playing with paper dolls.
While you can purchase paper dolls, printing them at home is fast and easy. These printables, which include a body, a bear, and some clothes that will fit either the body or the bear, are easy to color and customize.
To print these dolls, first click on the image. This will open the file in a new window. Click the printer icon on the right top corner to send them directly to your printer. If you want to save them, right click the image, choose "Save As" and select where you want the file to save and hit "Save." Locate the file you saved the image in and open it on your local computer.
If you need more help downloading the printable, check out these helpful tips.
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.
- Consider adding yarn to the doll's head to create hair and have fun styling it with bows or braiding it.
To Make Paper Doll Clothes
You can make your own paper doll clothes.
- Using the outline of the doll as a guide, trace the body onto another piece of paper so 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.
- Another way to decorate clothing is to use fabric scraps. Glue the fabric to paper clothes and trim away the extra material. Add buttons or rick rack for greater detail. Felt is an easy fabric for children to use. Tulle is also good for making ballet skirts or bridal veils.
- Don't forget to create hats, mittens, and shoes for your dolls.
You can make additional clothing at any time. Create additional dolls, so your original doll has new friends. You can also cut figures out of magazines and catalogs, paste them to card stock and cut them out again. These make fun and realistic paper dolls.
Hours of Fun for Free
Paper dolls help budding fashionistas express themselves. If your child is interested in fashion design, this is a great activity to get the imagination going. Consider having a fashion show with paper dolls, showing your child's best creations.
- There are sites, like Kiddley, that offer DIY paper doll templates. Download and print your favorites.
- Have children create a doll house for their new paper doll family. Houses can be created with cereal and other boxes, paper, glue, and magazine image cutouts (cut out posters to decorate walls). Use scrapbook paper to create wallpaper or rugs.
- Ask your child to create a story and use their dolls to act out the story in a "live" performance. Help your child make props that will support their story, as well as backdrops for a homemade stage (shoe boxes work well).
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 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.