Paper Dolls: After the Internet

I loved paper dolls when I was a kid. I know it’s rooted in my obsession with paper, so it’s not really a surprise that any craft that involves cutting, folding and gluing paper is going to rock my paper socks.

Back in the day, paper dolls were hard to come by. When you could find them, they were printed and usually produced so you could punch them out–no cutting involved. You got cutesie girl dolls with sailor outfits and tiny black schnauzers to sit by their side. I had loads of fun with them when I was a kid but hadn’t thought of them until a couple of years ago when my sister-in-law sent me a link to The Toymaker. I had the most fun printing things out and making them for Eli. He played with his sunbox until it fell apart.

So it was a big surprise to me this week when I was browsing my seemingly 948 craft blogs that I found out paper dolls have gone all hard core. Boxpunx was a revelation. From there I got to Papercraft X. Toypaper has a really lovely message. Eli wanted to know why Derek the toast ninja was so mad. I told him that that was a ninja’s job. We also got a kick out of looking at Monkey Design USA and are sad that there’s no retailer near us or a way to download their designs.

All these are fun to browse through with your kid and to make if you have the desire. Who knows? You might just spark a love of paper that lasts a lifetime.

10 thoughts on “Paper Dolls: After the Internet

  1. I loved paper dolls too. I remember cutting up the JC Penney catalog to make my own. I would cut some of the models to be the doll and then cut several of the clothes to be the clothes. Didn’t matter that they weren’t perfectly fitting. I did get some actual paper doll kits that you mentioned, but I had almost just as much fun cutting up the catalog!

  2. I didn’t start cutting out of magazines until I was a teen but I wish I had thought of your idea when I was a kid!

  3. oops! That comment was supposed to be from me, not Rick. Now he’s glaring at me for not noticing who’s name was in the comment field! 🙂

  4. I grew up in the 50s when cut-out paper dolls were plentiful. Nothing was more fun that after a Saturday afternoon movie than to go next door to the 5 and dime store and buy a pack of paper dolls for 10 cents. Then go home, cut them out, and begin to construct a make believe world. The only thing to make that scene better was to have a friend or a cousin come over with hers and play with you all afternoon long.

  5. My mother encouraged my obsession with paper dolls. I will have to make sure to steer you towards them on our trip.

  6. I loved paper dolls growing up. It was one of those few non-tom boyish activities that I loved. I still see the old fashioned type paper dolls in museum stores and such. I’ll have to keep my eye out for them now.

  7. Thanks, Will for the great site to include in the list. has great cartoon figures including a companion cube.

    Thanks all for including your stories (you too, Rick). I loved them all and am always excited to hear that my experiences are echoed in other people’s lives.

  8. I did the same thing Jessica did. I loved to cut out people and clothes from catalogs. I spent hours doing this. I also loved Barbie paperdolls. Feel free to come and see my collection! I have some awesome ones my father in law bought from ebay. I love them. It was all I could do to not punch them out. They are the nicer ones in long rectangle boxes. Most of mine were packages more like coloring books.

Comments are closed.