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! I use this brand: Avery Magnet Sheets. 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:
Do you know of any other free printable paper dolls? Please let us know and leave a link in the comments!
**Someone asked me if I thought printing the dolls and regular paper, cutting them out and putting them on adhesive magnet paper would be cheaper, so I looked into it a little. It would be a little more work, but it would be cheaper from what I found as of June 4, 2013:
- Oriental Trading offers 12 sheets ( 8 1/2″ x 11″) for $10.50 plus shipping.
- Walmart has a pack of 5″ x 8″ adhesive magnetic sheets, but only for in-store shopping. I could not tell what the price would be.
- Ebay has some that are again reasonably priced. The hard thing to tell with Ebay is how thick the magnet paper is. I liked the thickness of the Avery magnetic paper shown above, but I ordered some magnet sheets on Ebay, and they were thinner. I ended up not using them for magnet paper dolls, but for another craft present that I’ll show on a different Make-it Monday. 🙂
- It did not look like the adhesive paper was any cheaper at Amazon or Hobby Lobby–however, you could get more on each sheet as you could have hardly any wasted space. There are other companies that sell magnetic paper, but in my little bit of searching, I did not see any great deals. If you find some, please let us know in the comments! Thanks!
So if you could get it cheaper, and you have time, then go for it! The ones I have done so far have been for presents, and I got really good deals on the magnetic paper. But if your daughter is old enough to cut well, and this is her craft, then you may want to just print the dolls out on paper and then stick the dolls to the adhesive magnetic sheets.