Throughout history paper dolls have been some of the most fascinating childhood toys. They are two dimensional dolls portrayed on paper alongside images of accompanying clothing and objects. They aren't exclusive to paper though, as in the past dolls have also been created from a number of other materials such as fabric, wood, and plastic. Typically, the separate clothes and objects have tabs allowing them to be easily attached to or removed from the doll. Dolls make up many shapes, people, and even animals. While many adults may have fond memories of paper dolls from their childhood, they still make a great and inexpensive pastime for many that can be shared with children.
Vintage Paper Dolls
Figures and dolls created from paper existed in early civilizations for many purposes including rituals. Historians find paper dolls as a great way to get a sense for the fashion and cultural trends of those from other time periods. These historic dolls are a great way to see how style has changed over time with the exception being bridal paper dolls. Dolls depicting brides are extremely popular and when aligned by decade you can often see that bridal fashion elements have changed very little over time! Some of the earliest appearing paper dolls were the pantins of 18th century France, which were jointed puppets made from paper. These jumping jack paper dolls were often depicted as nobles or other high society figures with which were all the rage.
Getting Kids Into Paper Dolls
Paper dolls are still sold today by specialty vendors and doll conventions. There are many great websites that have printable doll pages for kids and fashion lovers. Another great activity for kids is to create their own paper dolls using different crafting materials such as construction paper or cardboard; experimenting with fabrics can also be a great way to get your child acquainted with textiles! Additional materials that could be used from home include:
Additionally, a great idea is to cut out images from fashion magazines to create clothing and other items for your dolls. You can also clip out the perfume samples in the magazines. Gently rub the samples designer perfume samples onto the paper dolls to impart their scent. Here are some more ideas and tutorials to share that fun feeling of nostalgia you get from paper dolls!