Monday, May 21, 2012


YAY! My first attempt at a crafting tutorial!
What we have here is my version of a hand made paper doll. It's not the sort of paper doll you can change clothes on -however, you might be able to make one that does that if you are crafty enough- these are more permanent impressions of paper dolls inspired by Polyvore's interpretation of paper dolls and a book called 'Artful Paper Dolls' by Terry Taylor.

The Paper dolls on Polyvore consist of digitally cropped pictures of models, celebrities and garments that form the shape of a model. It's another way to present a concept or express yourself on polyvore and has become quite a popular method of doing so. The link (Polyvore underlined above) will send you to my Polyvore collection of paper dolls that I've made using the polyvore method.

The ones featured in Terry Taylor's book vary largely. I prefer the ones fashioned from old magazines, newspapers and brochures. In a way I'm combining the two versions to make my own sort of paper dolls. They are more modern and up market than Terry Taylor's, but more crafty than Polyvore's. I hope you enjoy my tutorial!

What you'll Need:
-Magazines (Old ones. Please don't go murdering your latest Vogue or Frankie mags on my account)
-Paper (for Backing)

You don't need them, but these items are things you can add to your creative stock pile for decorative purposes.
-glitter glue
-Lead pencil and eraser (helpful if you are drawing your own dress for your collage fashion victim.)
-Coloured pencils/gel pens/ sharpies
-Cardstock or patterned paper
-sequins, beads feathers....

1. Go through your magazines and cut out anything that you would like to use for your paperdoll

Things like:
-dresses (Or other clothing items)
-shoulders/neck (Depends on the design of the clothes and whether or not the head has a neck attatched.)

Also, If you want to design the doll's dress you could cut out any thing you require for that. Ideas, pages with large sections of pattern(like advertisements), Pictures of things like gemstones or lace trimmings.

-You don't have to trim super close to the limbs. a hairline width of background colour shouldn't kill your creation. Cutting too close to the limbs can cause your doll to suddenly lose weight (which will make her look super alien, because models are already quite thin)

-Don't discard limbs too quickly when you are debating whether or not to cut them out. Especially arms, these seem to be hard to come by.

-If you have somewhere to store them and some spare time on your hands, why not cut out some doll parts for later. That way when you want to make another paper doll you don't have to go looking for limbs. You can just take your idea and run with it.

2. Group the "doll parts". Spread them out on a large flat surface and have a bit of a play around. Figure out which ones you think go together.

You don't need the pieces to be proportionally correct, but do be warned a large head on a small body isn't going to give your doll a "realistic" look. Same goes for skin tone. It doesn't have to be a perfect match, but try and get it as close as you can.

3. For those that are creating doll that wears a "Ready to wear" dress (Ahem, dress cut straight out of a magazine) step three involves placing your items down on the page the way you would like to glue them. Checking that you like the arrangement, that nothing needs to be trimmed and deciding on any other decorations. Once happy you can then glue your design into place and decorate. Some decorations may want to wait until after the glue is dry.

- Be sure to use your doll parts (especially the shoulders) as a guide for the garments. I did this by tracing around the outline of the trimmed pieces. I also used a picture of a proportionally correct body as a guide for the outfit. Another way to trace involves turning the picture upside down and colouring it in with lead pencil. To transfer the image place the picture right side up on top of the desired paper and trace over the outlines in a sharp pencil or a pen. (You may not want to do this with your doll parts, because it can leave marks, but it is a good way to trace the bust, hips and waist of a model.)
- Go crazy, there's no right way to design a paper doll's dress!

I jazzed it up with some glitter glue and a ribbon. I'm calling it "Marianne at the Masquerade".

 -The first paper doll I made

 ^ The dress was made with scrapbooking paper and lace

 ^The top and skirt were made with card stock and details were done with pencil. The shawl and trim were made of lace.

^I cut this one out like a proper paperdoll. I made the dress using patterned cut-outs from larger pictures in magazines.

So what did you think?
All this talking about dolls and limbs makes me think about that "Doll Parts" song by Hole.

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1 comment:

Ms. McKellips said...

I used to make those when I was little. I'd take a model out of the Sears&Roebuck cataloge and then cut out different outfits for her to wear. Every year, her wardrobe got updated with the new cataloge. And if she got damaged, paste and cello fixed her right up!