Custom Paper Dolls

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Custom Paper Dolls
Total Time 1 hour Ages preschooler

About five minutes after somebody invented paper, we figure, some little girl invented paper dolls. And they haven't changed much since then. However, get ready for the 21st-Century paper doll! When paper dolls and computers get together, cool things happen. The computer is a doll factory and clothing designer all in one, letting kids print out all the paper dolls they like as well as fashions sporting any pattern imaginable -- including reproductions of a girl's own favorite outfits. Ready for some high-tech dress-up?

Download Custom Paper Dolls Template Download Custom Paper Dolls Template 2

What you'll need

  • Templates
  • Printer
  • Paper
  • Scissors
  • Colored pens, pencils, markers, or crayons
  • Digital camera (optional)
Helpful Tip:

Try printing the doll template on white card stock (most newer ink-jet printers should have no trouble doing so). A cardboard version is much more durable. You can also print it onto plain paper and glue it to a piece of cereal box or other stiff cardboard. If you are coloring the clothes yourself, do so before cutting them out of the template. It'll be easier, and the results will look nicer.

How to make it

  1. Custom Paper Dolls - Step 1

    Here are the templates for the paper doll body, clothes, and accessories you can download to a folder on your hard drive:

    Paper Doll Body
    Paper Doll Clothes

  2. And here are 4 different textures you can download to get started:

    Shells
    Ferns
    Palms
    Dandelions
     

  3. Once you've got the templates, click on them to open them (they are Acrobat Reader files; if you don't have the free Acrobat Reader application, get it at www.adobe.com). Have your kids color in the doll, clothes, and accessories.

  4. We thought it would be fun to put your computer to work as a fashion designer, and that's where the texture files come in. These files can be opened and printed out using any image-editing program, such as Microsoft Picture It. Once you have a textured printout, put it back into the printer upside down and print one of the reversed clothing templates onto the other side. Now simply cut out the clothes and accessories -- when you flip them over, your doll will have a brand-new look!

  5. If you have a digital camera (or even a scanner), you can take your doll to the next level -- dressing her in your favorite colors and patterns, taken from your own closet or house. Simply scout around for cool patterns -- curtains, walls, tiles, and even your own clothes -- and take close-up snapshots of them. Load the images into your computer, resize them to fit a standard-size page, and print them out.

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