When I was younger, one of my great loves were dolls. And this was an extensive, expansive love. I would no sooner snub my nose up at a generic Barbie, then a Madame Alexander doll. I was especially fond of paper dolls. And there were (and still are) various degrees of paper dolls. Some that I loved were only a buck at a drugstore (Barbie/Disney paper dolls), other’s were vintage and my Mother’s. You might think that playing with pieces of paper could be dull – but you’re forgetting the imagination that childhood gives you.
I still have some paper dolls, all precisely cut, stored away in boxes. The details on some of them are fascinating. And I would sometimes draw clothing for them – I was a a burgeoning fashion designer at the age of six. (Although my attempts to sew clothing for the dollhouse dolls was not quite as successful. I’ve never been good with a needle, not even to sew on a button!)
There are tons of memories I could delve into here, but I’ll just pull one out. When I was doing a civil war project for school, I managed to fit in paper dolls. As you could expect – war wasn’t something I liked much. Although I have always loved history, visiting historical homes or looking at period dress. My Father helped me build a very simple one-room replica of the Appomattox Courthouse, which I then painted brick red with a black roof. We used dollhouse furniture inside and then my Mother took me to one of my favorite places – a local young adult bookstore. Inside, there was a section with books of paper dolls. And they even had historical paper dolls. We found civil war paper dolls, which I cut out and placed inside the display. I was very proud of that project. I found a was to fulfill my requirements, but in a very “me” way. Figures I’d find a was to use dolls, and focus on the end of the war than any of the battles (like most classmates did).
I think that paper dolls are still a great gift for young girls, or older girls. There are some very cool ones with the faces of Grace Kelly, Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe or models with specific fashions of Chanel, or Yves St. Laurent. Using these for scrapbooking, pasting on a closet, to decorate a binder, etc. I just think they’re great. Lots of people have bulletin boards up above their desks as inspiration boards, and I think that’d be a great place to pin up some of these. (If you’re a Mad Men lover, there is a book on Great Fashion Designs of the 60’s: 32 Haute Couture Costumes.)
Grace Kelly Paper Dolls [Paperback] Florence Sarah Winship (Author, Illustrator), Jenny Taliadoros (Editor), David Wolfe (Illustrator) $12.00
Glamorous Movie Stars of the 1950s Paper Dolls [Paperback] Tom Tierney (Author) $6.95
Chanel Fashion Review Paper Dolls [Paperback] Tom Tierney (Author) $6.95
Dyna Moe has actually made some Mad Men paper dolls (of Joan), what’d you know?
Paper Doll, ca. 1920 (1981.103.2) Paper doll, Tuttle Press Company, Appleton, Wisconsin, ca. 1920. On display at Minnesota’s Greatest Generation exhibit at the Minnesota History Center.
Kitty Dale 1959: A Collectible Vintage Fashion Paper Doll [Paperback] Kim Brecklein (Author)
Six Little Steppers Paper Dolls [Paperback] Charlot By (Author, Illustrator), Jenny Taliadoros (Editor), Doris Richardson (Illustrator), Judy M Johnson (Illustrator)
Girl Paper Doll with Clothes. From the book “What Shall We Do Now? 500 Children’s Games and Pastimes” by Dorothy Canfield and Others. The book was published by Frederick A. Stokes Company Publishers or New York in 1907. Page 261 The book is in the public domain and all images should be copyright free.
Vintage style paper dolls.
Pin-Up Girls of World War II Paper Dolls [Paperback]
Tom Tierney (Author)
Paper doll clothes.
Vampire Paper Dolls [Paperback] Tom Tierney (Author) Twilight paper dolls and Buffy paper dolls!
Paper Doll-Magazini-“Cranky Pants”
Vintage Girls paper dolls.
Vintage paper doll clothes.
Magic Mary Jane Vintage Paper Dolls
1900s Paper Dolls