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Tabletop Paper Dolls

paper dolls photo

These little paper ladies are four inches tall. They will make wonderful tabletop ornaments or souvenirs for a tea party, a girl’s birthday or even a bridal shower.

You will need (for one doll):

* Paper twine, white (for arms), 5 inches
* Paper twine, yellow (for hair), 12 inches
* Plain white paper towel, one sheet (for head and body)
* Tissue paper, one sheet (for dress)
* Corrugated cardboard, 1/2 by 15 inches
* Craft wire, 5-1/2 inches
* Wire cutter
* Bamboo skewer or thin wooden dowel, 3-1/2 inches
* Hot glue gun
* Gel medium or white glue
* Acrylic paint
* Brush
* Straight edge scissors
* Long nose pliers
* Ruler
* Pencil
* Circle template, 5 inches in diameter

Tip: You can dye the paper towels and paper twine with strong tea, or with a watercolor wash to get a skin tone. Do this beforehand so that the paper can dry thoroughly. Alternatively, you can color the paper with chalk pastels after the head, body and arms have been joined.


Base. Measure and cut the corrugated cardboard to the indicated size, with the short side running parallel to the ridges. Wrap the cardboard in a tight coil around the skewer, and secure the end of the coil with hot glue. Remove the skewer, and paint the base with acrylic. Set aside to dry.

base photo

Arms. Measure and cut the white paper twine and the craft wire to the indicated lengths. Untwist the paper twine halfway, and carefully insert the craft wire through the paper such that the wire sticks out at both ends – the objective is to cover the wire with the paper twine.

Re-twist the paper twine tightly around the wire. Using the long nose pliers, bend just the tips of the wire and flatten them. Bend the ends again this time against the paper twine to hold the paper twine in place. Coat the paper twine with gel medium and let dry.

doll arm photo

Head and body. Crumple a piece of paper towel into a tight ball about a half inch in size. Apply some gel medium to one end of the bamboo skewer, and insert it into the ball. Take another piece of paper towel and wrap it snugly around the ball and skewer.

doll head and body photo

Take the wired paper twine and wrap it tightly just below the head to form arms. Wrap more pieces of paper towel around the body as needed. Coat the head and body with gel medium and let dry completely.

doll head and body with arms

Bodice. Cut a strip of tissue paper 1 by 3 inches, fold it in half lengthwise, and wrap it around the body. Secure the end with gel medium.

doll dress bodice

Skirt. Fold the tissue paper to make about 16 layers of paper. Trace a circle onto the paper and cut through all the layers. Cut slits in the center of the circle to make an opening that’s just wide enough to fit snugly around the body. Glue the circles together by applying small dots of gel medium around the opening on each sheet. Insert the body through the cuts in the skirt, and apply hot glue to the underside of the skirt where it meets the body. If needed, cover the seam with a thin strip of tissue paper glued into place.

doll dress skirt

Turn the doll upside down and scrunch up each layer of the skirt towards the center.

doll dress skirt

Insert the skewer into the base and hot glue into place. At this point you may want to further decorate the dress with tiny rhinestones, beads or paper bows, before adding the hair.

Hair. Cut two pieces of yellow paper yarn 2 inches long. Untwist the paper. Attach one piece on the head (first photo) from front to back. Take the second piece, pinch it down the middle, and glue it across the front of the head (second photo). Gather the ends of the paper at the back, glue them together and trim off the excess. Cut a 6-inch long piece of yellow paper yarn, and wrap it around the crown of the head with the ends trailing down the back (third photo). Secure in place with gel medium.

doll hair photo
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Content copyright © 2014 by Mia C. Goloy. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Mia C. Goloy. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Mia C. Goloy for details.


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