How to Make Paper Dolls

Two Methods:Printable Dolls and ClothesMaking Paper Dolls

Paper dolls have been a children's delight for at least the past century. The popularity of paper dolls waxes and wanes and sometimes it is hard to find them. However, you can make your own at home whenever you like and homemade paper dolls can match exactly what you want them to be and wear the clothes that you like the most.

This article describes how to make your own paper doll. The second part provides numerous examples for you to copy for home play and craft purposes.

Printable Dolls and Clothes

Printable Paper Dolls

Printable Paper Doll Clothes

Making Paper Dolls

  1. Image titled Make Paper Dolls Step 1 preview
    Find a suitable person big enough to trace from magazines, books, comics etc. Try to find one that has well-defined arms and legs, so that you can put clothes on it easily. Trace the image of the person. Adjust lines as needed; you may need to make certain parts stand out more for the clothes to fit well; pay special attention to the shoulders and arms. You may also print out the paper doll sample in this article.
  2. Image titled Make Paper Dolls Step 2 preview
    Paste the doll onto cardstock to make it last longer.
  3. Image titled Make Paper Dolls Step 3 preview
    Cut out the shape. Cut very carefully to avoid accidentally cutting off any part of the dolls.
  4. Image titled Make Paper Dolls Step 4 preview
    Color in the doll. Draw eyes, nose, mouth etc. Choose a suitable hair color.
  5. Image titled Make Paper Dolls Step 5 preview
    Retrace the body or parts of it again on new paper. This time you are trying to create the clothes, so think about t-shirts, shorts, skirts, jackets etc., and trace the relevant parts of the body.
  6. Image titled Make Paper Dolls Step 6 preview
    Draw the clothing items. Color in (see "Tips" for some other suggestions). There are also numerous clothing ideas in the images provided in the second half of this article.
  7. Image titled Make Paper Dolls Step 7 preview
    Draw tabs around the edge of the clothes.
  8. Image titled Make Paper Dolls Step 8 preview
    Cut out the clothing pieces. When you cut the clothing out, make sure to include tabs at the edges of the clothing which will permit you to attach the clothes to the paper doll.
  9. Image titled Make Paper Dolls Step 9 preview
    Make as many outfits as you want. Make as many dolls as you want so that they can be friends. There are lots of ideas shown next. You can also print out the sample clothes in this article.
  10. Image titled Make Paper Dolls Step 10 preview
    Try different combinations; mix and match. Don't forget to make accessories and even pets.
  11. Image titled Make Paper Dolls Step 11 preview

Some Images to Use

The following images can be clicked on to enlarge, then printed. Cut out what you have printed and design dolls or additional clothes that follow the patterns provided.

(Find additional images at: wikiHow's Paper Doll Image Depositary.)


  • You should make her hair long so it makes the head less likely to come off.
  • You can add stick-on jewels, glitter, stickers, feathers, lace etc. to make the clothes more interesting. Raid the sewing basket for great "bits".
  • Make sure to keep the paper clothing in a small box so it won't get wrinkled or lost.
  • To make your paper dolls more durable, glue the paper doll to lightweight cereal box cardboard, then cut the shape. If you want your doll to stand by itself, trace and cut a semi-circle at the feet (base); fold this back so the doll will stand by itself.
  • If you have a hard time finding an image, have a look on the computer under free graphics sites. They will often have very straightforward images of people that you can enlarge on your copier.
  • Don't use lined paper; use blank paper, such as that used for computer printing.
  • Use swimsuit catalog pictures, their arms and legs are already showing.
  • Pop googly-eyes or buttons on the doll for realistic eyes if you'd like.
  • To make the clothing stick to the doll without using tabs, glue post-it notes to the back of the clothes. They will stay on, but still come off easily this way.


  • Be careful when cutting out the shape not to cut into the body shape or accidentally slip and chop off an arm or leg of your doll; cut patiently and ask for help if you are finding the details difficult to cut around.
  • Be careful when cutting so that you don't cut yourself!

Things You'll Need

  • Unlined paper
  • Scissors
  • Crayons or colored pencils
  • Extra decorative pieces found around the house

Article Info

Categories: Dolls and Doll Houses | Paper Toys