As much as the girls love to dress up, I knew that making some sort of ‘paper doll’ would be right up their alley, AND likely provide hours without whining of entertainment for the littles! And based on the changing season, indoor entertainment ideas are becoming very important these days.
I had purchased this wooden tray from Target awhile back to put cupcakes on at a baby shower I was hosting for a friend. And since then, it’s just been a project WAITING to happen. (I couldn’t find a link to the same exact tray, but here’s a similar one)
I started out by priming and painting my tray white.
After doing some searching online, I found this darling paper doll download for just a few bucks. I didn’t need the clothing images, just the doll… and I love that she’s bright/cheerful, and her body isn’t overly sexed-up (if you know what I mean). I she just seems kinda retro. Let’s call her Ginger, shall we?
I sized the image to be an inch or so smaller than the width of my tray, printed her out on cardstock, and carefully cut her out with scissors. (disclaimer! my secretary desk, just happens to be stenciled in the same colors (and retro feel) as the paper doll… complete coincidence that I didn’t even notice until right now!)
I brushed a layer of RustOleum water-based sealer onto the inside of the tray… and while it was still wet, I pressed Ginger into place, being sure she was centered, and all the bubbles were smoothed out.
I waited two hours between coats, and lightly sanded with 220 grit between each. I applied 4 coats total so that there wouldn’t be much of a ridge around Ginger.
Print a second Ginger (again on cardstock), cut her out, and use this as a template to trace her clothing! I used a 1/8th” piece of hardwood we had laying around in the garage. This part is so fun, because you can come up with so many fun little outfits in your mind! (technically you could also use felt for the clothing, but I liked being able to paint and customize mine!)
I’m sure you already guessed the next step… I used my trusty scroll saw to cut these out! This is the scroll saw I use and it’s A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. But if you’re looking for a more mid-range (read: less expensive) then this one is also great quality and handles well! Whatever you do, don’t buy a scroll saw in the $100-$200 range. You’ll regret it for sure.
Lightly sand your clothing items (never thought I’d say that) so there aren’t any rough edges, then prime!
I have a small collection of sample pots of paint, so I grabbed a handful that I liked and started playing fashion designer!
It took a couple coats of paint on each article of clothing to get good coverage. And once my final coat was dry, I took a fine-point Sharpie and added some detail. I think this is what really brought these pieces to life!
I used strips of velcro to line either side of Ginger on the tray, and also put small pieces on her body where the clothing would go. Then added some to the back of the clothing, being careful to put it in the same spot that would coordinate with the piece that’s on Ginger’s body.
I love that this ‘paper doll’ wont get torn or wadded up by aggressive toddlers, AND it can be taken in the car for long car rides since the velcro holds everything in place!
I totally need to make more clothing for Ginger so she has more wardrobe options. Maybe I’ll let the girls decorate the next batch!
This could be a super cute handmade gift idea for the holidays… and remember if you don’t have a scroll saw, you could totally use felt for the clothes! Just make sure you use the scratchy side of the velcro on the tray to the felt will have something to grab onto. As always, if you try one of our projects, please send us pics! We love to see the creative twists you guys put on things!
Thanks for pinning!!
*this post contains affiliate links
Is there a different link to the doll, it says not available
Bethany Sy says
Bummer! That’s frustrating. Maybe you could find another little image/vector to use that would work??
I need a scroll saw!!!!! This is definitely a favorite one for me. I can easily imagine the smile on your girls’ faces. Kudos to you for this idea. I LOVE IT!
Thank you Suzanne! This is a fairly old post, and my girls STILL pull out ‘Ginger’ to play with often! Makes me so happy! My favorite scroll saw is this one! >> http://amzn.to/1nT5iNU (Aff Link)
Mindy Friedlander-Schaper says
Great idea, especially that they won’t fall off in the car. You should sell these.
Stephanie, Sandpaper and Glue says
what a super cute idea!! i love it!!
This is amazing. I am SO NOT crafty. Please sell these! I would love to buy for my nieces!
That’s so awesome! I’m working on making one for my friend’s little sister, except I’m using a real picture of her I printed/cut out
Beth @ Sawdust and Embryos says
Umm that is SUCH a great idea!!!
This is an awesome idea! I totally want to do that for my nieces!
Felt will hold to other felt or flannel as well. In fact I think the scratch side of velcro may be a little tough on the fibers of felt.
Christy Compeau says
Super cute idea! I wish I had a girl for a project like this! But whose to say I couldn’t do this with a boy paper doll to dress as a firefighter, policeman, ghost buster, superhero or more!
That doll and clothes are just amazing! You could make some outfits that match your daughters’ own clothes, girls love that.
LOVE this idea!!! So so cute!!
in a word…BRILLIANT!!!!!