Thursday, January 29, 2015

Playing With Paper Dolls

Happy Friday!
I thought I would ramble about paper dolls today.
I wasn't very fond of dolls growing up. I was the child who was convinced that each of my stuffed animals and dolls knew when they had been slighted, when they had been left alone, and generally thought they were real in a not-real way.
Plus, doll eyes and faces really, really creeped me out.
Barbies, no. Dolls, yes.
Yes, I know. It's great fodder for a therapist.

Paper dolls, however, did not have this hold on me.
I loved the smell of the paper and how uniform everything was. 
I loved the little perforated lines from the punch-out kind, I loved being able to cut out clothes and change up whatever they wore.
The hair, the hats. Oh, man. It was good.
Those little foldy-tabs that held everything to the doll weren't so hot. You had to hold the doll just right and not move it to keep everything on it. 
But it was worth it to be able to cut everything out.

The other day I was playing around in my journal and doing some lettering. I decided to look through some of my vintage children's primers to see what I could pair with the quotes.
I found this little cutie, but her legs weren't drawn out in the book.

What would happen if I kept looking and found another character in the book with legs? 
And a cute polka dot dress?
A few cuts later, I found out!

The perfect Mary Janes and blue socks and the little pinafore as an added bonus.

I scanned and printed out a little bird to add to the fun and then I started thinking about Colorforms.
Remember those????
The rubbery-plastic cut out shapes that you could lay on a background and they would stick? And you could layer and layer and it would all stick? 
I loved those. Taking them out of a brand new box, the smell, oh man. 
I looked them up and they are 60 years old, and still going strong.
Guess who might get some for her birthday this year????

O.K., what was I rambling about? 
I think the Colorforms came up when I glued together the little girl from the primer.
This time the sticky part came in the form of Mod Podge, and then Gel Medium.

 Then I started coloring the outfits.
Am I surprised?

It just keeps getting better-I'm finding so many sweet children to put with these quotes.
I've added a water color wash, a kite, drew in the string.
The possibilities are endless!

I found a Dick and Jane book and cut out Sally. Don't you love this face?
I think in this page she was trying to see if she was as tall as Dick.
I put her in my art journal along with Mr. Crazy Bird and gave her some wings.
I'm looking into how I can make prints for all of these, so stay tuned!

Don't forget-
All Brenna-inspired Valentine love is available on my Etsy

Linking to Paint Party Friday


  1. So pretty...Love paper dolls especially seeing Jane again. So many memories. Your hand lettering is beautiful!

  2. So so sweet your dolls and the coloring and lettering is fantastic!

  3. What a very interesting post.
    I used to love paper dolls, making them new painted clothes, and this reminded me of it.
    I enjoyed reading of your explorations and very much like the last collage with Mr. Crazy Bird.

  4. looks like you had a lot of fun with your cut out dolls. I don't remember colorforms - they must have been an American thing but they sound a little like fuzzy felt which was felt people, animals, everything that you could stick on a green board and move around and make up stories etc. I love those. As for dolls - I agree - I did have dolls but there was a particular one that I used to put outside my room at night as her eyes freaked me out!

  5. Ooohhh this is so awesome. Paper dolls they were all the craze when I was a kid. I love how you used them here.
    Have a wonderful weekend

  6. So cute! Wonderful little darlings...your letterings are fab!

  7. I really like this job, exquisite creativity!

  8. Oh, Lynn, this brought back such memories. My sister and I loved to play paper dolls together. We would even design and make dresses for them, but of course the bought clothes looked better. Your work this week is wonderful. "I have called you by name and you are mine" is one of my most comforting scriptures. Thanks for the gorgeous art this week.

  9. These are gorgeous and feel so carefree and light. Lovely lettering too :)

    Visiting from Paint Party Friday (Number 56).


  10. Meravigliosa,poetica ,coinvolgente creazione!

  11. Love love love your paper doll artwork, Lynn...so sweet...

  12. Wow I remember Dick and Jane books so well...we're old..lol Love the end result and I never liked dolls either, except to cut their hair. Didn't mind Barbie, LOVED paperdolls too! So you are not alone.

    Hugs Giggles

  13. Lynn, I love the vintage girls and the crispness of these with the beautiful lettering. Jana

  14. I love your collaged little ones and the beautiful writing!
    Happy PPF

  15. Such good memories! I'm much older than you but spent hours of my childhood playing with paper dolls and really feel between those and crayolas are where my artistic spirit began. My mother would draw a female figure on my Dads shirt cardboard. My sister and I then made clothes for the girl, cut them all out and then stored them in a shoebox which we decorated like a house.

  16. I LOVED playing with paper dolls as well. But I was a huge fan of barbie, I was border line obsessed with my barbie. LOL.. Loving you creation here my friend.


  17. Lynn, I adored paper dolls while growing up, and how wonderful that we can play as grown-ups. Thank you for sharing your process with your beautiful writing, creative collages, and those little cuties! Pieces of art that I bought from you are some of my favorites! They continue to inspire and make me smile.

  18. What a fun post. I remember those books/children. Adorable. Blessings, Janet PPF