Sunday, January 17, 2010

Valentine Paper Dolls

I made these Valentine paper dolls yesterday. I was trying to come up with a good project for the Beaver's troop my son belongs to. Now Valentine's can be a tough theme to come up with "boy" projects so I thought I would use the whole "knight in shining armor" idea. The Beavers will be making larger ones that will be pre cut and base painted. The knight is based on a project in the Usborne "Knights and Castles things to make and do" book. I added a Princess to appeal to the girls out there and it kinda of completes the theme.

Materials Required: thin cardboard or chipboard (cereal boxes) Knight template, you can use mine or make your own Princess template gesso or white paint scissors pencil crayons, felts, or paints to add color scrap fabric, ribbon, sequins, foil, glitter,or any extra embellishments glue Print out templates or make your own. Now Google Doc shrinks my templates by about 20 percent or so. My finished dolls are about 12 inches high so if you want them this size or larger you'll have to enlarge the template. Trace onto your thin cardboard or chipboard. Cut out. Using white tempera or acrylic paint or gesso paint a basecoat onto your figures. If it starts to to warp a bit don't worry... it will flatten when it dries. For the Knight: Either paint or color in the knight with a silver grey. Make sure to pencil in where his legs are and leave the space white. Let dry. Using foil or shiny I'm using some small silver muffin wrappers...cut little wedges. Glue on the joints of the armor. Using glitter glue, paint or felts, and trims embellish your Knight. You can also use stickers or cut out some shapes from foil. You can glue a feather on the helmet as a plume. I found these hearts at the Dollar store a week ago and bought several packages cause the price was so good...had no idea at the time what I would do with them. You can cut a heart out of red paper or glue some scrap fabric or felt to a cardboard heart and use that. As an after thought I added a sword son really wanted the sword. I painted and glittered it and then glued it into place. Set aside to dry. For the Princess: I painted on some flesh color but you can color it in with pencil crayons or felts. I penciled in a few guide lines. I added some scrap tulle for a crinoline. Just cut out a rectangle, gather it up on one short end, press into the glue at the waist below the belt and hold into place while glue sets up. Don't worry about getting the length right as we will trim this later. I then glued a piece of scrap fabric over top the crinoline in much the same way. Add some glue down the side of the cardboard skirt and tuck the raw edge in to give it a good finished look. Now you can trim the skirt and crinoline to the right length. You can add some trims to the bottom and top of the skirt if you want. Glue into place. Take the extra upper body piece and paint or color in. I also painted the conical head piece at this time with a mixture of the paint and some glitter glue. You can add some trims or sequins to these pieces. I had some extra tulle so I added a could use some scraps of tissue paper. Glue at the very top leaving most of the veil free. I also painted in my hair. Glue conical head piece on top sandwiching in the veil into position. You can use some clothespins to hold this while it is setting up as long as the head piece is dry on top.
Here is a good way to make cuffs...cut a muffin liner to fit utilizing the ruffles.
I'm using a mini one but you can use a large liner just cut the ruffle into a smaller strip.
Apply some glue to the upper body on the base doll.
Position the extra upper body to fit...this lets her hands be on top of the skirt you made.
With markers or pencils finish the face and hands.
Take some leftover cardboard and cut a long triangle.
Make sure the bottom is straight or plum.
On the long straight side take about 1/2 an inch and fold over. Using a ruler or bone folder smooth it down so it is a good fold.
Apply some glue to this folded edge.
Stick on the back of your doll making sure the bottom lines up.
If your doll does not stand you make have to trim this piece on the bottom.
That's it. I love making paper dolls....Grade 4 is going to make the pair as a Valentine project and the Beavers will make a large Knight as a special Valentine for their Mom or Grandma. (they're only 6 after all)
See you next time.


  1. What a wonderful project...and a great tutorial!!! Thanks for sharing!

  2. You sure know how to appeal to the little girl in me!!! Adorable! Charming!

    And as usual, you have provided an excellent, step by step tutorial for making these dolls. Attached to a Popsicle stick they would be great in a small puppet theater.

    Love all the bits and pieces you used to create the costumes.

  3. Wow! How cute! I love how you showed all the steps. These would be cute decorating a gift bag or an altered composition book--or as puppets like the poster above said. Love it! I linked it @

  4. very cute! as a mom of a knight crazy boy, he would love this

  5. I can't wait until I share this w/my daughter who calls her man her Knight! I love this project. Precious!

  6. Thank you so much. I was looking just something like this to make the birthday invitation for my son's birthday. Thank you for sharing!

  7. Thanks the idea of using these as puppets Pam!
    Thanks for the link, Mozer.

  8. These are so so so cute. Thanks for sharing them with us.

  9. My daughter currently studying Middle Ages is infatuated with Knights! This project will really appeal to her on every level! Thanks!!

  10. Thanks Gail. hey look great. We have just finished reading Bedknob and Broomstick at school and tomorrow we'll watch the movie. Although there are no knights in the book, there are in the movie so we'll have a go at your paper doll knights when we finish the movie