Saturday, November 22, 2008

Mimi Printable Paper Doll

This is really a test for me. I'm trying to see if I've figured out a way to add a printable pdf file to a blog posting. If it works, I have some more goodies to add soon!

Click on this link here (I hope) to take you to a black and white paper doll of Mimi and friends that you can print out, color, and play with, if you're so inclined. (To print the pdf file, click on the iPaper button on the toolbar and select print.)

You're free to use this image for non-commercial purposes, including printing it out for a class or library storytime. The picture above is of some of the pieces colored with colored pencils, cut out, glued to cereal box cardboard where applicable (i.e., Mimi, Bunny, and Frank), and assembled where necessary (i.e., the book). I'm working on making a full color, 3-D Mimi paper doll to post on my website too, and I'll link to it here as well once I finish it.

I have been ga-ga for paper dolls as long as I can remember. When we were young, my mom used to let me and my sisters pick them out at the five and dime if we'd been good on long shopping outings. My favorites were the ones that came with lots of accessories, like a crib to put the baby in, or little bowls of food with tiny spoons, etc. My grandmother also used to save the Betsy McCall paper dolls that came in her copies of McCall's Magazine for us to play with when we came to visit. (You can find printables of these old paper doll pages at Janie's The Bleu Door site here, as well as links to other paper doll sites.)

I really credit a lot of my skill with scissors to years of practice cutting out paper dolls and clothing. I remember too, my mom showing me how to make my own paper dolls by drawing a doll figure, taping it to the window, taping another piece of paper over it, and then drawing clothes that would fit. I made zillions of my own dolls, figuring out the engineering of accessory furniture and other items as well. And then I spent hours and hours pretending with my dolls. All those skills have served me well in my writing and illustrating!

For using paper dolls with very young children, I recommend using the Scotch Repositionable glue sticks rather than the tabs for putting clothes on - much less frustrating for tiny hands. The repositionable glue stick has a bond roughly equivalent to a Post-It Note, so it's easy to attach and remove and won't leave a huge permanent mess all over your kitchen table. Because the print outs are close to free (just the cost of paper and ink) you can let the little ones have a go at cutting them out themselves, which they'll probably do badly. One thing that makes it easier is to first cut around each piece so the paper is easier to manipulate.


Doll Clothes Gal said...

Thanks for that - I love paper dolls.

Julie Stiegemeyer said...

It opened up beautifully! What an adorable idea!

Roberta said...

You know I put a paper doll on my site and it really brought a lot of traffic. Good luck with yours, she's adorable!

Free Printables said...

I love the idea, with simple material and making useful creation. thanks for sharing