Contact Paper Dolls

As a little girl, I loved paper dolls. My mom used to buy me thick books filled with different clothes. I'd spend hours carefully punching them out and creating different combinations of outfits. Some were cute and some definitely were not, but it was fun just the same. I thought I'd introduce my son to this childhood favorite of mine but decided to add a little twist: sticky contact paper. It was the perfect way to help his three-year-old hands keep the doll's clothes in just the right spot.

  1. Ages: 3 - 4

  2. <30 minutes

  3. A little messy

  4. Grownup needed


Materials you'll need

Step-by-step tutorial

  • Step 1

    The prep for this activity took me a little longer than I expected. But, in the spirit of full disclosure, I confess that is probably because I couldn't stop making clothes. To begin, I drew a gingerbread-like figure onto a sheet of card stock and cut it out.

    Photo reference of how to complete step 1

  • Step 2

    I added a little life to the cutout by drawing a simple face. Since I was making it for my son, I made the cut out a boy but you could really make it anything you wanted: a girl, a monster, a snowman.

    Photo reference of how to complete step 2

  • Step 3

    Then I grabbed several sheets of scrapbook paper and flipped them upside down so that I was looking at the white side. I outlined the boy's arms and legs like the picture to the left.

    Photo reference of how to complete step 3

  • Step 4

    I was able to create clothing based on the outlines. For instance, to make a shirt, I cut around the arms I'd traced and then snipped off the legs and hands. I added a little flair by drawing buttons, lace, shirt pockets, and stitching.

    Photo reference of how to complete step 4

  • Final result!

    Once the boy had a sufficient wardrobe, I invited my son to come and play with me. He loved mixing and matching the outfits. Blue shoes with an orange tie? Sure, why not! He may not have discovered a love for paper dolls that is as strong as mine, but he enjoyed himself nevertheless. As for me: I'm definitely still a big fan.

    Photo reference of how to complete step 5

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