Jan 29, 2011

100 is a Magic Number

I can't believe this is the 100th post I've written for this blog, but it is!  I really want to thank you all for reading along, and for leaving such kind comments. I means a lot to me.  And to celebrate, kind of, I want to share a download and a tutorial with all of you.  I showed you the cute Vintage Paper Doll Garland that I made for TDIPT Mercantile this month, remember?

I thought you might like to make one for yourself, or for your favorite little person, so let me tell you about how I made this.  Lots of photos, so I apologize in advance for any slow loading problems.

Here's what you'll need:
  • Paper Doll graphics sheets
  • Glue Stick or paper adhesive of your choice
  • Designer Scrapbook paper
  • light weight cardboard, recycled cereal or cracker boxes are great
  • Scissors
  • Brown Stamp Pad and sponge
  • Paper Punch
  • Ribbon
  • Buttons
  • Craft glue    
Here are the the Paper Doll Graphics that I used.  These are vintage Paper Dolls that I have cleaned up a bit and arranged for you to use.

You can download the two sheets here - Free Paper  Doll Sheets -  You will need Adobe Reader to open these files, and if you don't already have it, you can download it free Here  Save the files to your computer, then print them to get ready for this project.  I like to use white Matte Photo paper or Presentation paper, for the crisp colors, but feel free to use whatever paper you'd like.  Heavier weight paper, like card stock, will give a bit of dimension to the finished banner.

Your downloaded sheets will look sightly different, these were my original project sheets.  Your doll is in her underwear, while this one is dressed.  If you'd prefer not to show her bloomers, you can dress her in one of her outfits when we do the gluing.

Cut a rectangle of cardboard slightly larger than the doll.  I used 4" wide by 9" tall.  You also need a cardboard backing for each outfit you'd like to use.  I made these a bit smaller, 4" x 7.5".

Prepare the background cards by using your glue stick to coat one side of the cardboard, and then applying your choice of patterned paper.  I like to use handwriting, text, vintage book pages, something muted or soft.  Use what pleases you.  Repeat with the back side of your cards.  Trim the paper as close to the edge of the cardboard as you can.  You can also sand the edges if you wish.

 Now, cut out the Doll and the outfits.  I cut the dresses and the hats out separately, and I left the tabs on the outfits for another little touch.

Here's the Doll I used, cut out and just placed on top of the background.  Those little, yellow, Cutter Bee Scissors are my favorites for cutting into small places.  Sharp scissors make everything so much easier.

Use larger scissors to round the corners of the cardboard backing if you'd like that look.  There are special punches for rounding corners, but I tend to use my scissors.

Next, I inked the edges of the Doll and the edges of the background, using my trusty Distress Ink pad and sponge.  Dab sponge on the ink pad and brush along the edge.  This gives an extra layer of dimension, and helps to hide any little cutting errors.  It also blends the raw edges of the background paper and the cardboard, which I prefer.  You can see that I've cut out the other outfits too, including the matching hats.

Here you can see the rounded corners and a bit of the inked edges.  Place the Doll and the outfits on the backgrounds, and when you like the placement, use glue stick to attach them to the background.

I used a paper punch to make holes in the upper corners of each piece, and I decided to use some vintage buttons to embellish a bit.  You could probably think of lots of other possibilities - lace, rick rack, glitter, stickers, rubber stamping, and things I haven't heard of yet.  

I used some red ribbon with white stitching to string the garland pieces , and I sewed a button and loop at each end.  You could add additional pieces to your garland, if you wanted it to be longer, cards with letters or numbers, animal figures,  and for some reason, spools or big wooden kindergarten  beads come to mind.

I hope you'll have fun with this, and make it your own, with your own touches.

Happy Weekend, from the Dog and me!


  1. Congrats on 100 posts! thank you for sharing this sweet tut with us.
    Prim Blessings,

  2. Jan, Time flies, doesn't it! Well, keep 'em coming, girlfriend! I love your blog! And thank you for these totally sweet images!
    Hugs, Diane

  3. Hi Jan!!

    I just came over from Diane's blog and had to say hello!!

    "Thank you" for your tutorial and download for the sweet paper doll and her clothing!
    I have always loved paper dolls since I have been a little girl.

    I will hop over to your Etsy site as well!!

    Hugs and Happiness to you,


  4. Hi Jan, I saw your sweet doll on Diane Knott's blog. I just love her. I hope I find a little sweetie to give her to. Thank you for your kindness.
    I'll check out your Etsy shop too.
    Janet xoxo

  5. Jan, thanks for the comments on my photos and boxes. I love printing vintage images on the brown kraft paper.

    My camera, to answer your question, is a Fujifilm
    Finepix S1500 10.0 megapixels. I love it! It was under $300.

    I printed out the paper doll and clothes. I think she'd look adorable on a box, don't you!

    Hugs, Diane

  6. Jan, hi! The pouch pattern is in the shop!

    Thanks for asking about it!
    Hugs, Diane