DIY Articulated Paper Dolls

diy paper dolls

One of my absolute favorite crafters, Mer­rilee of Mer Mag, will be craft­ing for Hand­made Char­lotte this sum­mer. Yay! This week she’ll be shar­ing her take on an old clas­sic, paper dolls.

Hello friends! I’m thrilled to be work­ing with Hand­made Char­lotte and can’t wait to share some of our favorite sum­mer crafts as of late. Today we’re shar­ing with you a sim­ple yet super fun artic­u­lated paper doll craft to cre­ate with your Lit­tles (or paper “action fig­ures” as my boys call them around here).

To start you will need to gather together an assort­ment of sup­plies that will help to cre­ate and cus­tomize your character.

diy paper dolls


  • 8.5 x 11-inch card stock in var­i­ous hues (have fun with it! think green mon­sters, blue mer­maids, etc.)
  • Hole punch (we used 1/8″ hole punch for ours)
  • Small brads for secur­ing appendages onto to character
  • Glue
  • Scis­sors
  • Mark­ers, pen­cils, etc. — what­ever you want to use to bring your char­ac­ter to life
  • An assort­ment of fab­ric, paper, yarn, but­tons, etc. — what­ever inspires you to adorn and acces­sorize your character

diy paper dolls

Down­load the tem­plate here and then print it out on an 8.5 x 11 stiff sheet of card stock. After cut­ting out the var­i­ous parts you can then punch holes in the arms and shoul­ders as well as the legs and hips.Place appendages onto the body and fix in place with small brads.

diy paper dolls

Now for the fun part. Gather your Lit­tles together and play around with scraps of fab­ric, yarn, rib­bon, etc. to decide just who or what you want your char­ac­ter to be. Feel free to add acces­sories and props such as this skate board. Have fun with it! The pos­si­bil­i­ties are endless.

diy paper dolls

Once you have decided on and have cut out your char­ac­ters attire you can start glu­ing the cloth­ing on. We took the brads out for this part to make glu­ing and dress­ing our doll that much eas­ier. Once the cloth­ing is glued in place you’ll need to punch out holes from your cloth­ing in the same places that you have the orig­i­nal holes. Once all the cloth­ing is affixed and more or less dry, place the brads back in. Cre­ate and attach the hair (we used yarn for ours) and then draw on your face. Now sit back and enjoy your new artic­u­lated friend.

diy paper dolls

And that’s it! Once every­thing is dry and your char­ac­ter is com­plete, you are ready for hours of play (and per­haps a stop motion ani­ma­tion sum­mer cap project for the kids!?). And don’t for­get the make a num­ber of friends to go along with your new paper friend such as our lit­tle danc­ing friend Elle, or Mr. Rodeo Clown and more!

diy paper dolls

Cos­tumed and favorite char­ac­ters are a great way to go with this as well. The boys have put in an order for a pirate and Darth Vader. I have cou­ple of mer­maids on my list. Or bet­ter yet, make one to rep­re­sent each mem­ber of your fam­ily! They’ll be a keep­sake for years to come!

[do action=“mermag”/]
  • Ann Mar­tin

    I used to love play­ing with paper dolls for a time when I was lit­tle. So nice to see these, thanks.

  • fairy­bread

    i’m totally charmed by this paper dolls!!
    many thanks for show­ing it, i will do them at my daugh­ters birth­day for sure…

  • las san­dalias de ana
  • huana

    So inspir­ing! Lots of dolls to make­with my daughter.Pinning!

  • pinto_roberta

    Hi!  I just had to pin this too!  So cute!  I want to have some friends over for a craft­ing party and make them to send out to our other friends across the coun­try or around the globe.  Get­ting a sweet, cus­tomized paper doll instead of a card would be a riot!   Thanks for the idea!

  • Pys­sel­bo­laget

    I love paper dolls! Will have to make these with my daugh­ter! Thank you!

  • Melissa Kojima

    I love artic­u­lated paper dolls. You’ve come up with so many fun ways to use this tem­plate. Yes, indeed, very inspir­ing. I actu­ally find and share an artic­u­lated paper doll every week on my blog, Artist in LA LA Land. This one may be show­ing up there soon. Heeheeheee!

  • hand­made charlotte

    glad you enjoyed the project, thanks for visiting!

  • hand­made charlotte

    Thanks for the kind words :)

  • sylvieliv

    So very dar­ling! I can’t wait to try this with my girls! :)

  • aniken­itet

    Thanks a lot !! It’s a won­der­full Idea