Saturday, February 4, 2012

How To - Personal Paper Doll

This is a fun rainy (or snowy) day crafty activity that has endless possibilities! I used my dog Theo since I don’t have kids, but this would be an engaging fun project to do with a bunch of kids. Make a doll of each member of the family! This is also a great idea for parties - have the kids each make their own doll of themselves to take home. These would also make a fun personalized gift to send to relatives too.

What you need-

Digital camera
Printing paper
Cardboard or cardstock
Metal brads (found at most craft stores)
Glue or decoupage medium, or acrylic medium
Extra- paint, glitter, fabric ribbon or other embellishments

Getting started-

1. Either use an existing photo or take one of the person or pet you want to make a doll out of. Be sure to get the whole body in the frame. Have kids do a jumping jack or starfish pose so their arms and legs are easy to cut around. Try taking photos outside against a wall. For animals the side view works best.  
2. Print 2-3 copies of the image. For four legged critters you will need at least 3 copies. If you have a printer that can print on heavy cardstock, print this out on the cardstock and skip steps 5 and 6. Otherwise I just printed out on regular copy paper and it worked fine.  You may want a few extra copies in case you cut something wrong. I printed Theo in black and white, but you can print it out in color, or add color later with paint or markers etc. 
3. Carefully cut around the first copy of the photo, removing the limbs you will want to articulate. You will want to leave the shoulders or thighs so you have somewhere to attach the limbs. 
4. Cut around the limbs on the second copy, be sure add the extra shoulder, thighs or hips, so it will overlap the body you just cut out, and have plenty room around the joint area for the brads or pins. You can just have joints at the shoulders and legs, or you can cut the limbs so you can have bends at knees and elbows. 
For four legged critters- on the third copy cut an extra front and back leg out- this is easier than trying to get a photo of your dog with all four legs showing.
 5. If you printed on regular paper, you can glue the parts onto cardboard or cardstock to stiffen it up. I used acrylic gel medium, but pretty much any paper glue or mod podge will work.  
6. Once the glue dries, cut out the parts from the cardboard. 
7. Roughly assemble the doll how you want it to look, and use a pin or nail to poke holes in the joints for the brads. 
8. Insert the brads to attach the limbs. Try layering the limbs till it looks the way you want. I put one leg behind the body and one on top for Theo to give him a slight 3 dimensional feel. 
 9. Embellish as desired, glitter, color, fabric, ribbons, stickers etc.

Here’s is one I made using a vintage photo of my grandfather. Fun!