Try out this timeless craft by making one of our free printable paper dolls with templates!
Paper dolls have been a beloved pastime for generations, and they remain popular even in our age of technological advancement. What makes them so special? There are quite a few reasons!
7 Reasons to Try Paper Dolls
1. One of the most exciting aspects of paper dolls is the creativity they inspire. Since they are made of paper, they are easy to modify and customize. Children can create endless outfits, decorations, and accessories, making dolls uniquely their own.
2. Paper dolls provide an affordable way for children to grow a collection of their favourite characters. For instance, it is much easier to obtain and store twenty paper dolls than twenty plastic dolls for each of the beloved princesses and princes (in addition to their sisters, friends, and villains).
And if your children are after more obscure fandoms, as mine often are, paper dolls become an absolute saviour! When my son was five, he loved these nature-inspired characters from the Czech video game “Botanicula,” and I couldn’t just run to a toy store to buy him a set of those to play with, so we made paper dolls.
All you need to create your own paper dolls is a piece of paper or – with free printable paper dolls – a printer.
3. Storage isn’t an issue with paper dolls, nor is recycling at the end of their lives!
4. Paper dolls aren’t just about play; they can also be a valuable educational tool. They offer a fun way to learn about history, culture, and geography. When we study famous women throughout history, we can do it with the set that features costumes of Frida Kahlo, Marie Curie, Sacagawea, and Harriet Tubman. When we want to learn about space exploration history, we can take out our astronaut paper dolls.
5. For kids, working with paper crafts can help develop fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. Cutting out the dolls and their outfits requires precision and focus, making it a great activity for young minds to hone their dexterity.
6. It’s also a mindful hobby, good for stress relief and calming down.
7. Finally, nostalgia makes the tradition go on. I enjoyed playing with paper dolls as a little girl, so I started making them for my children. They will probably remember them fondly and share these crafts with children in their lives.
My Templates for Free Printable Paper Dolls
If you aren’t sure whether your children would like this craft, trying free printable dolls is a good start!
One of the first series I made featured paper dolls throughout the year.
Summer paper dolls feel comfortable in the heat. They are ready for a beach outing at any moment!
Winter paper dolls prefer warm jackets and cozy sweaters, perfect for a cold winter day. Their outfits are also good for celebrating many winter holidays.
The last set of seasonal printable paper dolls features autumn and spring outfits. They are ready to play in puddles and enjoy nature – vibrant leaves in the fall and flowers in the spring.
Sometimes, paper dolls like to dress up. For those occasions, we have got a pack of pirate dress-up dolls. I made them for Talk Like a Pirate Day (September 19) one year, but they are also good for Halloween and any time one reads a pirate book or watches a pirate movie.
Speaking of holidays, I also made free printable paper dolls of Santa Claus and his elf helper to celebrate the traditional North American Christmas gift-bringers. If you want to learn about other charismatic (or cheeky) characters who visit children around the world during holidays, you can check out this Winter Holiday paper doll pack. That’s where you will meet the Christmas witch Befana, the mischievous trolls from Iceland, and the half-demon half-goat Krampus – a very fun company!
All the sets above consist of full-colour designs and free printable paper dolls to colour. They also come with four base dolls, which include two girls and two boys. Their clothes are interchangeable.
At some point, I thought four bases might not be enough and created a separate pack with sixteen additional paper doll templates. While those paper dolls still cannot claim to be comprehensively representative, they offer a wider selection of diverse characters.
My Free Printable Animal Paper Doll
The dolls above are human, but animal paper dolls are also fun. At first, I wasn’t sure how they would look dressed in clothes, but my daughter thought they were adorable and kept requesting more and more outfits.
It comes with a foldable stand so that it can be displayed with ease. It also comes with a card – or should I say as a card – so it can be given as a gift.
Free Printable Paper Dolls from Other Creators
Make articulated fairy paper dolls with Snugglebug University.
Create Disney Princess paper dolls with Red Ted Art.
More Paper Crafts
Make pop-up bird egg cards featuring a real-life egg and the bird who lays it!
Learn how to make 3D paper insects and study insect anatomy with this printable insects kit!