Magnetic “paper” dolls

I asked my daughter if she could only have one gift this holiday, what would it be? She told me about some wooden dolls she had seen, where you can put outfits on them that are held on with magnets. In the spirit of keeping our holiday “handmade”, I made her some magnetic paper dolls instead. I didn’t document the ones I made for her, but I’m making another (smaller) set for a friend who is a fan of Frida Kaloh.

You will need:
Heavy paper
A color printer
Magnetic sheets
Spray on Adhesive**
Modge podge, or some other kind of clear sealant
Paper dolls

*If you get self-adhesive magnetic sheets, then you won’t need the spray on adhesive. I found a 3-pack of 8.5″X11″ magnetic sheets at Michael’s craft store for $5.99 because I didn’t want to wait to order the self-adhesive sheets online.

I found the dolls I wanted to use here: Frida Kahlo Paper Dolls, and printed them out at 150% of the image size on heavy paper.

Next, I cut them out close to each shape, but they don’t have to be perfect here. Remember though, you can cut off the tabs because you won’t need them.

I found that it helps to lay out your dolls on a sheet of paper, re-arranging them as needed so you can get the most use out of your magnet sheet. When you’re happy with the layout, then transfer them one piece at a time to glue them down.

Once you have your dolls laid out, spray the adhesive onto the white side of your magnet sheet. Since I didn’t need the whole sheet for the Frida Kahlo dolls, I went ahead and cut off the excess and set it aside to use another day.

Carefully lay each doll piece onto the now-sticky magnet. I like the Krylon spray because if I didn’t press the dolls down, I could still move them if needed.

Once everything is pressed down firmly, let it dry completely.

When it’s dried, give each doll a coating of modge podge, and then let them dry again.

When they’re fully dried, cut them out as close to the outlines as you can get.

Now you have some super cute magnetic paper dolls!

Here’s some links I have found to printable paper dolls, or if you have a book of punch out dolls, you can use them instead to make them sturdier.

Frida Kahlo:

Cutie Japanamation-ish:

Betsy McCall:

When I printed these, I printed them at 150% of their original size. The adults ended up being about 8″ tall, and the girl 5 1/2″ tall. I could fit all the pieces seen here on 3 pieces of 8.5″X11″ magnetic sheets. I don’t recommend printing them directly onto the printable magnetic sheets because you will end up with a lot of waste. If you’re feeling super motivated and computer savvy, you could arrange the clothing/doll pieces in photoshop to fit as many as possible on each piece, then print them directly. I personally am better with a pair of scissors. ;o)

Leave a Reply