How to Make Magnetic Paper Dolls: Two Methods

How to make Magnetic paper dolls: Two Methods

I have become fairly addicted to the idea of magnetic paper dolls, so my first ever tutorial for the blog is about how to make magnetic paper dolls with a set of images I created for the purpose. I used to dismiss magnetic paper dolls as the misbegotten children of paper paper dolls, but I promised a friend I would make her some magnetic paper dolls.


Magnetic Paper Dolls Using Adhesive Magnets
Magnetic Paper Dolls Using Printable Magnetic Sheets

After a fair bit of experimentation, I found there are two ways to make magnetic paper dolls. One uses adhesive backed magnetic sheets available from craft stores (I got mine from Micheals), the other uses printable magnetic sheets (I got mine from Staples).

Personally, I liked the printable magnetic sheets better, but only when I could get my printer to feed them. It was not cooperative during a lot of this process which left me with wasted sheets.

So, if you’re being money conscious (and who isn’t these days?) go with the adhesive magnets; however, I found the adhesive magnets were weaker when layering many pieces of clothing. I guess, in the end, it’s a personal choice.

Magnetic Paper Dolls Using Printable Magnetic Sheets

Supplies:

    Printable Magnetic Sheets

PDF’s of the Paper dolls can be found here

    Metal Tin (to hold the paper dolls)
    Scissors

Directions:

Put the magnetic sheets, one at a time, in your printer. I found it worked better if I put a stack of paper underneath each magnetic sheet to convince my printer it didn’t need more paper. If you have a bypass feeder, use that.

Print the paper dolls onto the magnetic sheets using the “fit” setting in Adobe viewer. The ink might take a few minutes to dry completely, so handle the sheets with care.

Carefully cut the excess from around the paper doll piece. I like to leave slight border of black, except around the tops of shoes where skin is visible, there I cut down so the skin of the foot would meet the skin of the paper doll without there being a line.

Repeat for each piece. I tossed mine in a metal tin as I finished cutting them out so that they wouldn’t get lost in the couch cushions, but a cookie sheet also works well or a ziplock baggie

To play with them, find a magnetic surface. I like magnetic white boards, but filing cabinets and refrigerators both work well.

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Magnetic Paper Dolls Using Adhesive Magnets

Supplies:

    Good Quality Paper for Printer

PDF’s of the Paper dolls can be found here

    Adhesive Backed Magnetic Sheets
    Metal Tin (to hold the paper dolls)
    Scissors

Directions:

Print out the paper doll on heavy weight paper (I used non-gloss photo-paper), using whatever settings your printer recommends. In order to match skin tones, it’s best to use the same settings on all the sheets of paper dolls and their clothing.

Begin by rough cutting around the paper doll (or dress, or accessory or whatever), cut close to the piece but not actually as precise as you plan on cutting it.

Cut a piece of magnet the same size as the rough cut paper doll piece leaving the backing in place.

Remove the backing and stick the paper doll piece to the magnet. Work from edge to edge to avoid wrinkles. I also found smoothing with the back of a spoon was helpful.

Carefully cut the excess from around the paper doll piece. I like to leave slight border of black, except around the tops of shoes where skin is visible, there I cut down so the skin of the foot would meet the skin of the paper doll without there being a line.

Repeat for each piece. I tossed mine in a metal tin as I finished cutting them out so that they wouldn’t get lost in the couch cushions, but a cookie sheet also works well or a ziplock baggie

To play with them, find a magnetic surface. I like magnetic white boards, but filing cabinets and refrigerators both work well.

Hint: You might want to unroll your magnetic sheet the night before and lay it flat on a cookie sheet or your refrigerator so it can flatten out. I found this made cutting the pieces a lot simpler.

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7 Responses to How to Make Magnetic Paper Dolls: Two Methods

  1. Paula says:

    I have just printed out the magnetic Marisole and 2 sets of clothes for my 4 year old daughter. I think she may have permanently re-homed herself in front of the fridge! Thank you for all your work on these, she loves them and it made mummy happy too – I wanted to introduce her to my childhood love of paper dolls but was worried she was too young to manage folding over tabs and would get frustrated, these are the perfect solution 🙂

  2. Rosie says:

    I like the dolls very much. We printed them out on magnetic paper and we are going to stick them on the fridge. I like the armour set because I don’t just like girly-girl dolls; I like tough ones too! (I am 10 BTW)

    Thankyou for the dolls!

  3. crista says:

    I like paper dolls. I have a daughter(cheyenne) but she is cerebral palsy so i want to make them for my niece(alana) who is 5 yo she has an easel that has a magnet board on one side and the other side is chalk board. we three, me, Cheyenne and Alana(who would love to play with the paper dolls with my daughter. I like to see them interact with each other. thank you for the paper dolls

  4. ruth says:

    i want to make the magnetic dolls sets for my daughters who are 9, 8,7, and 5 but i have a 4 yo boy who will also be playing for sure as his fellow male sibling is only 3 months and though he has plenty of his own toys will not let himself be excluded from playing with his sisters toys. i had at first thought to make the paper doll sets for them all and try to fortalize them with card board as my kiddos can be pretty destructive especially my hyper little son but then saw the magnetic dolls. im so excited but the only downside is no boys dolls. can i just print out the male paper doll sets on the magnetic paper will it work? im very new to everything including my laptop and printer im not sure about sizes everything looks pretty simple but i wasnt sure.

    • RLC says:

      Yes, if you print any of the paper doll sets on magnetic paper they will work as magnetic paper dolls, with the exception of some of the hats and some of the wrap around collars and the capes for the Superheros. Be sure to cut off the tabs. I am working on getting the Puck’s and Pixies up as magnetic versions, and I should have then done soon… I just don’t know when it’s going to happen. Bare in mind, that magnetic paper isn’t cheap, so the more white space in the imagge, the more paper you’re using to get the number of outfit combinations. That’s why I reformat the paper dolls for magnetic versions.

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