Circus Paper Doll in Black, White, Red, and Pink

Marisole Monday and Friends Logo and Link to free printable Marisole Monday paper doll based on circuses Last week, the circus came to town in black and white for coloring, but here the paper doll set is in full color. I am really very pleased with how she came out. Sometimes, I know what I am doing with a paper doll set before I start coloring. Other times, I have no idea what I am going do with colors. In this paper doll’s case, I had a pretty clear idea of where I was going to go before I got there.

One thing I noticed as I was collecting images on my Dark Circus Pinterest board was that there was a bunch of red and black. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with the red and black, but I knew there was going to be a lot of it.

Creating a red and black paper doll set was kind a boring, so I did not go with a strictly red and black color scheme (though there is a lot of black and white here).


Printable paper doll in black and white inspired by circuses
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With straight red, black and white, I got bored very quickly and worried about the scheme clashing with the paper dolls pink hair. Instead, I decided to try basically creating two sets in one. There is a black and red set and also a pink and black set. Both sets had a pair of shoes and there are some pieces which can be worn with either color scheme.

I think this effect of “two sets” in one works, because circuses are all about costumes and costumes tend to match more than normal clothing.

Poppet’s Visit the 18th Century… Historical Paper Doll Clothes

18th century historical dress for the Poppet paper dolls So, today the Poppets paper doll series is traveling to the 18th century and rocking some beautiful clothes. One of the great myths of historical costume is that children in the 18th century were dressed “just like adults” and while there is some truth to the fact that children wore very similar clothing to adults, it was rarely identical. Skirt length is a common way to tell that a dress was intended for a child, rather than an adult, along with simpler lines and decorations.

Today’s 18th century outfit is based on a a gown from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Her shoes come from a painting by Carl-Ludwig Christinek in 1772 of two sisters. Her pocket is based on these pockets from America. Her cap is an amalgamation of about a dozen different caps from portraits and is, I confess, a little odd looking. I am not entirely pleased with it.

Full color Poppet Paper Doll clothes from the Revolutionary War periodBlack and white coloring sheet of paper doll clothes from the 18th century

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One thing I do not have is a Poppet doll with proper hair for the 18th century, so I am letting Poppy model the historical dress.

Lastly, a bit of the site layout has changed. Mostly just colors, honestly, but I would love to hear what people think of the new design.

Renaissance Paper Doll Gowns for Marisole Monday

Marisole Monday and Friends Logo and Link to free printable Marisole Monday paper doll I must have colored and re-colored today’s Marisole Monday & Friends paper doll set, a dozen times before I settled on this sort of dusty teal, cream and rose color scheme. Seriously, sometimes paper doll coloring is really quite frustrating.

I do love the way the paper dolls look when they are colored and I like choosing colors and playing with color schemes. I don’t think I could ever switch to just black and white.

I really wanted to do a sort of classic princess/fantasy look with this set. I don’t generally draw thinking about children, but sometimes after I’ve done some of my stranger paper dolls (like the dark circus paper doll I’m working on), I find I want to also do things that are strictly for kids.

Of course, I also stand by my rule that if you don’t think one of my paper dolls should be given to a child, than don’t give it to a child.


printable full color paper doll with summer beach clothing
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The next things down the pike are going to be a historical poppet set later this week and then a Marisole circus set and then I’m honestly not sure… Flock need some love and so that might be the next thing to work.

Steampunk Paper Doll Clothes for the Ms. Mannequinn Series

link to a set of steampunk paper doll clothes Over the years, I have done a fair number of steampunk or neo-victorian inspired sets of paper doll clothing. I’d name them all, but I really don’t feel like digging through the blog’s massive archives to track them all down.

Generally, I see the whole steampunk thing as an version of the Arts and Crafts movement of the 19th century. A sort of call back to a fantasy of an analog time while ignoring major issues of the actual 19th century like lack of labor protection, colonization, and treatment of the mentally ill (to name a few), just as the Arts and Craft movement exalted the medieval and gothic periods while ignoring the plague. Within reason, I don’t find this troubling though sometimes I do worry that when we exalt certain periods of history, than it is far to easy to ignore their horrors.

And every period of history, including our own, has a few horrors.

Still, I have always found alternative fashion movement fascinating, be it goth, punk, steampunk or the dress reform movement and therefore have every intention of continuing to draw neo-victorian clothing for the blog.

Black and White fantasy paper doll

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Somehow today’s set got awfully Christmas looking with the red and the green color scheme. I was thinking more burgundy and olive while I started, but it came out a bit brighter than I’d intended it to be. Despite the small number of pieces in this set, there’s actually 18 outfit options and more if you include the shoes each of the Ms. mannequin paper dolls come with.

Okay, quick question to my readers. I’m debating working on Flock stuff this coming weekend or working on Pixies. Anyone want to express a preference?

Victorian Ballerina Printable Paper Doll from the 1880s

Marisole Monday and Friends Logo and Link to free printable Marisole Monday paper doll based on the historical period of 1880s in black and white or in color Oh man, what to say about the last few days…

Well, I have been working on backend server CPU issues with my shared hosting service. Nothing really serious, but stuff that has to be dealt with for the blog hosting to continue to be cheap enough for me to justify continuing to keeping it online and free.

Still, I owed a paper doll to my last drawing winner, Lina of Lina’s Historical Paper Dolls, and I was not about to put off finishing that for another week, because I would keep feeling guilty about it.

Lina requested an 1880s period Marisole Monday & Freinds paper doll with a ballet outfit and several other dresses. I had some trouble getting all the pieces to fit on a single page, so I omitted some shoes from the image.

Should you want proper shoes to go with this set, then I recommend checking out On the Board Walk in color or black and white or Mia Goes to the Bathing Place in color or black and white. Both of those sets both have button up style boots which, while not period, are close enough to not look totally awkward.


Victorian ballerina paper doll with a swimming costume, a ballgown and a tutu
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Lina was kind enough to send me reference photos and specific colors for the hair, skin and eyes of the paper doll, but left the color scheme mostly up to me. I wanted to use some rich colors, because by the 1880s chemical dyes were common and rich colors were very much instyle. There is a habit to think of the 19th century as sepia colored, because of sepia photos, but it was actually a rather garish era.

At least post, chemical dyes being invented.


Victorian ballerina paper doll with a swimming costume, a ballgown and a tutu
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So, Lina also asked for a tutu based on this painting by Degas. The painting dates from 1871, a little earlier than the other costumes in the set. I omitted the sash, since I based the dress on the center figure. I don’t think the layers of the skirts really look like tulle, which bothers me. Liana has some great tulle on her blog.

The ballgown was based on this fashion plate. The gown was red, but I made it peacock blue based on a description in English Women’s Clothing in the 19th Century by Wilett-Cunnington that mentioned peacock blue ballgowns. I hate drawing lace, but it came out all right, I suppose.

The last two outfits are a swimming costume and a house dress. Old swimming costumes were extremely complicated and not very easy to swim in. Generally, I think of them as wadding costumes. Lina sent me this picture and I based it off that.

The house dress is classic 1880s style with bustle, drawn up skirt and long pleats. It’s a pretty typical gown for its period. Lina sent me this photo and I based the dress off of it. I omitted the pattern on the dress, because I knew it would reproduce poorly in the small scale of the paper doll set.

And that, as they say, is that.

If you haven’t ever checked out Lina’s blog, Lina’s Historical Paper Dolls than I recommend taking the time to do so. She makes wonderfully interesting historical paper dolls.

Viola, A Paper Doll to Print from the 1890s

We’re traveling to the turn of the century today for Viola, a printable paper doll with her wardrobe from 1895 and 1900. She can be printed in black and white or in full color. Viola’s name was  selected from the Social Security Baby Name Index as popular in the 1890s. Fashion in the mid to late 1890′s exists between huge puffed sleeves and the rather horrid pigeon breasted look. Not being a fan of either style, I never thought I would do 1890s paper doll, but I found I liked the fashions at the end of the century, so here she is.

Honestly, the way I look at history has been heavily influenced by the historical paper dolls I had as a child, sparking my interest in social history and fashion history. So, I think historical paper dolls are great printable paper dolls for kids and I’ve only recently discovered that a number of people who use my paper dolls for home schooling activities. All of this increases the pressure to get the paper doll “right”, lest some child’s understanding of 1890′s dress be damaged by my paper doll creation. (Not that I think this would be devastating for the child in question- there are far worse things in this world.)


Viola, a printable paper doll from the 1890s in black and whiteViola's wardrobe, a printable paper doll from the 1890s in black and white{Download a PDF to Print and Color of the Paper Doll} {Download a PNG to Print and Color of the Paper Doll} {Download a PDF to Print and Color of the Paper Doll’s Clothes} {Download a PNG to Print and Color of the Paper Doll’s Clothes} {Click Here for More Pixie and Puck Printable Paper Dolls}

The mid to late 1890s wardrobe that Viola has is based on museum objects, primarily, and a few costume plates. The Met, The Museum at FIT and MFA Boston, as well as the UK National Trust were a few of my sources. When I am researching a new paper doll, I tend to collect my sources on my Pinterest boards (feel free to follow) and today’s printable paper doll is no exception. I gathered her clothing sources on my Turn of the Century board, before I started drawing.

Viola, a printable paper doll from the 1890s in full colorViola's Wardrobe, a printable paper doll from the 1890s in full color
{Download a PDF to Print in Color of the Paper Doll} {Download a PNG to Print in Color of the Paper Doll} {Download a PDF to Print in Color of the Paper Doll’s Clothes} {Download a PNG to Print in Color of the Paper Doll’s Clothes} {Click Here for More Pixie and Puck Printable Paper Dolls}

The Sources, Left to Right: The pair of shoes from the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston from 1898. Her corset was an amalgamation of several corsets which you can see on my Turn of the Century pinterest board, however, this corset from 1900 and another corset from 1900 were big influences. I chickened out of making the corset patterned, a fact I regret.

One of her parasols was based on this one, but the other I rather invented based on a lot of various parasols I looked at. The Met actually has a really large collection of parasols, who knew?

Her seaside or yachting costume was inspired by this dress from 1895. There seems to have been a real “sailor” trend in the end of the Victorian period during the bridge into Edwardian.

A visiting or afternoon dress based on a gown from the National Trust Collections of the UK.

The carriage toilette in green is from this fashion plate I found on flickr, though I confess to usually trying to avoid finding things on flickr, since I don’t always trust the accuracy of the sources.

Her gym suit is based on this French one with the shoes borrowed from this gymsuit from 1893-1898.

The ballgown comes from a design by The House of Doucet circa 1898-1900.

Were I to draw today’s historical paper doll again, I would have included a pair of gloves and another pair of shoes, but that would have made her three pages and I wasn’t about to that. Of course, should you wish to add gloves, than I will direct your attention to the Regency Pixie Paper Dolls whose gloves could certainly be adapted here.

Paisely Summer, Printable Paper Doll in Full Color

Marisole Monday and Friends Logo and Link to free printable Marisole Monday paper doll Sometimes, I struggle to get started on things, especially when I don’t really want to do them. Saturday night came around this week and I really didn’t want to work on this paper doll. I admit it, the orange dress was giving me fits and I was starting to loath my Pantone Spring 2014 Color Report inspired color scheme.

So, I literally set a timer.

Instead of blowing it off, I took out my cellphone and set a timer for 25 minutes. I told myself I would work on today’s Monica paper doll set for 25 minutes and then I would go do something else. Surely, I could suffer through 25 minutes of coloring. Of course, once the 25 minutes was up, I was so far along that I decided I might as well finish.

And here she is, all colored and everything.

I use a timer to do all sorts of things. From cleaning my apartment in fifteen minute bursts to inking for twenty minutes, I find that once I have done something for a short period of time intensely, I often keep going since I’m already in the middle of it. I hate not finishing things, but sometimes I struggle to get started on them.


printable full color paper doll with summer beach clothing

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As I mentioned before, this set’s color scheme is based on Pantone’s Spring 2014 Color Report and includes several of the Pantone colors. I’m not totally in love with the color choices, but I wanted to stretch myself beyond the colors I tend to naturally gravitate too. Plus, I have done other Pantone inspired color schemes like my Seagulls and Seaside that used the 2013 color report and my Fashion Girl set from 2010 that used the 2009 and 2010 Spring Reports.

Marisole Monday: Secret Agent Girl Printable Paper Doll in Full Color

Marisole Monday and Friends Logo and Link to free printable Marisole Monday paper doll Happy Monday all!

Today’s paper doll is, as expected, a Marisole Monday & Friends paper doll in full color with a stylish spy wardrobe.

My mother wanted me to mention, after reading my last post about Secret Agent Man, that she did not like Johnny Rivers and it wasn’t her fault that it came on the radio. And that in the days before playlists I should be happy that I get to pick what music I listen too.

Apparently suggesting that she was a Johnny Rivers fan was a deep insult to her hippy, anti-establishment ways.


Thumbnail of full color printable paper doll- Marisole as a Spy

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So, I went back and forth about the right color scheme for this paper doll set. Part of me thought that yellow and pink were a little bright for a super spy, but then it occurred to me that no one would expect a super spy to be wearing yellow and pink. By the way, the short hair style Marisole is sporting is actually her base hair. These days I often draw my base dolls bald which helps when I have to draw hair for them, but back when I drew Marisole I didn’t do that. In her first post ever, she is sporting this hair style. That was back in January of 2010, though I actually drew Marisole sometime around 2008. She sat in a pile of unused base dolls for years before I finally decided what I was going to do with her. I think that’s sometimes the odd thing about working with her. She’s drawn in a style that I don’t know if I would, or even could, use today as my art has evolved.

Oh, by the way, something I am curious about this whether people like colored paper dolls or back and white paper dolls better, so I have changed out the poll in the sidebar. Vote if you want and also consider entering my current contest/drawing if you haven’t. :)

Meet The New Poppet Paper Doll – Posey

Poppet Posey in her School Clothes Logo So, here I am kicking off June with a new Poppet paper doll named Posey.

I’d originally intended to give all my Poppets flower names beginning with P; however, I find I am rather running out of them. The only other two I can think of are Pansy (which I would use, except for that fact that it’s a rather derogatory name for an effeminate man and I just don’t like the connotation) or Peony which I will use one day, but calling the Asian paper doll Peony seemed horribly stereotypical. So, this leaves me with Posey for our new paper doll.

Anyone know of any other P flower names? I suppose I could branch out (pardon the pun) into other P girl’s names or simply other flower names.

Full color Poppet Paper Doll clothes

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Now, Posey’s outfit is based, very vaguely, on a some of the school uniforms I saw when I was studying in England, though it lacks the jacket. I drew the blouse first and I didn’t want to lose the sleeve detail by sticking it under a jacket.

Poor excuse, perhaps, but true none the less.

I confess that I’m not totally pleased with how the skin tone turned out… I recolored it at the last minute, because the other skin tone was horrible. Still, I don’t know how much I like it.

All in all, it’s really good to be back. :)

April Showers in Full Color

Marisole Monday and Friends Logo and Link to free printable Marisole Monday paper doll First of all, I want to wish a Happy Birthday to my sister without whom I would not have ever started collecting paper dolls. She is the one who bought me my Christopher Columbus Paper Doll Set when I was eight and suggested it was too nice to cut up. This started my uncut paper doll collection.

So, thanks Sis. I love you.

And, speaking of paper dolls… here is last week’s paper doll in cheerful full color. I am pretty pleased with everything about her, except my concerns about her mix and match limited wardrobe. I really like how the rainbow shirt came out and the rain-boots and the bright yellow rain slicker, but I’m still feeling that the mix and match options are a trifle limited.

On the other hand, I’ve done enough plain colored tops over the years that surely there’s something that would match. :)

The playabilty (is that a word?) of a paper doll set is always a major concern of mine. One of the reasons I work in series is because I think it’s more fun to have lots of little ladies and lads who can share clothing, than to have a bunch of paper dolls who can’t. (Of course, I also do it because drawing people is the hardest part of this gig.) There are times I confess that I fantasize about transforming this blog into one where I just posted one outfit a day, everyday.

Someone told me they thought that would be more work than what I do now… honestly, I’m not sure. I think it would depend on how much I had to write about the outfit in question. Post writing is sometimes harder than drawing, to be honest.


Thumbnail link image printable paper doll

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Another little side project I’ve been working on is a magnetic paper doll for a three year old I recently met. Now, I need some help with this as I do not have children of my own…

How large would pieces need to be for a three year old to easily manipulate them? I want to be sure that she can play with her paper doll friend on her own without needing too much assistance from her mother. Thoughts from those with kids or experience with toddlers?

Lastly, there will be a contest coming up, probably towards the end of the month. So, keep your eyes open for that.

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