A Fairy Costume for Halloween

poppets-logo-fairyFor the next two Friday’s I’ll be giving the Poppet’s some Halloween costumes. Today, we have a fairy and next week, there will be a pirate for these printable paper dolls.

So, when I draw things like fairy paper dolls they fall into one of two categories- “Real Fairies” or “Fairy Costumes.” Sometimes I am creating a printable paper doll of a fantasy creature like a mermaid or a fairy and that is a different idea than creating a Halloween costume of that creature.

So when I created this fairy costume, I was thinking strictly of it as a costume sort of experience, rather than an actual creature. I hope that makes sense.

Despite this the wings are intended to be glued to the back of the paper doll or you could use double sided tape. I realize this means they are non-removable, but over the years I have come to conclude that this is the best way to attach wings. I have tried other methods, but they don’t seem to really work very well. Plus there is nothing stopping you from printing several of the Poppets and having “winged” and “normal” versions. After all, that’s part of the power of printable paper dolls. They can always be re-printed.

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Modeling the fairy costume is Petal, one of the Poppet paper dolls. Of course, any of the Poppet dolls can wear the costume.

Halloween is my most consistent paper doll holiday. I’ve done Halloween paper dolls every year starting in 2010. In no real order, they have been a vampire, a costume set, a ghost, another vampire, and a collab between me, Boots, Liana and Toria.

Tomorrow at midnight EST our Paper Doll Round Robin closes. The guidelines are all explained here. Please join us! We’ve had some great contributions so far and we hope for more.

Promenade and Play: Victorian Paper Doll Clothes for the Poppets

logo-promenade-playSo, life this week has been a roller coaster of sickness and travel, but I promised a second page of clothes for Peach in the Park to expand her Victorian paper doll wardrobe and I am pleased to say that here they are.

In no real order, in this set of paper doll clothes there is a promenade dress or afternoon dress, a gymnastics outfit and a set of underwear consisting of a chemise, drawers and a stayband or corset. She also has a pair of shoes with stockings and a ballgown for her doll. It is entirely possible that the doll’s little ballgown is my favorite piece of the entire set, though drawing that small was a challenge. (Seriously, the doll is like two inches tall in real life. I kid you not.)

I drew these designs based on illustrations from several different Victorian fashion magazines including Harpers Bazaar and La Mode Illustre, which as French. I highly recommend Dover’s excellent books of fashion plate reprints when working on Victorian period fashions- they bring a richness to the process of research that is of great value. Plus it’s fun to draw surrounded by open books (at least, I think it is fun.)

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By the late 1860s, early 1870s, sporting activities were encouraged for children. Gymnastic’s costumes like the one in brown are often shown in magazines along with yachting and skating outfits. While it is hard to imagine a child really running around in the bustled up skirts of the era, it is possible to imagine them doing so in one of these more practical outfits.

I also think it is important to remember that while fashion magazines show perfectly coifed children, actual children’s garments are often more worn and simpler. Kid’s did get out in play even in the 1800s and parents did not dress them like little adults, despite what my fashion history teacher told me. The length of a girl’s skirt indicated her age. The poppets are, in my mind, between the ages of 8 and 11, so their skirts are mid-calve. The skirts would slowly lower until maturity when they would be floor length for many, thought not all, activities.

As a reminder, because I forget this sometimes too- any of the Poppet paper dolls can wear any of the other Poppet paper doll’s clothing. So, while I was thinking of Peach when I made these outfits, they could also be worn by Petunia, Paradisea, Poppy, Posey, Petal, or Primrose.

That is a lot of P names.

Anyway, enjoy the Victorian paper doll outfits.

Peach in the Park: A Victorian Printable Paper Doll

logo-peach-parkToday’s Poppet paper doll is all about Victorian children’s clothing of the late 1860s and early 1870s. I love Victorian children’s clothing. I just love it. I even love it in the 1840s when I generally think all the clothing looks really stupid.

I think it is a combination of my natural fascination with childhood studies and exposure to books like The Little Princess at a young and impressionable age. It is likely also because I have a fondness for the idea of antique dolls with little wardrobes of perfectly sewn clothing pieces. The Little Princess was full of dolls. Anyone else remember that book?

And I am not talking about the Shirley Temple movie version where her father wasn’t really dead. I’ve never forgiven them for changing that part.

Anyway, we have Peach, a new Poppet paper doll, with an elegant promenade costume from Godey’s Lady’s Magazine in 1969. Her fashion doll also has a Promenade costume from that same fashion plate. I couldn’t find a decent reproduction of the plate online. Because Godey’s plates folded out, when people digitize the bound volumes they rarely take the time to fold out the plates. The result is that the text is reproduced, but not the folded plate. This is one of my pet peeves about mass digitization projects.

Back to the paper doll- Peach has, of course, a French fashion doll with her who I have left unnamed. Her fashion doll has a walking dress of her own with a hat attached. I have rarely drawn something as small as the fashion doll and I am worried a little about the fit of the gown. I did a quick Photoshop fit test, but you might want to leave some black border for wiggle room on that one. I love the whole paper dolls with their own dolls which are also paper dolls thing. It is hard to pull off though.

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Anyway, I used several sources when working on today’s paper doll. The doll herself is based on the brown-complexioned bisque bebe dolls produced in France and Germany by companies like Steiner, Bru, Jumeau and many others. You can see some examples of these dolls on my Pinterest Board about Antique dolls. These dolls were most common in the late 19th century. As I mentioned above, her dress is from an 1869 Godey’s Lady’s Journal fashion plate. I used Dover’s excellent book- 80 Godey’s Full-Color Fashion Plates, 1838-1880 (ISBN: 978-0486402222), now out of print, for the 1869 plate. I know there are lots of sources online today for fashion plates, but too many of them omit the context of the plates, since plates were often cut. That is why I like having books of fashion plates in my collection for reference.

Next week, I will share a related Poppet clothing set with some underwear from the 1870s- when even children wore staybands or corsets- and two more outfits and a ballgown for her doll. Also, another pair of shoes with stockings.

I really do have to draw more historical children’s clothing for the Poppets. I had far to much fun with this set.

Remember that you’ll need to cut along the shoulders of the paper doll, so that she can wear her dress.

The Princess and the Frog: A Paper Doll Costume

poppet-princess-frog-logoI love fairy tales. I have always loved fairy tales. I have fond memories of, far past the point of being able to read complicated books, sitting in the library reading picture books of fairy tales. I love the lavish illustrations, but I also like reading many different versions of the same story. These days I still like doing that, but now I like learning why and where the different varients of Cinderella or the Twelve Dancing Princesses come from.

Today’s paper doll set is an ode to one of my favorite fairy tales. The Frog Prince or The Princess and the Frog, depending on which version you read. A princess loses her beautiful golden ball down a well and a frog retrieves it for her only if she will marry him. She agrees and then backs out of her promise. The story goes from there.

In the end, I think the moral is supposed to be “keep your promises” or “don’t judge on appearances”, but it could also be, “don’t drop your precious golden ball down a well.”

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Disney did an interesting adaption of the tale recently, but I will always picture the Princess how she was drawn by Walter Crane in the Frog Prince. Walter Crane is one of my favorite children’s illustrators. I was inspired by the pseudo-renaissance look for my own paper doll’s costume.

So, there is a frog, a golden ball, and a beautiful gown for the Princess. I am not much an animal artist, but I did my best to make my frog cute and palm sized. I always thought the Princess in the Frog Prince was a little spoiled, but then I suppose that’s just how fairy tales go sometimes.

Poppets Playing with Wooden Swords

poppet-wooden-sword-logoClearly, I’ve been on a bit of a medieval kick with Monday’s 14th century set and today’s psuedo-medieval Poppet paper doll set. Ironically, I’m not that much of a medieval fantasy fan. As far as book genres, I’m much more into urban fantasy than anything in the classic or epic fantasy genres.

Of course, urban fantasy generally doesn’t lend to crazy paper doll outfit sets.

This set is partly because of my goal this year to make  more Poppet paper doll sets. Last year, I only did eight Poppet sets which seems rather like a low number. This year my goal is at least ten. I also really want to do some historical clothing sets for them, since I have an absurd love of Victorian children’s clothing. Those sets, however, aren’t even drawn yet. I think I should finish some of my unfinished Poppet paper doll clothes before I start drawing more of them.

I have a lot of unfinished Poppet sets lurking accusingly on my computer and demanding completion.

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Today’s paper doll set features colors in the same family as my Marcus the Warrior paper doll. I almost gave them real swords, but that seemed like a terribly dangerous thing to give a small child, so a wooden sword would have to do. I really do enjoy drawing toys as accessories for the Poppets.

Meanwhile, I have been giving a lot of thought to Copyright and other issues of posting content on the internet. Would people be interested on a post on that topic?

Meet Paradisea: Printable Paper Doll

paradisea-logoToday’s printable paper doll is nearly the last of my 2014 backlog. Not to suggest I don’t have half finished paper dolls sitting around my hard drive waiting to be finished, because I have those dating back years and years, but this is the last piece of finished work from 2014.

It feels good to get her up and shared. I’m very pleased that the blog continues to chug along quite nicely. I got a lot of work done with my three day weekend. There will be some Buxom and Bodacious soon and a Pixie post, I think and some sketch book previews this week. All fun stuff.

Meanwhile, we have our latest Poppet paper doll here. She’s named Paradisea, one of the last of the P flower names that I have on file. I might have to switch to other names starting with P or to other flowers. I’m divided on which is a better solution.

I do love me my alliteration.

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Paradisea has a t-shirt and jeans. Her paper clothes are in the way color scheme as Petal’s clothing, allowing the dolls to mix and match. After all, paper doll friends should be able to share their clothes with each other.

Playing in Puddles: A Poppet Paper Doll Dress-Up Set

puddles-logoEmbarrassing confessions of a paper doll blog owner: I drew this set of clothes over a year ago. Over a year!

And I am just now posting them.

There is no good reason for this, except I sorta got wrapped up in other things. Never the less, here they are, just in time for snow rather than rain. Originally, I had planned on calling this set, “April Showers”. It is not april. April is a LONG way off.

In the meantime, I am calling it “Playing in Puddles” and I am very pleased with how these printable paper doll clothes turned out.

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Petal is modeling this set. She’s my latest Poppet paper doll and you can print her here, if you haven’t already. Of course, you can print all the Poppets and their clothes. I’m rather pleased to say that there are now 5 different Poppet dolls and six pages of Poppet clothing, not including the outfit that comes with each doll.

I hope everyone is having a lovely holiday time with family and friends.

Petal: A Printable Paper Doll of a Little Black Girl with Braids

petal-logoPetal is one of my new Poppet paper dolls. She’s got braids decorated with beads. When I lived in Illinois, the grocery store I usually shopped at was right next to a braiding place. The little girls coming out with their hair all braided and decorated with different colored beads were so cute. I chose white beads for Petal, since I thought those beads would match nearly anything.

Along with her braids, Petal has underwear, a skirt, a shirt and some shorts. I tried to base these clothes of things I’ve seen on the market for actual children. Since I don’t have kids of my own, I collect images of kids clothes on my Pinterest boards. Then I adapt them into paper dolls. I figure most people collect images for adapting into paper dolls. My image collections offer hints of things to come, though I have been known to keep projects on secret boards when I’m not sure I want them for public consumption.

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Meanwhile, I am working on polishing up my Search Engine Optimization. I don’t know much about this topic, but I have been trying to write better titles for my posts. Paper Thin Personas remains on the second page of Google search results for Printable Paper Dolls, a fact that I find increasingly frustrating. Oh well… I can’t win them all.

Also, in the realm of blog paper work, the Email Notification thingy on the sidebar should be back up and working. If you already signed up for email notifications when the site updates, you should be receiving them. If you’re not into email options, feel free to follow me on Twitter. I announce post updates there as well.

By the way, Happy Thanksgiving to anyone whose celebrating. I’ll be making pie today and getting green beans prepped.

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

logo-poppet-1700s-historicalSo, 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 Christine 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.

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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.

Precious in Floral Paper Doll Clothes for the Poppets

logo-poppet-floralI have actually been having more fun with my Poppets paper doll series than I ever thought I would. I am not terribly keen on paper dolls of children, but I do love paper dolls of dolls, so I have been enjoying the Poppets. Something I want to do in the future is create some historical costumes for them. I really love antique dolls with their trousseau of clothing and trunks. When I was a kid, I remember reading A Little Princess over and over again. In the book, the main character, Sarah has a doll name Emily. The part I read over and over again as a child was about Emily and her extensive wardrobe.

So perhaps when Greta’s Trousseau is finished (if it is ever finished), I will work on a similar project for the Poppets. There could be a trunk and a bunch of little dresses and then toys and… Maybe I should worry about that after I have a bit of a backlog rebuilt.

Meanwhile, today we have a historical inspired country feeling jumper and vintage inspired blouse with boots.

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The outfit was partly inspired by Irma’s wonderful paper doll Madaleena. If you haven’t read it yet, Irma is my featured artist right now, so go check out her interview and her blog when you have a chance. She does beautiful work.