How to Make Magnetic Paper Dolls


magnetic-marisole-1
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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37 comments

  1. Hi, great dolls and clothes. I’m having trouble downloading doll sets 3, 5 and 6 when I try to download doll set 4 downloads?

  2. Hello, mb. Assuming I correctly understand the problem, it should be fixed now. A small typo on my part, caused a world of issues. 🙂

  3. Just a thought… being a librarian myself and working with children also, how about covering the exposed side with contact paper? It seems like it would make them much more durable…

  4. Contact paper is a pretty good idea that I hadn’t even thought of, Toni. Not having tried it, I can’t speak to its usefulness for this project.

  5. Great idea!
    OMG, I didn’t realize you had so many dolls and so many clothes for them!!!
    Thanks for the tutorial on how to make magnetic paper dolls!
    EJ

  6. I used to see these when I was little! I think I’ll try with some of my dolls too. This is a great idea, and I like how you used them on a metal tin. Did you just print on a regular setting, or did you use a photo paper setting?

  7. Wow! I had made a set of magnetic paper dolls for my little girl about a month ago, using your Marisole dolls. They have been a hit. I used contact paper to make them a little more durable. I printed some on printable magnetic paper, and did some on paper and just stuck some adhesive magnetic strip bits on the back. I liked the magnetic printer paper best, but it’s a bit expensive to do loads of magnetic dolls. Anyway, I love that you have put up these paper dolls just for making magnetic dolls, I think I will be printing out more sets of clothing for the dolls we made!! Thank you!

  8. Lydia, great minds think alike, but before you print out more clothing for the dolls you have already made, I strongly recommend printing out a test sheet on fast draft to make sure they will fit. The resolution was lowered for these PDF’s to save ink and they might not print the same size as your other paper dolls.

  9. holy cow this is cool. i don’t have a printer to do this, but maybe i can convince Kinkos to do the printing for me if i buy the sheets. i want some!

    : D

  10. Holy cow! I just found you through the “etsy 101 pretty printables” link up and you can’t imagine how happy I am… I now have a little girl of my own and you bet she will be getting a huge set of those.
    Thank you for your work and for putting me in a happy state 🙂

    1. Thank you Luseea and Renata, I am so glad you like the paper dolls- magnetic or otherwise. Enjoy them. I hope to be updating this page with a few more pages of clothing soon. 🙂

    1. Yes. Printing the dolls on magnetic paper will allow the clothing to stick to the doll if you have them on a magnetic surface like a white board.

  11. Thank you so much. I have 16 grands and 6 great grands and can’t afford to buy xmas gifts this year. These are such a blessing. Thank you

  12. This is a great site!! Thank you 🙂
    I like how you have all the PDFs for your magnetic dolls in one place. I can look through all the choices and print the ones I like. I also love the paper doll Marisole and Puck & Pixi too. However, do you have a place where I can look through the sets you have for the paper dolls as easily as you can for the magnetic dolls. All the other links go to the blogs and I have to sift through pages and pages. For instance, I searched superhero and found a great superhero set! However, I stumbled onto a nice Walk in the Woods set but I would have never found that had I not randomly found it. I can’t imagine what other great sets I am missing simply because I don’t have the imagination you do to know a search word to use. I wouldn’t have thought to search woods to get that awesome set. So what I’m geting at is could you in your index link the (for example) Marisole icon to a page of all the sets you have for her?
    Thanks ahead for the concideration. Have a great day! ~Beth

    1. Hi Beth.

      There are several ways to get to all of the posts for a specific doll. One is through the Printable Paper Doll Index at the top of the site which contains links for every printable paper doll series and non-series on the site. The second is to use the category listing on the right side of the site which links to every post categorized under a specific doll such as the dictionary Girls or Marisole. The last is to click on the {Click Here for the rest of this series} link on the individual posts which will list all the paper dolls in that series.

      And, I should add, there are occasions when I accidentally forget to proprly categorize a post and it therefore doesn’t show up in the listing properly. I usually catch these, but sometimes I need a reminder from a reader.

  13. Thank you for sharing these paper dolls. I was looking for dolls with a variety of skin tones for my granddaughters and these are perfect. I was almost desperate enough to try to make some myself and those wouldn’t have been pretty at all. Thanks for saving me!

  14. These are perfect! I’m going to make a set for my baby (not so ‘baby’) sister for Christmas! She’ll love them! I hope. I used to play with magnetic paper dolls under the Christmas Tree, it was comforting and safe and they went on so many amazing adventures. 🙂

    1. Oh, I hadn’t seen those before. They’re beautiful. I love some of the delicate jointed dolls people are doing these days. It’s nice to see them making a come back.

  15. Thank-you SO much for your paper dolls. I am 8 years old, from Nova Scotia Canada and I make a set almost every day. I can’t wait to try making magnetic ones!
    Lily

  16. I made a magnetic paper doll set for my Zumba Education Specialist (an instructor specially trained in teaching and licensing instructors). It looks so much like her.

  17. My niece had trouble pulling the doll off a magnetic surface without damaging the doll edges. The problem was solved by putting pieces of stick-on magnetic tape onto the back of the magnetic paper doll , staying away from the edges. This creates a narrow space between frig or tin & the doll, allowing my niece to grasp the doll easily. This sticky back magnetic tape comes on a narrow roll at Michael’s & you cut off pieces.

  18. Thank You so Much. This is exactly what I was looking for & More. You are an Amazing PaperDoll Artist. I will be following you. I will print some dolls out for myself & my 2 little nieces. They don’t know paperdolls yet but I will share theses with them now.

  19. A huge thank you! I’ve just browsed your magnetic dolls set and now I’m there with scissors and patience, ready to make a set for my daughter! Thanks!!!!

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