B&B Curvy Paper Dolls Visit the Groovy 1970s


{View Larger} {View the PDF} {View Black & White} {View the Black & White PDF}
{More Bodacious and Buxom Paper Dolls}


Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations: 1970s and Platform Shoes and Afros and People Whose Blogs I Admire
A black paper doll with an afro and 1970s fashion with shoes and a dress. Free to print from paperthinpersonas.com.

A paper doll Princess Lolita outfit with thigh high socks from paperthinpersonas.com. Available in color or black and white for coloring.

Years ago, Debbie of Black Doll Collecting asked for a 1970s fashion inspired black paper doll with a huge afro. It’s one of those ideas that has been percolating for a long long time.

But I super respect Debbie as the authority on black dolls that she is. She has opened my eyes to examples of early black dolls that are super rare like Cynthia from the 1950s and these early Effanbee dolls.

So, I decided that my ignorance was no excuse to not give it a go. I did some research on 1970s black culture and set to work on creating today’s paper doll.

The 1970s were an interesting era for black culture. The Black is Beautiful movement was in full force bringing with it respect for traditional hairstyles like the afro and dutch wax print fabrics. There were even Black is Beautiful paper dolls produced in 1969, another thing I learned from Debbie’s blog. Black owned toy companies, like Shindana, were bringing out black dolls for children. Meanwhile, blaxploitation films began flourishing in Hollywood when Shaft came out in 1971.

Now, that we’ve all learned about the 1970s, let’s talk today’s paper doll.

Her hair is the first afro I have drawn that I am actually pretty proud of. It’s a little big perhaps for the 1970s, but maybe not? There is that famous scene in Foxy Brown where Pam Grier pulls a gun from her afro.

Her dress is from McCall’s 2316 sewing pattern from 1970 and her shoes are both from the early 1970s as well. Both shoe designs were taken from 20th Century Fashion by John Peacock.

Normally, I steer clear of brown shoes on brown skin, but I actually really liked how the shoes colors (from Peacock’s book) coordinated with the paper doll’s ebony skin-tone.

In my research, I watched Chris Rock’s documentary, Good Hair, which wasn’t very helpful about historical black fashion, but it was a fascinating window into a world I know nearly nothing about. It also made me feel super cheap for complaining at how much my hair cuts cost. If you haven’t seen it and you’re interested in fashion or culture, I strongly recommend it.

Meanwhile, I’d love to hear what you think of today’s paper doll in a comment. I love to hear from y’all.

Need to get some more clothing for this Bodacious & Buxom paper doll to wear? Pick out some clothing here.

Ursula & Zachary Under the Sea: Mermaid Paper Dolls (Tails to Come!)


{View Larger} {View the PDF} {View Black & White} {View the Black & White PDF}
{More Sprites Paper Dolls}


A pair of black paper dolls with blue hair and multi-colored dreadlocks.

I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, “Mermaid paper dolls? Where are the tails?”

So, yeah, there are no tails. This wasn’t my original plan.

My original plan was to have Zachary with a tail on Monday and Ursula with a tail on Tuesday. Then to post joint outfits for them on the following days. I thought this was a great plan, until I realized I could not fit the tail and the Zachary paper doll on the same page together. It simply did not fit.

And to think my layout problems were a thing of the past? Sigh.

So, instead we get two paper dolls and a promise of tails tomorrow. I swear these are mermaids. They’re just tailless mermaids.

Reminder that the black and white versions are linked up at the top of the post, if anyone is looking for it.

Anyway, Zachary and Ursula are both from the Sprites series which I introduced WAY back in January. As some of you may recall, I have been naming the Sprite faces in reverse alphabetical and I had gotten to the letter U, so Ursula it was.

I realized later that making the first Ursula paper doll a mermaid does bring up connotations of Disney’s A Little Mermaid, but that wasn’t my intention. I named the paper doll LONG before I picked out a theme and I could have started with a modern set, but mermaids were more fun. Her hair was inspired by this pin of a woman with teal hair on Pinterest.

Lastly, you love the blog, consider supporting it on Patreon. If you want paper doll updates on Twitter, I’ve moved them over to @paperpersonas.

A Bouquet of Florals in Color!

logo-bouquet-colorEvery printable paper doll set needs to stand alone. This is very important to me. I’d like to think you could just print out and play with this paper doll without needing to print out and play with any others.

In order to do that, I try to have enough paper doll clothes in each set for some variety. I don’t really know how my habit of “two pairs of shoes, at least one pair of pants, one dress, roughly equal tops to bottoms” habit developed in Marisole Monday & Friends paper doll sets, but I certainly have a pattern.

I was feeling like today’s paper doll wardrobe had more tops than bottoms, but it’s really not. Just two more tops for the paper doll than bottoms. There are still about fifty outfit combinations, but maybe the fact that some of the patterns don’t really match each other is what I’m noticing. For example, I wouldn’t put the floral pink and navy top with the navy floral skirt.

bouquet-of-florals-printable-paper-doll
{Click Here for a PDF to Print} {Click Here for a PNG to Print} {Click Here for More Marisole Monday & Friends Printable Paper Dolls}
Nearly everything I’ve seen for florals this season seems to be fairly dark, so I went with navy for a lot of the background color. The pieces are all meant to feel lady like without being childish. I think florals can fall into the “too sweet” category fairly quickly. Nothing against that look, but it wasn’t what I wanted for this set.

Speaking of florals, and patterns in general, I have a quick poll…

Which is better- solids or patterns?

  • Both are good (72%, 34 Votes)
  • Patterns, Way more Fun (15%, 7 Votes)
  • Solids, Way more Flexible (13%, 6 Votes)

Total Voters: 47

Loading ... Loading ...

By the way, if you haven’t checked it out yet… Julie of Paper Doll School is posting a paper doll outfit for every day in December. Support her amazing project by dropping her a comment if you can. It’s such a fun paper doll series.

A Boutique of Florals: Printable Paper Doll Coloring Page

logo-bouquet-bwI showed off this printable paper doll in my sketch book back in October along with Southwest Boho and a few future paper doll sets. She was inspired by September’s wonderful fashion magazines.

Florals are in this season (or so the fashion magazines inform me). This suits me just fine, as generally, I like a good floral pattern and I have been having fun drawing them. Plus I think complex patterns make for more fun when coloring.

I usually do my patterns as one motif, or parts of a motif, and then place them using photoshop. I used to think this was cheating, but have decided it saves time and actually creates a better finished product.

All of these florals were created this way and the bird pattern on the sweater which I keep forgetting isn’t a floral. Birds are not flowers, after all.

I digress.

bouquet-of-florals-paper-doll-coloring-page
{Click Here for a PDF to Print} {Click Here for a PNG to Print} {Click Here for More Marisole Monday & Friends Printable Paper Dolls}
Meanwhile, I have once again attempted to draw an afro. I wanted to do a slightly larger afro than my last attempt in this paper doll set. Every time I try an afro for a paper doll, I tell myself the next afro will be better. Part of the challenge is conveying the right texture. Still, I think I’ll figure it out eventually.

Until then, I will keep erratically drawing afros on paper dolls for practice.

Not much else to say, except that I successfully finished my 50,000 word novel Sunday as part of National Novel Writing Month. This is the sixth or seventh year I have attempted the challenge of writing 50,000 words in 30 days and only the second time I’ve won.

Did anyone else do National Novel Writing Month this year?

Also, if you have been getting emails from the email notification system, could you please let me know in a comment? I’m not getting them, but I can’t tell if it is the code or it is my email settings. Thanks.

Marisole Monday & Friends: Hearts, Denim and Bows in Color

marisole-hearts-denim-bows-paper-doll{Click Here for a PDF to Print} {Click Here for a PNG to Print} {Click Here for the rest of this series}

So, I thought I hated this color scheme. I really did.

Except when I opened the file late last night to check on it and make sure it would go up today, I discovered (to my own shock) that I actually rather liked the paper doll set all of a sudden. I’d planned to write a whiny post about how muddy it all looked…

And now I feel like she has a sort of funky 1970s vibe to her. (That might just be the little afro talking…)

Speaking of afros, there was this woman at the local Target yesterday who had the most amazing afro and I wanted to ask her to stand still so I could draw it, but I decided that would just be creepily stalker-ish, so I simply admired it from a distance.

One of the things people sometimes ask is where I get my color ideas. I’d love to say I create them all from scratch, but the truth is that I create a lot of them from scratch, but I also use Color Lovers. I mention this, because I just discovered a wonderful new site for color pallettes called Design Seeds. I haven’t used Design Seeds much yet, but I think I will soon.

Hearts, Denims & Bows: A Natural Hair Paper Doll

Over the years, I have created a lot of these little dolls made of paper. I have made paper dolls with all sorts of hair, but I was recently asked to make some natural hair dolls. Now, let me make a confession- I know very little about the nuances of black hair politics (except that I have been told by several people that there totally are black hair politics.)

So, today we have a rare attempt at an afro. I had a very kind email requesting more natural hairstyles for Marisole, specifically. Now, I don’t know much about black hair fashions, but I got a magazine and after reading up a little, I decided to try the afro. I don’t think it came out quite right… but hopefully that will be forgiven. I think there is something off about her hairline… anyway, I think my next challenge might be dreadlocks or more work on afros.

After a request for natural hair on my paper dolls, I created this  paper doll sporting an afro. She's free to print and color. Over 2 mix and match pieces. {Click Here for a PDF to Print} {Click Here for a PNG to Print} {Click Here for the rest of this series}

So, I probably could have called this Hearts, Denims and Florals without being wrong on the titling front… but I hate coming up with titles. Sometimes, I think it would be easier just to number everything.

First off: Happy Labor Day! I hope those in the United States are having a wonderful holiday, I know I will.

Secondly, I’ve added a new section to the blog for instructions. Some of this information is repeated from the FAQ and some of it has shown up before, around the site, but I thought it would be nice to have it all in one place. Any advice or questions about it would be great, since I’m still trying to figure out what I need to tell people.

Pixie & Puck: Prudence and Constance in Black and White

Happy Earth Day! There’s an Earth and we should be grateful or else we’d not exist. So, I’m glad for that. Beyond that, I try to avoid politics on this little corner of the web. There are other corners of the web for politics. Here is the corner of paper dolls.

constance_black_white_printable_paper_doll

{Click Here for a PDF to Print} {Click Here for a 150 dpi PNG to Print} {Click Here for The Rest of this Series}

Two of my favorite recent paper dolls are Constance and Prudence, who I’ve always thought of as best friends, and so today I present them both in black and white for coloring enjoyment. Each paper doll was meant to have a distinct casual and slightly indie style. Prudence is a little bit vintage and Constance is a little bit tomboy. The t-shirt styles for the Constance paper doll are based on mandala designs which are simplified for the small size.

prudence_black_white_printable_paper_doll

{Click Here for a PDF to Print} {Click Here for a 150 dpi PNG to Print} {Click Here for The Rest of this Series}

So, today, I’d like to also call attention to a new blog with some delightful black and white paper dolls called Inflammation Of…, which is about both paper dolls and raising a child with chrons disease. I have had several thank yous sent to me over the years from parents with health issues in their families who like the paper dolls and I always feel very touched that my paper dolls can help in any small way for people in need. Plus there’s a whole set of clothes for her paper dolls inspired by Scoopy-Doo and who isn’t in favor of paper dolls inspired by Scooby-Doo? I loved Scooby-Doo when I was a kid.

(Actually, I still sorta love Scoopy-Doo, but I try to be more of an adult and not admit these things in public.)

Prudence: Paper Doll with an Afro

I really am quite pleased with my paper doll Prudence. Her skin tone, like Kadeem’s and Gabriel’s skin tones, was based on my recent searching around for skin tones on the web.

After a few weeks of looking and collecting, I have over 50 different swatches, but I am working on narrowing that down to a manageable number- probably 10 to 15. The truth is that a lot of them are so close in color, I don’t think there would be a visible difference once they were printed anyway.

pixie-prudence-paper-doll

{Click Here for a PDF to Print} {Click Here for a 150 dpi PNG to Print} {Click Here for The Rest of this Series}

It’s rare I produce a paper doll that I can’t find anything wrong with, but Prudence is pretty close. I lover her glasses and her vintage wardrobe and the color scheme turned out better then I imagined it would. Her hair didn’t come out quite as I had planned it (afro’s are hard to draw), but I’m still pleased with how it looks.

Personally, I would pop her into her cream dress and put her on a date with Kadeem or Gabriel for a night on the town. Or maybe slip her into something more fancy and have her strut down the red carpet (I’m sure Roxanne or Yasmine would be happy to share). In fact, if you don’t like any of those options, there’s a black and white version of Roxanne and you can color any color dress for Prudence that you think she needs.