Marisole Monday & Friends Masquerade: Marisole as a Flamingo


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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations:  Flamingos, 1980’s Prom Dresses, and Spiky Hair Cuts

A paper doll masquerade ballgown based on a flamingo available in black and white or in color from paperthinpersonas.com

There is something really silly looking about flamingos. Still, I love their color and I wanted to do something a little playful for one of the masquerade gowns, and who doesn’t want to dress their paper doll up like a flamingo?

I was trying to research flamingo folklore and I didn’t find much. I did however find a great history of the pink plastic lawn flamingo, should anyone be curious. I also learned, though I haven’t been able to confirm this through a really reputable source, that in Ancient Egypt Flamingos were considered sacred to the sun god, Ra.

The over-skirt of the gown is meant to mirror the fuller body of the flamingo. Originally, I had a very narrow skirt attached to the bottom, but later I altered it to fit in better with the rest of the gowns. Due to the very low neckline and decorate edging, I think the dress will work best with floating tabs, so I positioned two on the page. You may need to add some longer floating tabs for the skirt.

Our printable model for the flamingo costume is Marisole. I thought her light brown skin-tone would be set off really beautifully by the pink gown.

If you’re not sure how the wig works, here are instructions. Also, I would recommend adding some additional tabs to the skirt as needed. It is a very wide skirt.

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Marisole Monday & Friends Masquerade: Meaghan as an Owl


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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations:  Owls, Victorian Ballgowns, and Platform Sandals

An owl masquerade dress for Meaghan of the Marisole Monday & Friend's paper doll series. Free to print from paperthinpersonas.com.

Happy Halloween!

Halloween always feels like it is a holiday ripe for paper doll activity. It’s all about costumes, after all. So, while I abandoned themes last week, I will be returning to them this week. Each day this week there will be a different Marisole Monday & Friend’s doll and her bird themed masquerade ballgown.

Meaghan is starting us off with an owl themed paper doll masquerade dress which was the first of the dresses that I designed. The sketchbook page of this gown on Instragram went up a few months ago, but it can take a long time for things to be finished. My goal was to capture the idea of an owl without being specific to species, so the buns on her head are supposed to be like the owl’s ears and the layers in the skirt give a sense of wings.

Due to the width of the skirt, I would strongly recommend adding some floating tabs to the back of it. Her wig is designed to work with my usual method of pasting the back to the front and leaving a pocket for the dolls head. Here are the full instructions. I really should do full instructions on floating tabs, but I haven’t gotten around to it yet.

Now, tomorrow there will be a flamingo and after that, I haven’t decided which ballgown will go up next.

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Monica’s Neo-Victorian Wardrobe: A Ballgown


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A fantasy ballgown with a neo-victorian flare for a printable paper doll from paperthinpersonas.com.

Happy Friday!

It seems only proper to close out the week of steampunky paper doll goodness with a ballgown, don’t you think? I mean, after all, it is the most formal of the formal. Ballgowns were just below Court Dress on the formal scale and Court Dress was pretty much as formal as it got.

Plus Court Dress came with crazy rules like it had to have a train and at one point, it had to have panniers and… I could go on.

Since it amuses me (and that’s all that matters), let’s continue this week’s tradition of 19th century style explanations of Monica’s steampunk or neo-victorian outfits, here’s my ballgown description:

An elegant ball or evening dress suitable for a young matron or unmarried lady in pale leaf green trimmed in lavender. The bodice is two tones of green with a lavender side lacing and the skirt is cut in the mermaid silhouette with curved frills of satin flaring elegantly to the floor in pale blue, lavender and green. 

One of the great things about all the outfits this week is that they are in the same color scheme, so if you wanted too, you can mix and match say the bodice of yesterday’s dinner dress with today’s skirt for a whole different look. Or I think Monday’s walking suit jacket would look dynamite with yesterday’s skirt. And those are just the first two ideas that came to me.

Quick reminder: Black and white versions can be downloaded at the top of the post. 🙂

Monica’s Neo-Victorian Wardrobe

I do want to address one other thing. I was asked my a few people (one comment, one email) if it would be possible on Friday’s to combine all the outfits of the week into one page for ease of printing. The answer is No, for two reasons. Reason 1: I actually started this format to get away from having to do layout work which is super time consuming.

Reason 2: (And this is the cool reason) These pieces wouldn’t fit on one page. Back in the old system, I would have draw two skirts and then four tops, two shoes and then a smattering of hats and other accessories. Over the course of the week we’ve had four skirts, four tops, five hats, two pairs of shoes, two parasols, one walking stick and a bag. That’s 15 pieces!

You are actually getting MORE paper doll content this way AND its less time consuming for me. Everyone wins!

By the way, I want to add that both people who asked these questions were super nice about it and I don’t mind at all getting questions and thoughts from you all. Please keep them coming.

So, on that note, questions? Comments? Thoughts? Let me know.

Isadora Goes to Prom: Paper Doll Coloring Pages


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A paper doll prom dress for the Mini-Maiden series featuring a high-low hem and some beaded details. From paperthinpersonas.com.

These high low dresses certainly seem to be sticking around. I confess when I first saw them, I thought they looked kinda absurd, but the whole style has grown on me. Now, I rather like them. I’m also starting to kinda like skinny jeans. Clearly, there is something wrong with me.

At the top of this paper doll dress, I put some beading/sequin/ruching detail. I think it could be any of those things, depending on how you color it. I was thinking a combo of sort of a beading and ruched detail when I drew it, but don’t let that stop you from coloring it anyway you like.

That is, after all, the power of paper doll coloring pages- You get to decide what it becomes.

Friendly reminder- the dark lines on the skirt should be cut along carefully, so you can wrap the back of the skirt around the back of the paper doll. The shorter front of the skirt will fall over the front of the paper doll. This kind of trimming sometimes easiest to do with an Xact-o knife or razor blade, but if you use one, I would do it on a cutting board or some cardboard or something.

If you don’t, you will cut your countertop and then you will pray your mother never notices. (Ask me how I know…)

The Rest of This Week’s Isadora Prom Paper Doll Coloring Page Posts

All right, so I hope everyone enjoyed this week’s paper doll prom series. I certainly had fun posting them.

Now, I’m going to go get ready for my weekend and also be grateful that my parents replaced that counter-top before I ever had to explain any youthful antics involving paper doll coloring pages and Xact-o knives.

Ignoring my childhood misadventures for the moment, please consider taking a second to tell me what you think of this new pattern of posting and/or support the blog by becoming a patron.

An 1830s Historical Paper Doll Coloring Page Featuring Greta

1830s-greta-logo The 1830s is an era of Western fashion that I have generally found mystifying. Poke bonnets, giant sleeves, caplets are all features of this era of historical dress and none of them have ever really appealed that deeply.

And yet, I am nothing if not someone who like to learn about stuff and sometimes I try to challenge myself. I want to embrace periods of fashion that I don’t really like all that much and so I found myself deciding that this year, I was going to try out the Romantic period.

I would, I told myself, draw a paper doll with 1830s fashions and I would enjoy it!

(Or at least not totally hate it.)

The 1830s are an interesting time fashion wise though. The introduction of the metal eyelet in 1828 means that the 1830s are the first era when corsets were really capable of being laced terribly tightly (metal eyelets can take a lot more stress than handsewn ones) and to make matters more interesting, vulcanized rubber was used in clothing as well for the first time in the 1830s. Innovations all around.

The cage carioline which was used to support skirts in the 1860s doesn’t exist yet, so skirts are held out with horse hair petticoats and horsehair sewn in the hems. That means the silhouette isn’t as full as it would become in a few decades.

A historical fashion coloring page featuring a paper doll and her 1830s wardrobe. Exclusive to paperthinpersonas.com

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All right, so Greta, the paper doll modeling these 1830s outfits has a full set of underwear from this era which includes a chemise, corset, petticoat and sleeve supports. In order to fill out huge leg-o-mutton sleeves of the era, women used a variety of sleeve supports of various sizes. I made hers small so the underwear could easily layer.

She has two dresses. A day dress based on this garment and a ballgown. I swear the ballgown is based on something, but try as I might, I just couldn’t find the reference image I used. So… Trust me? Greta also had a poke bonnet and some false hair styled in the Apollo Knot style.

Women in the 1830s went a little nuts in the hair department. See this fashion plate and you know what I mean.

I hope everyone enjoys this little foray into the 1830s. This is an era I should stick around with? Drop me a comment and let me know!

Also, I am looking for questions to answer in a video about inking paper dolls. So, if you have a question that you’ve always wanted answered, put it in the comments. 🙂

Tea & Ruching: African-American Princess Paper Doll

A black princess paper doll to print and color with two ball gowns, a hair pick, tea set and other accessories. Today’s princess paper doll has been a long time coming. Back in September, I posted the penciled and inked versions of today’s paper doll set and then I posted a screen capture of the colored version in December and now, in January, you get the final black and white with the final color version going up next week.

Generally, I finish the colored version and the black and white version about the same time, but I space the posts out by a week for my own sanity. Plus the colored version of this particular paper doll set gave me fits. I won’t even get into how many variations I made in color choices, but it was brutal. I’ll save that rant for next week’s post.

Okay, so my initial inspiration was African wax print fabrics which I have always had a deep fondness for. If you look closely at her patterned dress, you’ll find a motif inspired from this design and more on my Pintrest board of African Prints & Fashion. Primarly coming out of West Africa, these prints have a complex history which I confess I am not an expert on. Slate is a nice article on African Wax Prints highlighting some of those complexities.

A black princess paper doll to print and color with two ball gowns, a hair pick, tea set and other accessories. Free to print and color from PaperThinPersonas.com

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Beyond my fascination with African wax print cloth, I wanted to do a rather traditional princess. To me, that means big skirts (blame it on growing up in the late 80s) and things that are a big over the top. Of course, big hoop skirts always remind me of the 19th century, so her stockings and shoes owe something to that era.

I’ve been taking a Creativebug class where you draw something every day for the whole month of January. The January 2nd assignment was tea cups and you can see my version over on my Instagram account. (Yeah, I just joined Instagram. We’ll see if I like it long term.) Her teacup was drawn weeks ago, but I don’t think I’m great a teacups, so practice is important.

My hope is to get into the habit of drawing a little everyday in a way that is NOT directly paper doll related. We’ll see if I succeed, but I think it would really help my art.

Meanwhile, drop me a comment if you’d like to share what you think about the paper doll. 🙂

Rose Princess Ballgowns: Printable Paper Doll in Color

rose-princess-logoI had a lot of different ideas about how to colors last week’s paper doll. I thought about a traditional princess scheme which would, of course, involve a great deal of pink. I also thought about something in pale blues and teals.

In the end though, I wanted to try to color these dresses as more of a “dark princess” look for the printable paper doll. Therefore I went with black and lavender, traditional mourning colors, so she’s a bit gothic. I accented the dresses with a set of white roses and a set of red roses. Most of my color schemes are a bit more diverse in their color selection. For this one, I stuck with a narrow selection of shades intended to keep things fairly simple.

I confess that coloring these gowns was quite fast thanks to the large swatches of one color.

rose-princess-paper-dolls-color

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I gave our princess black finger nails and black toenails to emphasis the slightly “gothic” feel of the princesses gowns. The gothic elements are also apparent in her bleached hair. This is not my typical princess, at least not the typical princess I keep in my head.

Julie, of Paper Doll School, and I are hosting a paper doll round robin with a beautiful base doll Julie created. Read more about it and join us, if you like. The deadline is Saturday the 24th at 12pm EST. 🙂

Hope everyone has a lovely Monday!

Rose Princess Ballgowns: A Princess Paper Doll

rose-princess-logo-bwBack when I first named this paper doll Maeghan. The “real Maeghan” demanded that she have “absurd fantasy dresses.” Well, I don’t know how absurd these are, but I do think they are fairly over the top. Most of my dresses are realistic in so much as they could exist, not in so much as they do or should exist.

I did have fun drawing them. I admit my normal taste is a more towards these sorts of fantasy gowns over the huge skirted things that I drew today. Still it was fun to go wide skirted for once and I might have been influenced by watching Cinderella recently. (Though the Evil Step Mother has far better costumes than anyone else in that film.)

I digress.

rose-princess-paper-dolls-bw

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I wanted the full skirts to feel light and almost tulle like. I was thinking about late 1940’s and early 1950s ballgowns like this one and this one as I drew these. Her hair is inspired by the 1940s as well, blame the Evil Step Mother.

I gave her a sword, because I wanted her to be able to defend herself. Plus, she has plenty of room to conceal it among those amazing skirts.

Has anyone else seen the new Cinderella movie? What did you think of the costumes? I really enjoyed them, myself.

Isadora Goes to the Ball: A Fantasy Princess Printable Paper Doll Coloring Page

logo-isadora-ballgownThis is not an Independence Day paper dolls, but I have some links to a few down at the bottom of the post. This is a princess paper doll.

Let’s be honest for a moment: A lot of the appeal of princesses lies in their glorious dresses.

We all know intellectually that being a princess would kinda suck. (There’s a great video about this by Amy Schumer.) You’d have to marry someone who you likely didn’t choose. Your value would be entirely defined in your ability to produce an heir. Also, that person you would marry might end up being your cousin.

Never the less, your wardrobe would rock.

So, I’m not sure if Isadora would be a princess, because she doesn’t have a crown. Do princesses need crowns? I suppose they should if they are coronated. But once they get coronated than are they actually queens?

Royal stuff is complicated.
isadora-ballgowns-fantasy-paper-doll

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These three gowns are all ball-gowns in my head, but the glory of paper dolls is that we can choose what they are. Maybe these are what Isadora wears to the grocery store. Actually, if I had these dresses, I might wear them to the grocery store, though I have been told that driving in a hoop-skirt is really difficult.

So, this is the fourth of July or Independence Day in the USA. I did not, however, get a thematic paper doll done. If you wish for one, then I recommend Hazel’s 4th of July set, my Marisole Monday & Friends 18th century 4th of July set or Marisole Monday’s Nautical set which, while not technically 4th of July related, does have a red white and blue color scheme.

Regency Steampunk Fashion: A New Paper Doll

egency Punk: a paper doll inspired by combining steampunk and regency dress elementsThis isn’t my first foray into the whole “regency steampunk” genre, though I don’t know if this genre already exists or not. My first foray was back when I did my Best Friends set and one of their pages was regency steampunk.

This is my second foray into the genre. I think it is largely more successful, mostly because I am a better artist now than I was three years ago. I still struggle with making goggles that really “work”, but I have hopes that eventually I might figure it out.

Steampunk fascinates me just as much as Gothic fashions and Cyberpunk fashions fascinate me. I am always interested in alterative fashion cultures as they reflect some part of our cultural fabric. Despite finding them interesting, I have never had any desire to “dress up” in steampunk. I simply don’t like wearing costumes, a fact which shocks many people when they find out I draw paper dolls.

egency Punk: a paper doll inspired by combining steampunk and regency dress elements {Download a PDF of this paper doll to Color} {View a 150 dpi PNG of this Paper Doll to Color}
So, I’ve spoken before about my pet peeve that fantasy people are always white skinned, as a result I gave my steampunk regency paper doll a soft brown skin-tone. I was going to say “mocha” skintone, but I have been trying to avoid using food words to describe skintones. They just kinda creep me out. Something about my skin being called peach or cream, or calling someone else’s skin chocolate or spice, sorta… I dunno. I’m not sure I want to think of my skin as a food product. It’s a little Hannibal Lector, you know?

Anyway, moving on… The colors are based on actual common early 19th century colors including Turkey Red and Indigo. Both of these colors are produced by dyes from India or Turkey. They are such rich colors that I countered them with cream and black. Personally, I love how real natural indigo fabrics look. It’s an amazing color.

Be sure to cut along the dotted lines so she can wear her clothes and the floating tabs should keep her little top hats on her head.

egency Punk: a paper doll inspired by combining steampunk and regency dress elements. Free to print from paperthinpersonas.com {Download a PDF of this paper doll in Full Color} {View a 150 dpi PNG of this Paper Doll in Full Color} {More Bodacious and Buxom Printable Paper Dolls}
I’ve never seen anyone else combine the early 1800s silhouettes with steampunk, so maybe it has a name already and I don’t know it. Either way, I am trying to decide what to call this new genre of fashion and therefore have a poll. Plus, you know, polls are fun.

What should we call early 19th century dress combined with steampunk?

  • Regencypunk (29%, 12 Votes)
  • Austenpunk (29%, 12 Votes)
  • Empirepunk (22%, 9 Votes)
  • Just Steampunk, it doesn't need another name (17%, 7 Votes)
  • Other... I'll tell you in a comment (2%, 1 Votes)

Total Voters: 41

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