Hazel Visit’s the 1940s: The Doll and Her First Dress


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Hazel- a paper doll and her 1940s afternoon dress. She's the first in a series for 1940s paper dolls.

May I be honest with y’all? I like y’all, so I feel I can be honest.

I have been super busy in the last few days looking for an apartment. I have finally found a spot I like and am now starting to pack. So, during the chaos, I have fallen back on the Mini-Maidens. Frankly, they are the only series I can scan and prep in just one night.

I mean, I’d like to say I did this for purely artist reasons, but really it was a mental health decision.

Plus, I printed out some images from the 1940s as source material weeks ago and I decided to get the darn paper doll set done.

Anyway, today we have Hazel, one of the Mini-Maidens. She’ll be getting an early 1940s wardrobe. Because nothing says, stress relief like a 1940s fashion paper doll, am I right?

Why the early 1940s? Because the styles changed dramatically after World War 2. I wanted to look at the fashions for the first part of the decade, except for one purse that slipped in accidentally. You can check it out come Thursday where there will be an Accessory Thursday post. I know that will make some of you happy.

So, Hazel here has one dress for today. It’s based on this uncredited image from a magazine from 1940 that I found in the New York Public Library Digital Collections. I did my best on the hat, but I’ll openly confess that I am not totally pleased with how it came out. Still, you can’t please all the people all the time or even one artist most of the time. I struggle with hats, but I won’t get better if I don’t practice.

Thoughts on the 1940s? Is it an era you like? Or hate? I find people seem to be pretty adamant about this decade one way or the other.

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


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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.

Monica’s Neo-Victorian Wardrobe: The Doll & Her Visiting or Promenade Toilette


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Monica, an african-american neo-victorian paper doll with her walking suit. Also available in black and white for coloring. From paperthinpersonas.com.

So, here we are in week two of the new system for PTP. It’s very exciting. I am feeling excited. Also a little nervous, I must confess.

Monica is our model today. She is, of course, from the Marisole Monday & Friend’s series. This whole week will be a neo-Victorian/Steampunk inspired week with hats, skirts and jackets. As I know I’ve said before, I have a THING for the whole idea of different outfits for different activities. When I’m in Victorian fantasy land, I like to decide which outfit goes with which Victorian activity.

A lady of quality in the Victorian era had a variety of gowns at different levels of formality. At one end of the scale was the house dress or morning dress and at the other end of the scale was a ballgown or full-dress.

Monica’s suit today is a promenade costume, I think. To channel my inner-19th century fashion magazine (everyone should have an inner 19th century fashion magazine), here how I would describe it:

A promenade or afternoon visiting costume in purple wool with a matching jacket. Underneath the jacket, the model wears a lavender shirtwaist. The jacket is trimmed in pale teal and aqua velvet and satin. A wide band of lavender satin decorates the skirt and then several rows of aqua ruffles. The chapeau is dyed to match the suit and trimmed in rosettes of aqua silk, feathers and brass buttons. The entire ensemble is quite smart for street or afternoon wear.

Sometimes I am conflicted as to whether I like the term Neo-Victorian or the term Steampunk better. The truth is that I think this set is more Neo-Victorian in its styling. One of the tropes of Steampunk is high technology made through steam-power and there’s none of those aesthetics in this paper doll. However, no matter how I feel about it, I confess that the SEO for steampunk is far better than the SEO for neo-Victorian.

Thoughts from the audience on that one?

Oh, and a few “housekeeping” things. The link to the coloring page version of today’s paper doll is at the top with the links to the PDF. As always, I strongly urge you to print from the PDF copy and to print it however you have been printing them from the beginning. That will assure that the new stuff and the old stuff still fits.

Last but not least, please consider taking a second to support the blog by becoming a patron.

Dreaming Princess: A Paper Doll Princess

logo-dreaming-princess-bw Whenever I meet young girls and ask them about paper dolls, which I confess I don’t do very often, they seem to often ask for Princesses. I don’t know what it is about paper doll princesses, but it seems to be a popular trend. As a child some of my favorite paper dolls were those of Peck-Grande which featured beautiful fairytale paper dolls with fantastic dresses (Here’s some images from their Beauty and the Beast paper doll or Sleeping Beauty paper doll). As far as I can tell, princess seems to translate to “amazing over the top gowns” and that works for me.

(The feminist in me always wants to give a lecture on the patriarchal nature of historical princess-dom right now, but the lover of pretty dresses in me doesn’t care.)

When I design complex patterns for paper doll clothing, I like to try to keep the outfits themselves fairly simple. I think it is easy to get the pattern “lost” in the lines needed for pleats and folds. So, when I decided I wanted to play around with complex patterns for these gowns, it wasn’t a hard decision to know that I needed a simpler silhouette.

Early Italian renaissance dresses (from about the 1490s) have always had a soft place in my heart. Someday I do want to do an actual “historical” paper doll from this period, but until then, I had fun playing with the silhouette in this paper doll princess set. These styles might look familiar if you remember Her Ladyship from 2014, she was inspired by the same time period.

A paper doll princess coloring page featuring four elegant dresses and two pairs of shoes. Free from paperthinpersonas.com.

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The model for today’s gowns is Monica. You can find more paper dolls featuring her here. Confusion about which Marisole Monday & Friend’s paper doll model is which? I wrote a guide a few months ago.

Every time I design a princess paper doll download with these sorts of elaborate patterned fantasy gowns, I swear that I won’t do it again and then I do. Insanity is doing the same thing over again, expecting different results, they say, but here I found myself once more painstakingly coloring an insanely complex pattern and grumbling about it.

My original plan was to go very traditional with the colors here. In the actual Renaissance, the expense of dye meant that darker colors were more fashionable and expensive than lighter colors. So, that was my first plan- black, red and gold would have abounded.

But then I realized that if I was going to use a dark brown skin-tone for the doll (which was my plan all along) and then went black and red with the clothing, it was going to be a really dark paper doll set. Plus dark colors on these kinda elaborately patterned outfits obscures the black line-work. I spent to darn long coloring this to obscure the nuances of those patterns. So, gold, red and black when out the window for rose, lime and teal. Nothing says spring to me like rose, teal and lime.

Plus, I think the brighter spring colors are nice for a May set. It’s spring here in Alabama, after all.

A black princess paper doll download featuring four colorful gowns and two pairs of shoes. Free from paperthinpersonas.com

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If today’s Monica princess color page needs some friends or more dresses, there’s literally dozens of options, but I think A Noble Lady, Pattern & Grace, Queen of Dusk and Book Loving Princess all make nice accompanying black and white paper doll sets as they are in a similar silhouette. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with deciding today’s Monica freelances as a circus performer or pirate, but I thought if people wanted more “princessy” looks than the four paper doll sets I mentioned above would work well. As many of you know, versatility is very important to me in my paper doll related activities, so I try to point out where one set might interrelate to another set.

After all, I don’t expect y’all to keep track of the 500 paper dolls on the site, especially since I can’t always keep track of them myself.

In case you’re wondering why both the color and the black and white version of today’s paper doll are being posted, there will be a post explaining ALL on Wenesday, or at least MOST. 🙂

It is nice to be back.

A Lady in Armor: A Female Knight Paper Doll

Logo- Lady in Armor Allow me to be blunt, I am not one of those people who gets upset about skimpy lady armor. I am far too big of a fan of Xena and Hercules for that, but I think there is a place in my fantasy world for skimpy armor and there is a place in my fantasy world for practical armor and mostly there is a place for stuff that falls in-between. Today’s paper doll is a female knight whose armor falls more into the practical camp than the skimpy armor camp.

But don’t worry skimpy armor fans, I’ve got a B&B set planned that falls into that camp, too.

I knew I was going to give my female knight short hair from the beginning, but that was because I originally had conceptions of drawing a helmet. Well, helmets are HARD, so instead we have her without a helmet, but with short hair. Actually, I think the paper doll, if not her clothing, could easily hop into the modern era and be a young stylish Black woman in 2016, but right she’s being a young stylish knight.

Because girl's sometimes have to rescue their princes, here's a lady knight paper doll with four pieces of mix and match armor, plus plenty of accessories. Free to print and color. From paperthinpersonas.com.

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One of the reasons I like armor sets is that coloring them is really fast. I mean, armor is silver. That’s it. Done.

Uncreative, well, perhaps, but still I like my projects simple and straight forward.

Because girl's slay dragons too, here's a female knight paper doll with four pieces of mix and match armor, plus plenty of accessories. From paperthinpersonas.com.

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Over the years, I have always struggled with chainmail. I think this chainmail is slightly better than some, but I worry its too obvious where I patched together my swatches of tiny circles. Also, is it chainmail, chainmaile, chain mail or chain maile? Does anyone know?

That has been bothering me as I write up this post.

Anyway, happy Friday, y’all. Have a safe wonderful weekend.

Suits for the Paper Doll Guys in Color

Marisole Monday & Friends Logo- Marcus Suits in color

It’s Monday! (I don’t feel nearly as excited about this as an exclamation point would suggest.)

Today, last week’s set of suits for my man paper dolls (specifically Marcus 2.0) get to rock some fun colors, okay, maybe not fun, exactly.

When it comes to color, modern men really don’t get a lot of options. Beyond a short stint in the 1960s and 1970s when a guy could show up in a red or purple suit, in the 20th century, men’s clothing is pretty much neutrals all around. So, today’s man paper doll got some rather simple navy and grey men’s suits.

It might not be the most “exciting” color choices, but they are wonderfully versatile if you find yourself unsure about what sort of suiting would be best.

Senational Suits is a man paper doll set including a young black man and two suits- one in gray and one in navy. Free to print from paperthinpersonas.com.

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There’s something very dashing to me about a man in a well cut suit. I don’t know what it is, but I love suits on men. I sometimes think I was born in the wrong era for men’s clothing. Hoodies and jeans are just so boring.

If you missed these paper doll suits in black and white for coloring, they’re over here. Also, if you’re unsure who Marcus 2.0 is, I’ve got a lovely guide to all that which I wrote last week after a reader request, proving that I do read comments and, sometimes, actually do what people ask.

I do sorta wish I drew some other hair for Marcus 2.0 here, but I just feel like men’s hair isn’t that exciting. It’s not unlike a lot of men’s clothing. How many ways can you style three inch hair? I mean, really. I’m sure there are nuances I don’t get. It wouldn’t be the first time.

Thoughts? Comments? Other men’s clothing you’d like to see? Drop me a note in the comments.

Hazel’s Futuristic Fashions: A Paper Doll Coloring Sheet

Mini Maidens Logo- Hazel's Futuristic Fashions See this is where I would LOVE to say that this was some grand plan of mine to counter balance my post-apocalyptic paper doll set from last Friday against today’s futuristic paper doll coloring sheet, except that I totally didn’t plan it out that well. I am NOT that organized- except when I am and on those occasions, expect bragging.

The truth is that I am out of backlog which is hyper rare for me and not very fun, so I literally was working on this paper doll set at 11:30 last night, trying to get it all saved and then woke up early this morning to write this post before work. I do not like working this way, Sam I am. I do not like it at all.

So, hopefully this weekend (during which I do not have to work), I will finally be able to sit down and work solidly for a few hours and get some paper dolls ready for blog food. For the blog is like a monster, as I once explained, and it hungers.

Today, it gets to snack on a futuristic fashion paper doll with thirteen pieces. I have to confess I was a little jealous of Boots “separate head” method of making paper dolls while I struggled to think about all these high necklines on these paper doll clothes. But I guess you can always print out too, cut one’s head off and glue it to the other paper doll if you like. What’s a little paper doll surgery among friends?

Hazel's Futuristic Fashions is a paper doll coloring sheet featuring a futuristic/sci-fi clothing. There's eleven pieces of clothing, including two pairs of boots. She's free to print from paperthinpersonas.com

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So, if the B&B paper doll last week was ready for the end of the world, I think today’s paper doll is much more about a semi-utopian future with glass dome houses, lots of white and probably space ships. You know, a very Star Trek kinda place.

To make her shirt on the left with the ridged shoulder, you’ll need to attach the floating tab, because the shoulder pieces stick out above the shoulder and otherwise the garment won’t fit properly. Just an FYI for everyone.

I have been seriously considering trying out Periscope to film myself maybe live inking a paper doll set? Is that something people would find interesting? Worth trying out or no?

The Man Paper Dolls Get their Suits! Finally, right?

A man paper doll with two suits and a pair of shoes. Free to print and color from paperthinpersonas.com. So, if I’ve had ONE major request of my man paper dolls, it was to have suits for them. I mean, yes, historical has been a common request, but suits have also been one of those things people seem to really want. And I get it, Marisole Monday & her female friends have some beautiful dresses (like this set and this set and… I could go on), so why wouldn’t we want a man paper doll with some fantastic suits to back them up.

And I gotta confess- Drawing suits is hard! I complained to my boyfriend about it and his reply was, “Try wearing them everyday.”

Yeah, not a lot of sympathy from that corner of the living room.

So, when I look at these suits for printable paper dolls, I see things I think I could have done better, but since drawing suits is hard and I am still learning, I have decided I am going to be proud and pleased of what I did rather than focus on what I wish I could change.

(Easier said than done, I know.)

A man paper doll with two suits and a pair of shoes. Free to print and color from paperthinpersonas.com.

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It was tough to decide what sorts of suits to draw for today’s printable paper doll. I knew I wanted to do two different styles (so Marcus and Mikhail could double date) and I didn’t want to deal with the whole “shirt tucks into the pants” thing. So, I kept it simple with a suit with a vest (can I confess that I have a THING for suits with vests? Love ’em) and a single breasted suit.

Despite what my costume history professor told me in grad school, men’s suits do have subtle nuanced changes they have gone through over the years. For example, right now both lapels and ties are very thin which I’m not that keen on. So my ties are a bit thicker than are really in style at the moment.

I avoided patterns on the ties, because I knew the knot in the tie would shift how the tie pattern ran and I didn’t want to think about that too hard. Lazy? Yeah, a little.

Anyway, as always, let me know what you think in a comment. 🙂

Essential Elegance: A Fashion Paper Doll in Color

Essential Elegance is a beautiful black paper doll with short hair and a 16 piece wardrobe including accessories.I’ll be among the first to confess that I am pretty matchy-matchy in my own dressing. I do want my shoes to match my purse and my belt. I realize that’s horribly old fashioned, but I just can’t help it. Unless I’m carrying like teal bag and then I can have on any shoes I want, but if I have a brown bag and black shoes, than I spend the whole day feeling discombobulated. (Dumb, perhaps, but true.) Anyway, I tend towards the same tendencies when designing paper doll clothes.

I think part of it is that the better the colors in the paper doll’s clothes match, than the more outfit options open up. It’s an issue of “playability” in my head. I want every Marisole Monday & Friends set to have a doll and paper doll clothes that could stand alone and be fun by itself. I mean, we all have gotten paper doll sets and cut them all out and then be sad when we realize that really there’s only a few clothing options.

However, I also want every set to be able to share with the other sets. That’s the main reason why, for example, all the Marisole Monday & Friends paper dolls share the same pose. If they can’t share than what’s the point?

Essential Elegance is a beautiful black paper doll with short hair and a 16 piece wardrobe including accessories. Free to Print from paperthinpersonas.com

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When selecting colors for today’s Monica paper doll, I close to go with a lighter brown for her skin, because I liked how it looks with the lime green. The red top and the white dress were the two pieces that inspired the whole set of paper doll clothes, so it wasn’t hard to decide to keep them their base colors. The blue was choosen to tone down the bright red and it’s strong contrast with the bright green.

Personally, my favorite part of the set is how the white and black booties came out, but that’s just me.

As always, I’d love to hear what anyone things in the comments and if you like the blog, support it on Patreon.

Essential Elegance: Fashion Paper Doll Celebrating Minimalism

A black fashion paper doll celebrating minimalism with a 15 piece wardrobe of contemporary styles. Let me start with something wonderfully basic about my paper dolls: I do not believe paper dolls should be frumpy. Okay, maybe if that’s the theme you’re going for, than I suppose they can be. However, I think paper dolls about fashion should, you know, actually be fashionable. So, if I am going to draw fashion paper dolls, I am going to try to actually pick a fashion style and go for it.

Way to many “fashion model” paper doll sets end up with rather horrible outfits. I mean, I get it. They are for kids and, let’s be honest, kids have ideas of fashion that are a little unsophisticated. Being not a kid, I feel like fashion and paper dolls should combine to make something delightful.

And, of course, fun to play with.

All this brings us to Monica who is rocking a fantastic wardrobe of minimalist pieces from the Fall Fashion magazines. I’ve done one minimalist fashion paper doll before- Mia Goes Minimalist. I think Monica’s outfits are a little more fancy than Mia’s were.

A black fashion paper doll celebrating minimalism with a 15 piece wardrobe of contemporary styles. Free to print and color from paperthinpersonas.com

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I suppose if you weren’t feeling minimalist, than these could also fall into the futuristic fashion category (especially the dress on the far right). I confess that dress, which I think was in InStyle, inspired the whole paper doll set. Not gonna lie. I just wanted an excuse to draw it.

I do feel like I’ve drawn a few of these pieces “before”, but then I suppose since I’ve gotten to something like 200 Marisole Monday & Friends designs, if things didn’t feel familiar than I would be doing something wrong. (Also, how many ways can you draw a pair of simple trousers? Not that many.)

Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day to everyone in the US! I’d say this paper doll was thematic, but I really don’t think she is.

Anyhow, I’m always up for feedback in the comments and, of course, do please support the blog if you love it through Patreon.