Marcus as Airship Mechanic Paper Doll

Printable paper doll of a steampunk inspired airship mechanic I play Pathfinder, a Dungeons and Dragons like game, most Friday nights with a group of friends at a local game shop. Generally, I have to know what my character is wearing before I can actually play the character.

Weird, but true.

Clothing is a direct expression of how my character thinks and functions in the world. Some people think about their characters in terms of unique weapons or speech patterns, I think about my characters in terms of what sort of shoes they would choose while trekking through a ruin.

Years ago, I discovered the work of Sheryl A Knowles who drew paper dolls of her RPG characters. Just by looking at the outfits of the paper dolls, I knew the sorts of characters she was creating.

I rarely draw my own characters (here’s an exception), but when I work on a paper doll set, I want to convey the world and personality through the paper doll outfits.

A printable steampunk inspired airship mechanic paper doll.
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Marcus here is a mechanic. So, his clothing is utilitarian. The double breasted vest is in his “good” clothes, with a belt for his money pouch and a decorative pointless armband. His tie is loose. His other brown vest is more of a work outfit. He wears vests to keep grease off his shirts. With this outfit, his tie is tucked up, so that it doesn’t get caught in machines. He’s on his feet a lot, so he has two pairs of boots. The cap keeps his dreads from getting in the way while he’s working (because hair in engines = pain) and his leather satchel is where he stores his tools. Work gloves, a scarf for cold weather and some tools complete the set.

You can also tell a little about Marcus’ personality here. His dreads are decorated with beads and I know from people who have them that dreads take some maintenance. Clearly, he’s someone who cares about how he looks. Is he perhaps somewhat of a ladies man?

Paper doll sets can be tiny windows into lives and worlds. That’s part of the fun.

Marcus as Airship Mechanic

Printable paper doll coloring page For those of you who don’t know this, I generally write these posts the day before they go live. The idea is that they post will go live at midnight on the day it’s scheduled. I don’t always succeed in that goal, but that, never the less, is the goal.

Tonight while I write this post for tomorrow it is pouring rain outside. Not slightly drizzling or thinking about raining, but actually torrents of water. I love nights like this, but they make me want to do thing except wrap up in a blanket and drink tea… which is not an impossible wish to achieve on a Sunday night.

A printable steampunk inspired airship mechanic coloring page.
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In a world with steam engines and airships, Marcus knew from a young age he wanted to be on those ships. Growing up in the Caribbean, freight vessels came into port and he always hung around to listen to stories of far way lands. So, as soon as he was old enough, he ran away and got a job on one of the airships and worked his way up from errand boy to head mechanic.

By and large, I don’t write stories for my paper dolls, but somehow this character made sense to me and I thought I would share. Over the years, I have always admired Liana’s wonderful stories for her paper doll outfits. I am trying to branch out a bit in my blog habits, so I would love to know if people like the ideas of forays into fiction.

Greta’s Trousseau: Traveling Suit and Evening Attire

It has been a while since we’ve had to visit to Greta’s Trousseau. I have had these drawn for a few mnths and it has been taking me a long time to get my act together and sort out the adding of tabs. I loath having to add tabs, but it’s easier to add them than to remove them later for the fashion plates and I do like putting together the fashion plates.

Thumbnail of the printable paper doll clothes

So, in this page of Greta’s ever expanding trousseau, there is a ballgown which also has a more conservative long sleeved bodice. Dresses with two bodices were very common in the 19th century. Most “gowns” of the period are actually a top and a separate skirt. This women’s dress from the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston has an evening bodice and a day bodice. I imagine that Greta’s dress is more of a “ballgown” and then “dinner-dress” sort of arrangement.

Her traveling attire has two major outfits. One is a pair of bloomers with a blouse and hat for exploring or slightly rough and tumble travel. The other is a crisp traveling suit with a jacket, skirt and gaiters (or really long spats). These pieces can be mixed and matched for other outfit combinations, of course.


Thumbnail link image printable paper doll

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In total, this takes Greta’s Trousseau to over fifty outfit pieces and seventeen outfits. Technically, based on my paper doll outfit math than there’s about 1300 outfit combinations, more if you include hats, of course. I don’t actually think most of those outfit combinations make a lot of sense, but it was fun to work out how many existed. Greta’s Trousseau isn’t over, by any means. There are more sporting outfits to be finished (including a really cute croquet dress) and a set of clothing for seaside visits which includes a scuba suit, complete with helmet.

For anyone whose interested, here is the rest of Greta’s paper trousseau.

Circus Paper Doll for Coloring

Marisole Monday and Friends Logo and Link to free printable Marisole Monday paper doll based on circuses Marisole’s gone to the circus this monday, complete with makeup.

I have mixed feelings about circuses truth be told. Sometimes I like them and sometimes I find them deeply creepy. I’m not afraid of clowns or anything, but there is something slightly off dark and strange that runs through the whole idea of circuses and carnivals.

So, I’ve been drawing paper dolls for a long time and I always expect to run out of the ideas, but then I run into new things on a fairly regular basis that I want to do or try out. I don’t know that I’ve ever really done anything like this set. I started collecting circus images that I liked on Dark Circus Pinterest board and then eventually those images evolved into this set of doodles which evolved into this paper doll set.


Printable paper doll in black and white inspired by circuses
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I was going for fashion as much as reality with these outfits. I can’t imagine a clown wearing such insane high heels, for example. My Dark Circus board where I was collecting images evolved into being as much about fashion as it was about circuses.

I’m nervous about coloring this set. I was going to go strictly black and red, but then I really want her to have pink hair.

Problem, will the pink hair clash with the red and black? I just don’t know. Guess the only way to find out is to start coloring.

Margot in Wonderland… Full Color Paper Doll to Print

Marisole Monday and Friends Logo and Link to free printable Marisole Monday paper doll based on Alice's Adventures in Wonderland I spent a chunk of my weekend coloring my Margot in Wonderland paper doll from last week. Today, Margot gets to be a blond and has, of course, a wardrobe of Alice inspired paper clothing pieces. As I mentioned last week, I’ve been inspired by Alice many times before and drawn her many times over the years.

After some time I decided to go with a jewel tone color scheme that was a bit bright. I wanted to capture the richness of color that could be captured with color lithography from the 19th century. I was also heavily inspired by this Lolita outfit. I really loved the rich colors since they are not the pastels or black that I normally associate with Lolita fashion.

As I mentioned with my Turn of the Century Pixie Paper Doll, I often collect ideas on my Pinterest boards, so you can check out the Lolita board I keep to see where some of these outfit pieces came from. Nothing was directly taken, but I find ideas and inspiration makes drawing paper dolls faster and easier than it would be without them.


paper doll to print based on Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

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The top hat’s floating tab is meant to be attached using the same method as I outlined in my instructions for attaching wigs and hats to paper dolls. This is one of my favorite methods of doing wig and hat attachment for the paper dolls I design and so I use it often.

By the way, yesterday I put up a new Featured Paper Doll Artist interview with Irma of Pabernukublogi. Check it out when you have a chance. :)

Margot in Wonderland… Printable Paper Doll to Color

Marisole Monday and Friends Logo and Link to free printable Marisole Monday paper doll I have been traveling a lot over the last three months. One trip every month which has made for scattered time for myself. I’ve mentioned many times on this blog that I normally work from a long backlog and that having a backlog of paper dolls allows me to plan my life.

Well… I’m out of backlog, so the fact that today’s paper doll happened was a shcok to me. I did not think I would get her done, but I am pleased that I did.

Alice in Wonderland paper dolls are something I have drawn before. I think in total I have done three paper dolls that I’ve posted.

Today’s paper doll version of Alice in Wonderland uses Margot, whose been a bit neglected. Her costumes owe a lot to both Neo-Victorian and Lolita styles.


printable full color paper doll with summer beach clothing

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I had an awful lot of fun putting together the rabbit pattern and the card pattern for the two skirts. I attempted to draw a more realistic top hat than I have in the past, but I’m not pleased with it. There’s something off about the perspective, I think. However, I shall eventually get over my problems with hats. I just have to keep trying, so expect to see more hats.

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass are books I love, but that I don’t think have aged very well in many ways. The general lack of agency for Alice, not to mention the fact that most of the jokes don’t really resonate with modern life (how many of us had to recite in school? I mean… really?), means that when most of us think of Alice, we think of iconic characters and symbols without actually remembering the story. The Cheshire Cat, the Mad Hatter, or Dweedle-Dee and Dweedle-Dum are all so familiar it hardly matters that the Mad Hatter is a reference to the mercury poisoning common to men in that profession during the Victorian era.

Viola, A Paper Doll to Print from the 1890s

We’re traveling to the turn of the century today for Viola, a printable paper doll with her wardrobe from 1895 and 1900. She can be printed in black and white or in full color. Viola’s name was  selected from the Social Security Baby Name Index as popular in the 1890s. Fashion in the mid to late 1890’s exists between huge puffed sleeves and the rather horrid pigeon breasted look. Not being a fan of either style, I never thought I would do 1890s paper doll, but I found I liked the fashions at the end of the century, so here she is.

Honestly, the way I look at history has been heavily influenced by the historical paper dolls I had as a child, sparking my interest in social history and fashion history. So, I think historical paper dolls are great printable paper dolls for kids and I’ve only recently discovered that a number of people who use my paper dolls for home schooling activities. All of this increases the pressure to get the paper doll “right”, lest some child’s understanding of 1890’s dress be damaged by my paper doll creation. (Not that I think this would be devastating for the child in question- there are far worse things in this world.)


Viola, a printable paper doll from the 1890s in black and whiteViola's wardrobe, a printable paper doll from the 1890s in black and white{Download a PDF to Print and Color of the Paper Doll} {Download a PNG to Print and Color of the Paper Doll} {Download a PDF to Print and Color of the Paper Doll’s Clothes} {Download a PNG to Print and Color of the Paper Doll’s Clothes} {Click Here for More Pixie and Puck Printable Paper Dolls}

The mid to late 1890s wardrobe that Viola has is based on museum objects, primarily, and a few costume plates. The Met, The Museum at FIT and MFA Boston, as well as the UK National Trust were a few of my sources. When I am researching a new paper doll, I tend to collect my sources on my Pinterest boards (feel free to follow) and today’s printable paper doll is no exception. I gathered her clothing sources on my Turn of the Century board, before I started drawing.

Viola, a printable paper doll from the 1890s in full colorViola's Wardrobe, a printable paper doll from the 1890s in full color
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The Sources, Left to Right: The pair of shoes from the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston from 1898. Her corset was an amalgamation of several corsets which you can see on my Turn of the Century pinterest board, however, this corset from 1900 and another corset from 1900 were big influences. I chickened out of making the corset patterned, a fact I regret.

One of her parasols was based on this one, but the other I rather invented based on a lot of various parasols I looked at. The Met actually has a really large collection of parasols, who knew?

Her seaside or yachting costume was inspired by this dress from 1895. There seems to have been a real “sailor” trend in the end of the Victorian period during the bridge into Edwardian.

A visiting or afternoon dress based on a gown from the National Trust Collections of the UK.

The carriage toilette in green is from this fashion plate I found on flickr, though I confess to usually trying to avoid finding things on flickr, since I don’t always trust the accuracy of the sources.

Her gym suit is based on this French one with the shoes borrowed from this gymsuit from 1893-1898.

The ballgown comes from a design by The House of Doucet circa 1898-1900.

Were I to draw today’s historical paper doll again, I would have included a pair of gloves and another pair of shoes, but that would have made her three pages and I wasn’t about to that. Of course, should you wish to add gloves, than I will direct your attention to the Regency Pixie Paper Dolls whose gloves could certainly be adapted here.

Greta’s Trousseau: Operas and More…

In the continuing epic of Greta’s Trousseau, today we have a bunch of outfits designed to help Greta do more mundane activities than fencing or hunting. Like any fashionable neo-victorian lady, Greta simply must have a costume for all occasions and her trousseau provides.

Thumbnail of the printable paper doll clothes

Today’s outfit set includes an opera toilette which fitted into a rather odd spot in the ladies wardrobe. Opera attire and ballgowns were both considered to be full dress (the most formal sort), but opera outfits usually included some sort of cloak (which I have omitted because eventually I’ll do a whole set of outerwear) and some sort of hat or headdress. I’ve also noticed that they seem to be a little more fanciful than other costumes. Greta’s consists of an off the shoulder top with a boned bodice, a floral decorated top hat and a full skirt without a train. She wears matching shoes.

Her promenade costume and visiting attire would have both been semi-formal wear. The promenade costume features a military influenced jacket where as the visiting attire is softer and more lady-like. Both outfits have matching hats. Her only costume without a hat is her tea dress which she could have worn while receiving guests in her own home and therefore wearing a hat would have been odd. Changing the bodice and adding a hat, turns this outfit into a walking suit, less formal than a promenade costume but with the same military influences.

Hmm… I really should have drawn her a parasol. I shall have to do that in the future.


Thumbnail link image printable paper doll

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All of the shoes, except the ones with the opera costume, are “borrowed” for the other sets in Greta’s Trousseau. I just find that I can only draw so many pairs of button up boots in one sitting, though I will be doing more shoes as we expand Greta’s activities. I know I need do to some winter boots for her and she’ll be needing some for the seaside as well.

Here is the rest of Greta’s paper trousseau. I am looking forward to adding more to it as time permits.

Fairytales Flock: Robin as Cinderella

Cinderella's Outfit Options Wow, it’s been a while since I posted one of these paper dolls, hasn’t it? My last set was East of the Sun, West of the Moon which I was quite proud of. I took a little break from the Flock dolls and now I’ve returned with a Cinderella set. To be honest, my return was partly inspired by Paper Doll School’s fairytale paper dolls and by the Toy Box Philosopher’s wonderful reviews of the Ever After High dolls that Mattel is making (though they include characters that are not fairytale characters… Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is NOT a fairytale…)

Anyway, for my Cinderella, I decided to stick to the Grimm version of the tale where Cinderella is a little more proactive. The Grimm version of the tale includes three balls, no pumpkin, lots of birds and eventually people cutting off parts of their feet (ewww). Actually, like a lot of Grimm tales it is a pretty… well… Grimm tale.

One of the challenges of all the fairytale Flock sets is trying to figure out which parts of the tale make logical symbols for the paper doll set. For Cinderella, I chose to use birds and clocks as my two thematic elements, since both play a major role in the tale of Cinderella.

Fairytale Flock: Robin as Cinderella
Thumbnail Image of Magnetic Paper Dolls-Cinderella Thumbnail Image of Magnetic Paper Dolls- Cinderella
Robin as Cinderella Doll PDF Download Cinderella’s Clothing PDF Download

Steampunk Pixie in Pink named Shirin

Things to say about today’s printable paper doll… It is my first Pixie paper doll in a while. She’s two pages and has a distinctly steampunk inspired wardrobe. If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you might remember the sketchbook post back in April of 2013 when I showed off the inked version of this set.

Wow… this was a long time coming, wasn’t it?

Shirin, in my continuing search for names I haven’t used ever, is a Persian name meaning “sweet”. Continuing the theme, her coloring is based on the Iranian actress Nazanin Boniadi, except with really curly hair, because I love curly hair and I’m trying to practice drawing it. You can expect to see more curly hair in the future on the blog.

Oh, and her clothing has nothing to do with Persia. I tried to think of a connection after I decided to base her coloring on Nazanin Boniadi, but I don’t have one as her clothing is distinctly Western without a hint of influence from the Middle East and is mostly based on the clothing of young men in the early 20th century.


{Click Here for a PDF of Shirin to Color} {Click Here for a 150 dpi PNG of Shirin to Color} {Click Here for a PDF of Shirin’s Wardrobe to Color} {Click Here for a 150 dpi PNG of Shirin’s Wardrobe to Color}

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Oh, and as sometimes happens when I saved these images for the web, Photoshop did odd things to the colors. I recommend looking at the PDF version of Shirin and Shirin’s Wardrobe to see what I really intended the color scheme to look like. Partly this was a challenge to do a steampunkish set without the color brown. Harder than it looks, actually… because the line between goth and steampunk is often one of color, not design. That, however, is a whole different discussion for another day.

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