Circus Paper Doll in Black, White, Red, and Pink

Marisole Monday and Friends Logo and Link to free printable Marisole Monday paper doll based on circuses Last week, the circus came to town in black and white for coloring, but here the paper doll set is in full color. I am really very pleased with how she came out. Sometimes, I know what I am doing with a paper doll set before I start coloring. Other times, I have no idea what I am going do with colors. In this paper doll’s case, I had a pretty clear idea of where I was going to go before I got there.

One thing I noticed as I was collecting images on my Dark Circus Pinterest board was that there was a bunch of red and black. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with the red and black, but I knew there was going to be a lot of it.

Creating a red and black paper doll set was kind a boring, so I did not go with a strictly red and black color scheme (though there is a lot of black and white here).


Printable paper doll in black and white inspired by circuses
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With straight red, black and white, I got bored very quickly and worried about the scheme clashing with the paper dolls pink hair. Instead, I decided to try basically creating two sets in one. There is a black and red set and also a pink and black set. Both sets had a pair of shoes and there are some pieces which can be worn with either color scheme.

I think this effect of “two sets” in one works, because circuses are all about costumes and costumes tend to match more than normal clothing.

Akemi, A Fantasy Warrior Paper Doll

Image link to a printable female warrior paper doll with armor and weapons in color or black and white Today’s paper doll is named for a very close friend of mine in childhood named Akemi. Akemi was a very talented singer and dancer. Also, her family kept ducks.

The ducks got carried off by bald eagles on a rather regular basis.

And Akemi had all of the She-ra action figures including the horse and the cloud palace. I can not express how jealous I was of this She-ra collection. Hours were spent in her backyard feeding ducks, chasing off eagles who wanted to eat the ducks, and having epic She-ra battles.

So, when I was looking for a good name for my fantasy warrior paper doll, I immediately thought of Akemi and She-ra.

I’ve no idea what happened to Akemi. (Also, I’m not positive she didn’t spell her name Akimi, but I think it was Akemi. Now, this is going to bug me… Short of getting my mother to pull my old middle school year book from storage, there is no way to easily answer that question.)

Printable female warrior paper doll with armor and weapons in black and white for coloring
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Moving away from my childhood for a moment, today’s paper doll is a fantasy warrior with five mix and match clothing pieces, two pairs of shoes and some serious weapons. I’ve done a lot of swords, axes and spears, so I wanted to some crazy scythe like thing. I don’t think it would be a very practical weapon in the real world, but it does look cool.

And fantasy warriors should get cool looking weapons.

Of course, if she needs more weapons than she can borrow them from Rebecca Grace, Latanya, Robynn, Astrid, Kelli, or Philippa to name some of my weapon wielding Pixie paper dolls.

Printable female warrior paper doll in color
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All in all, I am pleased with the color scheme I ended up with.I knew I wanted to use red and gold, cliche though they are, for her armor. I added black and cream for contrast after trying out brown and disliking how it looked with the red. Her hair changed color several times over the course of deciding on the black and blond dip dye look (for a while it was red and blond, also blue briefly).

That is all I have to say about that. Enjoy the paper doll.

Victorian Ballerina Printable Paper Doll from the 1880s

Marisole Monday and Friends Logo and Link to free printable Marisole Monday paper doll based on the historical period of 1880s in black and white or in color Oh man, what to say about the last few days…

Well, I have been working on backend server CPU issues with my shared hosting service. Nothing really serious, but stuff that has to be dealt with for the blog hosting to continue to be cheap enough for me to justify continuing to keeping it online and free.

Still, I owed a paper doll to my last drawing winner, Lina of Lina’s Historical Paper Dolls, and I was not about to put off finishing that for another week, because I would keep feeling guilty about it.

Lina requested an 1880s period Marisole Monday & Freinds paper doll with a ballet outfit and several other dresses. I had some trouble getting all the pieces to fit on a single page, so I omitted some shoes from the image.

Should you want proper shoes to go with this set, then I recommend checking out On the Board Walk in color or black and white or Mia Goes to the Bathing Place in color or black and white. Both of those sets both have button up style boots which, while not period, are close enough to not look totally awkward.


Victorian ballerina paper doll with a swimming costume, a ballgown and a tutu
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Lina was kind enough to send me reference photos and specific colors for the hair, skin and eyes of the paper doll, but left the color scheme mostly up to me. I wanted to use some rich colors, because by the 1880s chemical dyes were common and rich colors were very much instyle. There is a habit to think of the 19th century as sepia colored, because of sepia photos, but it was actually a rather garish era.

At least post, chemical dyes being invented.


Victorian ballerina paper doll with a swimming costume, a ballgown and a tutu
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So, Lina also asked for a tutu based on this painting by Degas. The painting dates from 1871, a little earlier than the other costumes in the set. I omitted the sash, since I based the dress on the center figure. I don’t think the layers of the skirts really look like tulle, which bothers me. Liana has some great tulle on her blog.

The ballgown was based on this fashion plate. The gown was red, but I made it peacock blue based on a description in English Women’s Clothing in the 19th Century by Wilett-Cunnington that mentioned peacock blue ballgowns. I hate drawing lace, but it came out all right, I suppose.

The last two outfits are a swimming costume and a house dress. Old swimming costumes were extremely complicated and not very easy to swim in. Generally, I think of them as wadding costumes. Lina sent me this picture and I based it off that.

The house dress is classic 1880s style with bustle, drawn up skirt and long pleats. It’s a pretty typical gown for its period. Lina sent me this photo and I based the dress off of it. I omitted the pattern on the dress, because I knew it would reproduce poorly in the small scale of the paper doll set.

And that, as they say, is that.

If you haven’t ever checked out Lina’s blog, Lina’s Historical Paper Dolls than I recommend taking the time to do so. She makes wonderfully interesting historical paper dolls.

A Paper Doll And Her Full Color Ball Gowns to Print

Marisole Monday and Friends Logo and Link to free printable Marisole Monday paper doll with ballgowns inspired by Wa and Qi Lolita styles As I explained with the black and white version of today’s paper doll set, both of these dresses are based on Wa lolita and Qi lolita fashions. I really find fusions of different cultures fashions fascinating, plus sometimes drawing absurd dresses make me happy and Mia doesn’t get as much love as I think she should.

When I draw in black and white, I sometimes dread coloring, especially when the coloring means hyper detailed patterns like those in today’s paper doll. I’ve been doing more playing with color and pattern lately. I like patterns, but they are a lot of work. Even though I usually just draw one motif and use Photoshop to manipulate it on each dress. The size of these pattern motifs made their placement on the dresses important. Though I wanted it to feel organic, I also wanted the detail of the complex patterns to shine through.

No point in drawing complex things if no one can appreciate them, after all. In my mind, that’s like sewing a fantastic wardrobe for an ugly doll… why bother?


Asian paper doll to print with two ballgowns based Wa Lolita and Qi Lolita styles

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I based the color scheme on this kimono which I found online. Everytime I reference kimono, I am reminded of the fantastic posts on Liana’s Paper Doll Blog about Japanese dress. She’s far more an expert of this topic than I.

Personally, I thought it was very a beautiful kimono and I really liked the color combination. What looks black isn’t actually black, it is a very dark purple-red color. I used the same color for her hair. I like doing that, because I think a color scheme should be about making a harmonious set.

Every set should be a complete work, rather than just a collection of clothing pieces and should be able to stand alone, even if it is part of a larger collection of paper dolls.

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. :)

Meet The New Poppet Paper Doll – Posey

Poppet Posey in her School Clothes Logo So, here I am kicking off June with a new Poppet paper doll named Posey.

I’d originally intended to give all my Poppets flower names beginning with P; however, I find I am rather running out of them. The only other two I can think of are Pansy (which I would use, except for that fact that it’s a rather derogatory name for an effeminate man and I just don’t like the connotation) or Peony which I will use one day, but calling the Asian paper doll Peony seemed horribly stereotypical. So, this leaves me with Posey for our new paper doll.

Anyone know of any other P flower names? I suppose I could branch out (pardon the pun) into other P girl’s names or simply other flower names.

Full color Poppet Paper Doll clothes

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Now, Posey’s outfit is based, very vaguely, on a some of the school uniforms I saw when I was studying in England, though it lacks the jacket. I drew the blouse first and I didn’t want to lose the sleeve detail by sticking it under a jacket.

Poor excuse, perhaps, but true none the less.

I confess that I’m not totally pleased with how the skin tone turned out… I recolored it at the last minute, because the other skin tone was horrible. Still, I don’t know how much I like it.

All in all, it’s really good to be back. :)

April Showers in Full Color

Marisole Monday and Friends Logo and Link to free printable Marisole Monday paper doll First of all, I want to wish a Happy Birthday to my sister without whom I would not have ever started collecting paper dolls. She is the one who bought me my Christopher Columbus Paper Doll Set when I was eight and suggested it was too nice to cut up. This started my uncut paper doll collection.

So, thanks Sis. I love you.

And, speaking of paper dolls… here is last week’s paper doll in cheerful full color. I am pretty pleased with everything about her, except my concerns about her mix and match limited wardrobe. I really like how the rainbow shirt came out and the rain-boots and the bright yellow rain slicker, but I’m still feeling that the mix and match options are a trifle limited.

On the other hand, I’ve done enough plain colored tops over the years that surely there’s something that would match. :)

The playabilty (is that a word?) of a paper doll set is always a major concern of mine. One of the reasons I work in series is because I think it’s more fun to have lots of little ladies and lads who can share clothing, than to have a bunch of paper dolls who can’t. (Of course, I also do it because drawing people is the hardest part of this gig.) There are times I confess that I fantasize about transforming this blog into one where I just posted one outfit a day, everyday.

Someone told me they thought that would be more work than what I do now… honestly, I’m not sure. I think it would depend on how much I had to write about the outfit in question. Post writing is sometimes harder than drawing, to be honest.


Thumbnail link image printable paper doll

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Another little side project I’ve been working on is a magnetic paper doll for a three year old I recently met. Now, I need some help with this as I do not have children of my own…

How large would pieces need to be for a three year old to easily manipulate them? I want to be sure that she can play with her paper doll friend on her own without needing too much assistance from her mother. Thoughts from those with kids or experience with toddlers?

Lastly, there will be a contest coming up, probably towards the end of the month. So, keep your eyes open for that.

Regency Pixies and Happy Birthday Hans Christian Andersen

Today, in honor of Han Christian Andersen who was born in 1805, we have two regency pixies and their wardrobe. This is the last big Pixie set for a while, though I do have some one page Pixie paper dolls in the works that I am looking forward to sharing. I don’t think I’ll do another multipage set for a while. They are a lot of work.

Theses paper doll’s dresses are from about 1800 to about 1815, or so. The latest one being the morning dress with the neck ruff looking thing for Lydia (or Emma, either doll can wear the dreses) which was popular for a while though I find the style a little absurd, myself.


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There is a tendency to make everything in this period white, as that’s what fashion plates usually show, but women aren’t stupid and there are plenty of dark fabrics with prints that were popular for day dresses. They don’t show stains as much as white (does anything show stains as much as white?) and they could go longer between washingings. There’s also a tendency to talk about women being out of corsets. This was sort of true, but as anyone with boobs can tell you, having no support is darn painful.

{Click Here for a PDF of Lydia in Color} {Click Here for a 150 dpi PNG of Lydia in Color} {Click Here for a PDF of Lydia to Color} {Click Here for a 150 dpi PNG of Lydia to Color}

Since bonnets were going to be featured in this set (and I do confess I’m not very good at drawing bonnets), I knew I had to keep both of the paper dolls hair close to their heads. Lydia, above, has a braid and Emma, also above, just has her hair pulled back somehow. I imagine it in a neat bun, but whatever.

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It was important to me to give these dolls some clothes, so I decided to do a separate sheet for their dresses. After all, one dress hardly makes a very fun paper doll. So, here is a riding habit, a few day dresses, a ballgown and one of the cropped spencer jackets which I’ve always liked. As for other regency paper dolls, there’s always Flora of the Regency, and two Marisole Monday & Friends sets- Empire Elegance and Regency Romance.

Thoughts? Do the Pixies need more historic outfits?

Captain Mannequin

Thumbnail of the printable paper doll clothes When I started the Ms Mannequin paper doll series, my goal was to draw primary contemporary clothing. I had high plans of doing stylish designers and other things. Maybe dabbling a little into vintage Dior, but mostly being contemporary. The dolls were designed to be models, not curvy at all, so they could wear the contemporary styles.

However, it wasn’t long before I was sketching and suddenly pirates reared their heads and demanded to be drawn. I ignored them for a while, but soon they were saying, “DRAW US.”

And I said, “Okay. No need to shout.”

And so this pirate set was born.

What can I say? I like pirates. I feel like there’s nothing “new” about this pirate set though, so I’m not sure it’s my best set. Still… sometimes you just have to draw pirates.

black and white printable paper doll clothes for Ms Mannequin paper doll series

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By the way, I’m doing site clean up, sometime I do every Jan/Feb to tidy up categories, fix things that seem broken and a little spring cleaning is done. So, things might be morphing and changing around here in subtle ways. Nothing to worry about, just me tidying up my files. :)

Poppets go Medieval… sorta…

Thumbnail of the printable paper doll clothes When I first drew the Poppets paper dolls, I knew I wanted to do historical costumes. This isn’t historically accurate by the way, but it does have a 1300s flair, I think. One of the reasons I steer clear of certain periods of history is that I feel like I don’t know enough about them. I am familiar enough with Victorian and 18th century costume that I feel fairly comfortable simplifying it without losing it’s authenticity, but I know very little about clothing in Europe before 1400.

As a result, I tend to categorize my forays into the “medieval” look as fantasy, rather than history. It keeps me from feeling guilty about not really knowing what I’m doing. However, Gwendolyn asked for a paper doll of a 10th century Anglo-Saxon when she won my drawing last week, so I guess I better learn something about the 10th century.

In the meantime, here’s a Poppet Medieval outfit strictly in the realm of fantasy being modeled by Petunia.

Full color Poppet Paper Doll clothes

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I’m also really pleased to say I’ve recently stumbled across a new paper doll blog called Paper is Suffcient. It’d a new blog, so go over there, check it out and drop Natalie a comment. We need all the paper doll blogs we can get. :)

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