Introduction: Easy 3D Paper Doll With Moving Joints

Picture of Easy 3D Paper Doll With Moving Joints

This paper doll template is a result of a good deal of research and trial-and-error.

I wanted to make marionettes out of paper and was annoyed at how impossible it was to find paper puppets which have movable limbs. Anything I found was either very square and blocky, or made out of so many tiny little parts that it would take days to make.

This design is simple and requires a lot less cutting out than Pepakura based options, which means it takes a lot less time to assemble. With a bit of practice, you could do it in under an hour.

You can even design your own hairstyles for them to make boy and girl puppets!

You will need:
- A printer
- Thick paper or card (I find 210gsm works best. Standard printer paper will still work but the doll will be a little on the flimsy side)
- A needle and white thread
- A hole punch (optional but your life will be easier if you hav

The attached PDF comes with all the pieces you need on a single page, plus two pages of instructions. If you print the page out bigger, you will get a bigger doll. I use A3 card, but A4 will still work.

I needed these dolls to be puppets. I hot glued kebab skewers to the hands and feet, and used a rod from below to hold up the spine, and made films with this doll!
You can choose to string them or otherwise, but I found my strings got tangled and skewers were the best method for inexperienced puppeteers.

I've made two films using variations on this method, which are available here if you'd like to see the end result:
Keeping Station
A Grave Mistake


MarcioWilges (author)2014-12-10

I'd like to find out how durable the moving dolls are! The fact that they are made of paper is impressive but doesn't give me much confidence that they'll last long.

Cymae (author)MarcioWilges2014-12-10

Well, we spent 3 days of very hard filming with them and then also used
them again the next year. If you use the card rather than the paper
they're quite durable. The fact that you sew on the joints rather than
glue them together actually means everything stays attached remarkably
well. We spent about 6 hours filming pickups. I had to re-sew one leg,
but other than that it was fine. By the end of the day bits of them were
rumpled, but I had replacement limbs handy that I didn't really use.

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