Introduction: Make a Paper Doll Costume
Finalist in the
Halloween Easy Costumes Challenge
I loved playing with paper dolls as a kid, and so the idea of dressing up like a life-size paper doll made me smile. This costume is easy to make, even if you don't think you can draw. It's super cheap to make, and the best part is you can create the outfit of your paperdoll's dreams!
I got the supplies at the dollar store (and from my stash).
1 or 2 sheets of white poster board, $1 ($.50 each at Dollar Tree)
Clean clothes to trace, on hand
Paint and paintbrushes, on hand
1/4" elastic, $1 or so
Stapler and staples
Headband (optional), on hand or $1
Total Cost: $2 and up
Time for construction: About 1 hour, including paint drying time.
Step 1: Step 1: Trace Clothing
Lay posterboard out on work surface. Lay clothing (dress, jeans, shirt, etc.) out on posterboard. Trace around clothing with pencil. For this example, we made one big flat dress, but for comfort and movement's sake, it is better if you separate any clothing at the waist and keep two separate parts (a top and a bottom).
You can trace any clothing you want. Just remember to draw on a couple of strategically-located rectangular "tabs" - at shoulders and sides. This is crucial for selling the paper doll idea!
After you're done tracing, don't forget to draw on realistic details like buttons, zippers, bows, lace, seams, etc.
Trace over pencil with a thick-tipped black marker.
Step 2: Step 2: Paint Clothing
Paint the drawing, filling in with color, but leave the tabs white. Feel free to get creative with color combinations.
Let the paint dry.
When paint is dry, cut clothing out around the outside outline.
Step 3: Step 3: Attach Straps
To add shoulder straps, cut two pieces of elastic, about 8" long and then staple the end of elastic to top of shoulder area on costume. Be sure elastic is securely attached, with staple going through elastic. Staple other end near armpit. Repeat for other arm strap.
Add an elastic strap at the waist using the same technique. The piece of elastic should be as wide as the waist, with 2" added.
For pants, add a waistband strap, and straps at the ankles.
Step 4: Step 4: Make a Paper Doll Headband
To make a headpiece, lay headband on poster board and draw (in pencil) a bow along the contour of the headband. Add tabs to ends of bow, as well as underneath bow. Trace over pencil with thick-tipped black marker.
Color and cut as you did in Step 2.
To attach bow to headband, fold lower tabs around headband and tape to back of bow.
Step 5: Tips
Treat Bucket Idea: Tape a flat jack-o'-lantern treat bucket with tabs to a paper grocery bag to create a perfect Halloween paper doll accessory.
Paint brush: Use a large foam paintbrush to quickly cover your outfit with paint, or use a sponge to create a textured look (this is great for jeans).
Best paints for this project: acrylic craft paint, tempera or poster paint. Bright, bold colors are best for this project.
What to Wear Under Your Costume: Wear neutral clothing underneath your paper doll costume. A white or black shirt and jeans or leggings would be a great choice. Wear shoes that compliment the paper doll's outfit.
For more great cheap craft and Halloween ideas, visit my site: Dollar Store Crafts
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