Our Miss B is obsessed with paper dolls lately. Last year, I bought her the book My Book of Little House Paper Dolls after seeing how much she loved reading about the life of Laura Ingalls and her family.
At the time, she cut them all out as carefully as could be and played for a few weeks, but soon they were tucked away for another day and then eventually forgotten.
In the last few weeks, the paper dolls have made a reappearance. Not only are they back, they’ve acquired some friends. Many, many friends. Everywhere I turn, I keep finding little pieces of paper clothing, paper hats, paper shoes, and even paper pets.
And where I don’t find the dolls and their accessories, I keep finding little strips and squares and triangles of cut-out paper scraps that, if assembled correctly, form the perfect outline of a little paper person or a paper dress or a pair of paper pants.
Our girl B, you see, has learned the magical power of Google.
Did you know that if you do an image search for “paper dolls,” you will find hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of images of paper dolls that you can print out?
Some are sweet. Some are definitely old-fashioned. Some look like Holly Hobby. Some are from old store catalogues. Some feature the characters from Downton Abbey — and since Miss B is just as addicted to that show as I am, she has printed out several copies of those ones.
Others are more modern, if by modern you mean featuring unnaturally thin people with skin tight and too revealing clothing options.
And Rihanna – whose paper doll page claims it will be “the best dress-up fun you’ll have with a pair of scissors.” And Disney princesses. And a scantily-clad Legolas from Lord of the Rings, too.
I might need to print myself a scantily clad Legolas.
There are zombie paper dolls, too. I found several flavours of paper zombie dolls, all highly entertaining but seriously disturbing.
I would never have thought to look for paper dolls online, though really it only makes sense since you can find almost anything online, after all. My first instinct is to look for a book.
When I was a young girl, I received as a gift a book of paper dolls one year that I still remember vividly. They weren’t just flat little dolls with flat little clothes — there was a picnic table whose legs bent up to form a 3D table complete with benches, and a baby carriage, and — my favourite thing of all out of the set — a 3D water fountain with two sweet little birds taking a bath.
You can’t imagine my surprise when I googled “paper dolls” and discovered that this long out-of-print book has been digitized and is available as a free download.
And yes, it has now been downloaded and is printing onto cardstock even as we speak and will be tucked inside a certain young lady’s Easter basket this weekend, guaranteeing a house strewn with even more paper scraps about 10 seconds later.
I hope your Easter weekend is as full of joy as ours is sure to be!