Friday, 6 January 2012

Paper Doll Fridge Magnets!

The purse refashion had to wait, because another project completely took over my attention this week!


A week ago, I was at a friend's house and she had these fridge magnets that were like paper dolls: a dude in his underwear and a bunch of amusing t shirts and costumes for him to wear.  I absolutely adore paper dolls, and have ever since I was a kid, so these amazed me and my whole brain turned into a big frenzy of wantwantwant!

My friend told me where she had gotten them, and it turned out they weren't even that expensive; but unfortunately, I'm not really in a place right now where I can spend money on something just because I think it would be fun.  It was too bad.

But the next day I realised, "Hey - if I had some magazines and some of that magnetic sheeting, I could MAKE those in like, five minutes!!!"  The idea wouldn't leave my head so I abandoned my half-finished purse to make paper doll magnets.

I started by running to the dollar store and buying a couple sheets of magnet material, which came to about three dollars.  Then I dug out my stash of fashion magazines and flipped through them page by page until I had found a bunch with nice, forward-facing clothes on them.  I tried to find ones that were roughly the same size and didn't have text printed all over them - not easy! 

When I felt like I had enough, I cut them out and put them aside.  Now I needed the actual doll to dress with them!

I decided rather than flip through a hundred thousand magazines to find a picture of a model in the right size, whose face I liked, it would be easier ( and more fun!) to just draw my own.

I got out a sheet of nice watercolour paper and placed a shirt cutout on it, to use as a guideline for the body.

  I rendered it loosely at first, and then solidified the lines and added detail.

(I left her braless because some of the shirts I'd cut out had plunging necklines and I didn't want to mar the look with a drawn-on bra, and also because let's face it; bras are stupid and pretty pointless for a paper doll.)

My natural drawing style is very cartoony, but because the outfits were photos of real things I tried to make the head and face as detailed as possible while still staying true to "me". 

My, but I am a talented photographer.  Anyway, now came what was surprisingly the funnest part of the whole endeavour: trimming the outfit pieces down to fit her.  Some pieces were far too big for the doll I had designed:

others would never fit the body type I had chosen to draw:

and some were too small, but I liked the patterns enough that I just couldn't not use it!  This one was too small to be a dress...

but a quick cut and paste job turned it into an awesome t-shirt!

And the blue dress above would never ever fit her hips, so I turned it into a simple tank top.  Others just needed to be trimmed slightly to fit shoulders, etc.

When that was done, I coloured the whole thing with pencil crayons and cut it out.

Then I glued it to the magnet sheet using an ordinary school glue stick.  (Aannnnd I forgot to get any pictures of this stage...huh.  Well, I'm sure you're all clever people and can imagine it.)

Are you imagining the doll stuck to a large black sheet of magnetic material? Good, because she was.  Then, I cut that out. 

As a final step, I separated her legs and torso, her arms and her hands from each other.  The reason for this was that some of the outfits had been photographed to face a different way than straight ahead, or had their sleeves folded in front of them or something.  This way, she was movable and could fit all of them.

I did the same gluing and cutting steps on all of the outfit pieces, and voila!  Interchangeable awesomeness!

An example of the movable arms and hands in action:

It's not perfect - because of the kind of magazines I had to work with, I was limited to a certain type of fashion and also to a certain body type.  Also, I had wanted to make a guy doll, but oddly there weren't many ads for guy's clothes in Cosmo and Vanity Fair. 

But for what it is, I think it turned out perfectly.  It's already as fun as I thought it would be - today she's wearing her wild-print pencil skirt and guy's sweater, jacket and scarf. 

Only one problem left - what do I make with all the leftover magnet scraps???

I hope you make something cool today!  Thanks for reading!  Love, Emily.

1 comment:


    Like, honestly darling and I am definitely going to do this!