DogsMom Exploring the Blogosphere

August 26, 2010

The Magic of Paper Dolls

Filed under: Crafts — Laura R @ 8:57 PM

When I learned of the Paperie Party

at the French Cupboard I was intrigued and excited. 
I enjoy working with papier mache,  have dabbled in origami,  spent many happy hours in paper goods and stationery stores during my college years
(before the present version of scrapbooking craze)

  and raised funds for charities and  scout trips by making giant tissue paper flowers like these.

Please visit the woman with the lovely voice who made that video.
Her blog is a treat to visit.

I was so excited to see what you are bringing to the party I could not decide what my offering would be.  Then a chance conversation in a charity thrift store yesterday sent me in another direction.

How many of you know Betsy McCall?   (I see lots of smiles, nods and wiggling hands raised!)

 This was the plastic version my sister and I each had in the 1960s.
Do you recall that before Betsy was plastic and jointed she was a paper doll featured monthly in mother’s McCall’s Magazine?

Someone way back when had a great marketing idea that got children excited about the arrival of the magazine, kept adults returning for the next issue, and prepared a new generation of readers. 
A  paper image of a child or doll and a story about her adventures was published in serial format in the pages of the magazine.  The reader was encouraged to cut out the doll and create stories of their own.  A very inexpensive toy that was embraced by the readers.

In 1951 the character of Betsy McCall became the ongoing paper doll in the magazine . 
  (Source: )
 Developed earlier than Barbie, Betsy had a more youthful and wholesome appeal.
 You would not find your brother’s G.I. Joe  playing with Betsy McCall.
But the illustrators did provide male character’s as well,  a friend named Jimmy and a cousin, Sandy.

 Don’t you love the plaid?

Original paper dolls had tabs to keep their clothing on.  Later came the magic of static stay.  And now, in the era of home die cut machines you can create paper dolls without using your safety scissors.

With just a few minutes of research I did find two recent blog references to Betsy McCall which are fun to view.
Suziebeezieland and Frugal Life Project  have discovered the thrill of Betsy McCall.  Do they remember when Betsy went to Miss Frances’ Ding Dong School?
Frances Horwich 

You can easily find FREE printable paper dolls for your little girls to enjoy
or if you want to play online between other tasks, you can dress and change your own virtual paper doll.

But those of us who remember waiting for McCall’s to arrive,
(image found here )
 or mother to finish reading it so we could cut out Betsy and her friends
will not trade those memories for anything virtual.


For more Vintage Thingies and memories, please visit Colorado Lady.
What is bringing you joy this week?  Share it at Just for the Joy of It.
Let us know that you are Lovin’ It! 
Where are you Finding Beauty?
Don’t you just love Pretty Little Things?
I think great memories and fun paper dolls are Finer Things in life.
My thoughts this week do qualify as Hodge Podge  so I am joining up with that party too as well as a newer blog hop called Everything But The Kitchen Sink!  Come over and join in.
Don’t these parties just Tickle You Pink?

Make some New Friends  this friday.


  1. Ahhhh paper dolls. I can remember wanting a “baby” paper doll. My mom made one for me 🙂 Sweet memories… thank you for sharing!

    Comment by Cheryl — August 26, 2010 @ 11:20 PM

  2. Paper dolls do bring back memories, I just remember I would always forget & cut the little tabs off…. Not a Good Thing!

    Comment by Cheryl~ZanyMayd — August 27, 2010 @ 12:32 AM

  3. I spent many hours as a small girl playing with my paper dolls, so much the tabs wore off the clothes. I love paper dolls to this day.
    Thanks for sharing your love of paper.

    Comment by Michele — August 27, 2010 @ 8:05 AM

  4. …oh-my-goodness!!! I would love to visit that crepe paper shop ~ all those yummy colors to make those fabo paper flowers!!!! I’d probably have a hard time choosing which color I liked best LOL!!!
    xo, Rosemary

    Comment by Rosemary — August 27, 2010 @ 9:18 AM

  5. THank you for the trip down memory lane… you sure know your stuff! I’m nominating you to host a paper doll themed party….. 🙂 mercedes

    Comment by mercedes scott — August 27, 2010 @ 9:20 AM

    • I could bore you with more “fun” stuff I know. As you talk to people memories come back!

      Comment by dogsmom — August 27, 2010 @ 10:12 AM

  6. I remember Betsy McCall! What a fun walk down memory lane! Oh, btw, send me an email ( cuz, I need to ask you something….ooooh, so mysterious! LOL

    Comment by Diann @ the Thrifty Groove — August 27, 2010 @ 11:35 AM

  7. I love paper dolls. I have some large vintage ones and their clothes. They would look great framed which I always wanted to do but haven’t yet. They are so cute, probably from the 40’s I think.

    Comment by Laura — August 27, 2010 @ 12:07 PM

  8. Hi,
    Just dropping by from the girl creative. You’ve got a great blog!


    Comment by Donna Timeless Settings — August 27, 2010 @ 12:13 PM

  9. Thanks for the memory. I smiled when I read the word Betsy McCall.

    Comment by Levonne — August 27, 2010 @ 12:25 PM

  10. Awww….I LOVE paper dolls. Thanks for the link to printable ones – my girls will love them!!! Dropping in from NFF.

    Comment by Stef — August 27, 2010 @ 5:17 PM

  11. Paper Dolls! Yes! I remember the joy they brought… I’ll have to check out the link you provide — and introduce my little girl to them — Just for the Joy of It! :o)

    Comment by Deborah — August 27, 2010 @ 6:09 PM

  12. Paper dolls! Why have I not thought of this as an activity for my girls? They would love it! I’ve bookmarked this so I can print out some fun things for my girls to try out. Thank you for sharing! And thank you for linking up to my Friday link party! See you next week! 😉

    Comment by Meg — August 27, 2010 @ 9:16 PM

  13. Gosh, thanks so much for your lovely message over at my blog! I’m so glad you enjoyed making the flowers… somehow they manage to bring that little burst of happiness, which I think is pretty special.
    And what a nice voice-compliment – I’ve never really had such a compliment before!!

    I really enjoyed popping in and seeing your blog… you have a lovely train of thought!

    xx Emma

    Comment by Emma — August 28, 2010 @ 2:27 AM

  14. so fun! I never knew that. I had paper dolls in the 70’s but I didn’t realize they originated in magazines. So creative of them. And wonderful memories for you!

    Comment by Sharon — August 28, 2010 @ 9:57 PM

  15. My daughter is just getting into paper dolls. It’s so much fun to help her make pretty things and see her engrossed in playing with them. Thank you for sharing! Blessings… Polly

    Comment by French Cupboard — August 29, 2010 @ 3:22 PM

  16. […] is still time to visit the participants of the recent Paperie Party  (including my post on paper dolls)  and see where Bloggers are writing at  Where Do You Blog?  (as inspiring as the Where Bloggers […]

    Pingback by Rednesday Announcements « DogsMom learning to blog — August 31, 2010 @ 6:19 PM

  17. I loved paper dolls and was able to pass mine onto my own daughters. Great post!

    Comment by Gabrielle @ i.craft — September 3, 2010 @ 10:25 AM

  18. Oh I do remember Betsy McCall!
    When my girls were young, they played with American Girl dolls which also had paper doll representations…
    But nothing was as fun as getting special new paper doll treats every month!
    thanks for the memories!

    Comment by Maria — September 3, 2010 @ 12:54 PM

  19. Sweet blog! Please continue.

    Comment by Dr. Smo — October 22, 2010 @ 12:13 AM

  20. This is a wonderful article thank you for sharing this informative information.. I will visit your website regularly . My best regards, Sherita.

    Comment by Sherita — November 19, 2010 @ 9:03 PM

  21. Thank you for this. You most definitely have something thats eye opening. You clearly know much about the subject. Great stuff from this part of the internet. Again, thank you.

    Comment by no izle — November 20, 2010 @ 12:31 AM

  22. A delightful post. So much information.

    Comment by aunti nylam — December 15, 2010 @ 1:40 PM

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