Monday, 20 February 2012

Paper Dressing-Up Dolls

Photo by libertygrace0 on Flickr

For some reason, a couple of us got on to the subject of paper dressing-up dolls in the comments section of my main blog the other day. So I thought it would make a good subject in its own right! My strongest memory of these is the little paper Bunty cut-outs from the back of the weekly comic. What hours of fun and creativity spent carefully cutting out the clothes, making sure the tabs remained intact to hook onto the doll. And each week adding to the paper Bunty's wardrobe.

Perhaps this childhood activity sparked that creative urge to make up plots and characters, especially when the comic itself was so full of exciting and interesting stories. It's sad that today's children don't have this kind of thrilling weekly reading to stimulate the imagination. Maybe it would be deemed too old fashioned now, or perhaps it is only people around my age who remember such creative fun with nostalgia!

I'd love to hear if anyone else enjoyed dressing any kind of paper dolls.

Ros

18 comments:

  1. I loved them! Funny really because I'm not interested in clothes or fashion at all - but I spent hours with those little paper dolls and the fiddly wee tabs. I think you're right Ros - I think the clothes inspired all sorts of situations and all sorts of stories. Great post - bringing back happy memories!

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  2. I also loved the paper dolls and remember the first 'magnetic' ones that didn't need the fiddly tabs.I wonder what happened to them?

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  3. I LOVED my paper dolls - must have had about 50 of them, although not from Bunty as that didn't start until I was older. I used to make them 'extra' clothes by drawing round one of the outfits, and then colouring it in myself. I remember giving all my dolls the same school uniform one time. I used to invent 'plays' for them to perform too. Thanks for the memory!

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  4. I absolutely loved them - and I used to make extra paper outfits for mine. Todays comics with all their fancy free gifts that fall apart after 5 minutes don't even come close do they. All they seem to have inside are stickers and a few pictures to colour in - not a lot to fire up and feed the imagination. Sigh. Lovely post - you've brought back some happy memories x

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  5. Thanks, Gilly - it was such an absorbing activity!

    Hi Myra - that's interesting, I don't remember magnetic ones!

    Aw, that sounds great fun, Paula - I'm sure that must have sparked your creativity. What a great number to play with!

    You're absolutely right, Teresa - we had so much more fun with these simple activities. Like the way you made extra outfits!

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  6. I had loads of paper dolls and spent hours playing with them. One had 'real' hair and the clothes were 'tabard' style so they had a back as well as a front. And I had a mother and daughter who had matching outfits. I was so envious of my best friend who had a wedding set with gorgeous clothes for the whole bridal party. I used to make extra clothes as well. And yes, Myra, I remember the magnetic ones too. Although I got the Bunty every week I never cut out the doll and clothes, probably because I already had plenty. (If I ever went on Mastermind (!) I'd choose the Bunty as my specialist subject.)

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  7. My mom had discovered a company somewhere who made tall books of dolls from different historical eras--you got to color the doll, the dresses and accessories, then carefully pop them out of the page. That was probably the only "girly" activity I ever honestly enjoyed. I distinctly remember the "Gibson Girl" for her hair-do, thought she had the most beautiful accessories to color. I had a special set of colored pencils just for those dolls. Wow, I hadn't thought about those in an age. Thanks, Romy!

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  8. I used to love the dress up dolls as well and made a lot of the clothes for them to wear, funnily enough I never did become a dress designer! My granddaughter plays dress up dolls now on Stardolls, but they are computerised ones. Same idea but a lot more advanced. Once you're a member of Stardolls a certain amount of Star doolars is allocated each month, with which clothes, furniture for the house etc can be bought. As well as being entertaining it teaches budgeting because once the Star dollars are finished there's no more until the next payday. Bit like life that!

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  9. I like the real hair and the wedding set of paper clothes. I love the Bunty too, Betty, and got it right form the first issue with the free rosebud ring!

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  10. Hello Jude - I love the sound of all the dolls and clothes from different eras. I can imagine how lovely the Gibson Girl must have been. Nostalgia is great!

    Wow, Chris, I haven't heard of Stardolls. Glad to hear a version of the dressing dolls is still going on, even if it's computerised!

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  11. Yes! Happy memories that I'd completely forgotten! I loved paper dolls and collected them in a big black box with sprigs of roses on from Marshall and Snelgroves. I had a magnetic doll too with auburn hair, I can't remember her name, but I can see her now with a blue winter coat trimmed with fur and a muff - how did that work? - slots, I think! Thank you for reminding me, Ros.

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  12. Hi Jean - what a lovely box to keep them in! It's amazing how many of us enjoyed such a simple, engrossing pleasure.

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  13. Yes, Rosemary, I loved them too. I used to store the clothes between the pages of books to keep them flat. I used an atlas for the long dresses!

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  14. Rosemary, I loved them and, as an otherwise uncreative child, liked making my own versions of them too. You are so right about the weekly magazine experience - that's why I collect girls' annuals so that I can relive it!
    Kate Blackadder

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  15. Just looked on ebay for magnetic paper doll and came up with this http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Vintage-Paper-Doll-Magnetic-Mary-Box-Philmar-C1950s-Made-England-/270916980016?pt=UK_Doll_Bears_Dolls_EH&hash=item3f13e90d30#ht_579wt_935

    Is anyone going to bid???

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  16. That was a good idea, Joan!

    I completely empathise with that, Kate!

    That was clever, Jean - I think I'll leave it for someone else!

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  17. Hi, I also loved these dolls - all my money went on them & it was all I had listed for Christmas & birthdays.Some of us still collect them - I have about 7000 & recognise some of those described - the magnetic dolls first started in the 1920's so nothing new. There is a quarterly newsletter called the Paper doll circle.

    Jane

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  18. Hi, I also loved these dolls - all my money went on them & it was all I had listed for Christmas & birthdays.Some of us still collect them - I have about 7000 & recognise some of those described - the magnetic dolls first started in the 1920's so nothing new. There is a quarterly newsletter called the Paper doll circle.

    Jane

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