Tag Archives: Paperdolls

Doris Day Paper Dolls

Doris Day, Whtiman Publishing Company, 1955

Among serious paper doll collectors, I’d be considered a rank amateur. And that would be accurate, because I don’t collect things that I think might become valuable someday.

First, I buy what I can afford. No matter how much I may want something, I simply won’t buy it if it’s not affordable now.

Second, my favorites are replacements of what I had when I was a child and foolishly (arghhhh!) took to the burn barrel right before I got married. That was stupid on many levels, one of which is that I’ve forgotten several of them. Seeing paper doll clothes sometimes triggers a memory even more than the doll itself. I didn’t have all that many paper dolls, because even though they were cheap (the typical price was .25 for a package), most girls I knew didn’t have lots and lots. We were not an over-indulged generation. (I had one Barbie and was thrilled to have even that.)

Third, I prefer to buy vintage, and pre-loved (use, played with) dolls and/or their clothes. Although I do have several books of new ones, I get the urge to get out the scissors. I usually don’t, but I want to. There are several booklets of Dover paper dolls in my box, and a few from other places (mostly museums, like the Bath Costume Museum) and they all remain uncut.

Doris Day Paper Doll Clothes, 1955

The only uncut vintage book I have are these Doris Day, 1955 issues by Whitman. I bought them back in the early 1990’s at an antique store in Kingwood, Texas and I paid way too much for them. Paper dolls were hard to find. This was before anyone except hackers and professionals had even heard of the internet. Now anyone from anyplace can post them and they’re more affordable (which is great). In fact, the prices have come way down (probably due to their ready accessibility). About 1999, I bid on an old set of Lucille Ball paper dolls on ebay. Chagrin prevents me from disclosing how how I bid, but let’s just say that it was well below the $160.00 that was the winning bid. Those same dolls can be bought now for far less and many laser copies are available, too.

Doris Day Paper Doll Clothes, 1955

Anyway, in the case next to the Doris Day set, was one of Elizabeth Taylor from the same era. They were priced a little more and since I just like Doris better than Elizabeth, I bought them.

Doris Day Paper Doll Clothes, 1955

Now it’s 17 years later, and they’re probably worth about the same as what I paid for them. Which, all things considered, isn’t really all that bad. It’s a better investment than that lousy Mexican meal I had in Kingwood.

*Go here for more Doris Day paper doll clothes.

*Update: April 20, 2011 – When enlarged, the paper dolls get very pixily and unpleasant. I tried scanning them in on the highest resolution setting I could, and it didn’t change them at all.

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Filed under 1955, Actresses, Childhood pastimes, Ephemera, Fashion, Femininity, Paper Dolls, Updates

Betsy McCall Paper Dolls, Part II

McCall's magazine, December 1963

McCall's magazine, December 1966

McCall's magazine, December 1967

For a larger image, click on the picture; if a magnifying glass appears as you run your cursor over the enlarged image, it will enlarge one more time. I think the final enlargement will be about the size of the original in the magazine and is good for printing. I recommend using cardstock, or at least adhering the doll to something stiffer before cutting out. Regular typing paper will be about the right weight for the clothes. Also, I’ve had trouble getting a good print when using draft on paper dolls, therefore I now use a higher quality setting for printing.

For more pages and some Betsy McCall links (some of which are printable), go to my previous post here.

Hope you enjoy them.

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Filed under 1960's, Childhood pastimes, Christmas, Ephemera, Fashion, Vintage Magazines

Betsy McCall Paper Dolls

In 1951 McCall’s magazine began a feature for girls: a paper doll named Betsy McCall. Looking at the page through the years until the last time it was included (I think it was 1995) is a mini-tutorial in late 20th century childrens’ fashions.

But to start, here are a few Christmas pages.

McCall's Magazine, December 1951

McCall's Magazine, December 1960

McCall's Magazine, December 1962

This site features Betsy McCall paper dolls from the first 10 years, 1951- 1961. You can get a printable size by clicking on the doll. Then select a page – this time click on High Quality Image. To enlarge for printing, click on the image again. This will print out about the same size as it was originally in the magazine.

Crunchy Monkey is a great site with a brief history of McCall’s magazine and lots of Betsy McCall paper doll pages from 1975 to 1995.

This page shows several old advertisements and sewing patterns for doll clothes.

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Filed under 1950s, 1960's, Childhood pastimes, Christmas, Fashion, Paper Dolls, Vintage Magazines

A Few Christmas Paper Dolls, Altered

The following are additional pages from my sister’s paper doll altered book from the Round Robin she participated in. More Betsey McCall paper dolls will be posted soon.

Betsey McCall paper dolls, from McCall's December 1951

from Fran's Round Robin paper doll altered book

Fran's book, 2nd Santa Claus page

Lilah paper doll from Mary Englebreit's Home Companion

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Filed under Altered Books, Christmas, Crafts, Ephemera, Fun, Paper Dolls

My Sister’s Paper Doll Altered Book

Fran's altered book cover


A few years ago my sister was in an altered book Round Robin. She chose paper dolls for her theme and she ended up with the most wonderful book!

Here are some of the pages. Unfortunately, I can’t give credit to the individual artists (because I don’t know them), but some of them initialed their pages. My sister did the cover herself.

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Filed under Altered Books, Childhood pastimes, Fashion, Paper Dolls, Using What You Have

Paper Dolls, Fashion, Etc.

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One of my childhood passions was playing with paper dolls.   In the late 1950’s and 60’s, children didn’t have nearly as many toys as they do now.  We only received toys or special things at birthdays and Christmas.  But paper dolls, along with jacks, paddle balls and comic books were very affordable and could be bought anytime at  the neighborhood grocery store.  When candybars were a nickel, most of the paper dolls were 29 cents.

1961 M. W. Christmas catalog Barbie and Ken

Barbie  doll clothes were a little expensive for me, so I only had about 3 store-bought outfits.  My sister-in-law made some for me one Christmas. That was it.  One Barbie and about 6 or 7 outfits.  Very few of the girls I knew had more than that.  So paper dolls were a wonderful way to satisfy that urge for lots of clothes to play with.  And I think playing with them so much initiated a life long interest in pretty clothes.

1963 Barbie paper doll

1963 Barbie paper doll

1963 Barbie paper doll clothes

1963 Barbie paper doll clothes

I’ve always loved pretty clothes and tend to notice what people wear; not in a critical way, so much, but in kind of an appreciative way.  I seldom remember crummy looking clothes (except for my own) but I can tell you about clothes that my friends wore in 6th grade, or what I wore to see “Thoroughly Modern Millie” in 1967 (a pink mini dress with matching coat, covered buttons and pink Mary Jane shoes with a daisy cut-out by the strap).

Okay.  Back to the paper dolls.  I don’t have any of my originals.  One of the stupidest things I ever did was throw away that shoe box full of them when I got married.  I thought, “I’m an adult, so I don’t need these anymore.”  Well, I don’t need them but I sure do enjoy them.  I’ve been able to replace several, but the Lucy ones are beyond my reach.  About 10 years ago I was bidding on them on ebay and I quit at …. well, I won’t tell you but they sold for $135.  And I don’t invest in mint condition, uncut ones.  I prefer the ones that you can tell were played with, and homemade ones are even better.  I never made my own (except out of the Sears or Montgomery Ward catalogs) but I really admire girls who did.

1964 Lucy Paper dolls

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Filed under 1960's, Fashion, Fun, Paper Dolls, Vintage Barbie