How many of us loved paper dolls as kids?
Probably, most of us. But how many of us still have those paper dolls? Or, at least their clothes? Most likely that number would be a bit smaller, dare I say, narrowed down to the same people who would still have this tiny troll doll with no hair and a handmade outfit from the 1960s. (See “Under the Bridge” for more details.)I brought these boxes home the last time I went to visit my mom, knowing there was major blog material here.
Our most beloved paper dolls were Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy from “Little Women”. We received them as hand-me-downs from an older cousin, and spent hours playing with them and designing their new clothes. These are Meg’s clothes. You can see how we had traced the dresses (mostly on binder paper) and designed new ones. Here’s Beth being held up by one of my favorite little girls. I was watching them last week while their mom was at work, and I took the paper dolls out to show them. We quickly found that Meg, who was in the box, was missing her head, which was not in the box. I vaguely remembered not having a head for Meg but don’t remember why it wasn’t simply taped on like the rest of them.Even though they all had brittle, “vintage” scotch tape on their necks, they didn’t stand up well, so we remedied that with popsicle sticks and washi tape. Ah, the miracle of modern technology!We also found a remedy for Meg’s missing head. Since one of the girls wanted to play with Meg, and since Amy’s head was barely stuck on with tape anyway, we did a quick switch. Fortunately Amy was facing the right way to look okay on Meg’s body. When I showed them how we used to make new clothes for the dolls, the girls decided to make some, too.
Just like old times! At one point while the girls were playing, I realized that if my sister and I had played with these when we were their ages (between 7 and 9), that makes them at least 50 years old! Then add a couple of years, considering our cousin had them before us. I had to admit they are in pretty good shape for being over half a century old!
I made color copies of Jo, Beth, and Meg/Amy on cardstock so the girls could have paper dolls of their own to take home. They turned out pretty well, I thought.So this past Sunday, I decided to see what else we had in the box marked “Trolls paper dolls and others”. Who knew there were troll paper dolls? I had forgotten about them. Foster, on the other hand, was wondering why they had to come in such a small box.If it’s Sunday afternoon and you are going to organize paper doll clothes for four hours, you probably should make coffee. Truth in blogging #1: I do not receive a commission from any of the products you see here. Except Zazzle. Yes, if you go on Zazzle and order one of my Foster “Keep Looking Up” mugs, I will get a royalty for that. (Just thought I’d throw that in!)
Let’s start with the trolls. Since this is a family friendly blog, I put clothes on the before taking the pictures! Truth in blogging #2: A sizeable tuft of cat hair was removed from the carpet prior to the photographing of these trolls.You’ve got to love these handmade additions to the wardrobes of an unknown doll. For some reason, the dolls themselves were missing, but we had tons of clothes. As I suspected, the “fur” collar and cuffs for our version of this dress were cut from the Ward’s catalog!These are Heidi’s clothes. Apparently we had Peter also, but once again, clothes but no dolls.As it happens, we had tons of these tiny outfits, with different color tabs, but again, no dolls to match. I went on Pinterest and discovered that they were from a set called “Dolly Darlings”. Apparently we had Cathy, Susie, and Shary, based on these clothes and my internet searches. On eBay, someone was selling the Dolly Darlings paper doll book, and this is the image they had posted. Once I saw their faces I vaguely remembered them, but we were apparently not as attached to them as we were to “Little Women”.
Foster was getting so bored that he actually went inside his cardboard climbing structure, which he hasn’t done for ages. I could tell he thought four hours of organizing and photographing paper doll clothes was way too long.
When all else fails, bite your foot on the windowsill shelf!I, on the other hand, was pretty pleased with my newly organized baggies of “doll-less” paper doll clothes. Some were identified only by initials on the tabs, and others had numbers that we had written on the backs. I found the names Carol, Pat, and Kim printed on the tabs of some outfits. It turned out Carol, Pat, and Kim were part of a set called “Teen Time”, but when I saw what the dolls themselves looked like online, they didn’t “ring a bell.”
At the top left you can see an image from Pinterest, and on the right and below are some of our “Pat and Carol” clothes. I thought arranging them on cardstock was a pretty good way to display them. But still, no dolls, only the clothes. The mystery deepens. I’ll let you know if I ever find them.
All the neatly marked baggies pretty much fit back in the original box, with the exception of the longer/taller items on the left. They were too big to fit into the baggies without folding them, and, let’s face it, if they’ve made it 50 years without being folded, how could I bring myself to do it now? So I finally decided to call it quits, at least for awhile. It was a fun little trip back in time, anyway, and I even finished before church!