Some Fabulous Free Paper Dolls

When I was a girl I had a lot of fun with paper dolls, mostly posing them with my extensive collection of cutout horses I'd pasted onto cardboard and stored in a convenient shoebox. I probably had a couple of dozen horses for every doll, but the dolls had their places, which was mostly taking care of the horses and admiring them as they trotted past. I always wished I could have the super fancy vintage paper dolls I saw in books but I grew up in the age of Barbie and was mostly gifted with fashion model dolls and the like; super skinny girls who were miles taller than my horses, which I cut from the pages of my mother's Bloodhorse magazines. (I just looked them up online and no wonder I was in love with these horses, look how they shine in the sunlight! Don't even get me started on the wee foals. Anyway, one of the great things about having online access is the ability to get the things you couldn't when you were young. There are tons of free, fun paper dolls available online. Maybe you're too old to play with them but surely you know someone who would find at least one of these dolls the perfect way to while away the afternoon.

If you're a fan of The Tudors on Showtime you might want to print out these Tudor paper dolls and act out your own scenes. Not only will you find dolls of King Henry the Eighth and all six of his wives, but they also added Lady Jane Grey, who was Queen for only nine days, poor dear. She comes with five important items for a woman of her day; four gorgeous gowns and her husband, Guildford Dudley, who has his own set of clothes. King Henry and his wives come in two styles; fully dressed dolls, and traditional dolls – the kind that are dressed in their underclothes and come with outfits that stay on with the help of folding tabs. Either way the dolls have a nice selection of beautiful clothes.

The United States Historical Society has some lovely paper dolls including Florence Nightingale. I thought this Renoir girl called Marie was a delight, with her soft red hair, cute coat and grunge boots. (I'm kidding about the boots. I know they aren't really grunge. They are adorable though.) Here is the link to Ms. Nightingale, who does come complete with lamp and a set of sturdy work clothes that would stand up to her long hours of nursing work during the war. I don't know the real story of the Renoir Camille doll but she really reminds me of the little girl vampire in Interview With the Vampire, especially her scary blank eyes and the way she's holding the doll.

If you’re into French fashion or brides, you might like Bru, the French fashion bridal doll who ran in the August 2008 issue of Doll Reader Magazine. She comes with veil, hanky, gloves, parasol, fan, tiny little shoes and a variety of other items no clotheshorse from her time would be seen without. And yes, of course she comes with a fancy wedding dress, which looks an awful lot like a wedding cake to these untrained eyes.

From the same site comes this very cute Armand Marseílle Flapper doll, wearing clothes from the roaring twenties. She comes with three outfits, a cloche hat, a compact, a cute little dog and a few other odds and ends. Sorry, no raccoon coat or bootleg liquor, unless it’s hidden in her suitcase.

Paper Thin Personas is a fabulous blog with tons of fun designs. I was particularly taken with Marisol, who is a girl after my own heart. She has a totally awesome steampunk outfit, which I love. She also some cyberpunk gear as well as some more traditional prom and pink princess costumes. If you like her be sure to poke around the site as there is much to enjoy.

I'm afraid I've been shockingly sexist, giving you only girl options. To make up for that, how about a nice Napoleonic Uniform doll? Isn’t he dashing? I can certainly imagine him charming his way through a ball.

I'm sad to say I can't read this website at all. In fact I'm so illiterate that I have no idea what language it's written in. But I can tell that it has absolutely glorious clothes. I believe, and I could be totally wrong, which would be funny, that these dresses etc are inspired by literature. I think this lovely purple and red medievalesque gown is inspired by my favorite author Neil Gaimon's terrific fairy story Stardust. This dress may have been inspired by a Jane Austin book. I mean the name is right there in the URL. I'm just saying.

I love this amazing site called Liana's Paper Doll Blog where the author and designer promises a new doll or costume with each post. I spent far too much time admiring page after page of beautiful clothes that made me wish I was a paper doll. I love this Halloween costume, complete with flames and mask. Here are two wedding dresses, along with a doll. One of the dresses is a poofy meringue style while the other one is sleeker. And because it is that season, here is a doll and two prom dresses, one in gold and one black and blue. And finally, Iris, a beautiful, elegant, young lady who is wearing a lovely purple frock.

One-Paragraph Review

This week's one-paragraph review is from Navi4eva who writes in to say, "Okay, I'm going to let you finish but Avatar got robbed. It shoulda won the Oscar." Do you have a one-paragraph (or smaller) review you'd like to share? Send it in to me for consideration. You can reach me at