1950’s Chic Paper Doll Costume



I knew I wanted to be a doll. I love looking pretty, fabulous, and of course girly. I played around with being barbie and even a sexy blow up doll, but it seemed to have all been done, so I had to think of something different. So the paper doll theme came to my mind! I loved the idea because I could choose any look I wanted and I knew I wanted a vintage look. I looked online for ideas and there weren’t many to choose from. Most were designed for kids or had an 80’s prom theme to it. Plus I didn’t see too many plus size looks and I wanted my doll outfit to really be something that I would wear in real life. It had to represent me.

Originally I intended to use poster paper but quickly realized that would be too easy to rip, so I settled on foam board. Most online instructions had someone tracing the body of the wearer, but I didn’t have that option, besides the foam board pieces I had wasn’t long enough. In addition I wanted my outfit to have curves like my natural body. I didn’t want a “square” paper doll look. Another issue was how was I going to attach it me and still be able to get around to the bathroom if I needed to.

Here are my instructions:

  • 2 white foam boards.
  • Black Acrylic Paint.
  • Ribbon.
  • Black Headband.
  • Printed Ducktape.
  • Exacto Knife.
  • Masking Tape.
  • Hot glue/glue gun.
  • Your favorite dress our outfit to trace.

I took the foam board and an aline dress I loved and traced it out. The board wasn’t as long as I wanted so I had to extend part of the skirt into the second piece of board. The top of my dress had straps and I knew I wanted a blouse with lapel look. So I picked up a shirt and traced around that, but I was hating how the outfit looked. It wasn’t me.

The hardest part came into play. I had to hand draw my outfit. I used the traced outfit as my foundation, but did some free handing drawing. I love peplum tops so i drew that with lapels and button details and I had to make it so that it blended with the two pieces of my A line skirt. I didn’t want my skirt to go straight across I wanted some movement so I had to draw the hemline with movement and I knew I didnt want it to be all black so I drew in trim at the bottom of the skirt that would match the pattern of my lapels and buttons.

Once I finished drawing my outfit I came upon my theme. I was a 1950’s doll! I needed my accessories. I wanted a turban so i printed out a template and did the same thing used it as my foundation and did some freehand drawing to tailor it to my face and head. I wanted a purse to so I traced out a clutch I had. On all the pieces I had to draw in my paper tabs. After that I did the most painful part. Cutting out the outfit and accessories with an exacto knife.

I chose leopard print duck tape and used the width as the size of my trim to make it easier. I covered my turban in all leopard print ducktape and part of my purse, jacket, and skirt as well. After that I took black acrylic paint and painted everything around my trim. Now I had to figure out how I would attach this to myself and still be able to remove it. I glued my two pieces of skirt together so that it became one piece and used masking tape to attach ribbon. I did the same for my top and played around with the ribbon length so that it sat where I wanted it all to sit. After it was exactly where I wanted it I glued the ribbon to the board and then followed with masking tape to secure.

I had to figure out how I was going to wear the turban. I attached it to a black headband using glue and masking tape. And attached ribbon to my purse as well. I used a black marker for the tabs and simply added a pair of black gloves, sunglasses, a fake cigarette and cigarette holder and some pearl earrings and red lipstick. I wore all black underneath so that it would look like my actual outfit.

It was a huge hit. It was akward to walk in. I had to put the skirt on once I got out of the car. But as soon as it was on I got compliements and people looked amazed. A guy asked did you make that? I was told it was the most creative outfit they have seen. That I should have gone to the village and walked in the parade. The funniest part was trying to dance in it and then I actually got on a crowded train with it. The smiles, stares, and looks of awe were fun and awkward. All in all it was a great night but I was fabulously chic on the sidelines, there isn’t much opportunity to dance in this.







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