Wednesday 30 May 2018

2018 #10 Paper Dolls: Lets play Dress Up! with JoFY {by Jo Firth-Young}

2018 Topic 10: Paper Dolls

Always one to think outside the box, this time our own Jo has opened a box from a bygone era and created a lovely new JoFY world....take a look! Jo clearly could be a clothing and stamp designer! And now I know why she sent her Dad into the loft to find her Cindy doll's wardrobe! ~ Leandra 
Hi everyone, it's Jo Firth-Young with you today with you my project for the 'Paper Dolls' topic.

For me 'paper dolls' brings to mind the paper dolls printed onto card (or heavyweight paper) that you would cut out and assemble along with their clothes to dress them up, and that's what has inspired this fun project... and as soon as I first heard 'paper dolls' I knew EXACTLY what I wanted to make:  a doll dressed up in clothes made using JOFY stamps.  The hardest part of the project was narrowing down which stamps to use! 

First things first - I needed a body to dress up and wanted it to have adjustable body parts so I searched on the internet and found a suitable one on Pinterest. The one I chose is by Kimberly Crick ( and she allows her design to be used for craft projects (its always best to check that).  I amended that doll on the computer so that only her arms were adjustable, and resized her to suit my requirements.

To keep the doll lightweight but quite sturdy I mounted her onto 2 layers of cardboard - a repurposed cereal box was ideal.

I wanted to make a variety of outfits for my doll - or Maddy the Mannequin as I started to call her - and this was relatively easy because she is flat and has a simple shape.  I wanted to create clothes using my stamps - either as the shape (template) or as embellishments for the clothes.

The first set of clothes I made for Maddy was created using the vase from JOFY23.  Previously I had seen someone online use the vase as a dress on a card (!!) (sorry, I can't remember where I saw this) and it this inspired me.... but Maddy is bigger than the vase so alterations needed to be made.

I stamped the dress form onto green paper several times and cut both top to bottom so I could piece them together to make a wider dress. 

I added a patterned panel too for interest and to match her hat which I created from the flower on JOFY31.

I thought the finished look was quite 1920s flapper girl! lol especially with the feathers/leaves running around the hem of the skirt!

Next I wanted to design bespoke pieces.  I found the easiest was to create clothes for Maddy was to use HER as the pattern for her clothes. I did this by laying her onto the papers I was using and drawing shapes around her.

I wanted to create a long skirt (the photo above shows me sketching the shape) with flowers around the bottom...

I chose the leaves from JOFY33 because I thought they'd look lovely growing UP from the hemline of the skirt.

I added a 'stitched' scallop border along the bottom edge (JOFY31) & coloured the pattern with pencils.

I drew around Maddy's torso to create a bustier top to go with the skirt - and this photo illustrates perfectly what I mentioned earlier about the body 'needing' adjustable/position-able arms!

Maddy is purely a body to show off the clothes I was making so I haven't given her a proper face, but I felt I should protect her modesty, lol, so I sketched on underwear - really easy to do by again following the lines of her body... (and this made it easier for me to visualise where clothes would sit on the body)

Here is the finished outfit - I call this the 'Fairytale Princess' outfit!  

Even though Maddy is just a body it was hard not to give her a personality! I began to imagine why she needed the clothes I was making! 

Here she is in her bedroom choosing what to wear next.  The trousers and top are separates (I think a 1950's circular or pencil skirt would look nice with this top but I'll save that for another time.)

The top and trousers are the first items I made patterns for and I'm glad I did as it means I can use them again to create similar items. 

You can see the stamp I used for the 'fabric' on the trousers (JM57)

I created this by stamping the image repeatedly on a plain piece of scrapbook paper and laying the trouser pattern on top - just as you would with a dressmaking pattern. I cut out a spare flower to use as a corsage.

I think this is my favourite ensemble - I'm calling it an 'ensemble' because its more than just an outfit/ a dress! It's a capsule wardrobe all in one - something for any social occasion! lol (also if I saw the dress below on a rack in a clothes shop I would definitely buy it! lol)

It has several elements and they all mix and match - and that's the nice part about creating your own items - you can have whatever you want and they be multipurpose - such as the removable corsage can also be worn as a fascinator... (created with two flowers cut from JM57)

Its a lovely basic dress which can be dressed up with a hat and worn to a wedding, or Ladies day at the Races:

The hat is created with a flower stem from JOFY35...

If the occasion required it.. perhaps a cruise where cocktail and evening dresses are required - then this dress has the answer: an additional peplum skirt which wraps around to a tiered train at the back!!

The train was created by stamping many flower heads (JOFY35) onto pink paper, cutting them out and gluing them to a skirt base which was the same shape as the dress.  

The peplum skirt is created on a band that wraps around Maddy's waist and secures at the back. 

The original paper dolls had clothes which were held in place by paper tabs - I remember having one of these dolls and never found the tabs very successful so this time I chose something a bit more adaptable/versatile - bluetac!

I placed a small amount of blutac on Maddy's body and tiny pieces on each of the items of clothing.  This means that they are easy to swap and change, and more importantly are secure.

The final set of clothes I made was an appliqued skirt and matching strappy top.

I drew a template for the skirt with two length options as to start with I wasn't sure which I would choose... and when I'd made my decision I cut it out and cut it again from pink scrapbook paper.

The top was adapted from the black top I'd previously made and had a template for. That garment fitted Maddy and so it makes sense that this would too.

I wanted the skirt to have BIG applique flowers, so stamped the flower on JM59...

... onto the background and on to patterned papers from my stash (I chose a 6x6in paper pad to keep the patters small and to scale as much as possible).

The flowers were cut out and paper-pieced on to the skirt (after I had stamped spots (from the same mini stamp set) on to the skirt) and finished off with white gel pen and self adhesive gems.  I also added 2 layers of tissue paper to resemble netting underskirts.

Oh my goodness!  I had so much fun creating the clothes for this project - it was hard to stop - I still have lots of ideas running around my head!

I hope its inspired you to download a bodyform and give it a go - Maddy and all her clothes are just made out of paper and card so there's nothing to lose!
Of course its not just JOFY stamps you could use to create the clothes and 'fabrics' PaperArtsy has lots of lovely texture stamps to choose from.

Go on, give it a go!




Twitter: @jofyjo
Instagram: @jofyjo
Pinterest: @jofyjo

I'll be teaching here in the next few months:
09.June.2018  Keep on Crafting, Bury St Edmunds  Loving Life Canvas Workshop
30.June.2018  Birds in the Barn/Studio 36  Card Making workshops - AM & PM 
07.July.2018  Loobi Crafts, Leighton Buzzard  Loving Life Canvas Workshop

We always hope that you  learn something interesting from our blog

Our creative team love to read your comments so much, so please take time to let them know you've been inspired!  

You must complete step 1 AND 2 to be entered into the draw. 

To join our challenge:

1. Leave a comment on the Topic Introduction Post and go in the draw to win a PaperArtsy Apron. 
2. Make something arty relevant to the topic, and link your creation from any social URL (eg. Instagram, Pinterest, Blog Post etc) sharing your original make to this challenge page 

The current topic link Topic 10: Paper Dolls will close 17:00 (London Time) Sunday, June 17th 2018, and the winner will be announced 1 hour later at 18:00, because we have some new product announcements starting at 19:00.

Monday 28 May 2018

2018 #10 Paper Dolls: Forever Yours with ESN {by Miriam Grazier}

2018 Topic 10: Paper Dolls

Miriam is back today, and her frame suits this project perfectly! Lots of texture in the background, and as ever, she shares a few really good tips too! ~ Leandra

Hi everyone, it's Miriam  with you today, and I'd like to share with you a faux framed romantic picture, using lots of goodies to compliment the Paper Dolls that I have chosen.  I've used Fresco Finish Acrylic Chalk paints in Spanish Mulberry, Dolly Mix and Sugar Plum, Grunge Paste, Treasure Silver and a mix of old and new Sara Naumann stamps.

I wanted the paper doll image to stand out on my project but wanted to also create texture and so I used a technique that Leandra demonstrated earlier this year which used Grunge Paste scraped onto a background in random areas.  I'll explain more about this later in in the post.

As soon as I saw this Paper Doll image I immediately thought of Sara's early 2018 stamp release ESN23 and ESN25.

Sara has some lovely romantic images and quotes that work so well with the chosen image.  I had great fun choosing colours and images.  I tend not to lean towards the traditional reds for romance, but found the pinks / purples mix soft and romantic.

I started by using Leandra's technique to scrape Grunge Paste thinly over a piece of Grey board.  This took practise for me as I kept scraping it too thinly, but that was fine as the joy of Grunge Paste meant that I could simply smooth it over again with a spatula and start again. If you are worried about it drying too fast while you work, you can mist it softly with water.

Once I had the 'right' consistency, I used my 'go to' script stamp from ESN02 and stamped into the Grunge Paste to create texture.  I love how the simple texture creates a lovely effect on the background.

I'm not great with colour matching, but the Fresco Chalk Acrylics work so well together.  I used Sour Grapes to stamp the music notes and heart stamps randomly over the board.

To create a shadow I drew around the Paper Doll image using a Stabilo All pencil and softened the line using a water brush.  This made the finished project look a bit more 'grounded'. 

The faux frame was simply card, painted around the edges using Pewter Fresco Acrylic Paint.  To make it more realistic and a bit distressed, I then stamped the dense script stamp  from ESN25 which ends up looking more like 'scratches' around the border using Archival ink. And once dry, I rubbed Treasure silver around the 'frame' and buffed it up to give it some shine.


I loved how the silver worked so well with the romantic feel of my project.  I felt that it gave it a fairly vintage and soft feel as opposed to a more traditional modern effect.

I really hope that I have inspired you to create a project using Paper Dolls yourself.  They are so fun to use and can give totally different effects and meaning.  And, more importantly to people like myself who do not have any patience, they are already cut out and so there is no fussy cutting (yes, this excited more than you could imagine!).  

I simply loved the Grunge Paste technique - it's so much more interesting than stamping solely onto painted card.  I love the texture and the feel of the stamped Grunge Paste.  I think I could have embellished the project more using, maybe, some pearls and lace.

Thanks for joining me this evening.  And, yes, get out those Paper Dolls and start using them instead of hoarding them!  You can see more about this project on my blog. Do pop along and let me know how you use your Paper Dolls.

Blog: Miriam's Creative Dreams

We always hope that you  learn something interesting from our blog

Our creative team love to read your comments so much, so please take time to let them know you've been inspired!  

You must complete step 1 AND 2 to be entered into the draw. 

To join our challenge:
1. Leave a comment on the Topic Introduction Post and go in the draw to win a PaperArtsy Apron. 
2. Make something arty relevant to the topic, and link your creation from any social URL (eg. Instagram, Pinterest, Blog Post etc) sharing your original make to this challenge page 

The current topic link Topic 10: Paper Dolls will close 17:00 (London Time) Sunday, June 17th 2018, and the winner will be announced 1 hour later at 18:00, because we have some new product announcements starting at 19:00.

Sunday 27 May 2018

2018 Topic 10: Paper Dolls {Topic Introduction and Challenge}

 2018 Topic 10: Paper Dolls

Kaz Hall

Well hello and bonjour everyone, Darcy here. I have just returned from France to bring you  our latest challenge. This one is fun and will take you back to your childhood play days. Do you remember cutting out paper dolls from magazines, or even creating your own? I definitely did, I went through a phase of drawing and colouring paper dolls, each with a different outfit. I had a box full and they went everywhere with me. 

Before we start, let's see who won the Topic 9: Colour: Vintage Neutrals Colour Challenge...

The winner is: Hazel Parr  from Create a smile cards

Email Darcy to claim your prize.

There are many versions of paper dolls available now, you can find an abundance of downloadable dolls online but if you don't fancy the cutting out then the Tim Holtz die cuts are for you. They come in packets with over 100 pieces, enough to play for ages. 

These vintage images slot nicely into so many layouts, themes and colour schemes. These examples will show mostly this type of 'doll' but you can use any paper dolls that you have, or even create your own from stamped parts. The Lynne Perrella Collection has lots of heads to start you off. 

This example is very much a vintage collage of ephemera, beautiful neutrals combined with a little texture. 
Emma Williams
More vintage dolls/people, this time on tags. The theme remains layered and distressed but it set off by the strong blue of the pieces of denim fabric. 

Katje Mezzanotte
I love the use of the embroidery hoop framing this project, it really adds tot he traditional feel. 
Emma Williams
Here the colour scheme is simple and elegant with a splash of vivid colour on the butterfly wings. 

Bobbi Smith
As you can see the vintage dolls work equally well on a colourful background, these tags are stunning. Beautiful blending and inky edges pulls all the elements together. 

More colour here, not just in the background but also on the figure which has had subtle colour added.
A fun keepsake in a tiny tin, this little girls with her blushed cheeks fits perfectly inside this tin with her butterflies. 
Nichola Battilana

Now for a piece that is full on 3d, there is so much to look at here, it is such an inspirational project. From the wheels, the bottles and the flowers tot he boy and the butterflies. I especially like that he stands out for not being coloured so brightly. The carefully placed words lead your eye around all the elements. 
More 3d pieces, this time small houses, subtle tints combined with splashes of colour is the key. 

Such a beautiful colour in this background, with lots of well thought out and placed elements of interest. 

Tracy Evans
I had to include this piece as it is so sweet, all dolls need clothes and somebody has to wash them. This line of dresses has so many lovely little details, peer between the layers to pick them out. 

If you love the clothes of paper dolls then how about adding textured clothes to them, a little scarp of lace looks fabulous. 

Maygreen Fairies
You could also collect petals and leaves and create some stunning fairy outfits. 

Artful Adventures

These little origami dolls are wonderful check out the link under this photo to find a tutorial. 

Omiyage blogs
Another way to join in is to use vintage photos of your own, such as old family photos. Here they are attached to cubes. 

This next one could be so much fun, make these for family and friends, work colleagues or teachers. the templates are on Claudine Hellmuth's blog, find then HERE. 

You can also make your own dolls from blank templates, there are several templates on Kimberly Crick's site, once you have the body shape you can use rubber stamps and patterned papers to add character. The templates are free to download, check them out. 

Kimberley Crick 

So , how will you play with dolls for this topic, will you draw and paint, or stamp and collage or use bought die cuts? whatever you decide to do be sure to link up as we really want to see your creations. 

Don't forget to follow Darcy and Leandra's Pinterest boards if this topic pushes your buttons, you will see plenty more examples to whet your appetite there! I am really looking forward to seeing what you create over the next 2 weeks!

~ Darcy

To join our challenge and win a new Zinski apron:
Simply make something arty relevant to the topic, and link your creation from any social URL (eg. Instagram, Pinterest, Blog Post etc) sharing your original make to this challenge page.

The current topic link Topic 10: Paper Dolls will close 17:00 (London Time) Sunday, June 17th 2018, and the winner will be announced 2 hours later at 19:00.

NB you have 3 weeks for this challenge due to New Products being announced

All links go in the draw to win a PaperArtsy creative apron. Please make sure we can contact you as a prize winner - it helps if you share your contact info from the platform you opt to use.

Good Luck! If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask!