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Make your own Magnetic Paper Dolls (and a fabric cover for your metal base)


Thank you for such kindness and sympathy towards my last post.  My grandmother will be greatly missed.  And we’re all doing perfectly well.  She’s one happy lady right now. :)

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I have been a little set back with holiday prep, due to my trip to CA.  But I stayed up late last night, finishing up a few things because I can hardly wait until Christmas morning.  There are so many little things I’d like to make……we’ll see how far I get.  And if I don’t finish in time, no biggie, I’ll finish them eventually and give them as “Happy January 15th” gifts.  Or something. ;)


Anyway, I was walking through some store, some day (haha…..I can’t remember specifically because I’ve seen them several places), and a set of magnetic dress up dolls caught my eye.  It was $30 for the whole set and I just couldn’t stomache the price……even though I knew my almost 5 year old would love a set.


So while at Hobby Lobby, I saw a little book of paper dolls (over by the coloring books) and decided that $4 (plus a bit more for the other supplies) was way better than $30…..if I just took the time to make them myself.


And before I explain any further…….my original plan was to find some cute boy paper dolls and make one of these for my little guy too.  And then I thought longer and realized he’d probably enjoy a pirate ship and some pirates more, so he could create a little magnetic scene with them.  However, I ran out of time.  So keep that in mind if you don’t have any little girls to make this for.  (Cut out some dinosaurs, some cars, a jungle scene……or anything.  Boys would love sticking their shapes to a metal sheet as well.)



Anyway, the book of paper dolls worked perfectly for this project.  And gave me so many choices to choose from.  (I probably only used about a 1/5 of the paper doll punch-out book.)  But this way, I could choose the exact outfits from the book that I wanted to use………and then use a metal cookie sheet to stick them to.  How fun to have so many outfits to swap in and out.



And I don’t want my little lady to lose any of her pieces……so I made a little fabric cover.  Kind of like a fitted sheet.



It’s the perfect way to keep everything together while not in use.  Perfectly snug.




My little girl loves to imagine.  And play pretend.  And make her little dolls talk and interact

She’ll love this.



I think I mostly love that everything gets tucked away under the fitted fabric cover.  Oh, and the fact that this cost me way less than the varieties I have seen in the store.  Both make me happy.



And don’t worry……I have tested and played and bent the pieces a bit.  The paper dolls haven’t peeled up one bit from the magnetic sheet.  That was my biggest worry.  But nope, no problems there.



Christmas morning will be an imaginative one.

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Would you like to make your own Magnetic Paper Dolls?






  • Book of Pre-cut Paper Dolls, $3.80 (Hobby Lobby with my coupon….over by the coloring books)
  • Adhesive Magnetic Sheets, $2(?) for 2 sheets (I bought mine at Wal-Mart….cheapest I found.  I bought 3 packages.  But it just depends on how big your doll pieces are.  Mine were really big.)
  • Cookie Sheet, $2.88 (Wal-Mart……..or use an old one and spray paint it.  Cute.)
  • Piece of scrap fabric slightly bigger than your cookie sheet, free (from my stash)
  • A piece of 1/8 inch side elastic a little smaller than the perimeter of your fabric piece, free (from my stash)
  • OPTIONAL: scrap fabric for lettering and small piece of double sided fusible web, free (from my stash)



Before I began, I thought I was going to have to use special glue and seal the edges and add extra glue to each piece, etc.  However, the adhesive magnetic sheets I bought worked wonderfully.  It doesn’t peel away from the paper dolls at all.  In fact, I tried to peel a paper doll dress off of the magnetic sheet and it tore the bottom layer of the dress right off.  Success.


Here is the package of magnetic sheets I bought, that came as a 2 pack.  They worked awesome and like I mentioned above, the paper dolls aren’t peeling up one bit.  This stuff sticks pretty darn well.



To get started, punch out your doll pieces (or cut if applicable) and place them right to the sticky side of your magnetic sheets.  Try to use up as much space as possible and arrange all of your doll pieces down first before cutting anything.  Press each piece down firmly.  Then, begin cutting out each shape with the magnetic sheet stuck right to the back.


Each of your pieces should be nice and secure to the magnetic backing.


Repeat with all of your pieces.  Set aside.



If you want to make a cover for your cookie sheet base……..cut out a piece of fabric that is about an inch bigger on all sides.  Cut with the contour of your cookie sheet.


Then zig-zag or serge around the outer edge.


Then cut out letters and adhere to the fabric with double sided fusible webbing.  (I did this the same way as the lettering here.  Except instead of stitching around each letter, I just sewed a line through the center of each letter……just to keep them in place.  I figured that the stitch plus the adhesive of the webbing would keep it on well enough because this will never be thrown in the washer.)


Next, place your fabric right side down, under the needle of the sewing machine.  Begin sewing one end of your elastic down for about an inch, right next to the edge of the fabric.  (I started in the middle of one of the longer sides.)  Then, with your needle in down position, pull the end of you elastic so that it stretches out a bit……..


Then keep it pulled and lay it down along your fabric.  Be sure to keep that fabric pulled flat as you sew, like shown on the left.  Down loosen the grip on your elastic or it will pull in your fabric, like shown on the right (which is not correct).  Just keep the elastic pulled semi tight and right next to the edge of the flat fabric as you sew.  And sew down the center of the piece of elastic.  (Using a zig-zag stitch can be helpful for this too if you keep missing the elastic as you sew.)


And then as you sew, your elastic will pull back in and will pull the fabric in with it.  See how that works??  This way, you don’t need a casing for your elastic.  And as you sew around a corner, just pull the elastic around the corner a bit, sew a few stitches, then re-adjust and repeat several times.


After you make your way all the way around your fabric, overlap the elastic about an inch and sew down in place.  Cut the excess elastic off.


Now your fabric piece should cinch in like this.  If it didn’t, you didn’t pull your elastic tight enough as you were sewing.  (And you’ll have to unpick it and try again.)  If it’s pulled in tighter than this, that’s okay……it will still work great.


Now place over your cookie sheet to be sure it fits just right.



And that’s it.  Your little Magnetic Paper Doll set is ready to be played with.  Now make a little boy version with boy paper dolls (if you can locate some)……or create a magnetic scene of dinosaurs or cars or friendly monster shapes.  Just as fun.




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This post is sponsored by:


Ashley Johnston

Administrator at Make It & Love It
Ashley Johnston is a professional DIY costume maker, sewist, crafter, and owner of Make It & Love It. She is a mom of 5 and a wife to a very patient (with the craft clutter) husband. In case you’re wondering, she always chooses crafting/sewing/designing over mopping/dusting/wiping base boards……but bathrooms/laundry/full bellies are always attended to. Whew!

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Hi, I'm Ashley

Hi, I’m Ashley—the DIY-enthusiast behind this crazy blog!

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