I have previously written a post about our childhood paper dolls but today I want to share a link that my sister sent me last week.
It is called “Free Paper Dolls”
As the title suggests it is a site where you can download paper dolls. You can search the collection by decades from 1930s to the 1960s, by theme for example babies or Christmas or by publisher eg. Saalfield, Whitman etc.
My sister and I loved playing with paper dolls as children. They are fragile toys though so most of them did not survive our childhoods. We are always excited when we find a reproduction of an old favourite. The first paper dolls we had were British and apart from our original “Bunty” paper doll we’ve not come across many of those.
However, we have had less trouble finding the American ones that we played with. My sister did a lot of the research to find them. I can’t remember how many sets of wedding paper dolls she searched through before she found the one that I used to have. Saalfield’s “Bridal Party”. She bought me a repro copy as a gift.
The Free Paper Dolls site has some other childhood favourites of ours. This is Saalfield’s “The Old Woman Who Lived In A Shoe”.
Another Saalfield set we had was “Best Friends”. I do love the graphics in these old paper doll books
Another reproduction set that my sister gave me is “Campus Queens” also by Saalfield. Apart from our Bunty comic dolls we seem to have had more Saalfield paper dolls than any other company. I don’t think the free site has Campus Queens but you can purchase a reproduction book from this site.
Even though I’ve never seen these specific paper dolls before, the illustration style gave me a wave of nostalgia. Especially the American dolls. I remember feeling disappointed that I never grew up into that kind of figure and clothes.
I cut my paper dolls from the pages my grandmother’s McCall magazine. They were printed in the magazine for free. They didn’t hold up for more than one play. But I loved them.
We had many paper dolls that were inside comic books and to prolong their life mum would stick them on to cardboard for us. After much experimentation we found that the cardboard that shirts and socks were packaged with was best. We developed a cardboard fixation which I still have today. Can’t bear to throw out a good bit of cardboard :).
We didn’t have any cardboard to put them on or any glue to put them on with. But we always talked about how we should do it. And, yes. I hate to part with a good bit of cardboard as well. 😉