Sentimental Sunday

As a child I was a tomboy and playing with dolls was not my favorite thing, though I would play dolls with my sister. But i also like to play fort with my brother.

mk & sibs in key westMy brother John, sister Nancy and myself.Key West, FL about 1950

 But I did have a thing for paper dolls. I liked cutting them out, changing their outfits and making up stories about them that brought then alive.


I remember on Saturdays, my dad would give each of us a quarter and take us to the Five and Dime store and let us pick out whatever we wanted that fit our 25 cent budget. I would head right to the paper doll section and and stand there in indecision until my dad said it was time to go and then finally pick out one book of paper dolls. But first I would have picked up each book and scanned through each page and decide if it was right for me.

Then i could not wait to get home and play with them. I would sit on the floor and cut them out. Cutting out is still not one of my best skills. I was and still am in such a rush to get the finished project cut out I do sometimes cut in the wrong places. But once the dolls and clothes were cut out I began to play. I especially liked celebrity dolls and the clothes they owned were enough to get your imagination going. I remember some of my favorites were the Lennon Sisters from “The Lawrence Welk Show” and Grace Kelly. From the  comic book world I liked Veronica and Betty from “Archie.” Of course there were generic ones with great clothes or just fun characters.

I coveted the Betsy McCall paper dolls that were in McCall Magazine. (The Betsy McCall link has scanned pages from the magazine you can print out.) But, I also made paper dolls out of images in magazines.  In fact I still like to cut up magazines, now they become parts of collages.

I read that the “Golden Ages of Paper Dolls” was 1930s through the 1950s. So my obsession with them was coincidental with their popularity.  Then I reached an age where I lost interest and moved on to other things. But I never lost my imagination.

If you are interested in paper dolls here is a great page with links to free printable paper dolls.


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