How to Make Paper Dolls

By: the Editors of Publications International, Ltd.

Little Worry Dolls

You will cover the doll with newspaper strips dipped in paste.
You will cover the doll withnewspaper strips dipped in paste.

After you learn to make Little Worry Dolls, you can send your worries away with miniature dolls who will do all your worrying for you!

Follow this Central American tradition, and keep a set of worry dolls under your pillow. Each night before going to sleep, whisper a worry to each doll. After your troubles have been told, as the tradition goes, you can forget about them. The dolls will do all the worrying that's needed!


How to Make Little Worry Dolls

What You'll Need:

  • Aluminum Foil
  • Masking Tape
  • Newspaper
  • Flour
  • Water
  • Large Mixing Bowl
  • Measuring Cup
  • Plastic Wrap
  • Gesso (available at an art or craft store)
  • Paintbrush
  • Paints

1. To make the dolls, mold the basic body shape for each doll out of aluminum foil. You can mold the body in 1 piece or create separate body parts and then attach them using masking tape. When the doll's shape is finished, cover the whole surface of the doll with masking tape. Now the dolls are ready for papier-mâché.

2. Cover your work surface with newspaper. Tear other sheets of newspaper into small, thin strips, and set aside. Make a thick paste out of flour and water in the mixing bowl; mix 1 cup of flour for every cup of water. Dip the newspaper strips into the paste, and run the strips through your fingers to get rid of excess paste.

3. Lay the strips over the dolls. Cover each doll completely by overlapping the newspaper strips. Set the dolls on newspaper, and let them dry for a day. Then cover them with a second coat of newspaper strips, and set them to dry again. (Keep the paste covered with plastic between uses.)

4. When the dolls are fully dry, paint them with gesso. Let them dry again for about 15 minutes. Now paint the dolls in the colors of your choice. Let them dry completely.

Now it's time to tell them all your troubles!

Want to learn more paper crafts that are great for kids? See:


Family Paper Dolls by Lisa Lerner and Kersten Hamilton