DIY on a Dime: Gingerbread People Paper Dolls

Directions and template to help you craft gingerbread people paper dolls — a great gift you can DIY.

I’ve got children who love to craft. LOVE. Okay, maybe the two bigger ones (12 and 15) think they’re a little too old, but you should have seen them five years ago. That’s where their siblings are today. Totally into it.

For months they’ve been swiping the gingerbread men out of the cookie cutter box. In fact, my ten-year-old has been crafting an entire Avengers team. He’s got all the characters from the films penciled out on paper to give to his younger brother for Christmas. How sweet is that?

Can you just picture the goatee-clad gingerbread man named Tony Stark?! (When he gets them colored in, I’ll be sure to post a picture.)

So, I credit my children with the idea of this next great gift for kids:

Gingerbread People Paper Dolls

In my experience, traditional paper dolls can be really tricky to play with. The tabs tear off the clothes and then you’re stuck with naked dolls. For this craft we went ahead and clothed all the dolls and glued the clothes down.

I created a template with bodies, clothes, shoes, and hair for my kids to cut out. I like the dolls bald, but my kids thought they really needed hair. The hair is inspired by an ancient scrapbook template I found in my supplies. I updated the ‘do just a tad.

If you want to get real fancy, you could use that new removable/restickable glue stick that morphs regular paper into a post-it note. That way the child can dress and undress the dolls.

We also got really fancy tailoring the clothes to fit certain people or characters from stories. This is FishPapa.

You can obviously let your imagination run wild. My son spent quite some time making his sister a Merida doll from the Brave movie, complete with bow and arrows. See?

Run wild with your accessories, people!

There are several ways to make this a great gift. You can give all the supplies and template to an older child so that they can enjoy the process of crafting their people. Include fancy shape scissors, stickers, and extra supplies in small amounts so they can get really creative.

Alternatively make-up several dolls to give to a younger child. We glued our people to popsicle sticks to make it easier for FishChick4 to play with them. For added durability, laminate the dolls or cover them in clear contact paper.

These dolls are great story extenders to a number of books, depending on how you outfit your dolls. Include a copy of the book with your set of dolls so the child can act out the story while an adult reads.

What you’ll need to create Gingerbread People Paper Dolls:

To make the Gingerbread People Paper Dolls:

If you want to give the supplies as a gift, simply package them in a box or manila envelope. Otherwise, proceed with these directions:

  1. Cut out the shapes on the Gingerbread People Template.
  2. Trace the shapes onto colored paper and cut out.
  3. Dress your people.
  4. Cover with contact paper, if using.
  5. Glue on a popsicle stick.

Et voila! That was easy, cheap, and fun. This is a great activity to do with your kids, making it a dual purpose gift: time spent with parents as well as crafty thing to do.

DIY on a Dime

This is part of the DIY on a Dime: Great Gifts series. For more easy and frugal gift ideas, check out the list.

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Comments

  1. Love this idea! I will have to try it out with my younger ones! Thank you for sharing.

  2. I really like these and absolutely LOVE your entire site, but for some reason I can’t get the gingerbread people template to print for my kids. Is it possible to grab the PDF from somewhere? I only see the link to flickr. (But I’m not the most technical person… I’m probably messing up somehow).

    • Jessica Fisher says:

      I was having trouble with my site crashing, so I hosted the photo on flckr. It’s not a pdf, but a photo. So, I think you should be able to right click it on flickr and then download the full size photo. If you then right click to print it or do it in your photo manager, your printer should give you options as to size. Print it full page. Let me know if that doesn’t work and I’ll try something else.

  3. This seriously rocks. We are not going to have time to make our Gingerbread Men Cookies this year. (Wah!) Now you’ve given me a Kid-DIY alternative. So fun! Thank you!!

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