Directions and template to help you craft gingerbread people paper dolls — a great gift you can yourself. Paper dolls are great for gift tags as well as for play.
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. 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.
Gingerbread People also make great gift tags!
What you’ll need to create Gingerbread People Paper Dolls:
- colored papers
- the Gingerbread People Template
- optional: popsicle sticks, clear contact paper
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:
- Cut out the shapes on the Gingerbread People Template.
- Trace the shapes onto colored paper and cut out.
- Dress your people.
- Cover with contact paper, if using.
- 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.
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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.