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Make a Faceless Doll

Get inspired, gather your supplies, and follow along with us as we show you how to create your very own faceless doll!

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What’s Your Story?

Each faceless doll tells an artist’s story. Before you begin making your own paper doll, think about a story you want to share.

Your story may be about family, heritage, your identity, someone you admire, or something else you want your doll to share. Try writing down your story in a few sentences, a poem, as a letter, a rap, or in some other way. Brainstorm with colors, drawings, doodles, or patterns.

Use the prompts below to help get you started:

  • What are the most important parts of my identity—what makes me, me?
  • Who is a person I admire, remember, or love?
  • What makes me feel connected to my heritage, culture, family, or home?
  • Apply your senses. Choose a subject for your story (your heritage, identity, person you admire, etc.) to insert in the following prompt: When I think of (subject), I see... I hear... I smell... I taste... I feel...

Supplies

  • Faceless Dolls Template (Courtesy of Yinette Guzman, North Shore Community Development Coalition)
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • A pipe cleaner
  • A small, 1-inch ball (paper, foam, wood, etc.)
  • Yarn
  • Markers, colored pencils, and/or paint
  • Other embellishments, such as gems or stickers

Create Your Own!

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Duration:
5 minutes, 57 seconds

Follow along with Karla Bonilla and Tahmoor Chadury as they create a paper faceless doll.

Steps

  1. Decorate your doll’s dress and hat as you see fit; have fun and express yourself! Make sure you consider where the doll will be folded when you create your design.
  2. Cut out the template for the dress skirt (A), the shoulder ruffle (B), the hem (C), and the hat (D, E, and F).
  3. Make the dress skirt (A) first. Start by rolling it a few times to soften the paper’s ridges. Next, put some glue along the small section next to the dotted line (A). Make sure to use a lot of glue! Carefully press the two edges of the skirt together for hold for a few moments to ensure they’ve stuck.
  4. Repeat the previous step with the shoulder ruffle (B) and the hem (C).
  5. Assemble the skirt by sliding the hem (C) down the length of the dress skirt. Glue the shoulder hem (B) around the top of the dress skirt (A); though not the peak!
  6. Add the pipe cleaner (or arms) by poking small holes, or slits, under the shoulder ruffle.
  7. Glue the dolls head to the peak of the dress skirt (A) above the shoulder ruffle (B).
  8. Create the doll’s hat by cutting along the horizontal lines on (E). Roll up and glue the two opposite edges together. Apply glue to the bottom of (E) and attach to (D). Next, glue (F) on top of section (E) and (D).
  9. Make whatever hairstyle you’d like for your doll using yarn. Popular styles include braids and loose hair.
  10. Finally, glue the hat atop your doll’s hair.

Salem Maritime National Historic Site

Last updated: June 1, 2022