Paper Dolls

September 19, 2009 at 03:25 | Posted in Bits and Pieces, memories | 4 Comments
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How many of us played with paper dolls growing up? If we were good, my mother would buy my sister and I books of paper dolls. We would carefully cut out the dolls and all their clothes. Some of the books even had little accessories or animal pets to go along with the dolls. Who could ever forget Betsy McCall from Good Housekeeping Magazine™? How I loved her! I was probably more eager than my mother for each month’s new issue to appear in the grocery stores.

I suspect almost every child in America was required at some point to make a diorama. Remember those? A box would be set up to make a three dimensional display. We would gather shoe boxes usually from my mother to make doll houses for all of our paper dolls. We had a huge screened in porch out front where we would sit by the hour playing. My mother gave us old magazines and Sears catalogues to cut up for paper dolls. We would cut out furnishings and all sorts of exciting things for our paper doll families. The models became our paper dolls and they were able to ‘wear’ all the latest fashions and change as often as they liked! Flat shirt boxes became our storage boxes to protect all of them. We could lay all the dolls out flat along with all of their clothes and furniture!

I’m not sure where all of my paper dolls disappeared to over time but for a few years, that was one of my favorite past times. Although my sister doesn’t remember all the time we spent playing on the porch with them, it is probably one of my favorite memories of the rare things we did together. She was the older sister and I was the pesky younger one. Yet, she would spend time with me especially on rainy days out on the porch cutting out all the catalogues!



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  1. I, too, played with paper dolls, but they weren’t my favourite things. My mum loved paper dolls though as a girl, she said, and I have often thought she must have been disappointed I didn’t care so much. I still have a few and even some paper doll pages she cut out from magazines.
    Sounds as if you and your sister were very organzized about your paper doll collections. What good memories!

    • My sister doesn’t remember as much about the paper dolls even nthough she is my ‘big sister’ – I guess they were really more what I loved so I cherished the memory! Also because she is the older sister, we did not often play together so guess this was a good memory from when she was tolerating me! Thank goodness we both grew up so we could become better friends!

      • Ah, nice to have a big sister even if she wasn’t into playing with you too much.

  2. My sister was older than me, too, and paper dolls were about the only thing we did together (besides argue).

    To this day I still love them. I don’t have any of my originals, but I’ve been able to replace some of them.

    My sister collects new ones, like the Tom Tierney from Dover press. I prefer used vintage ones.

    And I also collect old Sears and Montgomery Wards catalogs. But I make photocopies for projects. My dad would never have believed that I actually pay for those catalogs like the ones they used to throw away.

    A very pleasant, enjoyable post.

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