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Artful Glory

Paper Doll Self-Portrait

Artful Glory

There’s been a lot of buzz lately about paper dolls. I like the idea of paper dolls!

They stretch the imagination by enticing us to play with so many different media.  And, they are easy to create.

For my paper doll, I wanted a theme. I decided that it would be a self-portrait. I wanted to portray myself as an artist.  In particular, I wanted to show the way I see myself creating and the feelings I have when I make art.  So I decided to dress myself in a zany costume that shows just how much fun art is to me.  I also wanted to show how creativity puts me in a dreamy, heavenly sort of state of mind. To do this, I decided to mount the doll on canvas, in a collage-type composition.

Here’s how I did it:


  • Photo of a face
  • Watercolor paper
  • Canvas or other element to create collage on
  • Rubber stamps of words, stamp of torso, stamp of legs, stamp of angelic wings (or drawings/cut-out pictures that are copyright-free)
  • Ink for the stamps (you can also use paint)
  • Watercolor paint in shades of blue (OR Caran D’Ache artist crayons OR Portfolio water based pastels)
  • A few beads or other embellishments
  • Fabric scraps
  • A bit of mohair
  • Small found object(s)
  • Gel medium to glue it down with (if not available, use a good clear glue)

1.  Paint the canvas with watercolor paint or color with crayons/pastels. When dry, put it under the sink and let the water run off. This creates a dreamy feel.  Allow it to dry again.
2.  Stamp the canvas with a rubber stamp that has words, in a repeating motion.
3.  Stamp legs, torso, and wings onto watercolor paper and cut out.
4.  Make a skirt, pants or whatever with fabric scrap.
5.  Cut out face from photo, from chin to forehead.
6.  Arrange paper doll parts on the canvas.
7.  Using gel medium, glue them down. Don’t glue the wings down completely. This will let them “fly.”
8.  Create a necklace with small beads or desired embellishment. Glue this down with gel medium, as well. Do the same for any other found objects or additional elements of the composition.
9.  Apply a thin layer of gel medium over the paper doll to seal it.
10.  Add some mohair for fun
11.  To finish off the piece, rub antique gold paint with your fingers along the edge. This adds to the dreamy effect and pulls it all together very nicely.


I had a lot of fun with this piece.  When I look at it, it inspires me to do art  Try making a “self-portrait of your own!

This post was edited with the original photos.  The self-portrait is no longer available for a better photo.  Thanks for reading and have a dollightful day!



  • August 9, 2006

    Dear Rivkah,
    This is too cool. Your use of mixed media is very impressive.
    And, so is your list of supplies.
    Marge B.

  • August 22, 2006

    Enjoyed looking at your new stuff.

  • December 17, 2009

    Dear Rivkah,
    Thank you for being open and sharing so much information. Many sites charge for any tutorial at all and it's hard to know where to begin or which one is appropriate for a beginner. I have made a couple of dolls, which I would like to hide under a bush outside some place.
    I did make the eyes and they look great! That has given me the confidence to try shoes and wings!
    Your site is keeping me busy and I love you for that.
    Wishing you the best, Leanne

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