Make a Washi Paper Doll

I recently took a japanese washi paper doll class. After completing the project the two ladies that were teaching the class asked that I come back the next week as they had a gift for me. When I arrived the next week bringing strawberry shortcake to show my appreciation, this was the surprise they had for me. They taught me how to make a japanese paper geisha. Although the doll is traditionally made with japanese washi paper, this is a perfect craft for using up those little scrapbook remnants you can’t bear to part with.

You will need:

About four inches in paper for the kimono.

About an inch x quarter inch of matching paper to create the collar of the kimono.

About an inch x quarter inch of contrasting paper to create a scarf to go under the color.(mine was pink)

About an inch x half an inch of contrasting paper for the obi belt. (mine was pink and also green, I made two!)

About an 2 inches square of paper for the hair. (mine was black)

Any tiny bit of paper will do for the bow.

A white cardstock circle, about half an inch circumference and a small long, skinny piece for the body.

Glue (Elmers or Tacky)

Step One

Cut your kimono paper into a long rectangle, twice the length of your kimono. Fold your kimono paper in half and cut out the shape as seen above. The top tab will be folded under to create a tuck (see step three for a better view). The edges of the sleeves should be slightly rounded to give the illusion of a sleeve. Cut a tiny triangle at the top of the fold to create the neck of the kimono.

 Step Two

 Glue to Cardboard circle to the cardboard body with elmers or tacky glue. Fold in half and wrap the scarf piece around the neck.

Step Three

Fold under the bottom two tabs and glue. This is the bottom of the kimono. Fold under the top piece to create a tab as shown. Do not glue this part as you will need to insert the body of the doll into the kimono.

Step Four

Insert the body into the kimono. Adjust the scarf so that it is visible. Glue the body and glue the edges of the sleeves together. Fold and wrap a small piece of paper matching the kimono around the neck to form a collar.Wrap the obi belt around the doll and over the collar piece then secure it in the back with a dab of glue (see step five for a visual).

Step Five

Cut three small strips of paper for the hair, taking care to cut two of the same size to wrap on the left and right side of the head, as seen in the picture. The hair can be as long or short as you want it to be. The longer piece, as seen in the picture, will be glued on top and will be wrapped around the head, gathered and secured on the back of the head with a dab of glue. See below for the placement of the pieces.

Now, just add a little twisted piece of paper for a bow and you are done!

Write me and let me know how your doll turns out!

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1 Comment

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One response to “Make a Washi Paper Doll

  1. kelliebuelo

    This is seriously the cutest thing ever! I will totally try this!

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