t1is015 ~ Darling Marie and Edith Paper Dolls and Portfolio

Required tools and supplies:

  • X-acto knife and fresh blade -- VERY IMPORTANT
  • A thin metal straight-edge ruler. Make fold lines by pressing against edge of the ruler.
  • Tweezers
  • A good quality cutting mat -- VERY IMPORTANT
  • Detailing scissors
  • Fast-grab, quick-dry white craft glue that dries clear
  • Small piece of aluminum foil to use as a glue pot
  • Artist's paint brush to apply glue


1. Cut out and fold portfolio as shown.

2. Here is how it looks with folds

3. There is a tiny pink square in the center of this side shown (although the square is too small to see in this photograph). That is where you will glue the center point of the length of  pink ribbon, if you elect to use the ribbon tie.

3a. Paint glue to the 4 long side tabs.

4. Use tweezers to securely press the tabs. Cut-out one set of the paper dolls to be displayed in the portfolio. Don't cut the second set.

5. Here is how the portfolio looks with the ribbon tie. Note the doll and stand will be done at a later step.

6. To prepare to cut the paper dolls, replace your blade securely in the X-acto knife. It is terribly important to use a blade that is fresh and has a very sharp tip.  And just as important, is the need to have a cutting mat made for this very purpose. The reasoning is that one tug of the blade, or one really rough cut could leave a piece ruined.


7. Leave the 8 panels of the second set of paper dolls intact. This gives you something to hold on to while you are cutting the outline of each doll and outfit.

8. To begin cutting, always cut the tight spots first. See how the notches at the neck, under arms and leg/ankle have been cut away and pulled up with the tip of the blade.

It is very important to use a good cutting mat for this project. Pulling against cardboard or other surface that doesn't contain silicone or nylon will result in a ratty edge.

9. I cut the little 4 slits on the stand pieces before removing the pieces from the page.

To get a nice curve on the two stand's cross-pieces you may want to use detailing scissors.

Do not cut the 4 slits too far into the pieces, but you may need to make a very thin V-cut to make the stands work. As demonstrated in step 5's photo, the stand does work. Use tweezers to assemble the cross-pieces into the stand.


10. Here you see how wise it is to make short cuts--start at the dress and cut away from it. It is also advisable to press the blade through the paper rather than the normal pull the blade through the paper.

11. Here you can see how the last move after cutting all the notch type cuts is to cut the lateral flat cuts. Such as: the dress's bottom edge and the top edges of the tabs.

12. When cutting the hats, cut the slit for the head first.

13. Use the same cutting techniques on the hats as for the dresses. It may have been advisable to use detailing scissors along the hat's bottom edge.  It would have been a little smoother looking.

Some people do better with scissor, some do better with the blade tool.  I have found that scissors tend to make the finished piece wavy and not smooth and flat, which detracts from its professional appearance.

14. This is just another example of how a piece looks when cuts are done properly--from dress edge outward.

If you try to cut one long continuous line following the perimeter with either a blade or scissors, you will end up with a very wavy edge. The surface paint will chip off and the paper will fray and separate in layers. This tutorial sounds way more involved than is necessary for this process. I just wanted to address every aspect and obstacle.


Paper Minis™ Miniatures
Front Royal, Virginia
email: ann-vanture@paperminis.com

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