Japanese Paper Doll Instructions

If you are interested in Japanese customs, you may find it intriguing that Hina Matsuri is Japanese Girl’s Day in Japan, and is also Doll Festival Day. On this day, parents express their love and pride in their daughters. During this special time, girls wear their best kimonos and hold a tea ceremony with invited girls and their dolls. All are very polite and have proper manners as they enjoy the sweet rice cakes in green, pink, and white. To make your own Japanese Paper Doll is fairly simple.

First, gather your materials which include: colored copy paper or origami patterned paper (1/2 sheet, 5 1/2″ x 8 1/2″), scissors, glue, markers, and paper scraps. Cut your sheet of paper in half. Next cut the shape of a head about the size of a quarter with a long neck from a piece of scrap paper. Draw eyes, hair, and facial features as you desire and put this aside until later. Now, take one of your pieces of paper. Cut a 1/2″ strip off the long edge. Fold the top edge of this paper over twice. Turn this over so that the folds are on the back.

Located the center and fold both top corners to the center to make the neckline of the kimono. Leave a small space in the neckline to hold your head shape. Fold each side in again, making sure to line up the bottom edges as you fold. If one side sticks out, just cut it off. Take the 1/2″ strip you cut earlier and wrap it around the waist beginning in the front. Either glue or fold it under in the back and insert the head.

With another sheet of paper, you make the sleeves of your paper doll. Cut off a 1″ strip from the short edge. Fold the larger piece in half. Cut a rectangle into the center of the open edges. Round off each edge for a girl’s kimono or cut off angular sleeves for a boy’s. Glue onto the back of the kimono with the open slit down.

Now, you have your very own Japanese paper doll to enjoy and partake in the special tea ceremony rich in Japanese tradition.

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