Sunday, August 03, 2008

Crinoline Lady Craft

There seems to be a revival of interest in the Crinoline Lady. I found a Crinoline Lady teacup here, which is rare, and it brought back some memories of the Crinoline doll kits we used to be able to get. I remembered a punch out paper doll that fastened in the back, but couldn't find a pattern for it so I spent a few evenings cutting and pasting, til I arrived at this, and I would like to share it. A little girl comes over to my house once a week and we play. She had never been shown how to make paper dolls and was quite enchanted with this concept and I could see it was really absorbing her, so I decided to publish this for everyone else.

Here they are sitting on the table cloth. You could perhaps write a name on each one.

These are made with typing paper and colored with my deluxe crayon set, but sketch paper might work better, as it would be sturdier without being too stiff. Crayons work better on art paper, as well. Chalks would work very well as colors, if you have the artists chalks that people use with rubber stamps.

If you use it for a napkin ring, you will have to tape it in the back and bend the doll bodice forward more.

I designed these so that they could be sent in a regular sized card envelope, as you see here. However, if you use the pattern as a template, it will turn out a bit larger, due to your lines being drawn around my lines, so you'll have to trim off your outer lines before inserting it into the envelop. Put it in the envelope flat and write instructions for assembly. Be sure to clip the tabs before sending it to someone.

They are cone-shaped and stackable.

This is the cardstock lady with a stand in back. To make it sturdier, make the stand double cardstock. You could use these as placecards or insert them in envelopes for invitations.

Here is the template for these paper dolls. You can copy it off as many times as you like, and you can also paste it on cardstock and use it as a template. Right click and save it to your pictures and then print it out. Its free now, but later if it goes in a book, you'll have to pay for it, so have some fun with it if you want to.

The doll with a stand, works best on colored cardstock. You can embellish it with stickers or special glitter pens and glitter glue. The circular crinoline doll does not work well with cardstock but you could try it. I found paper easier to work with. Be sure to cut the mark in the back to hook it together. One cut is on the left of the tab and one is on the right. Clip them and insert them together. If you use colored paper, I've provided the dolls bodice to glue over it. Copy it several times to make pictures to color. Polka Dot Rose has some vintage cards which show the little girls dresses that inspired my Crinoline Lady Paper Doll. I hope this shop owner will keep the pictures there even if she sells the cards, because they are so pretty and show a bygone era that was so sweet and innocent for girls.
p.s. Try glitter on these paper dolls for some bling. I used a glitterized crayon for one of them and it creates a beautiful sheen. The Crazy Haberdasher has a sample of Crinoline Lady pictures, embroidery, and motifs, from the past, here. See the Shabby Chic technique used on the stand up Lady Crinoline doll here

Lillibeth gave us this tea cup. It was such a surprise. She knows I've always admired the English cottages, and she spotted this Royal Albert in an antique store. I was only mad because she spent way too much money on it. I am still in the past, trying to get things for 99 cents.

This is a different shot of the tea cup to show how the floral motif on the inside matches the saucer. My criteria for tea cups is: the more there is on the cup, the more I get for my money. Something on the inside of the cup makes it more entertaining as one takes tea.


Domestically Inclined said...

A beatiful tea cup and darling little paper dolls. I will have to try to duplicate your pattern to send some to my young niece. You must have enjoyed your time making them!

Lydia said...

I would recommend you make it easy on yourself and just print it out on good paper several times and color them or let someone else color them.

Marqueta (Mar-kee-ta) G. said...

Dear Lady Lydia,

Thank you so much for taking your time to put this pattern up-with four little girls, we're always looking for new ways to make paper dolls! And Lillibeth picked out a beautiful cup for you. I agree, it's a bonus to have something beautiful on the inside as well as the outside (like with people, right?)!



candy said...

Dear Lydia,
I am so glad you put them on your blog :) :)
Everyone will love them!!! I will show you the ones I end up making :)

That is so nice that Lillibeth gave you the tea cup and saucer for your anniversary. Its very pretty.

Candy :)

Lydia said...

For good results, you may find that bending the doll forward at the waistline makes it display better.

Lara said...

Dear Lydia,
I loved the paper dolls. Thanks for sharing them with us. Though I'm not really an arts and crafts person, I'll try to make these.
God bless you

Lydia said...

Lady Lara, it is a ready made craft so it doesn't require a crafty person to assemble them. If you like to color, that is enough. Craftier people would probably go to a lot more trouble, using different materials and altering the pattern, but just plain, it still makes a nice favor and is a lot of fun if you just want to relax but not get into something too complicated.

Jodi said...

Happy Anniversary! I love your tea cup criteria. :o)

Aelwyn said...

Thank you for giving everyone this pattern! I recently cut out some paperdolls from a Mary Englebreit magazine. My Miriam is a little too young for them just yet. It is too hard for her to fold the tabs, although she loved trying. I laminated one set and put magnetic tape on the back. If you do it just right, a toddler can dress the doll using the refrigerator as a background. The magnets on the clothes have to correspond with a magnet on the back of the doll for it to work.

Great idea for little girls - or even a ladies' lunch or tea.

Katrinka said...

What beautiful teacups you have and also I saw some really pretty ones on Lillibeth's site. I was wondering where you get teacups like this, as I don't usually see them in antique stores. Maybe they are the ones locked up in the glass cases??? I used to have a really beautiful teacup and saucer that a friend gave me and I used it every day, so it sat out on my counter . . . until something fell from the cupboard on it and broke it. Very pretty stuff!!

Anonymous said...

Very, very pretty cup & saucer! Lillibeth found just the right gift. :o)


Kelli said...

Dear Lady Lydia,

This is a lovely idea for a children's craft. Thank you for sharing the pattern. The tea cup and saucer with the little cottage are beautiful. A cottage with a thatched roof is so romantic.

My husband's first trade was roofing. As a young man he worked for a company that provided a 'roof restoration' service for heritage homes. He had opportunity to work repairing a thatched roof for a cottage in Australia (a little different than the European style). Today he will often comment on the roofs of historic homes. I think he’d love to go back to the trade.

~Lady Kalianne

Lydia said...

You find these at Goodwill and St. Vincent's before the antique dealers get them. They aren't as organized and you have to sort through a lot of them but it is worth poking around there to get a treasure without paying a high price.

T said...

I remember playing paper dolls with my mom when I was a little girl. I think I just found my next project with my girls! Thank you they are so cute!

~~Deby said...

My patterns are printing right now...thank you for doing this...
Happy Anniversary....may God continue to bless you and your beloved in this next year of your life together...

Domestically Inclined said...

I took your advice and printed them but had to increase the size to 250% as they came out quite small. They are lovley, I'm sure my neice will love them! Thank you!

Anonymous said...

I was very proud of a tea cup I found at an antique shop two months ago. It was $18.00, but right away I recognized it as Wedgwood Queensware, from seeing an article on it in Victoria magazine years ago, and it seemed old, and I bought it because I loved it and wondered if I was getting a treasure below price depending on how old it was. It had the pretty raised grapevine around the saucer AND all around the INSIDE of the cup! I wasn't able to check around before buying it as we were away from home.
I was not careful enough in packing it in the car, and when my husband opened the back door, its package fell out and it broke! That was my first tea cup "find"! I found a place I can send it that claims to be able to repair it to almost brand new, but that's a LOT more money! After I searched online, I learned that the code on the bottom said it was made in 1932.
I can't really tell from searching online whether it would be worth having this expertly repaired or not - can't tell if the repair cost would be over the value of the cup, since I can't find the same one for sale anywhere. It will probably be over $70.00 to repair. Do you have any ideas, just from your own familiarity with tea things? I just wondered if you might have a sense for how often these turn up. I am very new to looking at this sort of thing. They still make a current replica today, but it's just not the same.
I am in a quandry, because I can't bear to throw such a thing away, but what an amount of money to end up paying for it!

It is in three big pieces, fortunately.

I love your cups, and seeing your daughter's cups on her website.

Thank you again for all the effort you put into your website. I benefit from it greatly!

Lydia said...


It is almost impossible to repair a broken cup. If a cup does by some fortune get repaired fully, it still can't take normal wear and tear and can't really be used. I take the broken tea cups and collect them in a box, and then they can be used for tiles in artwork, or jewelry. You can sell these broken pieces. Instead of trying to spend money on a cup that cost you very little, save the pieces including the markings underneath, and see if someone will buy the pieces. Then, look around for more tea cups. Sometimes there is a collection of them that turn up at the Goodwills and the St. Vincent de Paul's and you can poke around for them. It is a lot more fun to find them that way. Yard sales and garage sales are another good way to find them. There is no sense at all spending $70.00 on a cup that cost you much less. Use the $70.00 you might have spent, to go to some antique stores and look for tea cups at antique stores. There was a cup I found, without its saucer, that I bought just because it was 99c, my favorite price. I didn't know it was valuable. I found out later it sold for quite a bit with the matching saucer. I don't buy them to sell or because they are valuable. I buy one if it says something about my values: it has to be pretty and make a person think of home, and everything good, when they look at it. I use all the cups and when company comes they choose the one they want to drink out of. They dont always drink tea out of them but using them is such a pleasure. There are a couple of them that are so very old that I do not use, but for the most part, they are used, and sometimes they do break, giving me an excuse to get another one.

Unknown said...

These are cute dolls. I've never heard or seen Crinoline lady. I have 3 girls that would enjoy a craft like this.

I just love teacups....yours is lovely & unique. My husband bought me a brand new tea set several years back. My friend, sold them as a part of her home business & sold me the set at wholesale cost. I got a great deal! Teacups/sets are marked up by at least 60%.

molytail said...

Those dolls are cute! I remember having some paper doll kits when I was a kid - they were store bought, but still... I bet my dd11 would like these - she's artsy and would have a great time decorating their dresses. :-) Thanks for sharing them!

Cute teacup! I *hate* tea (I'm a coffee drinker) but I love cute little teacups with saucers. :-)

Anonymous said...

When a pretty cup breaks and the big pieces can be put together, though it is certainly not fit for drinking from it anymore, I do not discard it. I sometimes tie a nice piece of ribbon around the handle, and plant a small plant inside. It's small and cute. Right now I have a cup with a couple of birds on it and the verse "Love does not seek its own" - I planted some ivy in it (I do love ivy so much!) and it's sitting on my kitchen window sill, right in front of my sink. You may consider doing something like this.

Mrs. P

Anonymous said...

Thank you! I didn't know if it was my duty to preserve this rare cup in the world! I feel so guilty. :) I have heard of the tiling thing, but never really thought about or tried it. I never had enough broken cups before! It is very pretty. Maybe a wall hanging? I also have a broken cup of my mom's.
I always thought those ads for turning your cups into jewelry were really pretty, in the back of tea magazines, but this is probably exorbitant as well.


Lydia said...

You can make a pin cushion out of it. Some of the shabby chic stores on the web sell them. You can also get a little plaster at WalMart in a small quantity, and plaster some of the prettier pieces onto a shelf or a picture frame, a tray, a small table, a wooden birdhouse; just about anything. I'm not sure where to send the pieces to have jewelry made, but you could investigate making some jewelry from it. They ivy or pansy in a tea cup is a very old and good idea. I have a cracked teapot in my garden with impatients in it and the flowers match the teapot. Beside it is a cracked cup and saucer with plants in it. You can make a birdfeeder out of an old cup and saucer by placing it on top of a post outside.

Mrs. V. said...

I love the teacup! It's so unusual ~ I've not seen them with cottages on them before. I always keep my eyes open at T.J.Max for teacups as they almost always have very pretty ones at discounted prices.

Lydia said...

Yes, check TJ MAX for new tea cups. I have several from there and they are stronger than your antique cups. Ladies I should probably remind anyone who is new to tea cup collecting that you should not put antique cups or any fine cups in the dishwasher. Line your dishpan and rinse pan with a clean dishtowel and add hot water and soap and a drop of bleech. Slide the cups in separately so they don't rattle against one another. Wash stains with a soda icarb paste you make from water and soda. Baking powder will take out stains, too. Then pull through the rinse water and dry upside down on another towel. Don't stack them up on top of other cups and saucers. They'll serve you a long time if you'll take care of them. Dishwashers tend to strip them of the gold trim and fade the pictures. We will do a video of how to wash them, sometime (usually it takes me 5 years to do something after I get the idea...

Lydia said...

I am sorry the pattern did not print out fully enlarged. Perhaps while scanning, I failed to click something that would make it the proper size. It was drawn on regular size paper.

Mrs. K's Lemonade Stand said...

That is a sweet craft. It reminds me a bit of paper dolls when I was a child. I am not sure little girls play with them that often now, which is a shame. I use to create my own and it offered hours of little girl fun. :)
I’m glad you are sharing the craft with your neighbor’s child!

By the way… I LOVE the teacup! What a nice gift!

The Lady of the House said...

What a simple, frugal, creative little craft. Thanks for sharing. I think I'll print the pattern and mail it to my littlest cousins.

Ace said...

Dear Lady Lydia,

I love this craft! I have two little dds at home and they love to dress dolls. I am going to try to make these with them.

Thanks again!
Many Blessings :)

crazyhaberdasher said...

Thankyou for your comment on my blog. I love your crinoline ladies! ...and I love the colours that you used - they look so pretty together. I think I might have a pattern for a circular skirt made from foam that would accomodate a pretty half doll, but it would take some time to find it as a lot of my collection is packed away!

Lydia said...

I am still perfecting this pattern and trying to get it more scientific it the balance. It doesn't quite sit flush with the table so you can add some lace tothe skirt and it sits quite well. This would be great for a bridesmaids party, tea party, a little girl's activity, or just fun if you like to color. You can trace around it and leave the whole skirt blank, and re-design the ruffles so that it is similar to Crinoline Lady skirts, and put rosebud stickers at the gathers.

Lydia said...

Oops! Sorry, that cup is not a Royal Albert. The label says:

Regency English, made in England, and there is no title of the picture or style.

Unknown said...


It is so uplifting to sip from a beautiful cup after a long day. It refreshes the soul and seems to bring one back to order and calm. This is a beautiful find Lillibeth brought to you. Tell her I love the cup she shared on her blog. Lillibeth has found some beautiful wares at the antique or thrift stores she visited during her summer holiday?
I never saw such lovely finds when I was visiting. They must be unique to that particular area.
How edifying to see them~thank you for sharing!

Anonymous said...

Dear Lydia,

I went to TJ Maxx last night, and, of all things, found a tea cup so similar to the one I broke that I couldn't believe it. Nobody would think it was a Wedgwood, of course, but it was the same "idea" - all cream with relief work of floral swags, and cut-out work on the edge of the saucer to look like lace. It was $5.00. What a coincidence!

I have all boys, so we cannot do the paper dolls, although I will send it to my neice, and will probably play with them myself when the boys are out with Daddy. I was also pleased with the paper dolls in the Girlhood Home Companion, that I ordered from the link on your sight. I decided that just because I had all boys didn't mean I shouldn't order girl things for myself, just to enjoy what I didn't get growing up, and I'm sure there will be little girls in my life in the future.

When I thought of decorating your paper doll, I remembered an article in Victoria magazine (what issue?) that showed an art display of two women who had recreated real, life-sized, historic costumes using paper instead of fabric. The paper they used had been painstakingly cut to look like lace, or stamped to look like patterned fabric, or pleated and stitched to look real. It was so beautiful They said they did it just because they loved doing it, because it brought them joy, and it was such a beautiful article, I looked at it over and over again.

I have a lace-edge punch that I will try on your lady, and a rubber stamp that is toile-like, and see what happens.

Also, a similar activity that boys can do, is the "Richard Scarry's Best Rainy Day Book Ever". It is boy-friendly, as the cut-outs in it are cute animals, trains, cars, and houses that become 3-D when you cut them out and paste them together. My boys will play with this book forever when I get it out. I am going to have to order some more of them. The only thing to tear out and throw away is the October page, which has an owl with a witch hat on and a jack-o-lantern.

We should have everyone send in a picture of their version of your doll. :) They would be nice for name-cards at a tea table, also.


Lydia said...

Julielou: you could also get the Boys Handibook--it is just as much fun, with things you can do with the boys. I enjoyed it so much when mine were little. It makes you think: Its so much fun being a boy!

Lydia said...

I haven't had time to do a regular post lately, as I am sewing a lot, but I just wanted to share something: The statistics counter showed a visit from Bejing, China yesterday and I was thrilled, no end, as I had not had a visit from China, ever, before. Another country I'd be happy to "see" on my blog is Mongolia, which I have never had.