Posts Tagged ‘paper toy’

This is a Paper Palace to Cut Out and Color - Evaline Ness

This is a Paper Palace to Cut Out and Color
Designed by Evaline Ness
ISBN 0-684-14708-4

My mother gave this book to me way back in the mid 1970s.

She had come across it in a cut-price bookshop that used to be on the Kilburn High Road (in London).

Shops like these are the last chance for a book that has been remaindered.

If a book doesn’t sell there it is pulped, and I have always been glad and grateful that this one, at least, was rescued.

I have never taken the book apart in order to turn it into a 3d palace, but I have decorated (and re-decorated) again and again in my imagination.

One of the things that I find particularly pleasing about it is the way the shape of two of the rooms is changed by the triangular supports.

This is a Paper Palace to Cut Out and Color - Evaline Ness - back cover

Then there is the way that it is possible to allow furniture to spill out of the rooms, not to mention the way that the owner of the palace is encouraged to use their imagination – and plenty of gold !

This is a Paper Palace - Evaline Ness

Whenever I need to make something fine and golden for a dolls’ house, this is one of the first places that I visit for inspiration.


The book is still in copyright, so I can’t share it it great detail here –

This is a Paper Palace - Evaline Ness



– but if you are inspired to make a Paper Palace of your own, and would like some furniture to go in it, I would suggest having a look at the digital copy of The Girl’s Own Toy-Maker that is available from Google books.

It has some rather nice furniture patterns (as well as suggestions for a couple of small houses and other paper toys) that can be made from paper / card and I think that all of the designs could be worked up into something more substantial – with a little bit of work.

Here are a few of the simpler items –

The Girl's Own Toymaker - Dolls' HouseChair

The Girl's Own Toymaker - Dolls' House Chair with Arms

The Girl's Own Toymaker - Dolls' House Table

The Girl's Own Toymaker - Dolls' House Fireplace

The Girl's Own Toymaker - Dolls' House Washstand

I was delighted to discover that there is a companion volume for boys too –

The Boy’s Own Toy-Maker

The Boy's Own Toy-Maker - soldiers marching out of a fort

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Dear RG,

I have tried to email you, but my message has been returned as “undeliverable”.

In answer to your questions –

Yes, you may.

No, I don’t mind you asking – if you don’t ask, you will never know !

I am sorry, I don’t have a Cinderella scene for this theatre.

I found the parts that I do have in a small second-hand book market that used to be held on the South Bank of the River Thames, by the Royal Festival Hall. It was years and years ago now.

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Open_House_Miniatures_Fairy_Tale_Theatre_Proscinium Open_House_Miniatures_Fairy_Tale_Theatre_Curtain Open_House_Miniatures_Fairy_Tale_Theatre_Backdrop Open_House_Miniatures_Fairy_Tale_Theatre_Scenes

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The above images above are 80 ppi – They are not the best quality but they are “not bad”.

They should each print onto an A4 piece of paper / card – they are SMALLER than the original pieces.

In order to make the theatre at this size, I would use at least 140 / 160 gsm paper.

Sometimes this weight of paper is sold as “card”.

I am in the UK and I would look for something called “cartridge paper” – basically you will have to find a card / paper that works for you !

Everything that I wrote about scoring, folding, etc for the miniature version of this theatre I would say again for this size.

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4th May 2013 – Sharon has very kindly shared a couple of links, please see the comments for her full explanation –

I recently came across a link to this “set” on Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/taffeta/sets/72157614068345415/

… Images for the theater in this post were published in the magazine in 1924. They can be found starting in the middle of the third row of images… The images are posted by the “owner” of the Agence Eureka blog, where she has posted hundreds of vintage paper projects over the years… http://bibigreycat.blogspot.com/

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I have been busy this week, and I am still paying back the “Blog Time” that I borrowed earlier, so to be very, very quickly –


I make the cloth books as an antidote to “This has to be exactly right” book-binding.

This ABC book is based on one published in the late 19th Century by the McLoughlin Brothers in the USA.

The books are very flexible and can be opened and “posed” in a variety of ways. If they are left open for any length of time they will need to be placed under a solid weight, or between other books on a miniature bookshelf, in order to shut flat again.

The smallest text is just about readable without a magnifying glass.

Just as it does in real-life cloth books, the printing on the interior pages wanders up and down a bit – particularly on the last page.

The top and bottom edges of the pages are slightly rough.

These “faults” are intentional and reflect the condition of the original book.

Size when closed – 1 inch x 3/4 of an inch (2.5 cm x 1.9 cm)

PLEASE NOTE – the books are not “toys”, they are “collector’s items”




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I wasn’t intending to write about Raphael Tuck at all, but have just come across the most wonderful website.


As well as a few examples from The Doll’s House Furniture Series

Raphael Tuck Database

There are also things like the Louis Wain cat paper dolls

and E. Heatley’s Model Cottages (series 2)

Not to mention hundreds and hundreds of wonderful examples of period postcards.

It truly is the most fantastic resource and well worth investigating.

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What was I intending to write about?

This week, Monday evening was supposed to be my “internet” evening and my plan was to have something ready for this blog.

I thought about what to write all weekend and came up with –

“Last week I made theatres.”

“This week I am making fans.”

I was planning to do a slideshow about making a fan (like these) but, after I had taken the first photo, my camera batteries died and they will take least 12 hours to recharge.

However, I will be making fans tomorrow too, so all is not lost and maybe I will be able to write two posts this week !

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Open House Miniatures - miniature paper doll Mary Bell

As a rule, I am not overly fond of paper dolls. I find the way they fall over if you breathe on them – not to mention the way their clothes refuse to stay on – exasperating in the extreme.

Despite this, I am rather attached to Mary Bell and Rhoda. Not only are they an excellent reference for Victorian clothing, but I like the way that, although they are very simple and probably not designed to last, a great deal of attention has been lavished on small details like the patterning of the floors and the pleats in the dresses.

Besides which they have such nice expressions and I feel sorry for them in their solid-looking boots and indestructible underwear.

The original dolls were published by Peter G Thompson of Cincinnati and, from their clothes, I think that they date from the late 1870s / early 1880 – but this is a far from reliable guess.

They were printed on a coarse, thick paper and are roughly about 4 inches (5 cm) tall – and in real life they are rather the worse for wear.

My miniature versions have been tidied up – by computer magic – and are just under 1 inch (2.5 cm) tall – well over 12th scale.

Open House Miniatures -miniature paper doll

It is possible to cut out and dress the dolls at this size and if you would like to try this for yourself the pdf for both miniatures dolls is here – _Mary_Bell_and_Rhoda_Paper_Dolls_OHM_20130129

If you decide to print them, please bear in mind that your computer / printer settings and the paper that you use will make difference to the results that you get.

Open House Miniatures - miniature paper doll download

They are so simple to make that it seemed almost silly to make a slide show about how to fold the booklet and suggest how the dolls could be made to stand up – but I did it anyway.

Below are larger versions of  Mary Bell and Rhoda.

They are smaller than the original dolls and, as these are very faded and worn in their original state, I have cleaned them up considerably.

At 72 dpi, they are not the very best print quality, but they are “not bad”.

They should print on to a A 4  piece of paper but, as they are not pdf files, the size will depend on the programme that you use to print them with – on the other hand, as they are not pdf files, you should be able to experiment with the sizing to some extent.

Open House Miniatures - Reproduction Victorian Paper Doll - Mary Bell open_house_miniatures_victorian_paper_doll_rhoda_72dpi_not_to_scale

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Open House Miniatures - 3 Houses from McLoughlin's Pretty Village

revitalised photo courtesy of http://www.picmonkey.com

I am not going to have a computer next week so I have been trying to cram everything computer-related into this week.

Naturally, I haven’t managed to do half of what I wanted to do, but before I disappear off-line I thought it would be nice to post a Make and Do, so here (in a bit of a rush) it is – with a little bit of explanation first.

I seldom make a limited edition of anything.

The Pretty Village was an exception to this rule because, although I like it very much, I could not bear the thought of making thousands and thousands of tiny houses – endlessly.

The last of the limited edition sets will be in the post this coming Monday, and so I wanted to have a little bit of fun, both to celebrate and say farewell.

The result was a different sort of “limited edition” – there are only three houses in this set and what you do with them is limited to your imagination.

I have  re-sized the houses to fractionally over 1/2″ (1.25 cm) tall and, although they are not “easy”, they should not be impossible to put together.

Open House Miniatures - McLoughlin's Pretty Village - House Assembly

I did photograph the “how to make” process but, unfortunately, it has been snowing on and off for a couple of days, and there was either too much reflected light (or not enough light ! ) to get good photographs – and not all the wonders of computer science could improve the photos much – so the following slide show is very uneven in quality.

The pdf  3_Pretty_Village_Houses_OHM_20130119   is, I hope, vastly better !

To escape from the slide show press the Esc key – it is usually in the top left hand corner of your keyboard

I hope you enjoy making these.

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May 2013 Update –

I have had several requests for the full village.

I am sorry, the full village is one of the very few things that I made as a limited edition and it is not available for download.

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A Victorian Suburban Villa

I don’t have a dolls’ house.

Victorian Suburban Villa - house and garden made up

For one thing we don’t have room for a dolls’ house and then …

I am tremedously fickle.

I like too many houses.

I fall in love regularly with little bijou residences, and huge manor houses, and German castles that look like wedding cakes – not to mention the Gothick gatehouses, and seaside guest houses …

My newest love is a Mid-Victorian Suburban Villa.

It is completely charming and comes with its own garden.

I had a struggle to get the roof to fit and then I had to print a mirror image of the plan, so that the garden did not look blank inside.

However, now that it is completed, I am ready to move in.Victorian Suburban Villa - paper toy house to make up


I did a quick calculation the front door is 9/16th of an inch tall – pretty close to the “right” size in 144th scale – so it would be approximately 7 inches in 12th scale.

So, say a 7 inch high door, and approximately 18 inches deep, and about 32 inches wide …

Which means that I need to find 7  foot of space if I wanted the garden as well – and I do want the garden !


I am sorry to say that I know absolutely nothing about the printers / publishers of this little villa, and can only wonder if there were more houses in the series.

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