Saturday Review “The Black Apple’s Paper Doll Primer”

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The Black Apple’s Paper Doll Primer: Activities and Amusements for the Curious Paper Artist

Paper Doll Primer is a “160 page fully illustrated wondrous oddity – equal parts art and craft book” done by artist Emily Winfield Martin. It explores the world of paper dolls and helps show you how to make your own paper doll and other paper crafts. There is 21 of Emily’s whimsical characters included with accessories and clothing options as well as 16 paper dolls that you can customize and create yourself with her helpful hints and ideas. Her characters are so cute and adorable and the back story that is provided for all of them really sets the tone. Her dolls are much like her artwork and have their own unique personality to them. Its fun to just flip through this book without even taking out the scissors. She provides backdrops as well for the dolls which help creates an overall story. My favourite inclusion though is the customizable dolls,  she even provides useful hints on every page on ways to draw, color and personalize them. There is even clothing and accessories to be customized too and she gives you patterns to use on the clothing. Plus she includes a few other paper activities for you to try. Paper Doll Primer ends up satisfy the sweet tooth for paper dolls you may not even realized you had. I’ve been a fan of paper dolls since I was a kid and have started a small collection of them and was delighted when I found this book from her, especially since I’ve been a long time fan of her artwork. When I received it, it defintly satisfied my expectations. The only downside I could find to her sweet book was that the pages are not made with hard stock, the quality is higher then regular paper (which is used for the clothing sections of the book) but the rigidness is not the type you’d find for most paper dolls. I haven’t had a heart to cut a paper doll out of the pages in the book so I cannot vouch for how sturdy the paper doll would be but definitely it would have been a nice inclusion for some pages to be made with card stock. As well all pages in the book are double sided except the clothing in the first part of the book. It does appears though that the dolls are on opposites sides of the paper to one another so you could cut them both out, however you would loose forever the written stories she created for her dolls as wells as all the tips on how to customize the blank dolls. All of the customized clothing/accessories, scenes, and backdrops are not so lucky, cutting these would mean potential wrecking the opposite side. However the book can be forgiven as its delightful and has so many hints to inspire you to go the further step and trace/create your own dolls on harder card stock. Its simply good to know that Paper Doll Primer  isn’t an one stop shop for paper dolls and if you were wishing to cut into the book you would be potentionally missing out on some parts, however there is plenty of inspiration and ideas for you to start your paper doll project.

Here are some shots of the book:



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