A simple and adorable Dress Up Doll makes a great quiet time activity for kids of all ages. Using a magnetic paper doll template made with the Cricut Maker and fabric scraps, little ones can create endless dress-up clothes for their doll!
My kids love visiting their “GG” – the affectionate nickname for my grandma and their Great-Grandma. She has tons of games and toys, some of which you just can’t buy or find online anymore. One of my daughter’s favorites is a little wooden dress-up doll book that uses small pieces of fabric to create different looks. I haven’t been able to find anything similar, and for months I have wanted to re-create this fun toy so we could play with it for quiet time, at church, and on long car trips! Using the Cricut Maker, I was able to design and create our own version of this fun toy that all ages love to play with!
How to Make a Dress Up Doll Book
*affiliate links are included in this post
- Cricut Maker
- Cricut Knife Blade
- Cricut Heavy Chipboard 2.0mm
- Cricut Premium Adhesive Vinyl in Black, Melon – any skin tone, Patterned Sampler
- Cricut Felt
- Transfer Tape
- Hot Glue
- Magnetic Strips
- Velcro (hook and loop fasteners)
- Small scraps of various types of fabric/material
- Dress Up Doll cut file for Cricut Design Space
Here is an overview of the Dress Up Doll Cut File I created. I’ve labeled each type of material – and the colors of vinyl/felt are completely up to you! I’ve also included some hairstyles for boys, but if you aren’t going to use those, make sure to delete them from your mat.
How to Use the Cricut Knife Blade
One of the most exciting features of the Cricut Maker is the ability to use the Knife Blade. With this exacto-like blade, you can easily cut thick materials like leather, chipboard, balsa wood and craft foam! The Knife Blade is only compatible with the Maker, and it is one of my favorite tools! I knew the dress-up doll needed to be sturdy, and the chipboard worked perfectly! Using this blade is not more difficult than any other blade, but there are a few steps you must follow to use it:
- Make sure your material is no larger than 11 inches wide, and is aligned with the top left corner of the adhesive mat. I used the purple Strong Grip mat.
- Tape all sides of the material (chipboard) to the mat using masking tape to prevent slippage. (I used this wide washi tape and it worked perfectly!)
- Move the 4 white star wheels all the way to the right to allow clearance for the thicker material.
- Make sure the plastic protective cap is removed before inserting the blade into the B clamp.
The knife blade does several passes of shallow cuts with gradually increasing pressure – which keeps your material from breaking or tearing. Your design space screen will tell you how many cuts and how much time it will take!
When the cut is complete, BEFORE clicking the unload button, you need to check your cut. This is such an important step! I just lifted a small corner of the design to see if the cut went all the way through. If it hasn’t, you can click the “go” button and it will cut another pass.
Look how clean those cuts are! Now the base for the dress up doll is ready for vinyl. This is an optional step – you could add just the face/hands/feet vinyl, or you can add any colors/patterns to the base pieces to give it a more finished look. Use up those scraps or colors you don’t use very often!
The new Cricut Premium vinyl cuts so smoothly and has these very helpful gridlines on the backing paper that make cutting small pieces so easy!
We used transfer tape to add the patterned vinyl and Melon vinyl to the chipboard. Make sure to smooth out any bubbles by lighting pressing towards the outside edges with your hand. You will also need to add vinyl the clothing-shaped cutout piece that was cut separately from the big piece (make sure it fits inside with a small amount a space so that fabric can fit.) You can use any color for this piece. Hot glue the vinyl-covered piece to the second matching piece to make a thicker 2-layer piece.
Included in the cut file is a face that I cut out of black permanent vinyl – it’s amazing how small the Maker can cut little details! You could also draw on a face with a thin permanent marker. I used patterned vinyl for the front piece, and black for the back piece – there is a small circle cut out where the hot glue can adhere the clothing pieces.
To attach the two pieces of chipboard together, I added adhesive magnetic strips (found at Wal-Mart in the kids craft aisle) on the top and bottom of the back piece and the back of the front piece. Make sure your two strips of magnets will line up before peeling off the white backing. I actually placed the magnets on the back chipboard piece and then lined up the front piece right on top to make sure they would be perfectly aligned. Hold the chipboard pieces between your fingers for 30 seconds (see below) where the magnets are to make sure the adhesive stays put.
With the two pieces aligned and stuck together with magnets, you can place the inner clothing piece (that has already been made with 2 layers) in the front page outline and hot glue to the back piece. Make sure there is an equal space on all sides for the fabric to lay flat.
How to Cut Felt With the Cricut Maker
The last thing our adorable dress-up doll needed was some hair! The Cricut Felt was so fun to work with – you don’t need any type of backing or special blade to cut it! I used the pink Fabric Grip Mat and Fine-Point Blade to cut hairstyles in a few colors (we love that gray curly one!) This is where you could easily make a boy version of the dress-up doll by adding different hairstyles!
After adding sticky-back Velcro to the top of the face and each hairpiece, she was almost ready to play with!
Finally, get out your fabric stash and cut a few small pieces (around 4″x5″) to use for the doll’s clothes. The striped, black, and denim fabric below are from old T-shirts and leggings that were on their way to the donate pile! You can also get small cuts of lace, mesh, or other fun fabrics from the fabric store. 1/8 yard is a great width, and you’ll have plenty of extra if you are making these for gifts!
To dress up your doll, just lift separate the front and back pieces of chipboard and lay the fabric on top of the clothing outline. Then replace the top piece and click into place! For a shirt/shorts if two different patterns, just fold each piece of fabric in half and place on the outline before replacing the top piece of chipboard. You can also make a dress by putting the piece of fabric over the inseam area (see below) before clicking into place.
My daughters (ages 3 and 9) have been playing with this DAILY since I made it! It’s been perfect for church, waiting at doctors appointments, and just for quiet play at home, too!
Cricut Maker FAQ
We know there are a lot of questions you might have before buying/using a Cricut Maker! Here are some of the most common questions we get, and our honest opinions. Feel free to comment or find us on social media if you have more questions!
Will I use the machine enough to justify the price?
Once you start using a Cricut machine, you’ll find so many uses for it! It’s not just for crafting – I use mine to label and organize things in my home, for personalizing gifts, making hair accessories, party decorations, and educational things for my kids. My kids especially love that I can quickly make fun t-shirts for holidays or events or add their names to things so they won’t be lost at school. Holly and I use our machines several times a week because they’re so versatile!
What materials can I cut?
It’s honestly amazing how many different materials can be cut by the Cricut Maker! For this Dress Up Doll, it was so easy to switch between cutting different materials – vinyl, chipboard and felt. I cut cardstock paper all the time for banners and cards, iron-on vinyl for custom clothing, and adhesive vinyl for labeling. Did you know the Cricut Maker can even cut thin wood like balsa and basswood? Check out the full materials list here!
What kind of DIY projects can I make?
With Halloween just around the corner, our Cricut Maker has been such a great tool to create Halloween costumes! You can see the adorable no-sew costumes we made here: Alice in Wonderland Halloween Costumes
What types of fabric can I cut? (without a backer)
One of the greatest features of the Maker is that it can cut several types of fabric without using a backing like previous models required. Everything from cotton, cashmere and corduroy to terrycloth, tulle and tweed can be cut with amazing precision with the Cricut Maker. The first fabric we tried cutting with the Maker was this fuzzy felt for our White Rabbit Ears and it cut like a dream!
Can I upload my own images? (e.g. SVGs, jpg, png)
Yes! We love using the images in Cricut Design Space, but it’s also great to have the option of uploading your own images when you want to personalize your project. Simply click “Upload” along the side bar in Design Space and follow the directions. You will have the option to print or cut – make sure to click cut if you are cutting it on your Cricut.
Whether you have a Cricut Maker and haven’t tried the knife blade yet or you’re thinking about getting one, I hope this answered some of your questions and showed just how fun and easy this machine is to use. The possibilities really are endless. We’d love it if you pin or share the picture below!
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut . The opinions and text are all mine.