Purrfectly Paper Doll

cat paperdoll

October brings out the kid in me. I love the falling leaves, the cooler weather, and all things Halloween. I can’t wait to decorate with tacky Halloween decorations, buy mounds of candy for the neighborhood children, and help my own children create their costumes. In my excitement for the season, I decided to create a black cat paper doll set including some festive Halloween costumes.

Supplies I Used:

Step 1: With the pencil, draw a paper doll body on the cardstock. I chose to make a cat. Just for fun, I created a calico cat who is wearing a black cat suit. Go over the pencil drawing with the permanent black marker.

cat drawing

Step 2: Paint any large black areas with the ultra black ink.

cat painted with ink

Step 3: Paint color details with the watercolor paints and use the metallic pens for any accents. I used the silver pen to make the zipper on the black cat suit.

cat with painted face

Step 4: Place the deli paper over the paper doll and use a pencil to create clothing items that will fit the paper doll body. Move the deli paper off the cat drawing and use the black permanent marker to trace over the pencil lines. Use Nori paste to adhere the deli paper to cardstock. Once dry, cut the pattern pieces.

cat costume pattern pieces

Step 5: Trace the patterns onto decorative origami papers and cut.

Step 6: Use Nori paste to adhere the origami papers to cardstock. Outline each piece with the black permanent marker. Remember to add tabs to the pieces so that you can attach them to the paper doll. Cut the pieces. Add accents with metallic gel pens.

go-go suit

Step 7: To create fairy wings, paint deli paper with metallic watercolors. Add sparkle with metallic gel pens. Cut two wing shapes. Glue or machine stitch the wing shapes to the wing piece. To create straps, cut small strips and glue them to the top and bottom of the wing piece.

Step 8: To create a fairy tu-tu, paint two rectangular pieces of deli paper with metallic watercolors. Add dots with the metallic gel pen. Match the long edges of the rectangles and baste a single stitch across the top. Carefully pull the threads to gather the paper. Use Nori paste to glue the tu-tu to the body suit.

metallic painted pieces

fairy suit

Step 9: For a fancy mermaid tail, paint a sheet of deli paper with metallic watercolors. Cut a small strip of the deli paper (about 6″ x 1/2″). Accordion-fold the strip and cut a fish scale shape. When you unfold the strip, you will have a row of fish scales. Continue making these fish scale rows, as you’ll need quite a few to fill up the tail! Layer the scales onto the tail using Nori paste.

gold deli paper


Step 10: Carefully cut the paper doll.

cat in cat suit

Step 11: Enjoy your new paper doll set!


cat a go go

Cat Fairy:


And my favorite… Mercat!

cat mermaid

You can use paper dolls in so many unique ways. Create fun displays in frames, arrange them on your mantel, or use them in a garland by hanging the pieces onto twine using tiny clothespins. Once you get started, you’ll discover your own way to play!

The Last Fruit of Summer

ImageWe are still running our air-conditioners, but summer is on its last leg here in Georgia. Yellow finches are cleaning out the purple cone flower seeds. The grass is starting to dry up. Purple blossoms are dropping from that mysterious bush out back. Summer is fading out.

Like many of you, my back yard is a constant source of inspiration. This week, I’ve been inspired by the soft, washed-out colors and warm breezes of September. Using inks, rice paper, and my sewing machine, I created a soft paper lantern embellishment that conveys the nostalgic feeling of the last fruit of summer. This easy project is such a fun way to add an element of softness, light, and color to any room or outdoor space.


Step 1:   Stack 4-6 sheets of rice paper on your work surface.


Step 2:   Spray the paper thoroughly with water.

Step 3:   Drip inks directly from their bottles onto the paper. If you want to create new colors, mix them in a small cup and use a wet paint brush to drip the ink colors onto the wet paper.  Use the spray bottle to further dilute and mix the colors on the paper.



ink splashed paper

As you can see from my photo, I really had no plan and kind of played around with dripping, using a paint brush, and spraying with my spray bottle. The pattern is not very important, as each piece is cut into small pieces once dry.

Step 4:   Hang the wet rice paper on a drying rack that has been covered with plastic wrap. The wet rice paper is very delicate, so be careful as you place it on the drying rack. Once dry, it is quite sturdy.


Step 5:   Once dry, cut the pieces into small rectangles.


Step 6:   Using a sewing machine, stitch the pieces together side by side about ½” from the top of each rectangle. Do not worry if the pieces don’t line up perfectly. When you’ve stitched all the rectangles together, you will have a garland of lovely imperfect flags.


Step 7:   Wrap the garland around the paper lantern, using a small blob of Yasutomo Nori paste every 3-4 inches. The paste works so well with the rice paper. Just a tiny bit of paste and a little bit of pressure secures the garland into place.





Step 8:  If you have gaps of unpainted or unadorned lantern, add some ink drops and squirt with water. Hang the lantern to dry.



  • Instead of a white paper lantern, use a colored lantern.
  • Mix Niji Splash Inks to create colors that perfectly match your décor or party theme.
  • Add some shimmer with metallic gel pen accents.
  • Create a variety of lamps in different sizes. Hang them in a cluster for a dramatic effect.

How do the changing seasons inspire you?