Lately, my 5 year old daughter has been really into dress up games. She loves her dress up bears, felt dress up games and sticker dolly dressing. So I had an idea for an easy home made activity that I knew she would love – a DIY personalised magnet dress up dolls game.
To make this activity, I used magnet paper and a couple of other basic supplies. I will walk you through the step by step of how to make a set for your child, and once you’ve put this magnetic dress up dolls activity together you will be able to keep it to reuse with your child over and over again.
If you would like a shortened printable step by step instruction sheet, this is available at the end of the post.
- Magnet paper
- Sticker paper
To play, you will also need a flat magnetic surface like a fridge, baking tray or a magnetic noticeboard.
You will also want a wallet, zip lock bag or envelope to store all the pieces after playing so that you can keep them together for next time.
How to Make the Printable File
For this, you will need a clear photograph of your child’s face and / or full body. We made both versions and if I had to choose, I favour the face only version as it’s easier to use with all of the clothes and more forgiving in regards to the clothing proportions and how they match up, but my daughter likes having both options available.
You may also want to make personalised dress up dolls of your child’s siblings, cousins or best friend – just ask permission of the parent first and if it is okay, this makes it even more fun for the kids to play with. I made a set with my daughter N and her same aged cousin so she can dress them both up.
Next, you will need pictures of clothes. I selected clothes from online retailers, including items that my daughter has in her real wardrobe. Screenshot all of these and resize to make sure the proportions match up with the face pictures that you are using.
The clothing we selected and printed is for our own personal use, I can not provide the file for everyone to download so you will need to go through and make your own but choosing the clothes you want in your pack is all part of the fun.
Try to include a good mixture and variety of clothes, including shoes, hats and accessories.
I made my printable for this activity using Canva Pro (affiliate) to make the collage. The pro version of Canva has a background remove tool which comes in handy, but you can still make this on the free version because we will be cutting out the clothes so any background left on the pictures can simply be cut away.
I made two pages of clothes and accessories – here’s a screenshot of my first page as an example. Fill the page right up, you can go right to the edges and fill in small gaps with little shoes and bows to get the most value out of your magnet paper.
If you want to check the sizes, print a copy of your file onto normal paper first as a test run to make sure you’re happy. If everything looks good, you’re ready to move on to the magnet paper.
How to Make the Magnets
My original idea was to print this file directly onto magnet paper, but we had a problem – magnet paper is pretty heavy and thick compared to regular paper or even Cardstock and our laser printer just would not pick it up and run it through.
But I found a solution for that. I printed the files directly onto sticker paper (I use a brand that works on both laser printers and inkjet. Please check your sticker paper is compatible if using a laser printer as some brands will not work in laser printers and can damage your printer)
Once the files printed onto the sticker paper, carefully peel and stick the entire page onto your magnet paper sheets, and then you’re ready to get cutting.
Peel slowly, and carefully press down as you go to avoid any air bubbles or wrinkles.
Once your sticker sheet has been applied to the magnet sheet, you’re ready to cut out all of the pieces and start playing.
It’s okay to leave a little bit of white edge around the clothes, this will not affect the dress up game so don’t worry too much.
Once everything is cut out, bring your magnet board out and you are ready to play.
We have had lots of fun with this simple activity and it keeps my little girl busy every time we get this back out.
Children can freely play with the clothes and put together different outfits and combinations.
My daughter also likes to play with “theme days” so she will say, it’s “red day today and the teacher asked everyone to wear a red outfit” then she’ll look through and find something red for each of the dress up dolls to wear – you can do this with all the different colours. Or she will say it’s a winter day, a summer day, a party day, a sport’s day, sleeping time and so on and then dress them all up.
If you have a younger child or they haven’t played with dress up dolls before then you can throw out some of these themes to help prompt them to try different outfits on the dolls.
Another cool thing with this activity is that we can just put together another page of clothes to print out any time, if she feels like her dress up dollies wardrobes need a few new additions.
To start with we made
- 1 coat
- 1 pyjamas
- 2 pairs of shoes
- 1 pair of tights
- 1 pair of tights with shoes
- 1 pair of leggings with shoes attached
- 2 pairs of leggings (no shoes)
- 1 pair of jeans
- 1 shorts, tights, shoes combination
- 6 dresses (mix of casual and party)
- 2 jumpers
- 1 cardigan
- 2 tops
- 1 jumpsuit
- 2 skirts
- 2 bows (hair accessory)
We also included one face each for my daughter and her cousin, and one full body version each.
You can layer up with the magnets, so adding clothes on top of the full person magnet still works okay and adding jumpers on top of dresses or skirts on top of tights for example all works fine.
If you enjoyed this tutorial please feel free to share with friends and family. We always appreciate pins to your Pinterest Boards!
Have fun! 🙂
Printable Simplified Instructions
Make your own magnetic personalised dress up doll girl
- Magnet Paper
- Sticker Paper
- Magnet Board
- Prepare your clothes collage in Canva as explained in blog post
- Print onto sticker paper
- Apply sticker page to magnet paper
- Cut out each item of clothing, and the personalised faces
- Present the personalised magnets and clothing on a baking tray or magnet board for your child to play dress up
Full details explained in blog post on intheplayroom.co.uk