20/12/2015 23:48 GMT+7 Email Print Like 0

Paper Dolls

Cute paper dolls each with a different appearance resembling famous people are unique handmade products embellished  with  Vietnamese cultural features for foreign visitors. They represent the passion and creativity of a young girl who is as adorable as the dolls she makes.
Tuyet Huong, the doll maker, wants very much to be a screenwriter. To pursue her passion, Huong gave up her job as a reporter to attend a course on screenwriting. Her first script was “Paper Dolls” and the main characters are dolls made from paper. However, she could not find people who were able to make the dolls needed for filming. She came up with the thought of making paper dolls that are specific to Vietnam. “Many countries in the world have their own types of dolls, such as the matryoshka doll of Russia and Barbie of the US. Why shouldn’t Vietnam have one? I think a Vietnamese doll will perfectly suit my film,” she said.

Crepe paper, the main material to make paper dolls.

Colourful thread, plastic buttons, glue, cloth ties, etc are used to decorate paper dolls.

Sketching a model before making paper dolls.

Cutting paper to make clothes for dolls.

Huong acknowledged that she was in charge of making the dolls, from designing, shaping,
clothes selecting to hair making and face drawing. 

Making paper dolls requires the maker's carefulness. 

Tuyet Huong carefully makes clothes of paper dolls.

Each doll tells its own story that Tuyet Huong wants to express.

Tuyet Huong and her cute paper dolls.

At first, Huong had to spend much time finding materials as well as trying several ways of making dolls. Over time, she has made many dolls and received praise from people. She was surprised that a lot of people made their way to her place to have dolls made. Many people not only wanted to buy those dolls, they also wanted to learn how to make them as well. However, Huong turned down most of the orders as she wanted to focus on her new scripts.

Huong acknowledged that she was in charge of making the dolls, from designing, shaping, clothes selecting to hair making and face drawing. On average, Huong needs 4-5 hours to finish a doll. First of all she needs to make a frame for the doll, and then binds paper around it to form the body. After that, Huong cuts and pastes several layers of paper to make clothes, hair and forms the face.

Thanks to her artistic talent and experience in sewing and embroidery, Huong can let her imagination run wild when making the dolls. Therefore, her products have their own styles and look lively. She also creates a lot of styles of hair and clothes for her dolls. The eyes are the main determinant of the dolls’ countenance. If carelessly done, they can destroy the dolls right away. Male dolls, especially of foreigners, are more difficult to make.

People can not help praising  these beautiful paper dolls when they first see them. Each doll tells its own story about the love, friendship, emotions and feelings that Tuyet Huong wants to express. Most importantly, she has created a handmade product that shows Vietnamese culture with familiar expressions and features of Vietnamese women and helps foreigners learn more about the country. It is an intriguing souvenir for foreign visitors to beautiful and hospitable Vietnam.

Some paper dolls made by Tuyet Huong


Story: Nguyen Vu Thanh Dat
Photos: Nguyen Luan