The grace and mystique of Japan has fascinated foreigners for centuries. Traditional Japanese fashion, art and architecture possesses a sense of beauty and harmony that is truly unique, and these little dolls are a perfect introduction to Japanese costume and culture for even the youngest children.
Made from recycled cardboard tubes and other simple craft materials, this activity is easy and inexpensive.
Stick masking tape over the top of a cardboard paper towel tube until itís completely covered.
Mixing white acrylic paint with a tiny amount of red, create a very pale skin tone for your Japanese doll. After taking a cardboard tube, paint the top third with this colour. This will be your dollís face.
Paint the rest of the tube in another colour. This will be your dollís kimino. Both bright and pastel colours look lovely for this activity. If you have any metallic paint, this can also look very striking. Be sure to paint a traditional ĎVí shape for the kiminoís neck-line.
Using either black paint or a felt-tipped pen, draw a face onto your doll.
Using black acrylic paint, you can now paint hair onto the dolls. Cover the top (the part where the masking tape was stuck), the back and partly around the sides.
Draw a circle on some bright-coloured paper in a contrasting colour to your dollís kimino. We used some scraps of pretty craft paper, but plain-coloured paper can look just as good. Our circle was approximately 14cm in diameter. Cut this out with child-friendly scissors.
Fold the circle in half, and cut along the fold. This can then be curled to create a small cone shape. Stick this together using tape, or staple it together.
Using craft glue or sticky tape, attach these small cones to the sides of your doll, as shown in the photo below.
Cut some small pieces of paper as your dollís arms, and glue or tape them into place inside the cones.
Cut a wide piece of paper in a contrasting colour for the kiminoís belt, and glue this into place around her tummy. The paper we used was about 5cm wide by 3.5cm high.
Cut a small piece of black cardboard or paper, about 6cm long and 2cm wide. Curl this as shown in the photo, and attach it together with sticky tape or staples. This can then be taped to the top of the dollís head with more sticky-tape, to create her elaborate hair-style.
Your doll is now almost complete. All you need to do now is to add the final decorative touches with paint, glitter, glitter glue, washi tape, craft jewels or anything else you may have on hand. Since traditional Japanese hairstyles are very fancy, we decorated our dollsí hair with curled ribbon, gold cardboard, stickers, craft jewels and lots of glitter glue. We also painted designs onto her kimino and added some other bits and pieces to create a more authentic effect.