Indian Sari Paper Dolls
High-tech Crayola® Changeables™ are perfect to create the woven designs and exquisite motifs found on traditional Indian saris.
1. Although worn by women of other countries, the sari is associated with the dress of India. A sari is a length of unsown, woven cloth (13 to 26 in by 4 ft or 4 to 8 m by 120 cm). With more than 100 different languages spoken in India and nearly the same number of distinct ethnic groups, there are many different styles for wearing a sari. The look of the sari also depends upon the wearer’s age, marital status, and class. Some saris are made of silk and others are of cotton.2. The rich and elaborate patterns of the fabric’s weave are exquisite. Often, designs along the edges of the cloth are intended to show beautifully when the sari is draped. Study pictures of women in saris to see how their clothing is worn. Most of the fabric is pleated at the waist, and then wound around to form a skirt or trousers. The rest of the cloth is draped across the upper body, covering at least one shoulder and at times, the head.
3. With Crayola® Erasable Colored Pencils, draw your paper doll on a recycled file folder. Cut her out with Crayola® Scissors.
4. Trace around the paper doll’s body to make a sari pattern. On the pattern, draw a line from one shoulder down across her chest. Add tabs at the shoulder and waist. Cut out your sari. Bend the tabs down and check to see how it covers your paper doll. It should hang off one shoulder and be secure at the waistline. Design a whole wardrobe of saris if you like!
5. With Crayola® Multicultural Markers, detail the woman’s face, neck, arms, and midriff. Color a fitted under-blouse and petticoat on her figure.
6. Using Crayola® Changeables™, design and decorate your saris. Color the background first. Then create patterns with the color change wand and Ministampers. Design appropriate saris to celebrate various occasions and festivals!
7. If you want your paper doll to stand up, cut a small strip of file folder. Make a partial cut on either end. Slip it on the bottom of the doll to form a semicircle behind the figure.
- “When we purchased new clothes for Diwali, my daughter designed and colored beautiful paper doll saris, too.” Vaishali S., mom of 7-year-old.
- “This activity helped girls earn ‘understanding other cultures’ badges. Fashion design had lots of appeal.” Georgia T., Girl Guide volunteer.
During the late 1980s, sari production accounted for 25.5% of all textile production in India. Although there are factory mills that produce saris, there were 3 million hand looms in use employing 6 million people.
Safety guidelines recommend this art project is suitable for children age 4 years and older. Close adult supervision is required to ensure children’s safety.
ATTENTION: The cutting edges of scissors are sharp and care should be taken whenever cutting or handling. Adult supervision is recommended with all children.