Mini Paper Doll Travel Set

This was a late night crafting project, but it started when I was thinking of ways to keep Emily occupied while waiting at a restaurant or doctor’s office. These mini paper dolls are perfect because they fit in my purse, and I cannot wait to give them to her the next time we’re stuck waiting somewhere. They cost practically nothing to make!

To make your own, start with an empty mint tin:

Remember those discontinued wallpaper sample books I’ve mentioned before? The ones you can pick up for free?? They work so well for this project! Cut out scenery for your dolls. I used an adhesive magnet strip to keep the scenery in place.

I thought it would be fun to make a scene for each season. In the Summer, Mini-Emily can go to the beach!
In the Fall, there are apples to pick!
In the Spring, she can help hang up the laundry to dry!
And in the Winter, what’s more fun than playing in snow??
I attached some more wallpaper to the top of the tin, and all of the pieces fit so nicely inside.

You could make indoor scenes, wild west scenes, space scenes….. The possibilities are practically limitless — have fun!!

I added this post to:


  1. Dear Valerie,

    My mints!!

    Also, tell Emily to be careful — that apple looks like it might crush her when she picks it.


  2. I love this. LOVE LOVE LOVE IT. I'll be buying some mints today.

  3. An Almost Unschooling Mom says

    Another excellent idea. Now, to empty a mint container…did you have the girls help you eat Mark's mints, or did you eat them all yourself?

  4. Just Breathe says

    That is an awesome idea and so cute and tiny.

  5. Valerie @ Frugal Family Fun Blog says

    @ An Almost Unschooling Mom — The girls helped eat some of the mints. Actually, Mark isn't much of a "peppermint" guy, and prefers "spearmint" instead. Picky, picky, right? πŸ˜‰

    @ Christy — Thank you!! Have fun!!!

  6. Moderate Means says

    I love it. Really, really love it!

  7. Amy's Stocking Stuffers says

    This is too cute for words, and just as you say, the possibilities are endless!

  8. Philippa, Neevah and Liam says

    so very cute! I will have to file this idea away for when Neevah is a little bit older πŸ™‚

  9. Montessori For Learning says

    This is great! This a wonderful portable and car activities (and home too!)

  10. Valerie @ Frugal Family Fun Blog says

    @ Moderate Means — Thanks so much!!

    @ Amy's Stocking Stuffers — Emily wants to draw out some scenery, and I think that's a wonderful idea! I'm going to pre-cut the paper to the right size and let her go to town with it! πŸ™‚

  11. Adorable, and very clever as always πŸ˜‰

  12. Amy @ Creativity Finder says

    Love this. You have such great ideas!

  13. oo love this! I might have to make some cool boy themed ones my son would like πŸ™‚

  14. schmobes says

    I LOVE! this idea! I really need to get to the wallpaper store….

  15. OMGosh that is so extremely cute; I love it! I should make one of those for each of my kids. They're a handful after a few minutes of waiting. Great idea. Uh, once again I'll let you know if I ever get off of my lazy butt to do it.

    Well, as a matter of fact, I have an empty foam soap pumpy thing and I was thinking that I'm sure I saw the way to make it on your blog so I may actually do something you say. πŸ™‚ You'll convert me yet. I'll do more that spectate one day. LOL

  16. Hee hee, I'm about to post a similar project using a mint tin. It cracked me up so much to see yours, same idea different project.

    And ribbon dancing, how incredibly fun! (bad internet connection, so I'm not commenting on each post, will be happy to get home tomorrow).

  17. Raising a Happy Child says

    This is so perfect. I only wish I actually liked mints, but I think my husband has a stash of empty tins somewhere. Another great idea of yours πŸ™‚

  18. I so love your idea and would really like to make some for my younger 2, unfortunately we don't get mints in tins like this in Australia- so I will have to go on the hunt for something similar.

  19. Katie's Nesting Spot says

    Ingenius! What will you come up with next?!

  20. Sofia's Ideas says

    This is the cutest thing ever!!! I've seen other ideas for re-using mint tins, but this is by far the most adorable!

    I need something to keep my little boys busy while their sisters are in classes. What do you think? Can I pull off a Spiderman or Star Wars one?

  21. That is such a cute idea. It looks a simple idea, but I reckon it would keep my girls quiet for some time. They love small scenes and plenty of scope for imagination. I wonder if I have got any old tins. I could always cut out pictures from magazines and glue it to card. Got my imagination going now!

  22. Valerie @ Frugal Family Fun Blog says

    @ Ticia — Ooo… I can't wait to see!

    @ Deanne — No mint tins in Australia??? I've never heard of such a thing! I hope you can find something similar, since they are so much fun to craft with!

  23. Valerie @ Frugal Family Fun Blog says

    @ Sofia's Ideas — That would be freakin' AWESOME!!!! Have fun!!

    @ Cheryl — I think magazine pics are a GREAT idea!! πŸ™‚

  24. Wow! You are so creative, Valerie. I love how you used a picture of her to make a little paper doll. What an amazing idea. I wish I'd thought of it!

  25. Sarah @ Mum In Bloom says

    This is so simple and useful to have on hand. Oh I wish I had one when I was a little girl πŸ™‚ Fantastic idea.

  26. Valerie – Thank you for your great ideas! I made two of these Friday for my niece's birthdays. I am posting them on my blog today.

    They are wonderful birthday gifts. The girls were so excited to find little photos of themselves in their presents. I used some photos and stickers for backgrounds and I had as much fun as they did! Now I just have to make time to make them for my children too!

  27. Valerie @ Frugal Family Fun Blog says

    @ Lorus! — That is FANTASTIC!!! Yay!!! xoxo πŸ™‚ When you make the sets for your kiddos, you might want to include some blank sheets cut to size so they can draw their own scenes too. Emily spent almost all day doing that — it's a great imagination builder.

  28. Jacqueline says

    Oh, too cute! I can imagine so many cute cute things that could be done. I could spend the rest of the summer making these cute little boxes. Thanks for a darling idea.

  29. Lenetta @ Nettacow says

    Linked this one, too. :>) The idea to have Emily decorate her own scenery is awesome! Also, last year after Christmas, I picked up a handful of tins like these for about $0.30 each, I think. We don't really eat mints, so I thought I'd better jump on them. Glad I did!

  30. I LOVE this!! what a great idea. I have to go on the hunt for a mint tin – I don’t know where on earth we find these. But I’ll have a look! Thanks for the great idea.

  31. What a great idea and i love the way you use pictures of your daughter. much more appealing to play something where you are the main characture!!

    • I totally agree!! Seems like Emily is much more engrossed in these because it uses her own photo. I was thinking I should add a mini-Clara to the set too! πŸ˜‰