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How to Make a Jumpy Doll

Jumpy dolls are known by several names: jumpy dolls, jumping jack puppets and the French term “pantins.” According to the Original Paper Doll Artists Guild (OPDAG), jumpy dolls are a cross between a puppet and a paper doll. The arms and legs of jumpy dolls move up and down when you pull down a string.

Things You'll Need:

  • Scissors
  • Hole Punch
  • 6 Brads
  • Cardboard Or Poster Board
  • Large Bead
  • Markers
  • 1 Yard Thin String

Draw the head and body of the doll on the poster board. Draw two arms, two thighs and two calves separate from the head and body. The arms and legs will be attached behind the body of the doll, so make the arms and legs a little long to compensate. Draw in the face, clothes, and any other details. Cut the doll components out.

Punch a hole on each leg piece at the point where the knee would be. Join the pieces together with brads. Punch two holes at the top of the thigh, one above the other. Do the same at the top of the arms.

Determine where the corresponding holes should be punched on the body. Hold the arms and legs against the body where they will be attached. Mark and punch out the spot on the body where the arms and legs will be attached.

Attach the arms and legs. Push the brads through the holes in the body of the doll and the bottom holes of the arms and legs and secure. Make sure that the brads are not too tight and the arms and legs can move freely.

Punch a hole at the top of the jumpy doll's head. Cut a piece of string 4 inches long. Thread the string through the hole and tie the ends together, forming a loop.

Lay the doll face down on the table. Tie a string from the top hole of the left arm to the top hole of the right arm. Tie a second string from the top hole of one leg to the top hole of the other.

Tie a long piece of string to the center of the string that connects the arms. Pull this string down to the center of the string that connects the legs and make another knot. Tie the end of the long string to the large bead.

Hold the doll up by the string through the jumpy doll's head. Pull down on the long string and watch the doll jump.


If your jumpy doll does not jump when you pull the string, you may need to adjust the tension on the strings that connect the arms and legs. If the strings are too taut or too slack, the doll will not jump properly.

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