Fire up your scroll saws, I think this is a great idea. My daughter loves paper dolls, but they have that horrible habit of tearing and bending, as paper does. I wanted something appropriate for play but with the same charming illustrations. My dad and I put our heads together and came up with this:
I color copied the paper dolls (these are Little House) onto plain printer paper (the cardboard wasn't porous enough). He traced the figures onto three quarter inch pine. Then he cut the shapes out with his scroll saw. I used decoupage medium to stick the paper doll to the precut wood. I also used the Modpodge top coat to make it a little sturdier.
We sanded a bit around the edges and voila! They have been very popular with both children. The wooden animals are assorted fancy pants German imports that the children ignore in favor of Polly Pockets and Legos (That's not entirely true. My son likes them well enough). If they were my toys I'd pretend to have Ma smack the bear on the way to feed the cow. Or have Pa not shoot the deer. But they're not my toys so I don't do that.