Ramani: Paper mâché costume doll maker in India

Paper Mache Dolls by Ramani

5th – 6th August – 2022
Friday & Saturday

 Display & Sale at
By Hand From The Heart: MAKERS MARKET – 32nd Edition
Time: 10:00 a.m – 8:00 p.m

Venue: Mantra Garden,
1st Main Road, Nandanam Extension, Nandanam, Chennai – 600035.
Tamil Nadu,  India.

LINKS: Facebook | Instagram

Her Story

M1ay name is Ramani, I run a small handicraft unit in Nagpur over the last 25 years.

In our unit we make paper mâché handicrafts. We specialise in making paper mâché costumed dolls, which depict Indian culture and tradition. We are the only Manufacturers of such papier-mâché costume dolls. We produce around 200 papier-mâché costume dolls, per month.

Traditionally Paper Pulp in the rural India was used for filling gaps in the cane Baskets, Supa etc. We found papier-mâché is a better media to work with, as it is light, strong, durable and finally Eco friendly .

I did my graduation in Science, then M Phil. in Public Administration. I started this as a hobby . My mother is the main inspiration for me to get into this field. She inculcated interest in me. My mom taught me stitching, which later helped me. She use to make dolls with cloth and cotton and using clay. I always admired her creative skills. I developed this art by trial and error basis.

I am a registered craft person with –

Office of the Development Commissioner Handicrafts, ( Ministry of Textiles)
South Central Zone Cultural Centre, ( Ministry of culture)
Maharashtra Small Scale Industries Development Corporation
NSIC – National Small Industries Corporations,
MSME – Micro Small Medium Enterprises.
I was the former chairperson of Vidarbha Industries Association’s, Lady Entrepreneur Wing.

Today my work is highly appreciated in India as well as abroad. My family, friends, relatives support me in this venture of mine.


4aWe make dolls depicting Indian classical and folk dance forms, indian brides and bridegrooms, Indian tribes, men and women in traditional costumes from different states of India, village men and women at work, Indian Gods and Goddesses, thematic scenes from Indian mythology, Indian history,Indian villages and Indian weddings and festivals.

We make dolls in various sizes, starting from 5 inch,7 inch, 9 inch,11″ and even life size dolls and statues.

Other than dolls we make papier-mâché murals,statues,pots, vases,wall hangings, bells, bowls, pen stands, candle holders, key holders, torans, masks, partitions, corner table tops, animals, birds, rangolis, photo frames, etc.

Events & Exhibitions

1904198_609194132484338_495194045_nI have been exhibiting this craft in different places in India. I have exhibited my work in US, Dubai, Italy, Canada, Norway and Denmark. I have participated in various National and International craft melas organised by the Government and private shows.

By Hand From The Heart was my FIRST exhibition (2014) in Chennai.

Skills & style of doll making…

music (1)I had no formal training in any art form, earlier it was just a hobby to sketch and paint, small greeting cards, I developed it slowly by observing paintings of great artists, specially Raja Ravi Varma’ s works ,the way he projected the  realistic expressions ,emotions, always inspired me . I developed interest in our Indian culture.  I got interested in human anatomy, dress designing , jewellery designing, hair dressing. I was interested in  using paper mâché . Slowly we have evolved the process of making paper mâché in different forms. Earlier we used to make paper mâché using fenugreek seeds as an additive. Then started evolving different techniques and processes of paper mâché handicrafts for mass production. And converted hobby into social service, and finally into commercial venture.

We use news paper ,saw dust, gum ,marble powder,chalk powder, wooden base, GI wire,oil paints, cloth,jute and laces as basic raw materials . We fix the wire frame on the wooden base , paper mâché is applied on the wire to give the shape, it is then painted, dressed and then decorated.

Training & Team:

25Presently, I have 15 women working with me. Most of them are unskilled. We offer them training in making dolls. Earlier I used to recruit only Physically Challenged girls for several years . Today, I am proud to see some of them running their own units and are independent. One such girl worked with me for 21 years, now she is on her own.

I also conduct workshops for school children and ladies.

Future plans

photo (1)I am interested in training women, developing their artistic skills, and encourage them to be enterprising. I am keen about developing entrepreneurship among women.
I still feel I have miles to go. There is a lot to to create.

Many a times I can’t sleep; I keep visualising new creations. I wish to take this unique Indian art to the whole world.


42 thoughts on “Ramani: Paper mâché costume doll maker in India

  1. Hello Ramani, Fell in love with your paper mâché doll collection . Do you offer lesson in the internet via Skype? Btw we plan to visit your exhibit in chennai on August 22nd.


    1. Sir, are you still looking for this. If so please let us know, we can supply you at a reasonable cost. We have more varieties of handmade dolls (apart from paper mâché dolls).

  2. hi ur creations r really awesome nd beautiful.. i wud lik to learn making dolls lik u using paper mache and u ve said tat u r also interested in training women.. so can u guide me?? in which places u r giving training? waiting for ur reply

  3. Very Impressed to see your Art work. I like to decorate the dolls. I use to use the Ceramic faces and cotton stuffed bodice. It is only a hobby. But Now I am using Look alike barbie dolls, and decorate them.
    Can you give more details how you actually make the doll with paper Mache. I like to try one or two.
    I have posted these dolls on Facebook. You can see them.

  4. Hi,I am Anupama from Bhubaneswar,on 31st OCtobers Eenadu paper I read about ur dolls,they r excellent in future if u r going to give any training I too want to attend please inform me. Thnnk you.my mail address Anupavanharsha@gmail.com

  5. Excellent!!!!!!!!! @
    Few days ago I have seen dis in eenadu
    News paper from that time i was so eager
    To learn this but I think you dnt have any
    Institutions in vizag
    My humble request is plz start this in vizag

  6. Madam, excellent work but how to contact you . I need your office address or even telephone number.
    Reply soon.

    Mrs Anjali M

  7. hello, My name is anagha Kulkarni and working as miniature gardener. I’m looking for 5 inch bride and groom dolls. I searched everywhere but no luck. Let me know if you can help me in this.

  8. Hi Ramani, how are you ?, i am Sam from Malaysia, would like to know if you can do custom made paper mache dolls, ( Baratha Nathiya pose ), if can pls reply to my Email and i can send you the sample pics and specks,
    hope can here from you , thanks !


  9. Hello Ramani Ma’am, I wanted to know your workshop’s address at Nagpur… I would like to learn this art of making paper mache handicrafts from you .. 🙂

  10. Hello Ramani, I like the dolls that you and your artists make a lot. I have seen some of them at one of my friends house ad since then always wanted to have them. I live in Canada. Do you ship the dolls to Canada or have any plans to come here for an exhibition so that I can buy them. I tried to look for your website but could not find any. Please advise waiting impatiently for your reply

  11. Hello, I’d like to place an order to USA. Can you please give me Ramani’s contact details? Thanks

  12. HI,
    We ae planning to export the paper mache dolls. Kindly provide us your contact no and e mail ID . We are in service oriented business. We are Import export consultant and venture capital business. .kindly privide the details of the dolls and rates.

  13. Hi Ramani….I saw your incredible work of pa per pup dolls in traditional costumes . How can I get these dolls for my sweet home…pl send me if I can get it online. Vishra Tare

  14. Hey very nice n great work. I want to buy the dolls playing mangalagauri games 4-5 games or dolls doing kitchen stuff please contact me 9970679423

  15. excellent work madam how to contact what is your office address
    please send
    12-3-4B ag college road BAPATLA 522101
    9848733747 ; 9885593775

  16. I stay in Hyderabad.working in a school as craft teacher .I would like to attend your workshop if possible .will you conduct in our place.

  17. Very dutiful doll’s.I want to buy them how can we buy this items?please give us your contact details &wher is ur unit in Nagpur?.plz we are very much interested in buying this items.

  18. Hai Madam,
    You done Very creative and awsome work, you are really great,
    Your social responsibility is super,
    Am the man from trditional city Rajahmundry,East godavari,Andra pradesh,
    Am from middle class family, am very much intrested to learn the work of making dools How can i learn from you.?

    Thanking you
    Satya Kiran

  19. Hi
    I am glad to see your creations! They are awesome. . . Obviously u r rocking in creating these! Indeed if u could exhibit in children schools it would be great, why I am telling this is nowadays these gadget child’s are not aware of Indian tredition. Could you please sell your dolls to me? I wanted to display these items in our bommalu Koluvu( arrangement of different dolls in steps). It’s just my try to put on our tredition and make our young ones to know about it. Please what’s app on 9966005607.


  20. I really like it. I have an childhood intrest in these things.
    I would really like to learn this art. Could you please teach me. I would attend any classes if required. So, please do accept my request. If you want to contact me, my mobile number is :9767975299. Thank You.

  21. Hi Ramani,

    You have amazing talent. Your dolls are very impressive. I saw the article in Eenadu and googled.
    I live in USA. Is there a way we can order some of your dolls.

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