Tag Archives: doll

No ear reroot

  Some work in progress photos to illustrate how I’ve recently done reroots on dolls with holes in their heads (2 barbies with scalp holes for hair/crown gimmicks) and now a monster high clawdeen with the animal ears removed.

E6000 glue placed inside the head via the neck and from the outside of the holes. It’s self levelling so I tape over it and leave it to dry upside down for over 24-36h (anything less and it’ll stick to the tape when you remove it and you’ll have to add more glue. These aren’t thin strips of glue but probably 5 – 7mm globs. It’ll need another 24h to be safe to reroot.

I used a very sharp exacto knife to remove any excess bits on the edge of the holes as it could easily start to peel and pull off.

The glue grabs the needle just like vinyl does so it’s good for a tool method reroot.

I don’t like to layer on the scalp paint too thick (if I use paint at all) to better see the existing holes. The glue patched earholes show up as slightly darker but they’re completely hidden in most hair styles.

I recommend painting over the earholes to be totally opaque when rerooting a pale skinned doll such as Catrine, or if you’re using nylon which is slightly translucent.

Things they don’t tell you about flocking in the most popular tutorials:

If you do not have the exact same glue, do not follow the same instructions or wait times.

  • Watering down your glue may lead to the flocking dripping off your doll’s head slowly if it isn’t a quick drying glue
  • Whatever glue you use make sure that it is solid enough to not ooze. Brush it on then use something flat like a card to make sure the glue isn’t thicker in parts then let it get a little bit tacky before putting on your flocking.
    If you use your fingers to tap down the flocking be very, very gentle as you’ll just push around the flocking which leaves thick and thin bits.
    Waiting an hour with white school glue was not long enough., I went to brush off the flock and made a mess. If in doubt, wait overnight.

You may have to try this multiple times before you get it right so you won’t have the luxury of not collecting up the un-used flocking for re-use

  • Don’t use a plate, use a box with nice pointy corners or collecting your flock for re-use will be difficult. Using paper that you then fold to pour out the flock might seem like a smart idea but don’t underestimate the power of flock to go flying all over the place if you so much as breathe wrong.
  • Make sure to look through the flock for any particules that might have gotten in and remove that with tweezers.

Flocking a flexible head is different from flocking a hard head (such as vintage male dolls, integrity toys or ball jointed dolls)

  • The edges will probably come unstuck if you have to manipulate the head and depending on the style it may not withstand transport in a bubble enveloppe.
  • You will want to reroot first then apply masking tape while flocking as the hair roots may absorb glue if they are a porous fibre.

Different flockings will act differently so following a tutorial made for X flock may not work for what you have in mind for your doll.

  • The wool flock I used went white and crunchy when using multiple layers because it absorbed the glue too well so it was easier to gently apply extra wool to thin spots by hand bit by bit.
  • The glitter became dulled and grey where the glue was too thick. Also some glitters or flock made from chopped ribbon will bleed colour when mixed in non water based glues. (This can stain your doll)
  • Velvet flock usually needs multiple layers to look good.
  • The flock they sell in doll restoration shops is often finely chopped doll hair so you can make your own to match the exact colour of the reroot.

Extra stuff

  • If using masking tape, you need to remove it while the glue is still a bit wet or you’ll tear your new flocking which has a paperlike quality
  • scale matters! the flock that creates a fuzzy look on a small ken head may make a larger doll look near bald. Are you going for a shaved look or a pixie cut look?
  • You can work with chopped wool or mohair for a fluffier look and trim any excess with tiny scissors
  • Flocking is too delicate to serve as a wig: you’ll want to create a hard wig cap then flock that or create something fairly solid (and bulky) with silicone glue or caulk.
  • The amount of microbeads/nail caviar contained in a small vial such as those in 12 colour sets (barely 1g) is not nearly enough for a Monster High sized head and microbeads get embedded in the rooting holes and take quite some scrubbing out if you change your mind or mess it up.
  • paint the scalp if you’re using translucent microbeads as it’ll look patchy no matter how many layers you add

Tutorial: ball chains necklaces for dolls

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Now, most of you probably know about repurposing those little keychain/bag ball chains to make a necklace for your dolls but it can get really fiddly trying to get it on and you’re limited to silver metals that might stain.

Here’s a quick primer on how I’ve been making these:

Buy aluminium ball chains in multicolours and aluminium ball chain clasps in the same ball size (got 500 clasps and a bundle of 6 chains for $1 each free p+p from ebay china).
You then cut the chains to the right length for your doll with a wire cutter and before you add the clasp: widen both ends by pushing a round nose plier upwards so that the clasp is now easy to pop on your doll even when there’s limited space for your fingers (like in the three wrap seen above on Bélla).

As usual, if you’d like some clasps from me (I have hundreds left!) just ask me to add them to an existing order or just pay postage. If you’d like a ballchain necklace, same: 3 for $1.

PS: Bélla is named after Gina Torrès’ character in Hannibal and she’s a modified Magic Nights Out Sashabella.

How to dress your Monster High Create a Monster Dragon

Slice, gently scrape, then sand down those pesky fins/crests.
Ta da! A seamless, easy to dress, pink body!

tutorial: dragon body modded photo dragontutorial.jpg

* Use your craft knife carefully to remove the bulk of the fin,
* Then use the back of the knife to scrape against the body which will leave slight striations as seen in the bottom arm picture.
* Get out your nail sanding block and sand away those lines until it’s invisible.
Now your monster can wear long sleeves and trousers!

tutorial: dragon body modded photo dragontutorial1.jpg

Wydowna Spider aka Weberella fakie/fake/clone review

From aliexpress: ‘spider monster doll’ (no box or fitting clothes) 1905328394 – $9 including shipping. Also available on €bay at $18
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Her body is well made: hard plastic with vinyl lower arms and legs (some marbling in the leg vinyl, some extra flash plastic nubs at her hip joints -shaved off). The arms and legs are flexible but not too loose. Her neck is a solid CAM style knob.
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The hair was horrid thick nylon, sparsely rooted. I decided to flock her hair and have her wear wigs if needed because I love this natural look! The white bits you can see on her scalp are where I filled the front row of holes with resin glue to avoid tearing.

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The head is the least solid part, it’s thinner than standard monster high heads and the paint is slightly faded. Mine had a huge 5mm empty bubble in the tip of her nose that I rebuilt with resin glue and painted black and a second 1mm bubble in her lips (repainted over with matte red).
The plastic had shiny parts at her eyebrow area and her chin that I sanded with medium grit with a nail buffer block.
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She’s wearing leggings cut out and resewn from a Moxie dress and a Monster High dress hastily given new arm seams to fit those triple arms.
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I flocked Grace using finely chopped up wool (seperated into strands first to keep the pieces as fine as possible).
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I find hobby flock to be too fine for realism and chopped up hair or ribbon works better for the eurasian hair types, type 4 curls are more fluffy. photo graceflocked.jpg
 

I just LOVED the spider doll concept from the very start but knew I’d probably never be able to purchase a Wydowna, even when they release her “I ? fashion” playline doll, I’d be looking at $60+ to import her. This doll is a body recast and approximate head (the original has higher cheekbones, a pointier nose and chin) but I don’t feel bad paying the factory workers directly since Mattel pays them so terribly for the legit dolls whilst making a huge profit.
corporate.mattel.com/about-us/PTMI-AuditSummary2010.pdf

If you decide to get one yourself, be aware that she may require several hours of work to tidy up the plastic, touch ups to the paint and tame the hair.

Another well done review: www.squidoo.com/fake-monster-high-wydowna-spider-doll

Fixing up Bratzillaz Illiana and Carolina

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The hair required quite a bit of work, I seperated out the pieces and worked on them one by one.

Illiana’s tinsel was removed with a seam ripper then pushed into the holes with a pin.
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Her silk shorts were fraying and torn so I unpicked it and turned it into a bubble skirt.
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I cut the lace off Carolina’s dress. I then turned the dress inside out to remove the messy bustle (it’s the top seam above the hips, use the seam ripper very carefully).
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The bustle was then sewn together where it was split for the dress and given quick stiches to turn it into a bolero/cape.
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The lace and tulle cape was taken apart, again with the seam ripper, and turned into a hair tie or a scarf.
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I decided to change the hard side glancing eyes, it’s limiting for photos even though they are beautiful:
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Use wire cutters or a knife to chop/shave off the large white sides of the eye (they take up almost 40% of the eye chip) and shave/sand off the little pegs for the eyesockets. I pushed tiny bits of tissue paper into the eye sockets when the eyes moved around too much to one side (from the empty space).
I find that they don’t quite reflect the light properly because the eyechips are angled, the plastic is thicker in certain areas. If I can ever be bothered, I’ll pop them out and sand the back some more.

Notes:
1/ I scratched the eyeball by accident but removed the scratch by using the roughest grit on a nail buffer block then wet+the finest grit on the block.
2/ When removing the eyes, it pulls on the plastic and makes little lines in the eyeliner: keep some acrylic black paint on hand and a very thin needle or tweezer tip to apply the black again.

Displaying your dolls and toys safe from dust

I’ve tried all sorts of things over the years for displaying my tiny toys: slotted cardboard to make squares, cardboard steps that didn’t hold up, etc… Buying display steps costs a small fortune and woodworking is just not possible for me.

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These steps were made from insulation styrofoam (left over from the move) which can be bought in 5-6cm thick panels for very cheap at your local hardware store.
I cut 3 panels: 15cm, 10cm and 5cm wide and stacked them using toothpicks and glue. Note: I used a much longer wood saw than the one shown because it was too messy with the little hacksaw. It’s very easy to saw through the soft styrofoam then rub the edges together to remove any leftover bits … but you’ll need a vacuum cleaner after as it gets very messy!
I’ll be monitoring closely for plastic melt over the next few months as some plastics just don’t play well together, I’d recommend covering your steps with craft paper or cotton fabric if you can.

The shelves are also protected from dust by transparent curtains made by buying those cheap storage bags that you attach to a vacuum to suck out the air and save space.
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They cost about $6-8 each from ebay shipped from china. Just cut the required amount of clear plastic from the side without the vacuum hole bit then use thumbtacks to attach it to the top of the shelves and sticky tack to keep it held down against the shelves.
tutorial: dust protection from vacuum storage bags photo vacuumstoragebagsandpushpinsasglassdoors.jpg
When you want to take photos of your collection you just roll it up on top of the bookcase to avoid the plastic glare. My dolls barely had any dust after a whole year untouched when I moved house because of this setup!

Barbie to Monster High/Bratzillaz trouser (pants) tutorial


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Monster Highs don’t have much in the way of casual trousers so here’s how to turn a pair of cheapy barbie sized trousers into nice monster high fitting ones without having to sew from scratch or move the velcro!

* Turn inside out (use a pencil or screwdriver), pin velcro closed.
* Move the waist to where it feels right on your doll then pinch and mark with a pen where the new crotch should be.
* Sew this very tightly through all layers.
* Unpick the old crotch and mark new lines then sew them up
* Pin the trousers so that the crotch and closure are aligned in the middle
* Pinch and mark new lines for the sides.
* Sew then trim (but careful to not trim too close if the fabric frays a lot)
* Now unpick the ankle hems then pin to the right length
* Cut the excess then sew it. Remember to do a hem or your doll’s feet will catch in the fabric.

Now you have a pair of monster high trousers!

I should have used a different fabric as denim is rough on the fingers to sew and this stuff frays like crazy so I had to go over all the seams with pillow stitch.

Anyway, enjoy the tutorial! Happy repurposing!


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Review: Integrity Toys – Janay and Friends heads

Bought 3 Janays and 1 Alysa for $6 each plus $4 postage from Ebay seller:  MushroomStreet.

The heads are barbie sized, made of hard vinyl and came with their head anchor still inside the head.
(tip: use a hairdryer and grab with pliers to gently ease it out)
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The ears are not pierced but there is a place marker for an ear hole, heads are marked “integrity 2001” on the neck. Neck hole is standard barbie size.
The faces are gorgeously sculpted with slight matte texture to the face that looks and photographs like real skin.
The eyebrows have hair detail and the blushing is very nicely blended.

The hair, however, is terrible: unbrushable nylon, very thick in each plug but thinly rooted across the scalp.
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I removed the hair from 3 of the 4 dolls but I’m unsure if they’ll be re-rootable due to the large holes in their heads. Head circumference is 3 inches (wig size 3).
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Head holes:
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Finished result:
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