Tag Archives: monster high

Long pile wig making with offcuts/scraps

1/ First I sew the hem on the fur fabric as this will need to be brought forwards for choppy or patchier areas. Remember to mark the direction of the fur pile on your fabric

2/ Then I place the wig template just above the line of hem stiches, trace and cut out the wigs with tiny scissors and trim the hem as it’ll be wiggly.


3/ Then each wig is assembled inside out and loosely basted; with a clip or a stitch tucking the fibre inside the wig so that you can sew without too much stray fur getting into your thread which causes knots and mess.


4/ Sewing


5/ Finally each wig is brushed to remove excess fur and any caught in the hem stitching and tested on Batsy (a bald Monster High with big ears) to see if the parting has thin areas and fits over her ears fully and still matches her front line of hair – if not it’s put aside to be resized for a smaller doll. I figure people can always resize a wig to be smaller but it’s best to err on the slightly larger side.

Notes:

  • faux fur can be flat ironed at 120°C or steamed using a clothes iron at a slight distance and brushed straight.
  • the process of working with small items made from faux fur is messy, you’ll want to clean up regularly and make rolled up balls of stray fibres.
  • use sharp and very small scissors or use the razor method to cut your fur of you’ll have choppy bits.
  • use a metal comb for brushing to avoid static, but nothing as dense as a flea comb or you’ll lose too much fibre.
  • keep different colours and different stages of prepared wigs seperate in baggies to avoid fibres getting everywhere.
  • faux fur can be hand washed and I recommend it if your fabric is musty or needs conditioning with fabric sftener before ironing out kinks but it can lose it’s starch which makes tracing and cutting a little trickier
  • use gloves or thimbles if hand sewing as you will get blisters from repetitive sewing through dense fabric

Making “Midnight Magic” bodies compatible with Monster High

I bought these Midnight Magic dolls from Aliexpress in september and almost gave up on them but kept trying because well, glitter transparent bodies are awesome.

I had been carving the big spherical neck knobs by hand with a craft knife until they snapped, then I tried putting in classic anchor style doll neck knobs which caused the neck to crack open.

Attempt n°3 saw me get out the knock off dremel and it’s cumbersome transformer to sand down the remnants of the neck knob until they were just 2-3mm wider than the neck, then squished the donut part of the anchor knob with pliers to be much thinner. E6000 is the glue used, you can tell because it gets very messy if you move stuff around before it dries. LOL.

The Cola one is much neater than the Sprite one as it was easier to see the edges and I’d got some practice on the first one.


The Cola one went  to Clawdia as it’s a good colour match and she’s already got bigger clothes (the MM dolls are “big sister” sized)

Sprite body went to a bald Ari head:

Monster High yellow glue staining

Monster High Catrine de Mew I’m currently working on with serious yellowing from seeping yellow head glue/goop.

You can see where various plugs/plastic tie holes are stained more from where the glue seeped out, how it came down the hair onto the forehead and right side of the neck where the hair was tied.

You can also see the vinyl colour compared to a Spectra with the china white glue and a Spectra with the indonesia yellow glue (see those earholes!).

The difference between unstained Spectra and Catrine’s skin tones in person is even more pronounced than the photos washed out by flash.


Magic eraser attenuated the edges of the stain very slightly but I’m still stumped as how i’m going to proceed. I could use pastel chalk to try and ‘paint it white’ but I don’t have any MSC.

Peroxide bleaching needs sunlight which accelerates yellowing so that’s out.


Here’s white glue Spectra vs yellow glue Spectra

and a yellow glue stained Twyla who’s hair has gone yellow

Monster High Gradient Reroot- WIP pictures

Catrine gradient reroot – work in progress photos:

Paint the head with acrylic + seal with acrylic matte. The acrylic paint chips off in tiny little flakes where you reroot each hole but leaves plenty enough colour at the end. I regret painting over the front line as I couldn’t see some tightly packed original rooting holes that ended up splitting open. I was so worried about the parting (which went fine) that I forgot about that danger zone of a front line.

Sectioned off 5* zones for 5 colours: I made a pencil mark at 6mm along the front line and 6mm along the parting then drew semi circles.

*A parting doubles the sections, ears double some of the sections and every section switch means breaking the rerooting routine and starting over with the hair piles and braids etc. Think of it as patchwork: more pieces, more sewing. If you’re planning a gradient/ombré reroot, keep in mind that it’s much easier to do 3-5 sections as opposed to tHiRtEen. Yeah, I’m a total idiot but it’s going to be so prettyyyyyy!

Tutorial for quickly making a generic doll into a custom to gift, donate or resell.

Especially useful around the holidays.

You’ll need

  • hair (from a donor doll, from a hair extension, seperated sewing thread or about a ¼ of a hank of doll hair),
  • a reroot tool (a needle with the eye cut into a fork inserted into a pin vise or a piece of wood)
  • tiny scissors
  • a chopstick, a clean screwdriver, tweezers or hemostats to scrape the inside of the head.
  • 90 minutes
  • glue (not white glue or super glue)
  • 24h waiting time while the glue dries

First put the doll’s hair into a loose ponytail then gently cut the first line of hair (you can brush it out later), put your chopstick or hemostats inside the neck and scrape to pull the hair out of the holes then root in the hair. Listen to a podcast or watch some tv to not get too bored as this is a bit tedious. I like to put an extra line of plugs behind the originals to make the hair look thick. Also add a few plugs to the front of the parting so the doll will look cool with her hair down as well as in a ponytail.

Optional: You can also change the doll’s eye color with acrylic paint or with sharpie (sharpie only on the actual eye decal or it’ll bleed into the vinyl) or add nail art decorations.

Final result:

This is also the method I use for restoring dolls who have worn hair from overbrushing if they’ve still got enough hair to avoid a full reroot (or don’t have glue heads!) except that you’ll need to take up to 2-3 hours gently back brushing the hair with your hands and cutting out torn, shorter strands. The area that gets the most damaged is that first line of plugs and the parting so cutting them out and replacing them after pruning the rest of the hair is a way of getting a like new custom doll.

Examples of used dolls who benefitted from a partial reroot:

Wigs

I finished the wigs from the commission catastrophe*!

I angrily cut out every last piece of every last scrap of fur with tiny scissors over two nights then felt at peace again and sewed them together with loads of love while rewatching Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (because it feels like going home every rewatch).

There are 80 wigs, all hand sewn with tiny backstitch so that’s a lot of Star Trek – I finished sewing at S03 e22 LOL

I’ve put 71 on ebay but you can order via my email, via tumblr or flickr or if you’d like one of the rare or obsolete ones:

Currently available:

The main: see the ebay link for the colours and quantities

The rares: 3 pink/hotpink, 2 purple/green, 1 black/redwhiteblack, 1 black/bluewhiteblack, 1 neon/hot pink, 1 neon/rainbow.

The obsolete:  $1 each, short pile wigs: 7 grey, 3 big floofy royal blue, 3 of the mixed khaki, 3 of the thin long pile white fur, 1 each of the other colours.

1 to 4 wigs postage cost $1.95 Worldwide
5 to 15 wigs postage $3.40 Worldwide

That’s the price of the stamp + paypal fees.

I’m no professional so these are very much *hand made* wigs, take a good look at the photos to see the type of fur and it’s thickness. I personally like to trim them once I’ve chosen a style to look less straggly and use needle and thread instead of elastics when making buns, pigtails et al to avoid ripping out fur.

editing to add that you can use these to sell custom dolls; no problems, just say ebayer saffyruth or tumblr firespirited made the wig.


*I was commissioned for make 20-30 wigs for someone in exchange for 1 doll, 1 head and a wig per colour for myself, for almost two years I heard nothing then the client sent enough fur for 5 times that and wanted it all processed and didn’t understand (or was unwilling to understand) that extra time = extra costs. I ended up cutting and pre-sewing 90 wigs before realising that the client expected all that extra work for free, thought I had all the time in the world and they were also haggling about the doll body that was supposed to be with the parcel. I was very confused as what to do and didn’t want drama so I sent them just over half the wigs, and kept half plus scraps. Left it all for six months sat under my bed in a box. Bought the full doll for myself as a treat yoself spite-present instead. =)

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

Glue removal for Monster high or other Mattel dolls with glue in their heads using talc

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This works with both the white and yellow glues but it does have to be disintegrating and therefore sticky. This won’t work if the talc can’t stick to the glue.

  • Put on some clothes that you don’t mind getting covered in talc and use a face mask if you have asthma.
  • Put your thumb over the neck hole while shaking the head or you’ll get talc everywhere.
  • Squish the head to break up the glue and shake some more.
  • Tap the neck hole against your hand to get the lumps out. You may need tweezers for the bigger bits.
  • Repeat
  • You can use a screwdriver or long scissors or hemostats to gently scrape around the inside of the head to dislodge more glue but be careful to not pull hair into the head.

I used this method on my Honey Swamp (early june 2016, 4 months ago at the time of this post) and she’s not seeped anymore glue. It’s still early but now that so much glue is out, I’m hopeful that she won’t seep more and require a reroot – I don’t want to touch those gorgeous curls!

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.