Tag Archives: monster high

Teflon tape to fix floppy dolls

Teflon tape is one of the more important tools in a doll collectors arsenal, it’s a tape that won’t melt plastic or degrade and that can be pulled into a very fine string to fit around floppy joints, around necks that need re-inforcing and for holding glued things tightly together while they dry (snapped barbie necks for example). It costs about a $1 at any hardware store or off ebay. It’s the playline version of sueding a BJD and the knowledge was passed down from japanese obitsu/volks articulated doll collectors and action figure kitbashers.

Since I had the tape out, I did Curvy Made to Move Barbie’s feet that are notoriously floppy under the weight of her heavy plastic body: tuck in the end of the tape with a blunt needle or tweezer then wrap, pulling tightly as you go, tuck the last bit and ta da!

She can stand on her own, even barefoot! The only drawback is that it’s not transparent, as you can see from the photos above, you can see a small white bit where a joint has been wrapped.

Here are some monster high knees fixed with teflon tape:

How to fix floppy Monster High legs that use a peg not elastic

Temporary method: Wrap durable elastics (the type taken off stock dolls and their packaging) around the leg at the foot then gently roll them up the leg then use a tooth pick or tweezers to get them over into the hip socket.

Permanent method: Teflon tape is one of the more important tools in a doll collectors arsenal, it’s a tape that won’t melt plastic or degrade and that can be pulled into a very fine string to fit around floppy joints, around necks that need re-inforcing and for holding glued things tightly together while they dry (snapped barbie necks for example). It costs about a $1 at any hardware store or off ebay. It’s the playline version of sueding a BJD and the knowledge was passed down from japanese obitsu/volks articulated doll collectors and action figure kitbashers.

Wraparound petal fairy skirt for dolls

This is a classic no sew ribbon skirt with pieces taken from 10cm fabric roses knotted in first then ribbon added in between.

It was then clipped down and ironed at low heat (with my hair iron) to fold the rose petals.

I had bought the fabric roses to make hair clips but they turned out to be huge so I took them apart and the 4-petal pieces sat in a drawer for over a year, maybe two! This is a fiddly craft that would probably be a lot easier if you get out a needle and thread and sew the petals to each other!

Anyhow, it’s cute and I hope it inspires someone: you can use more than just ribbon for your knotted ribbon skirts!

Monster high animal ear earrings

Working on earrings today with my “tiny treasures” collected from the under $1 ebay auctions over the years. I’m using plastic earring backings that can be bought for a dollar for a 100 and gluing 4-6mm flatbacks and findings to them with e6000The fruit  earrings are made from slices of fimo canes cut with a craft knife to about 1mm – not the precut nail art because while that’s perfect for nails it’s too flimsy for doll earrings.

You can cut the stems to size or add silicone backings to secure them to your doll

Neck grafts to make a doll head fit a different body

This is 80’s – early 90’s Steffi by Simba


Like many Simba fashion dolls she comes on a body with a large spherical neck knob like this:


Which means that when you rebody her on standard fashion doll bodies modelled on Barbie, her head is too low down on the neck:

Enter Fakie who’s neck fits but who has terrible face paint, we’re going to cut out her neck with a craft knife and whittle that down until it fits in Steffi’s neck hole.

Here’s neckless Fakie and her whittled down neckhole fitting neatly on Barbie’s neckpeg:


Now using tweezers or a toothpick to push down the sides we insert the fakie neckhole into the Steffi neckhole – Ta da! As you can see, it holds well but you can glue it if you want it to be a permanent fix.

And here’s another fakie with a smaller neck grafted into Midnight Magic so she can fit on a monster high body     

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: