Hello, readers! After releasing my newest project, the Chesapeake Doll Spa, last week, I’m super excited to show you the process of fixing up my first client, Samantha! Special thanks to Liz for trusting me with your doll, haha.
When Samantha came to me, she was in pretty rough shape. Her hair was crazy, her limbs were dirty and loose, and her face had lost it’s original color.
She also had some kind of sticky brown stuff in her mouth and by her nose…
However, when I checked that back of her neck, I was super excited to see a collector’s mark! This means she is extra rare. Her neck was also marked Pleasant Company, meaning this doll is at least 15 years old.
First things first, I gave Samantha a sponge bath to remove the years of dirt and grime that had built up on her skin.
See the difference? The right leg hadn’t been cleaned yet, while the left one had.
The next thing to do was to deal with the dirt in her mouth, so I made a mini-Q-tip to fit between her lips.
Ahhh, so much better!
And now there is her hair to tackle. When I ran my fingers through it, I realized that it was mainly just dry and slightly tangled, so I started by just brushing it out.
It was still a little frizzy and dry, and to fix that, I did a hot-water dunk.
If you’ve never done a hot-water dunk before, it’s essentially just reshaping a doll’s hair using boiling water. Because it straightens the doll’s hair, the frizz goes away. It also deep-cleans their hair and removes residue and most odors.
With the frizz all gone, I sprayed her hair with a special conditioner mixture and let that sit until it dried.
While her hair was drying, I noticed some stains on her dress. They looked like they’d probably been there a while, but I decided I’d try to get them off anyway.
So in went her dress into a bath of warm water and gentle soap to soak for a few hours. When washing doll clothes, it’s always better to be gentle and wait longer rather than to be harsh, because the fabrics are typically much more delicate.
Once Samantha’s hair dried, I carefully restored her lip and cheek paint, returning her original rosy complexion.
Back in her dress, Samantha is all ready to be shipped home to her owner!
It was a great experience fixing up Samantha-she cleaned up beautifully. I’m still currently accepting dolls for free until February, so if you have a doll who needs some TLC, check out my Chesapeake Doll Spa page for more info.
Do you have any dolls who need restoring? Have you ever restored a doll?