Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Hello, Dolly!

My grandmother recently sent Eleanor this read-headed doll. It use to be my aunt's and has seen a lot of love. I decided to try and clean her up a bit, so I went on-line to do some vintage doll research. Sorry, Galeese Girls, your toys are vintage. Heck, my toys are considered vintage. I found plenty of info on Rainbow Brite and My Little Pony.

I found markings on the back of her neck that indicate she is a Horsman doll, model #22, but I couldn't find a picture of the original doll. There is a picture on the Horsman website that could very well be her, but it doesn't mention which doll it actually is.
As you can see, her hair was a matted mess. I want to try to smooth it out, but was afraid it was too brittle and would break. I found a lot of information about fixing doll hair and thought I would give it a try.
The first thing I did was clean the whole body with diluted Dawn dish soap and a soft washcloth. Then, I used the diluted soap in the hair, careful not to get water and soap in the eyes, and rinsed the hair clean. Many websites recommended soaking the hair in fabric softener to make it more manageable.

I soaked her hair for about an hour, squeezed out the excess fabric softener into the sink, and the got to combing through her hair. It was still in clumps, so I used Elle's plastic baby comb and started at the ends, working my way up to the scalp. It took awhile, but I was able to comb through the hair smoothly when I was finished. I then rinsed out the fabric softener and laid her on her back to dry. (I didn't want the water to drip down into her body, because there are metal parts inside)

At this point she looked like Chucky, with her hair sticking straight out. I knew that I needed to smooth her locks somehow and thought that it would be best to try the doll "boil perm" I had read about on quite a few sites. They recommend using drinking straws to roll the doll's hair into curls, but I decided to use foam rollers.

The rollers were actually too long, so I took the foam part off, folded it in half, and rolled the hair around it. To secure it, I put a pin through it. Now she was looking like the character from Hellraiser. Do you see a theme here?

After boiling water in a medium sized pot, I removed the water from the heat a dipped only the rolled hair into the water for about 30 seconds. I rinsed the hair in cold water and left her to dry for a good 24 hours.

When her hair was dry, I carefully unrolled each curl, then used the comb again to fluff the hair.

I'm quite happy with the results. She doesn't look brand new, but she looks a lot better than she did a few days ago. Now we just need to get some clothes on this doll.


*mar* said...

Only you Sara...only you.

Sara Dougherty said...

Ha,ha. I know, I know. I'll be entering crafters anonymous. Just after I finish an out-fit for the doll.