Monday, August 23, 2010

Basic Cabbage Patch repair

If there's any toy that takes a beating, it's a dolly.  They get dragged everywhere, through mud, paint, and pancake batter.  The little gal has her own baby Cabbage Patch doll, and I have 2 old ones from the 1980's that she plays with.  Yesterday, all three got worked on during naptime, and are looking much better. 

Step 1: The bath

I washed their faces with s gentle, all natural cleaner.  For their skin, I mixed a sinkful of Wool-lite and used my mini elephant scrubbie to clean their arms, which was by far the dirtiest part because they are not covered by clothes and they serve as a handle for the dragging-a-doll-through-the-mud technique.

The baby doll was by far the dirtiest, even though we've only had her a year:

A few stains were too set in to come out.  I guess that's to be expected after 20-odd years:

Give them a rinse:

Ans squeeze them out (but don't wring):

Step 2: The Hair

Even simple bows and braids made a big difference.  I noticed there was a lot of frizz, so I gave the two big dolls a little trim.  I cut the tiniest bit off the ends of their hair.  The bottom braid has been cut.  See the difference?

This frizz was all over the doll's head, so a cut a little of it too.  Just cut the frizz, making sure you're not getting any of the actual hair.  See how it pulls up?

Come to think of it, you might want to do this during naptime to make sure your toddler doesn't find the scissors and take things into her own hands.

Here's before trimming frizz:

And after:

Much better, huh?

Step 3: A little minor surgery

The wrists and ankles of Cabbage Patch Dolls are made from threads tied in just the right places.  On one of our old dolls, she had lost most of her strings and therefore had fat arms and a swollen ankle.  Easy enough to fix.

The wrists and ankles are done the same way.  Using a long needle and embroidery floss, go straight through the wrist from where the thumb meets the hand.  Sometimes you can see marks where the thread was originally.

Tie both ends in a knot so that the string squeezes the hand to make a wrist.

Cut the strings close to the knot and add a dab of glue on the knot for extra strength.

Ankles are very similar.

Elbows are a little different because the string does not show on the outside:

I just tied a knot, threaded the string through the back of the arm, and tied another knot  very close to the skin.  It helps to have another person pinch the arm while you tie the second knot.

Step 4: Finishing touches

I washed the clothes with my regular laundry, and finished up by adding some ribbons to the dolls' hair.  I used a drop of hot glue to keep the ribbon from coming untied and heat sealed the end of it using a lighter.  Just hold the lighter close (not touching) to the end of the ribbon, and you will see the end melt slightly.  Just a second is all it takes.

Let the dolls dry overnight.  Ta-da! Almost as good as new!  Except for the little dolly, who didn't even get a chance to dry before she took a trip to the lake and got all sandy.  Sorry Dolly, it's a rough life!


Anonymous said...

Hi kelly, this is great info on repairs, do you know how i can re root my dolls hair. CPK two braids i cut it up abit when i was a kids and want to replace her yarn hair.
Can you tell me how? please and thankyou!!

Teri said...

I found a website that you can put them in the washer. But if you put it in the dryer it can ruin them. I have 2 dolls one is a real CPK. One is handmade. I had the handmade for 30 yrs. One day I wash it in the washer and it was not so clean. He does have stains on him from being dirty for a long time. The real CPK I let her hair air dry and it looks like it was new.

Regina Skidmore said...

I find them at goodwill, repair them and wash them in a pillow case inside a washing machine and it works wonders! They smell awesome, afterwards too!

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