Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Bent arm barbie

I'm not a fan of the 80s style bent-arm Barbie body, but they are good in one way...

Saturday, December 17, 2011

The easiest pair of barbie pants you'll ever make

When summer rolled around, I cut all the sleeves off of the long sleeve pajamas for my 3 year old.  And being a fabric hoarder, I didn't throw them out but squirreled them away. Today I found one and thought, "Pants!"  So I turned the sleeve (with cuff attached) wrong side out, sewed two parallel seams for legs (not exactly even, next time I will draw them first instead of free handing them). 

I cut up the center, turned them right side out, and pants!

Good loungewear for the casual barbie.  Could also add a cute little decorative drawstring so Barbie can have yoga pants. 

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

1:6 world bleeds into 1:1...

Am I the only person that ever forgets for a minute that real life doesn't work like doll life?  The other day I was having problems with my hair and for a split second my mind went to pouring boiling water over it so it would lay down. 

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


This may be the oddest Barbie clone item I've ever seen.  At my local Dollar Tree they have what appear to be clones of the Fashionista Swapping heads.  But they don't appear to have any method of removing them from their "bust" so you can put them on a doll, plus no bodies available to accept them.  So what you have is the head and shoulders of barbies with no bodies, or the tiniest styling heads ever!

Sorry for the crappy camera phone pic.  But they had a ton of them, and no bodies.  Maybe other Dollar Trees have bodies to go with them--can anyone confirm?  Either way, it was a very odd sight.  They're not well done, but I was tempted to spend the dollar to get one just to see if they were useful in any way.  Oh, and their jewelry is glued on.  Very odd.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Sometimes princes need to be rescued too.

At first I thought it was just an isolated incident.  Maybe an accident.  Random. 

Then I found another.  Yes, something is going on in the Memphis area.

Someone is mistreating Disney Men.

It's okay, take a minute to compose yourself.  I was shocked too.  It started when I found a Pocahontas John Smith in the Bargain Barn at Goodwill.  He had been gnawed on by something or someone and had a bad haircut. 
I brought him home planning to revamp him later.  He got put on a shelf and forgotten for awhile. 

Then at a church yard sale (a CHURCH of all places!) I found poor Li Shang who had been similarly abused. 
 Not only had someone given him a bad haircut, but they gave him a Hitler mustache. WHY?  Why would you do that to him? 
I mean come on!  Who would DO such a thing to the poor guy?  I had to rescue him.  So then I had two Disney men fallen on hard times. 

So I started with Li Shang, since his body at least was in decent shape.  First, I cleaned his face with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.  Then I got him ready for his haircut.

Haircuts are not my forte, so I just gave him a trim to even him up, and gelled him a little.  I may revisit if I get better at cutting hair, but for now, he's at least presentable. 

Next I turned my attention to Mr. Smith.  His body was in bad shape, and it was one of the older ken-style bodies with almost no movement, so I decided to body swap him.  When I bent poor John's head back to get a look at the connection, his neck ripped!  His day just keeps getting worse! 
So my first instinct was to just glue his head to his new body (I've done this for my kids' barbies) but then I was inspired to make a neck-join to try to keep some mobility. 
Basically I made a post out of some plastic packaging and glued it down on the little 'post' that sticks up out of the neck.  His head actually fits on pretty snugly, and since he wont be played with by kids, this is acceptable for now. 

"Yay!  Look at me!"

I washed his face and decided to tackle his hair. It is a strange texture and I don't have a lot of donor blondes, so I didn't find an exact hair match.  Luckily, it was only about 10 plugs in the front that needed to be replaced.  I found another doll who could lose a few strands without missing them, and rerooted the front section. 

Quick douse with boiling water to lay it down.

And they're all done!  
Now that shirt/ pants combo could be considered abuse, but it's all I could find at that moment.  Soon enough I'll get them all dressed up and ready to find some thrift store princesses. 

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Barbie RV, work in progress

Last summer I found a yardsale selling a ton of old 70s/80s barbie stuff.  I doled out most of it to my kids over the past year, sold some, kept some.  This is one thing I was going to give to my daughter, but it's massive and there's just not room for ANOTHER huge vehicle in her room.  Especially one made of fragile 70s plastic.  I had already started transformation on it (hence the red paint and the pink flocked seats) before I decided not to give it to her.  Now I'm going to start renovating it for my own use:D 
This is one of the original commercials for the Barbie Star Traveler. 
Here is my spray painted one: 

Now my goal is to refurbish it completely, aiming for a traditional 70s color palette.  I spent the morning scraping off old stickers and scrubbing unidentified 80s-era goo out of nooks and crannies.  I did find it was a LOT easier to work with when you take it completely apart.  

I have had trouble finding pictures of the interior, but I'm sure I'm missing a few pieces.  No matter.  This GMC motorhome is my inspiration:  here
I can't wait to get really started...and hopefully since it's in 4 pieces, I can work on it without my kids insisting that they'd LOVE TO HAVE IT!  I'll let them play with it, sure, but some toys are strictly mommy's.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Beautiful OOAK dolls with awesome hair--link

Saw this on a friend's FB page--now I'm wondering if she's a dolly person?  How does one go about asking that without the other person coming away from the conversation thinking you're crazy if they're not?  I should probably just be out and proud about my dolliness, but I'm still chicken. 
BUT!  Check out this site--FB page for natural dolls by Beads, Braids and Beyond

If you're not on the FB, you can see their main site here:  Beads Braids and Beyond
Big beautiful afros!  I have used Kristl's afro tutorial but have never been able to get it quite right.  I don't know what method Beads Braids and Beyond uses, but all of their hairstyles are AWESOME. 

Monday, October 31, 2011

1/6 wonderland at Hobby Lobby!

Went to Hobby Lobby today and examined the Christmas section.  Found a bounty of 1/6th size items! Their Christmas stuff is 50% off this week, too.
 Mini cookie cutters.  Several holiday shapes.  My hand is in this photo (and others) for scale.
Street lamp.  LOVED this one. 
Old school coke case with 6 bottles.  The bottles were glued in, but I'm sure they could be finessed out.  
Tiny tool set.  I'm definitely going back for these.  Ken NEEDS a drill and a monkey wrench.  They also had hunting and fishing gear in this section, but they varied as to how much 'in scale' they were. 

These were the right scale, but they are hard and possibly breakable.  They also had basketballs.  These were in the "decorate a tiny tree" section.

There were several variations on the 'tiny cookie' theme.  Also other candies and perfectly sized christmas lights. 
There were also a ton of things (like tiny police cars or firetrucks) that would work well as toys for a barbie, but I didn't have time to capture them all.  I'm returning tomorrow with my gift card and coupon and will post pictures of my bounty.  

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Extreme makeover, Ken edition

On flickr the other day, I saw an awesome AA Ken redo (someone else's ken) and I loved it.  So I set out to reproduce it.  First, I found a cheap "beach steven" because he had molded hair without too much height to it.  He also has the newer, more barbie-like head join, so i didn't have to try to reroot the other type of ken neck--score!  Then I used straight acetone to 'erase' his black hair.  Bald Steven.
I used an extra big "doll" needle to root a line of hair across the front of his hairline. 

There were 14 plugs. If I were to do it again, I wouldn't put plugs quite so close to his ears--they weren't necessary and were harder to glue. 

I braided each plug and fastened it with a tiny rubber band. 
 Then came the hard part.  First off, I learned that hot glue would not work.  I like the instant-grab nature of hot glue, but it dried too bulky and shiny.  So I peeled it off.  Tacky glue would have been good, I think, but I didn't have any, so I went to good old Elmers school glue.  I started with the front center braid and ran a line of glue over the top of his head down to the nape of his neck and laid the braid in it.  It held for all of 2 seconds and popped back up.  There was no way to glue the hair down and have it hold...until I thought of pins. 

So I made lines with the white glue in contours around his head, and pinned the braid in at strategic intervals.  I let it all dry overnight, and it turned out pretty good, except in a few places the glue looked a little flaky, like he had dandruff. 

Fortunately, flocking covers a multitude of sins, AND made the braids look "softer", so the flaking doesn't matter. 

Once the flocking glue is completely dry, I will probably go back and fill in a little bit more where necessary.  But for now, the hair is close enough for government work!  I'm tickled. 

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Look who has arrived in the Memphis area!

And look who came home with me!!!
This will be the first fashionista I ever bought with the intention of keeping head and body together.  I might go back for some bodies later (since I hear Nikki is darker than Artsy) but this one had to come home TODAY.

Set me free!  I actually really like the top and the necklace, but the pants make her look knock-kneed and the shoes are strange.  They'll be going to the kids.  Now for the REAL freedom...

 Aaaah...that's better. 

They had the other "2012" fashionistas too, and I liked one of the other faces, but she was blonde so I waited...I'm not huge on blonde dolls.  "Nikki" has the same freaking face as Artsy, so I'm not going to bother unless I can figure out a skin match with one of my other heads--her skin is still really light.

I also picked up some almost-barbie sized food-shaped erasers, and a Steven that's going to get an extreme makeover.  More to come on him soon.

Monday, October 17, 2011

1/6 club chair

Inspired by the awesome recycled crafts over at, I tried to make my folks a club-type chair.  Turned out pretty well, even though I don't like the legs and in the flash you can really see the tape edges.  My 6 year old has claimed it anyway, so I'll get to try again:D  Sitting in it is one of my Barblgangers, (or maybe Dollelgangers?  I haven't decided what to call them).  Basically I'm restyling dolls to look like people in my life.  This one is styled to look like one of my oldest friends, Laura.  The sneakers were the best find (she's a flat-foot) and i'm particularly proud of the glasses.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

This week...

Target has Fashionistas on sale for $8.  Hope my local ones have some of the new non-swappy ones.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Chubby chasing

I love Barbies, but I especially love "barbie" type dolls with plus sized bodies.  I have a Tracy Turnblad doll, two Mimi Bobecks, two plus-sized Raven Simones and two Rosie O'Donnells.  The Tracy has a cute face, Mimi is cute in her own way (with some repainting, but although I tried, I just didn't like the Rosie doll's face.  So I gave her a new head. 

This is the head from one of my many thrift store dolls.  The skin tone is a decent match (Rosie is very pale) and it's one of those big-headed dolls so the scale is right.  Of course, the neck post on Rosie is more comparable to a Ken sized head post, so the neck was a challenge.  I basically slit the back of her neck and filled it in with hot glue.  I tried a bunch of different things and finally stuck with hot glue because even if it's not attractive, it's easy to use.  Her head does not move, of course.  But before it fell off easily, so this is an improvement.

As for clothes, she actually fits more of the Barbie clothes than I expected.  She fits only Ken pants, but some of the stretchiest barbie shirts fit.  But the best thing for her to look both feminine and well dressed are the simple sock dress.  Her feet are slightly bigger than a Barbie's feet, but she fits some of the flatter barbie shoes and also Liv shoes. 

Sometime I'll have to post the original Rosie head I tried to modify by removing the teeth...not a great look.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

To start out, a few modifications

So I finally admit that I have a collection...and have started to display it in my house.  My main concern was that my kids would want to play with MY dolls (they do) but so far it hasn't been a problem.  Plus, taking out a few and working on them a few at a time, displaying them a few at a time, then rotating them keeps it new to me and keeps me out of the stores (well, at least the expensive ones).  A few of my projects...

Mimi Bobeck--starts out with bad hair (not just unattractive, but it melted when I poured boiling water on it) and horrible makeup,  as seen on amazon:
Now with new hair, new make up, and new clothes (although you can't see them in the pic)

You may not be able to tell from the photo, but the makeup removal was awful--I read somewhere that you could use a dremel and a light touch to remove paint...and while this is true, you can also grind away part of the face that way.  I don't recommend.  I was afraid to use acetone and do a clean slate, so I tried to dremel off just the offending makeup....but it left the surface rough and funky.  But it looks fine from a distance.  I have another mimi, though, and I'm going to do a clean wipe on her since I've gotten my courage up by doing a face re-paint on...

This Mulan.  She was the type with the white painted face (for going to matchmaker), and while I tried to just use acetone on the white makeup, I wasn't able to get all of the white makeup off without wiping her eyes too, so I just did it.  I'm very happy with the results.  Still need to tackle her hair, but the face makes me happy.

My third project was my dreadlock wig--I had looked into ways of making dreadlocks using the doll's own hair, plus gel and glue (disaster), saw a tutorial for making dreads out of wool (which my kid and husband are allergic to), then finally saw Limbe Doll's tutorial for making a dread wig.  It was just what I was looking for. 

This was the result.  I didn't have any knee-highs, so I used a sock, but it still turned out really well.  I'm excited to actually be getting projects DONE instead of just thinking about them and researching them.  It helps a lot that I can actually leave my dolls out now and the kids don't start running around with them.  But of course, in the future, they'll probably be helping me...  Well, helping me MORE...