Saturday, October 29, 2011

Daughter's Dolls Redressed and Heads Done, Finally!

In a February 2010 post, I shared an image of my daughter's remaining childhood Barbies. My plans then were to bring the dolls up to date with current hairstyles and fashions.  Last weekend I finally began the process by first restyling the dolls' hair.

From left to right the dolls are Teresa, Steffie #1, twin Christies, and Steffie #2.  

As illustrated in the image above, I nervously gave Teresa a buzz cut in preparation for the new hairstyle she would receive. (I have never intentionally cut a doll's hair in this fashion... how scary!)

With plans for four different hairstyles, I used pipe cleaners for Steffie #1 and the two Christies, and the tiniest of rod rollers for Steffie #2.

Steffie #1 was designated for a larger-than-life Afro because I refused to cut any of her long black hair, including her bangs. All of her hair was rolled from ends to roots, and I used a modification of Kristl's Rotini or Hair Halo tutorial to achieve the desired effect.

Christie #1's hair was pulled back into a ponytail before rolling the ends. The ends of Christie #2's original layered cut were rolled so that only the ends would be curly.  I tied a scarf around the top of head to hold the unrolled portion down.

I braided a section across the front of Steffie #2's head to frame her face and rolled the ends with rod rollers.

For a few seconds, each rolled head was dipped into a cup containing boiled water followed by a second dip into a prepared cup of ice cold water. All were allowed to dry overnight before the final styling took place.

While I waited for the heads to dry, I toned down Steffie #2's eyeshadow using a tan Sharpie marker. I worked around her existing upper eyelashes with the marker to only cover the eyeshadow.  Next, I applied Mendocino Red acrylic paint over her original bright orange lip color. I failed to update Christie #1's eyeshadow, which still screams 1980s, but she'll be okay.

I retrieved all pieces of a 2007 Barbie Fashion Fever ensemble and located the Bollywood outfit made for Mixis dolls, ordered months ago.  (This fashion is still on sale for $10.99, a great price for such a well-made doll fashion.)

After all dipped heads dried overnight, I removed the pipe cleaners and rollers and styled each individually.  The dolls were dressed in the most appropriate fashion based on their body type and accessorized with a combination of on-hand earrings and other people-jewelry fashioned into doll jewelery. After Teresa's brown Limbe Dolls braided wig arrived, they were ready for their photo shoot.

Frontal head-to-knee shot

Head-to-knee shot from the back

Teresa loves her Limbe Dolls brown braided wig.  Her Barbie Fashion Fever (FF) ensemble is nicely accessorized with faux diamond stud earrings and matching ring.

Steffie #1 also wears Barbie FF, a pair of my brass-tone arabesque earrings, and a toe ring as an arm bracelet. Sister Girl is rocking that Afro and makes me want to sing the chorus of Curtis Mayfield's "Miss Black America."

 The two Christies, also dressed in FF, wear gold heart-shaped stud and hoop earrings, respectively.  Christie #2 wears Barbie Basics shoes and a pendant necklace made with a gold earring and gold elastic.
Finally, the lovely Steffie #2 wears Mixis Bollywood with faux diamond earrings and ring. Her Barbie Basics black open-toe mules have a pink bow on the vamp that matches the color of her ensemble.

The redressing and hairstyling took several days to complete, but I had lots of fun throughout the entire process.

Dear Daughter has a birthday within the next few days.  The good mother in me briefly contemplated re-gifting her with these dolls.  Because she no longer has any affection whatsoever for dolls, the doll collector in me thinks it is best to just show her the dolls and give her something else for her birthday that she will genuinely appreciate.


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  1. Love love love the make over! They came out looking fantastic. The Limbe wig is cute! Great job.

  2. You did a great job. Loving the afro. That wig is great and Teresa is wearing it well. They all are really

  3. Those are awesome. I especially LOOOVVVE the afro. Rock it, girl.

  4. They are all gorgeous!! I especially love the Afro and Teresa's wig. Really cute ensembles. This just might change your daughter's view on dolls (Lol). Definitely an awww moment.

  5. Thanks ladies. I'm glad you enjoyed this transformation share.

    If my daughter wants any of them, it will definitely be Steffie with the Afro. I can't blame her.

    Last night I gave Bollywood Steffie a necklace using a gold band ring that I wore before upgrading to my current wedding band. Her head pops off easily from my daughter's former doll play so it was easy to get it on her neck.

    I'll pick up some more toe rings the next time I'm at Walmart now that I know they work well as arm bracelets for playscale dolls. Nose rings might even work well as rings for dolls whose fingers can accommodate the stem.


  6. I forgot to mention that I am sorry Mattel discontinued the Fashion Fever fashions. They were very stylish and very well made. If you can find these at a good price, grab them. I've had this ensemble since 2007 or 2008 but this is the first time I've used all except one piece.


  7. Wow! Great job! I love the bollywood oufit!

  8. Lovely!!
    Cool Job!!

  9. Woww that big afro is beautiful! And thank you for the tutorial, I haven't seen it before and now I want to use it :) Lovely makeovers, and the tan sharpie idea is awesome!

  10. You go girl! It only took you 20 months! They all look fabulous! I have never seen that Bollywood outfit before. It's mighty nice. Thanks for the idea about the nose ring. I need to find a ring for Danielle that won't tip her over from being too big. We all know that Daughter will not be getting the doll with the afro. Who you fooling?

  11. You have done a fantastic job on these beauties. I especially love the afro!!! Nice work.

  12. 20 months is right, Vanessa... but once I sit down and mentally prepare myself to do something, I see it through to the end.

    All the Mixis outfits are nice. Great sale price now, but it's best to order all you want because shipping from Canada will be about $10.

    With the exception of the tiny rod rollers, everything else I used was already here.

    Thanks Jorge and Pimp My Barbie!

  13. Thanks, Margaret. They feel fabulous, too!




Thank you! Your comments are appreciated!