Friday, May 13, 2016

A Dainty Repair

Baby Dainty a now 11-1/2-inch composition doll by Effanbee dolls, circa 1920s.
This 1920s composition doll by Effanbee, Baby Dainty, was won in an eBay auction in 2013 and made her first blog appearance shortly thereafter.

When selecting dolls back in February to include in the Eye of the Collector Exhibit at the Perot Museum of Nature and Science, Baby Dainty was a consideration. The damaged areas of her composition head caused by crazing (cracked/loss of composition) prevented her inclusion, but led to my desire to repair the head.


Crazed areas on top of Baby Dainty's head
Additional crazing on the side of head
In the above and following two photos, I have used Aleene's Tacky Glue (which is clear) to fill in the cracks and crevices in the top of Baby Dainty's head and on one side of the head.  I used large globs in areas where the composition top layer was missing to create an even surface. Elmer's Wood Filler works better, particularly for the deeper areas in need of repair, but I used what I had on hand.

I repaired the most damaged areas only, the top and side of the head.  She has some cracks on her face, but these are not as detracting.


After the glue dried, black acrylic paint was used to paint the entire hair area of Baby Dainty's head.


After the paint dried, it was sealed with clear matte varnish to provide a similar sheen as the rest of Baby Dainty's head and body.

She's all fixed and back on display, wearing her bonnet, but now she wears it because it is part of her outfit and not to conceal any damage.

Check out my eBay listings here.



  1. Wow, you are amazing at repairing these dolls.

  2. Hi Debbie! You did a great job with Baby Dainty. I can hear her little happy voice saying: 'Thank you Debbie!'

    1. If dolls could talk, I am sure she would thank me, Arlette.



  3. That's an impressive restoration!

  4. Excellent, she's now ready for another century!


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