Wednesday, June 15, 2011

How to fix a doll

A few years ago, Amelia started asking why she didn't have any dolls that looked like her. This was a tough question. There are caucasian dolls and there are African-American dolls, but there are very, very few light-skinned African-American dolls with very light hair and blue-green eyes. In fact, the only company making such dolls was Bratz, and Amelia was scared of the Bratz' big heads and bug eyes.

Then, we found My Twinn, a company that will make a doll that looks like your child. And, for her fourth birthday, Amelia received her very own My Twinn doll, customized to look just like her. She christened it Baby Sister, and a great love story began.

Baby Sister goes with us everywhere. She's been to the Peditrician's office, the first day of school, and Disney World. She sits with us at dinner and, if I'm making cookies, I have to make a little cookie just for her. Amelia brushes Baby Sister's teeth every night and, when she uses the potty, she makes sure Baby Sister goes, too.

Then, last week, a great tragedy occured. Baby Sister's arm came loose.
I suggested sending Baby Sister to the doll hospital, but Amelia couldn't bear to be parted from her best friend for one night, let alone the three weeks it would take to ship Baby Sister to the doll hospital and wait for her to come back. Something had to be done immediately.

Fortunately, I used to collect dolls and, through collecting, learned a few things about repairing them, too. So, the first thing I did was let Amelia and Baby Sister have some ice cream. It calmed them down enough that we could all make a trip to the hardware story for Devcon Plastic Welder.
After Amelia was in bed, I very carefully removed Baby Sister's arm. It had been stitched on to her body, so I used my seam ripper, taking care not to damage her body. Once, I removed her arm, I found that the entire joint had been shattered, so I mixed up the plastic welder. This stuff is STRONG, and it smells horrible. You have to activate it by mixing the glue and the resin and, once they're mixed, you have to work fast.

Then, I filled the arm cavity with the plastic welder and shoved her arm back on her body. (I'm sorry I don't have photos of this, but I was juggling baby sister in one hand, and the plastic welder in the other). I held it in place until it started to set. You can tell it's working because it gets hot!

Once the doll cooled down, I glued her "skin" back in place. I couldn't sew through the plastic welder, so I had to use a few drops of E-6000.
I used the glue very sparingly, and it formed a good, tight seal.

By morning, Baby Sister was back in her little bed next to Amelia's bed. It was a very happy reunion:

1 comment:

  1. Wow!

    I have a feeling my comments on all your posts are always going to contain the words "Wow!" and "AMAZING!"

    So impressed that you were able to fix her arm so well and so quickly!