SIX MONTHS since my last post! I had a baby in March so, you know, I’ve been a bit busy.
But I did doll stuff today! Crazy, right? It kind of felt like I’d never get doll time again, though I actually have changed the dolls all once (maybe twice?) since I brought my son home! But today, after his first trip to American Girl, I felt inspired. So once he was down for a nap, I ripped some doll heads off and got to work.
(Tools for work. The avocado was not used for anything.)
I’ve never done eye-swapping before and was extremely nervous, especially since my husband wasn’t home and I knew there was a high liklihood I’d burn or stab myself, or get stuck and frustrated without him around to help. I used the ol’ boiling water inside the head trick and alternated tools between a screwdriver handle and a thick wooden spoon.
Oops I melted my teapot lid!
I will say, it is hard physical work. Each head, I seemed to have one eye that popped out easily and one that really fought to remain. But with patience, persistence, and lots of reheated water, I managed to pop the eyes out of three dolls (MG, Samantha, and #7).
De-eyed MG and Sam
The plastic tabs that hold the eye weight bent a bit on one of Sam’s eyes, but I managed to get it straightened out and the weight back in place. MG’s eye hole needed some cleaning as well. I hadn’t planned on putting the eyes back in until my husband got home, and in the meantime de-wigged Josefina (she’s got a new wig coming finally!) and Julie. But then I got impatient, so I set to popping MG’s new brown eyes in.
I wound up having to look up a tutorial to reassure myself that it’s just hot water and brute force that gets those suckers in. Both eyes went in a little crooked and I had to use tweezers to shimmy them into the right place. I managed to scratch one eyelid the tiniest bit (damn!) but I think my husband can help me repaint it enough that it’s not noticeable and fine for a doll I’m keeping anyway.
So hurray, I finally have a brown-eyed MG head! I’ll do a separate post with the wig shuffling. I’m so proud of myself for overcoming my fear of eye-swapping and I have to say, I prefer this to rewigging any day. This felt less tedious, harder to screw up, and didn’t damage my hands QUITE as badly.
MG was the only doll whose eyes I put back in today. I now have a pair of MG blues I’ll probably try to trade. The eyes I pulled out of #7 meanwhile are DISGUSTING and need some heavy duty cleaning. But in pulling them apart to try and figure out how to repaint them (husband is going to help! he’s a great painter!), I discovered that the missing eyelashes are actually just tucked inside. This is great news; I wasn’t looking forward to redoing the eyelashes, and now I just have to repair one.
I’m a little concerned the one on the left might be a grey-market doll. The bottom is a shiny plastic and it’s thicker and has sort of ribs. I was worried I wouldn’t be able to de-eye and it was bit toucgher but I manaed to get them out! You can see the heads are rather different but I guess that’s not unusual.
Wigs will get their own post!