Custom Brunette Rapunzel

Im still here! This whole time Ive been sewing and repainting, I just havent managed to get any of it up online. Whatever, computers stress me out sometimes. Anyway, I made a brunette version of Rapunzel.

At the end of Disneys version of the story, Rapunzels hair is cut off, leaving her with a messy brunette bob. For one thing, I think it suits her, and I kind of prefer brunette dolls anyway. The more important thing for me though, is that this is how the film ends. Based on what we learn in the film, thats it. That is her hair forever now. And yeah, it looks like she somehow gets the blonde hair back in the new animated series, but up until then we had every reason to assume her hair stayed the same. So, for me, it makes sense that out of the dolls available, a fair proportion should have that hair. I do understand why that isnt the case, from the point of view of the toy companies; long hair is one of Rapunzels defining features, and if kids want to recreate the story, they’re gonna need a doll with that hair. Ive only ever seen one brunette Rapunzel though, at the Disney store, and she was only there for a short time when the film had first come out. Other than that, nothing (that Ive come across).

So, when I found a Rapunzel in a charity shop with horrendously tangled hair, that was obviously my first idea. I found Hasbros version of her, the first one they made


Like this one, but naked and with terrible hair. Im not good at rerooting, nor do I enjoy it, so I wanted to make her a wig. Plus, short hair shows the roots more, so I think a wig works better for this anyway. I decided to use her to try out an idea Id had for wig making. Instead of creating brushed yarn wefts and then gluing them on, I wanted to try rooting yarn into a wig cap and then brushing it out. It seemed to me like this might make the individual strands of yarn more secure.


I started off with the usual wig cap thing; stretchy fabric over her head then glue. Then I used a needle to root the wool through. I did it so that both ends are coming up, so that when Ive glued the cap to the head, any brushing will pull on both ends, and hopefully not pull it out


Obviously I rooted it more thickly around the edges, same as you would with a regular reroot. The downside to this is that its pretty hard to gauge how thickly to root it. When wool is brushed out it becomes fluffier, but you also lose a lot of bulk in the brushing. I figured more was the best option.


To try and reduce the amount that I lost brushing it out, I untangled the strands a bit with my fingers before I started brushing. After a lot of brushing and trimming, we get this:


I put her in the dress I got with the Rapunzel doll in the last post, because it fits fine, and I want to dress that one in something completely different. Overall, Im quite happy with her. The hairstyle isnt spot on, but I dont think that the one the Disney store did was actually any more accurate really. I think I ended up going a bit too thick, but I can live with it.


I have lots of other stuff to share, once I get around to it. Im going to try to post more often, but Ive said that a few times before. We’ll see



Looks Like Disney Figured Out How To Do Doll Knees

So, I got these guys a couple of months ago, I treated myself to a Disney store trip after a medical appointment, but of course Im only just now getting the post up, because life keeps happening


These two are from the new animated series which is somehow linked to the film Tangled. I dont really know how, I havent seen it, but to be honest I dont care. I just liked the look of the dolls. All of the dolls made to tie in with this series seem to be nicely articulated, regardless of who’s making them, which is nice, and I was particularly impressed with the legs on these dolls. In case anyone isnt familiar with them, these are some typical disney store doll legs


Its either this, or the bend-and-snap ones, and much as I like dolls with articulation, I honestly think these are worse, because they look terrible, even if they do bend further. Obviously, most Disney princesses wear long skirts, so you cant really see this, but that doesnt help you if you want to change clothes


Now, look at these! Much straighter, much more looking like normal legs. Im loving the larger feet as well, although its going to make finding shoes difficult, since Rapunzel didnt come with any.


Double knee joint! I love it. Since the made to move barbies were released, I constantly just wish that all dolls had these joints. They pose so nicely.


The rest of the body is nicely articulated as well, no double elbows, but enough for pretty much anything Id want to do I think.


The chest joint is a nice feature, although I rarely find myself using those. Both dolls have identical articulation. The first doll, with the dark hair, is a character I know nothing about. Not even the name


I love her outfit, she looks like a mercenary or something. The doll also came with gloves, but I took them off once I realised that they were staining her hands. She’s never going to wear them again, but its still a nice touch. As you can probably tell, her hair is just solid with gel


Predictably, once washed and brushed, all the uneven hairs sprang out, which I’ve tried to trim down a bit. The only other thing with this doll is that in certain angles, I think her face is a bit wonky


Couldnt get a photo that wasnt blurred. I think that theres just something about the eyes thats off. Im a little tempted to try and touch her up with paint, but Im stopping myself. Once thats done, it cant really be undone. Still, I think she’s cute. I love the faces on these guys, its quite different


Rapunzel looks pretty much like herself, except that the face is in the style of this cartoon, rather than the film. I actually never thought that the Disney store got her face right anyway.


Somehow, I dont get that wonk-eyed impression from her. That face is darling!

And, you may notice the fact that her hair seems to have a life of its own. A bit of investigation discovered a stiff wire running down the middle of the ponytail, which is a cute gimmick, but for my purposes, I didnt much like it, so I decided to take a risk and destroy her hair do, in the hopes of removing the wire.


There it is, partially freed. Once I got to the scalp, I discovered that the wire bit is actually only plastic-tied to her head, not rooted in or anything


Im not sure how clear that is, but her hair wasnt showing it up well


Anyway, thats it out now. Ive plaited her hair for now. In the future, Ill sew for them, and probably just give them my own original characteristics, rather than sticking with whoever they’re supposed to be now. I just wanted to share how nice their bodies and articulation are. I strongly recommend them for anyone who likes a poseable doll, although if you cant sew you might have trouble dressing them, since they dont seem to be the same size as any other doll I can bring to mind. Im sure they will fit some Barbie stuff though

Dolly Holiday part 2

So here is the second part of my photos of Cassie. Her other main trip out where I took photos was at an old castle with a very fancy garden


It was quite a hot day, and we were all pretty tired, so the day went at a pretty slow pace overall



Mostly we looked at the plants, rather than the castle, since my mum has a particular interest in them




Since it was a fancy garden, instead of the woods, Cassie had to be more respectful and not just climb on everything, but she wasnt exactly dressed for it anyway. And she did make an exception for the pumpkin/gourd thingy, since it looked sturdy enough (I dont speak plant)





It was a nice day out, although much calmer. The only other place she went out for photos was on the beach. Cassie was pretty excited for that, since we found a deckchair she could use


Here she is testing it in my kitchen/ the half of my bedroom with tiles (studio flat)


However, I meant to make a new seat for the deckchair, which would have been pretty easy, just a fabric strip, and I didnt manage to finish it. The reason I wanted to was because the deckchair is actually a phone holder given out as a promotional item for a company, and as such has their logo on the current seat. I didnt really want to display their logo on my blog, thereby associating it with me, and I doubt that the PR team of that company would be thrilled either.


So, I didnt end up getting any good beach photos of her sitting in it in the end. I was just too busy having a fun holiday to sew


The other fun feature of my holiday was that Cassie did get to make a whole lot of new friends!


My parents like car boot sales and charity shops, which is totally fine by me. I found a couple of bags of doll clothes as well as the dolls, and so I was able to put clothes of some form onto everybody, even if it didnt exactly all fit. Everyone looked cute though 🙂


Dolly Holiday

So, I finally finished my degree! I dont have any essays hovering over me now, which is nice. And Im not especially worried about managing my time around full-time employment, because its actually going to work out as less hours overall than what I have been doing, when you consider uni and part-time work etc… Anyways. Because of this whole free time thing, I joined my parents on their holiday, which was a week in the south of England.

I love looking at the doll photography other people do where they take their doll around with them, and I’ve enjoyed taking pictures of my DC Superhero girls climbing around the garden, so I decided to have a go. I wanted to take Andrea, my OG doll, but she is kinda big, and my parents didn’t want to be seen with me carrying her around, so I picked Cassie. Cassie is the only made to move Barbie I have who still has her original head, instead of being used for a body swap, although I did give her some freckles and new eyebrows. I feel like the eyebrows they usually use on that face sculpt can look kinda harsh


I packed her a really large selection of clothes and accessories, most of which I actually didn’t end up using, because not everywhere we went was entirely suitable for taking her out and posing her. I didnt want her to get hurt or damaged


Here she is posed in her travel outfit, ready to set off. The camera is actually Bratz. I used a fair few Bratz accessories, because some of them have really impressive detail. I actually just raided my entire stash to pack for her, that leather jacket is actually normally worn on display by my Raven Queen doll on a fashionista body. I figured she could manage for a week, its one of the cutest barbie-sized jackets I own.


Here is a slightly blurry shot of Cassie in the seat that she found for herself in the car. She thought that it was perfectly doll-sized, although she didnt have a great view of the scenery, and she had to move if I wanted to get out of the car, since she is in fact sitting in the handle!


And here she is enjoying the view, with a little assistance from yours truly.


I made her a sleeping bag, pillow and book to take with her, and she shared my room


That shot looked a bit better once the light had gone I think. She looked odd sitting in bed with loads of sunlight coming in, although the sun does stay up late in summer, she wasnt just in bed super early.

One adventure that she did get to come out of my bag and do some posing was a very small preserved railway. It also had a woodland trail, and some little miniature set-up scenes with tiny doors and things, which were perfectly sized for her, and so she had a lot of fun with exploring that.



She sat on a log and watched the trains





Then had a bit of fun on the miniature scenes



Before we went down to the platform to get a closer look, and ride a train




She tried to pose so that it looked like she was climbing onto the train, although there are not any shots of her on it because it rattled a lot


One of the things that I loved about this day out was that my parents both got involved in helping me to get good shots of Cassie. I know that they dont share my passion for dolls, but I still thought that it was a nice activity for us to do together, and my dad is actually pretty good at photography.



Then, whilst we were waiting for the train to be ready for our ride, Cassie and my mum got a bit bored, so she climbed up a plant



One more pose once the train is ready…


I do have one photo of her on there, it looks like


This is before it started jolting about, holding onto her ticket. After that, we all went for a walk on the woodland trail



Once again, Cassie (and my mum) were keen to get into everything



DSCN0149 (2).JPG

I really loved that day out. I think Ill stop the post now, and put up a second half, so it doesnt get super long. I find long posts annoying when Im trying to read them because the photos take a long time to load, so I’d guess the same will be true for some other folks too



Dr Frankenstien strikes again!

So I made these cuties

Sorry one is naked- I dont have much that fits her. They are all heads from dolls in the barbie video game hero line, put onto either skipper or stacey bodies. I love the faces of these dolls, but they all have awful bodies. Either they have sculpted on clothes and limited articulation, or they have daft gimmicks, which also result in sculpted clothes and articulation problems.

I put this one on a Stacey body, because I ran out of Skippers. I would have liked them all on one type of body, but I dont think the height variation is so extreme that it looks unnatural. This one is currently nude because I dont have a good stash of Stacey sized clothes like I do with Barbie sized dolls.

This girl is on a Skipper body. The only reason she’s clothed is cos the Skippet was, I dont think it exactly suits her. Ill make her something better.

I found a Barbie outfit to fit this one. I dont have a massive stash of Skipper outfits either, but I found that the top and skirt from an older Barbie fit ok, and then the gilet on top is newer, but still seems to fit ok.  

I plan to make them all new clothes, something suitable cute and fitting for their anime-type faces. So, wheres the frankenstien moment?

These two look ok, even with the obvious skin tone difference. No, heres the frankenstien moment

This body is supposed to have some sort of game, played by buttons on the belt. Lights up and stuff. But the legs literally cant move at all. Im gonna donate my creation, but I certainly wouldnt buy it!

Best charity shop find ever

I had a day out with my mum this week, and as always we dropped in to any charity shop we saw. And I found this girl

I saw her feet poking out on the shelf of childrens toys, and when I pulled her out I couldnt believe it. I looked on the back of her head and yes, its a Gene doll!

I was so excited, and I was sort of whisper-shouting at my mum, because I didnt want to make a scene. She was £3. Ill probably never do that well again. Its sad that I actually dont like her all that much, because Ill probably never own a Gene doll again. I bought her because I just couldnt leave her behind surrounded by cheap kids toys, who knew what would have happened. If a child had bought her and cut off her hair or drawn on her it would have been awful. 

Im planning on selling her on ebay. I hope that that way she’ll find an owner who really appreciates her

I had a bit of a frankenstien moment

One of my regular charity shops has started putting several dolls together in a bag to sell. Theyve done it a few times now. It seems like this is kinda common in american thrift shops, Ive seen it a lot in peoples thrift shopping and haul videos, but it isnt so usual in the UK. Our charity shops are quite small, and its pretty usual to find a shop with only one or two dolls, so they just get put out individually. Anyway, this shop is doing it for some reason. 

So now, I have the thing where you want to buy one specific doll, but it comes with a few others you dont want, so do you spend the extra and then get rid of the others, or you have to find a use for them. Anyways there was a bag with three dolls. One wierd dora the explorer doll (I love those), a strawberry shortcake who is kinda cute, Im sure Ill do something with her. And finally, this other doll. Id never have bought her on her own. Her face is cute, but the body was shaped a bit like a troll dolls. The legs didnt move at all, she couldnt sit down or anything, shoes were molded on, and her arms just pivoted. I should have taken a photo of her but I forgot to do it before Id destroyed her 🙂

See, cute face. The body shape was super wierd though. It would have been hard to make clothes for, it was so thick and the feet were super wide. So I figured seeing as I had her, Id try a body swap. I had no idea if it would work, because her neck was quite thick, so I decided to find a very cheap body donor in case destruction resulted. 

Yeah, it worked ok! The body I found was a budget barbie clone type, for 30p in a charity shop. The kind with just rooting on the hairline, and then the hair tied up to cover the massive bald spot. She had no clothes, but the word Abbie is molded all over her underwear, so I guess thats the brand. Again, I forgot to take before photos of either doll. My bad.

Abbie has joints in her legs, which is cool too. I really like how she turned out. The skin tones dont match, but its not super obvious. If you hold her in your hands you can totally see it, but oh well. 

The neck is too small for the neck hole. I used hot glue to bulk up the neck peg, so now the head stays on in the right place, although it doesnt really move.

Yeah. Doesnt look great up close. Normally when I do body swaps where I end up with a spare head and body I dont want, I combine them and redonate the resulting doll. If Ive done this with two Barbies to get a better articulated body, it totally works, and you end up with a perfectly good doll. This time though it wasnt gonna happen at all. The Abbie head was too small for the neck, and I managed to destroy the other dolls neck completely anyway.

However, I am still happy with her. I reckon the whole project cost me less than £1, so even though she’s not perfect I dont care. I think she looks cute, and kinda different. She’ll be fine sitting on my shelf

Compulsive doll buyer