Tag Archives: Customisation

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

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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.

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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

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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.

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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:

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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.

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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

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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!

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

She lives!

A while ago one of wilkinsons style stars dolls caught my eye. Its a pretty basic line, nothing fancy going on with face sculpts, so their non-white doll option was the same doll made in darker skin. But this doll was also wearing a floor-length, long-sleeved dress and a headscarf. I bought her because even though Im not a person of colour, or of religion for that matter, there do need to be dolls that represent everybody, and if people buy them, then manufacturers will make more. When I got her home I discovered that under the loose fitting dress she had an hourglass figure more like the earliest barbies I ever had, produced in the nineties. The contrast, between the progress in having a non-white doll, wearing clothes that would be more culturally relevant to the young girls who could relate to her, and the crazy hourglass figure, endeared her to me even more. Unfortunately, there was still the face. I dont think the screening for her face was changed much at all from the white dolls, so she had baby pink lips, the works. So off it came, and since then Ive been trying to figure out who she’s going to be, and give her a new face. Once I find her personality, anyway. And today, taking off my latest failed eyes, the half removed smears gave me an idea, and I think Ive finally got a handle on her. Here she is

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Also, heres that lovely nineties barbie-esque figure

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Shes going to join my supernatural girls! They’ll all appear on here eventually, but long story short, I have a little selection of ones that caught my eye, a few pixie punks, one twilight teen, and one draculaura on a pixie punks body. With those sunken eyes, she can be a banshe ghoul type thing and she’ll fit right in. Ghosts dont have to be white either 🙂

Bratzillaz (meyghana broomstixx)

Meg is actually my newest doll, theres a 50% off all toys offer at the wilkinsons up the road from me and Im having a hard time tearing myself away. Dolls, like meg, who I only kind of wanted to have, suddenly become irresistable when they are that cheap. She only cost me a fiver, and one of my two juicy crush La Dee Das was only £3.25! I actually went up there for the wilkinsons own brand kitchen set, which I really want, its incredibly sweet and actually quite realistic. Most furniture sets for dolls around Barbie size seem to be pink, which I dont think looks great in a doll room set up. But it was all gone, and somehow I ended up leaving with yet another doll :/
I had Bratz when I was younger, so I was curious to see where they’ve gone with them in over a decade. I had five Bratz, two Jades, one Yasmine and two of the boys, but I have no idea what they were supposed to be called. They werent a doll line I was ever much into, so I think they were pretty much all gifts from people who just kinda went ‘Present for small girl? Random doll!’. Im not at all ungrateful that relatives and family friends who didnt even know me that well went to the trouble of buying me gifts anyway, but I did get quite a few that didnt make a lot of sense. My aunt who lives down south, and who I totally adore, once sent me a pair of jeans which was too large, and somehow went straight from that to too small, without the period of being the right size that you’d expect in the middle. Shame, cos I thought they were pretty cool, they had red stitching on them.
Anyway. My first Bratz was a winter version of Jade, I dont remeber the actual name of the line but she had a sled, a couple of warm outfits, actually pretty good by the standards of a doll set. The main things that stopped me really warming to them was their ridiculously unrealistic proportions (I mean I know Barbies not exactly little miss good example, and she was worse then, her proportions have definitely got better since my childhood, but Bratz were a whole other level), their stupid snap on shoes/feet, the makeup, and also the characters themselves. I find that when I get a doll with a preexisting character its difficult for me to get away from that character completely when working out their personality. The fact that they couldnt share clothes with the Barbies annoyed me, because that would have hugely increased the range of stuff they could wear, and the feet thing meant they couldnt always even swap shoes with each other. Yasmine had much more tan skin than Jade, so they couldnt wear each others sandals which showed the skin of their feet.
So first of all, they now have real feet!

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I like these a lot, they look more realistic to me than a lot of dolls feet. They’re pretty good proportionally too. My feet are a pretty odd shape, so it really softens my heart when a doll doesnt have perfect tiny pretty feet.
Second, poseability:

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Thats not a bad range of motion. Her limbs are pretty interesting, they’ve got a rubbery feel like a lot of dolls without any joints except the bend and snap knee, rather than the harder plastic that seems to come with this style. Some joints are much looser than the others, which would make some poses difficult to hold for a photo, and Im not inclined to mess with her wrists much at all. When I bend them, they deform a little which makes me think they might actually break after much use.

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See that little bend at the side of the joint nearest her thumb? It deforms more every time I mess with it, and its actually getting a tiny split, though I doubt that’ll show up on camera.
Her body is more sensibly proportioned with her head than the old Bratz, though she still basically cant wear anyones clothes but her own. I can put Barbie-size clothing on her, and it looks less ridiculous than it used to, but its still too loose. Ill make her some though, that’ll be fine. I dont exactly love the ones she came with.

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Theres nothing wrong with any of them, theres just not much scope to them. I want her to have a bit more style options than rather peculiar fashion victim/modernised mini witch. I wish Bratz hadnt clung to the fashion thing, I know its even in their motto but when they’ve expanded into a line as different as this, I think they could have dropped it. Theres enough about her that still identifies her as Bratz, like the face. I think a witch whose power is flight might not choose to wear a short pleated skirt. With the pleats it’ll never stay put in a breeze. Plus, I swear that skirt is made of the exact same material as one my Yasmine had, which is kinda odd.
On the positive side, i love her hair colour, its such a nice red. Its not ginger-orangey, but its not actualy little mermaid style red. I gave it a trim cos the ends were in a terrible state already, I think they were meant to be curls or waves but it was just frizz. And when its as thick as it is and nearly down to her knees theres too much of it to do any styles that look natural. Now its nice and smooth, and reaches to the middle of her back, which looks great.
I did make a few other changes too

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She came with blue eyeshadow, which I went over with a yellow sharpie to make it look green. Her eyes are a kind of greeney-blue, but around her eye was just plain blue. Ive always had a soft spot for green eye make up, and never been fond of blue, so it just made sense. I also removed her trout pout lipstick, and repainted it in a slightly softer colour, and with less full lips. Its the same colour I used to just tint on a bit of blush, because I think with her colouring she’d go pink in the cheeks at the slightest thing. I was tempted to do freckles, I saw a lovely faceup online that had them but I think they’d only have worked with softer eye makeup, and based on previous experiences, I didnt want to mess with her eyes unless I was really unhappy.
Unfortunately, close up the original shape of her lips is still pretty obvious:

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Im wondering if I can file that down, but Im not sure what the finish would be. I can borrow some really fine sandpaper from one of my housemates, but even so Im concerned the difference in texture will end up being more obvious than the current shape. Ill update on that.
Oh, and I took the tattoo off her arm too. I just didnt much like it. I think its actually the same logo-type thing her original Bratz character had, though Im not totally sure, I kinda thought it was Yasmine that had the wings. Its definitely the same style. I dont think any of the original girls actually had it as a tattoo though, just on bags and stuff. Much as I disliked the actual style, i like that she has a tattoo. I remember a big furore about a Barbie doll with tattoos when I was in secondary school, so its nice we seem to have got past that.
Overall, I was pleasantly surprised by this doll. To me, at least, she’s a massive improvement on most of the issues I had with the old Bratz, and even though there were things about her I didnt like, thats the same with any doll for me. Im not sure if the ‘perfect’ doll exists, or ever will. Ive not talked in much detail about her articulation, because I know many others have, but I liked her waist movement, Ive never actually seen it there before. And her inset eyes are just gorgeous, its a feature that I love when its done well, and none of my other dolls have it. Im not too sure about the others though. Jade has heart shaped eyes now, which I feel a tad iffy about. Still, i dont regret the purchase, and Ill post updates on how I go with her new clothes, and those lips 🙂
Bye!

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First post!

So Ive decided to start a doll blog. Share my customisations and the things I make, all that malarkey. I dont know how consistent Ill be with posting, but when Im too busy to post I probably wont have time to do anything worth posting about anyway, so I dont suppose it matters 🙂

Currently I have a very sporadic collection, based more on what catches my eye than a particular brand, and I suspect thats how it will stay. Right now I have a lot of disney princesses, La Dee Da, Steffi, Jolina, Barbies sisters (but no Barbie), Ever After High and Monster High (but not on their original bodies), one lone Bratzilla, and a few other random bits.

I make dolls clothes, Im getting into making furniture and things like that, and. Im trying to learn how to do repaints too. Heres a few of what Ive got so far

My part-finished Juicy Crush Cyanne custom
My part-finished Juicy Crush Cyanne custom
Maddie on a Barbie body, in a new outfit
Maddie on a Barbie body, in a new outfit
Juicy Crush Tylie in one of her new outfits
Juicy Crush Tylie in one of her new outfits