Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Dying Doll Hair by Valkyrie

Legends by Valkyrie has an entire tutorial on Doll Hair. Click on the Title and be transported to the site for more doll hair information. The information below speaks specifically to dying your doll's hair.

Human hair dye will not work with doll hair. Try one of the methods suggested below.

Using Acrylic Paint: My favorite method, easy, safe, non-staining, yadda. Water the acrylic paint to an ink like consistency. Make sure the hair is clean with no conditioners or hair products in it. Wrap the doll in a saran wrap cover to protect her body and neck. Pile the hair up on her head, comb the watered paint through her hair starting at the base of the neck and working toward the hairline in thin sections - comb frequently while drying. If paint gets on her face during this process it can be easily removed with non-acetone nail polish remover. - If the color ends up too pale you can repeat the process as many times as necessary. AFTER the hair is completely dry 'heat set' the dye. Hold the doll upside down and heat the hair with a blow dryer ON LOW - style as usual. The drawbacks The hair will be somewhat stiffer after it's been 'painted' and also won't have much 'shine' to it. Hair styling products can interact with and/or remove the dye. Dye may flake or fade over time. Here's a better 'step by step' for Acrylic 'dye': Doll Raves Using acrylics as hair dye.

Using Kool Aid: I've never actually tried this - but here goes. Wrap your doll in saran wrap and rub vaseline on her face to try to protect it. Make the Kool Aid (unsweetened!) per instructions with boiling water. Hold the doll upside down making sure the hair is brushed out and very carefully dip her into the Koolaid until you have the desired shade. Keep in mind that sythetic hair plays 'wick' really well and will draw the dye up. Allow to dry upside down and then wash and style as usual.The drawbacks The odds are very very good that you'll dye the face as well as the hair. Koolaid doesn't come in 'normal' colors and mixing it is um..... If it's not washed out *very* well the hair will proceed to dye the dolls body, your hands, her clothes.... etc. etc.

Using Leather Dye: Don't...... just....... don't.

Top 7 Ways to Ruin Your Dolls

By Denise Van Patten, About.com

I recently found this article and realized I was committing a few doll preservation sins. I thought I would share this article with others.

1. Display Your Dolls in A Bright Sunny Window

Leave your dolls in a nice, sunny window! Its a great place for display--after all, the sunlight shows the pretty costume colors, and passerbys can enjoy your collection! This is a big no no! Nothing is more damaging to dolls than bright light--sunlight, especially, but also bright (and hot) incandescent and florescent light. Bright light will definitely fade the colors of most costumes, and it will also fade and damage various doll materials, including the vinyl in Barbie dolls.

2. Store Your Dolls In A Roomy Attic or Basement

Once you have lots of dolls for your collection, storage space can become a problem. Or, perhaps you have inherited vintage and antique dolls from your family. You eye that nice, roomy attic or basement and you....stuff your doll right in! This is not a good idea, unless you have a temperature controlled attic or basement. Attics and basements tend to great extremes of hot and cold, and this can quickly ruin composition, plastic and other doll materials.

3. Leave Your Dolls On Display And Never, Ever Dust Them!

Its so tempting to decorate with dolls--that big one looks great in Grandma's rocking chair, and those small ones are adorable on the table in the foyer. Ok, that is well and good, but if you leave your dolls out and let them gather dust, you will be sorry. Dust can dull costuming colors, it can set into wigs, and it can make cleaning doll clothes necessary--which can ruin the value of the doll. If you do display your dolls outside of closed cabinets, dust them often.

4. Throw Out Their Old, Ancient Clothes and Buy Them Shiny New Ones

I can't tell you the number of times a customer has walked into my doll store with a beautiful antique doll in original clothing, and walks up to my modern doll clothing rack and tries to replace the outfit (they only get to purchase the new outfit after a lecture from me about the importance of keeping the old outfit!) Perhaps the old outfit is a bit dirty or torn, but with just a bit of cleaning or mending, that old doll outfit is beautiful and appropriate--and valuable, too!

5. Let Your Cat Eat The Doll's Wig, and Your Dog The Doll's Shoes

OK...this one is a bit tongue in cheek, but I'm often surprised when visiting homes with dolls how Rover and Fluffy get free access to the rooms dolls displayed. Cats love mohair doll wigs (they think they make a great toy mouse) and dogs have been known to enjoy a doll shoe chew toy, or gnawing on that nicer leather antique doll body. Display your dolls and have your pets in separate rooms, or, have your dolls in enclosed cabinets (since you can't enclose your dog and cat in cabinets...).

6. Lay Your Antique Bisque Dolls On Their Backs For Storage

If you lay antique bisque dolls on their backs for storage, their glass eyes can fall out of their setting, and crack the eyes and possibly even the bisque of the head. This is because the eyes are help in with hardened plaster, and the weight of the eyes and the plaster can make them drop out when stored with the back down. Instead, store your antique bisque dolls face down.

7. Keep Your Dolls In Plastic Containers

Keeping your dolls in plastic containers can definitely keep them away from dust, pets and other problems. However, keeping dolls in plastic containers can cause another problem--air tight plastic can hold in even small bits of moisture, which over time creates mold or mildew on the dolls. This is a bad thing--mold and mildew can be impossible to remove from certain plastics that dolls are made from. If you must use plastic containers for doll storage, be sure to poke holes in the containers.

Thanks Denise for the great information!
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