Monday, April 28, 2014

An Update on my Custom Doll Project

Several of you have asked about my custom Monster High doll project that I started last year, wondering why there haven't been any updates (you can read my original post about her HERE, but be aware that you'll have to scroll down through a lot of other stuff first). ;) 

Um, basically, you haven't heard anything because I haven't done much of anything. :}  Like many of the projects I begin with gusto, I hit a few road bumps this time around which pretty much dampened my enthusiasm. 

First off, I accidentally broke her neck...literally.

All that's left of the joint in her neck.

Around the same time, I accidentally broke a piece of her shoulder off.  All of this happened when I was trying to remove the stitch marks from her arms and legs with acetone-free nail polish remover.  So, I definitely need to keep my eye out for a new body at Goodwill. :}  I've also decided that I'd rather not work on Frankie dolls anymore, as the stitching is super hard to remove from her limbs. :(

I still pressed on and got to work removing all of her hair plugs, using pliers and warm water.

It was really weird seeing these big chunks of glue come out.

After a while, I switched to hemostats to get a better grip.

I worked over the sink so all these little chunks of hair wouldn't get all over the place.

I did manage to remove all of the hairplugs, which was quite an accomplishment.  I thought it was interesting how much thicker the holes were at her part line (to allow for more hair there).

Side view

I ended up nicking her chin with the hemostats at one point, which was a bit frustrating.

This is what my bowl looked like after I'd gotten everything out of her head. :}

And honestly, that's all I've accomplished.  I really overdid my fingers getting all of the hair plugs removed, so I put her in a baggie and stashed her away...and promptly forgot about her.  Things like teaching art and getting kiddos to and from school haven't helped with my dedication.  I think it all ended up being a bit harder than I expected, too, so I wasn't exactly thrilled to get back to it right away.

But, at least you know how far I've gotten. :)  I do plan on getting back to this project at some point (I even purchased some cheap water color pencils to play around with), but I can't promise that it will be anytime soon. :}


Barb the Evil Genius said...

I've tried re-rooting and decided that it really isn't for me. I'm surprised how much of an effect the nail polish remover had on poor Frankie's body!

Juliet XD said...

Well, I think it looks fine :) I guess she will need a new body, but you did an awesome job on the hair!
Good luck customizing!

Anonymous said...

XD, sounds like you're having a tough time!
- AnonymousA

beastsbelle said...

Barb, I'm beginning to think that re-rooting might not be for me, either! ;) The finger nail polish remover only had effect after a LOT of scrubbing. There's still so much to get off...

Hi Juliet! Thanks for your encouragement. ;)

Lol, I sure am, Anonymous A. I did not expect it to be this hard!

Anonymous said...

Woah! Can't wait!

Ava Rose Milberger said...

I'm currently about to start on a custom Robecca Steam doll. I already got her face paint off, and I can say that I am glad I decided I'm going to spray paint her stark white! It's so hard to get that face paint off! I'm also going to reroot her with long black hair, so we'll see how that goes. ;)

beastsbelle said...

Just to warn you, Meghan, it might be a while! ;)

Hi Ava! I'll be interested to hear how your project goes. Feel free to come back and share with us. :)

And I agree...getting the face paint off was really difficult!!

BlackKitty said...

I'm no stranger to ruining a good doll with customization attempts! This is a good example of what happens when you try things without proper research. You should have asked! Paint from hard plastic goes away with sanding; acetone is the answer for face makeup. Acetone-free will still melt the body while being completely ineffective and possible harmful if it contains oils or other additives.
To fix the head you can try buying a wig or gluing flocking, yarn or feathers directly to it or on a wig cap (depending on the look you want).
You can cover the shoulder with permanent clothes or break it apart and sell the limbs - hands are going for mad money on ebay.
I'm sure you'll think of something to do with this doll. Thanks for sharing your experience!

Mark Patraw said...

You mentioned that you couldn't find it, but I remember your original post about customizing that MH Frankie doll. It was on Friday, August 23, 2013 (the post just prior to your Lottie doll giveaway)--you started out with a bit about your daughters' first school day, and yours teaching art class, and then moved on to your recent thrift store finds, before finally finishing off with the MH doll customizing project.


It's a shame that you ran into so many difficulties with breakage on Frankie, but, sometimes that's how it goes. Just don't let it frustrate you into not trying again. I've only got one MH doll at the moment, the CAM Werewolf/Dragon set, but she's always seemed pretty sturdy to me, but then, she's designed to be pulled apart and reassembled too--maybe the "normal" MH dolls are more prone to breakage? With their modular nature, perhaps a CAM doll, if you can find one for cheap, might be a better choice for a base body to experiment upon? They've got swappable wigs, like Liv dolls, so you wouldn't have to mess around with re-rooting hair either.

My older sister bought me a set of those watercolor colored pencils for Christmas one year, but I've still never used them for anything (which makes me feel a bit guilty). Like yourself, I've seen some really beautifully re-done faces that doll customizers have done with them.

Natalie said...

Re-rooting is TOUGH. I've partially re-rooted a Kelly doll before and had such sore fingers afterwards that I was sure I wouldn't do it again.
Well, I guess I don't know any better because one of my poor Barbies is sitting in my closet with only a few plugs of hair. Hopefully I can scrape up some motivation and finish her soon. I would like to have her done! :)
Good luck with your project! Are you going to repaint your doll's face as well?

beastsbelle said...

Thanks for the tips, BlackKitty. I did do some research...just not enough, apparently. :}

I'm definitely leaning towards making a wig rather than re-rooting at this point. I have a nice "make your own wig" tutorial on one of my Pinterest boards. ;)

It's nice to know that if this completely blows up in my face, I can at least sell her hands! ;) Thanks for the idea!

Mark, thank you so much for linking to that post!! I spent a good hour the other day trying to find it. :} It's a good thing my readers still have working brains even when I don't. ;)

I don't plan on giving up on Frankie just yet, but it will be a while before I have the time set aside to work on her again. :} Thanks for the encouragement. :)

Thanks, Natalie. Like I mentioned earlier, I'm definitely leaning more towards re-wigging than re-rooting. Aside from the pain, I'm not sure I'm patient enough to fill in all of those little holes!! ;)

I am hoping to repaint her face (although my plan was to use water color pencils primarily). We'll see how it goes... ;)

Anonymous said...

If you start this over again with another doll, and plan on taking out the hair plugs, use a cheap pair of tweezers.

beastsbelle said...

Thanks for the tip!! Tweezers should be gentler on my hands than hemostats. :}

Alyssa McKinney said...

How did you manage to break her shoulder? I'm genuinely asking cause I have a doll concept that literally requires a swapped arm and a leg off a different doll but I absolutely do not want to damage or break the actual joints and pegs of either doll if I can help it. Granted, she'll be a sculpture, so joint posing is not required, but still.