Composition Doll Repair

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First, Do No – WHOOPS!

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When you handle as many of these O.L.D.’s as I do, you’re bound to have a mishap now and then.

I have a doll up for adoption. This isn’t her “official” post, but if you like, you can see her page HERE.

When she arrived, it was only upon closer inspection while cleaning her that I discovered that some of her fingers had been broken and reglued, and others had been completely rebuilt! I’m happy to say it wasn’t a bad job, but the angle was slightly off on one, and another was a little too short…hmm….to fix or not to fix?

I had her two little arms in one hand and was taking pictures with the other to ask another Holder her opinion, when CRASH. I dropped her arms! Two of her little fingers broke off! “No problem,” I thought confidently. “This isn’t my first rodeo with DeWees Cochran hands,” I said snootily to myself, preening because I knew what these types of hands are called – even though there was no one around to witness my brilliance.

To rebuild fingers, it’s a good idea to insert a pin into the stub for strength. Have you ever tried to hang a picture in an old house, only to have the hammer practically bounce back into your face because the wall’s so hard? This Anne Shirley’s fingers are IMPENETRABLE. I was going to need a drill bit. A really, really small one.

Here is the story in picture and song. Also, I’m probably dancing…

Here are the hands BEFORE. See? Not a bad job! The pinky on the left hand was a little stubby, and the ring finger on the right was at a slightly off angle. But not a bad job at all…

AFTER THE WHOOPS. Dingity, dangity…And, to add insult to injury, I LOST THE RIGHT PINKY, which was original and reglued!










That pin just bent and scratched the heck outta me.











I usually insert stronger-than-normal pins that I’m able to “drill” in by hand. But as small as this drill bit was, it required a thicker piece of wire. I used a lawn flag thingy…

While I was at it, I sanded the slightly stubby left pinky so I could adjust the angle. Note the inserted wires are curved, because Dewees Cochran fingers are curved.










After rebuilding. I use an epoxy called Milliput. It’s from jolly old England.

HANDY TIP: Emery boards are AWESOME for rebuilding fingers. They’re thin to fit in between, and rigid for maneuverability.










HANDY TIP: These types of hands have a clear-ish, orangey nail polish. To achieve this, just mix some orange paint in the right shade with a little craft varnish. Voila!


So now the left pinky is a little longer and at a better angle than before.

The ring finger is slimmer and longer. 










Was it worth the extra effort? I secretly don’t think so. If I could pull a Cher and turn back time, and NOT drop those poor little hands, I would do so. Glass half full, practice makes perfect. Yessirree, a few dozen more dropped hands, and I’ll have these hands down to a T.

You’re my favorite!


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Oh, Savannah! Oh Don’t You Cry For Me!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI’m pretty sure those are the lyrics.

O.L.D. No. 9 is proving to be even more of a challenge than first thought. But when I saw her eyebrows, I had to move her to the front of the line! They’re straight. STRAIGHT. I adore them!

I can only imagine one artist at the factory, sitting side by side with his co-workers painting little doll faces.

All of other artists have no trouble at all painting nice, curved brows. But not him! He can only paint straight lines, and the other workers make fun of him! There’s a story in that. If I were to write it, I would call it…wait for it….“Trouble With the Curve.”

Har! These are the jokes, folks! Can you tell I’ve been in my sewing room a lot recently?

Ahem. Back to Savannah. Besides needing the usual cleaning, wig washing, teeth straightening and re-stringing, it was obvious that her wrist was fairly damaged. No problem!


Then I took off her wig. Problem! Perhaps at a past birthday party they played, “Heavy, heavy hang” game with the birthday presents. Anyone else play that besides my family? Where you hold the present over the birthday girl or boy’s head and chant,

Heavy, heavy hang over thy poor head

What do you wish with a *bump!* on the head?

And then you bonk the recipient on the head with a gift? Anybody? Anyway, perhaps Savannah’s previous humans played it once too often. She’s had a lot of birthday’s, after all. The top of Savannah’s head was as thin as an eggshell and in danger of breaking through altogether!

It needed to be repaired. Not only so that her head would be nice and round, but also so that there would be something to glue her newly-cleaned wig to.


Because it’s going under her wig, it doesn’t need to be perfect, just stable.

Then I removed her shoes. Oh, dear.


I don’t know what kind of glue they used on her right foot, but it doesn’t take paint. Then, when I washed her wig it pert near fell apart and had to be re-sewn with new netting added to the base!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHer hair’s still messy but her wig is stitched back together and re-attached to her newly strengthened head and she feels so much better now that she’s cleaned and restrung. While I might tweak her a little bit more, she’s now nice and sturdy and ready to be loved once again.

As soon as I finish her clothing. It will happen.

In the meantime, Happy Friday!

Trouble With the Curve!! Comedy GOLD!!!