Friday, April 17, 2009

Vintage doll wig replacement, part 1

A couple weekends ago I did my first wig replacement on a vintage doll.

I had two Ginger/clone dolls: one doll with a broken neck but a good wig, and another with a great body, great face paint, but Medusa hair.

Photo by dallcm

Getting the bad wig off of the good doll was pretty easy, because the only thing I had to worry about was holding her head still so that I wouldn't break her walking post. Once the wig was off, I used my favorite doll cleaner to remove all of the glue residue. It took a little elbow grease, but the cleaner removed the glue!

Taking off the other doll's wig was a little trickier, as I had to be careful not to damage it. Luckily it is a genuine Cosmopolitan Ginger wig, with a full fabric cap (as opposed to the clone wigs, which generally just had a strip of fabric under the stitched part). I was therefore able to just focus on working the cheesecloth fabric away from the head. I didn't use water or doll cleaner to loosen it, just carefully worked the tip of a spoon under the fabric and avoided tearing it as much as possible.

Once I got the wig off, I put it on the other doll's now-shiny bald head, and moved it around a bunch to see how it looked in various positions. Once I had decided how I was going to position the wig, I had my husband hold the doll while I did a "practice run" without glue. I wanted to be certain I got it right the first time!

Finally I was ready to glue the wig on. I applied Tacky Glue directly to the inside of the wig — a circle all around the outer edge, a line of glue down the stitching for the part, and a little squiggle on each side of the part. I wanted to be sure I used plenty of glue, but I also had to be sure I didn't overglue.

When I put the wig on, I positioned it and then held it tight with my fingers for several minutes. When I was confident that it was starting to set, I tied a ribbon around the doll's head to keep the wig in place.

Stay tuned for the unveiling — my next post will address restyling her hair and putting the finishing touches on the replacement wig!

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