I did it. I dove in and did it. It was hard. It was easy. I learned lots but I have lots more to learn.
I followed the free tutorials on blytheverafter.com and then I consulted some youtube vidoes when the instructions on blytheverafter.com didn’t seem quite enough. I began writing down the steps in simplified form as I did them, so that I would have a path to follow back home again.
- remove the 3 screws from back of head and and place in a container and label-(important- especially if you are prone to losing things easily)
- remove plastic pull from string and place with the screws
- place doll on her side on a padded surface(folded bath towel works nicely), and with palm of hand (yours, not hers) apply pressure to side of her head at about the temple. Head should pop open at least at the jaw line.
- At this point either the back plate falls off easily or you will need to have an object inserted into the crack in between the front face plate and back of head plate and ‘help it’ to seperate. Mine fell apart easily. Yea!
- BEFORE pulling back plate off, reach in with jewelry pliers or a crochet hook and remove the tiny spring thats wrapped around the bar in the center of the rectangular slot in the back of the head.
- Once the back plate is off, ONLY LOOSEN the screw inside the head that holds the face plate to top of the skull. Once you are able to pull the scalp off,( and put in a safe place with the screws that you removed), then tighten the head plate screw back up a notch and leave it attached to the face place. ( It’s just easier, one less thing to loose.)
- Put the doll body with the scalp and screws for safe keeping.
- Remove the screw that holds the little plastic t-bar against the eye- mechanism and put them both with the other screws.
It was here that I got way too involved in the learning process to record any more.
I had to separate the eye-eylid unit mechanism. I used a blow drier as recommended to warm up the plastic and help it to bend and not break as I applied some pressure to the side of the head to pull it out and then the blow dryer trick to heat up then separate the eyes from the eyelids.
My best suggestion: WATCH SOME VIDEOS ABOUT THOSE TWO ITEMS ABOVE! It will give you confidence and help to avoid breaking your dollies poor head.
Once the doll was apart. I put the “Don’t lose these” parts in a box and away on a shelf.
And I spent the next 4 hours, sanding and carving. I sanded the backplace, the eyelids and the front plate, just as the video described. It would definitly not take me this long in the future. Most of that time was spent repeating the same process over and over. Sand, carve, sand, carve, sand, carve.
When I first began carving the lips, I was tired, and I lost my focus just a little. I didn’t put a piece of painters tape right down the center of her face to help me keep her mouth straight. And I didn’t mark out with a pencil the bacis shape of the mouth I was trying to accomplish. About an hour into the carving I could see that the bottom lip was somewhat askew. Not good. I got up and walked away for a while.
Yep, just got up and walked away. When I was sure I understood what I’d done and exactly what action I needed to take. That is, what need to be carved where in order to set things straight again. I sat down and began to carve again.
So I carved, straightened out the lip alignment- sanded. It seemed I sanded my definition of the lips away…. I carved more definition. I sanded. Again, poof, the definition seemed to disappear. I went back and watched a few more videos on youtube on carving. Went back one more time and carved again and this time I didn’t sand as vigorously.
I got a little nervous there at the end because I’d read of others first attempts and how they carved so much that they carved right through the face and then had a hole in their dolls face. Ruined!
Following all the steps, I started a make up job. Here I definitely could use some practice. You would think any women 50+ years would know how to apply makeup but…. My little Moonshine has a lot of makeup on her face. A lot of pink and marroon and burgandy. It is a warm and cheery glow- just like her name- Moonshine. There’s more- I painted a pair of eye chips- real ones. I loved them , they are green and gold. Then I added paint to her original chips( someone else suggested this, its not my idea). And it really didn’t change them much. It made them a bit darker. Then I pulled out her eyelashes and put her back together, which went just like clockwork. Easy-peasy.
No Sooner did I give Moonshine a new face, but I let her pose for New dresses for my etsy shop DeltaDawnBoutique@esty.com.
2nd Customization coming soon and I vow to take more step by step pictures next time!