Rescue Dolls

While Fashion Doll Friday takes a break I thought I would show you another of the reasons I have not had much time to play  with them lately.

I’ve mentioned previously that I sometimes bring dolls home from the Op Shop to tidy up for resale. I don’t have to do this but I like to because I hate seeing messy, dirty dolls on sale.  Recently this has started to get a bit out of hand and I have a queue of dollies needing attention.

The dolls waiting to be redressed/

I’ve cleaned them all up, most were just grubby or had some crayon or ink marks on them which I was able to remove, some dolls had tangled hair and that took a lot longer. However, most of them have no clothes and although I could send them back naked I would rather that they had at least a nappy on.

The children probably don’t care and a lot of the mothers seem to think that naked, grubby dolls are the norm but I hang on to the hope that if a doll looks nice when it is sold the new owner or at least the owner’s mother will take better care of it. Naomi and I would have got into trouble if we’d treated our dolls the way some children treat theirs. I don’t think that three or four is too young to start learning to look after your belongings but that is a whole other post.

I finished tidying a couple of dolls today to take back to the shop tomorrow as we are having a Saturday sale. They are both Disney  Princesses and I’m told by a reliable authority (the mother of a small child) that they are Rapunzel from “Tangled” (2010) and the princess from “Brave”, Princess Merida(2012). I don’t know the age of these dolls as they may have been on sale for a long time after the release of the associated film.

Merida and Rapunzel.

Both of them had serious hair issues. Rapunzel, true to her name had very tangled hair Merida’s posed more of a problem because I didn’t want to comb the curls out so I had to compromise a bit with her hair. I used a mixture of 50:50 fabric softener and water in a spray bottle as a detangler,  I sprayed it liberally on their hair as I combed it out. Rapunzel still took several hours in front of the TV and I’m not totally happy with it but she is relatively tangle free now. Merida’s did not take as long. As I finished combing each strand I rolled it up hoping it would dry curly. She’s still damp but I think it will be OK.

Disney Princesses

As a rule I don’t really like Disney dolls or dolls with painted eyes at all but these two are quite cute now they are tidied up.

I especially like Merida’s beautiful red hair. I will put them in plastic bags tomorrow as I would like them to at least get out of the shop without being messed up again. Hopefully someone will want to take them home.




  1. I don’t particularly like the Disney toddler-style dolls, but gosh, aren’t Merida’s curls the cutest? Her eyes are nice, too, like she’s just seen something she wants.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s wonderful that you are giving these dolls new life. I think one of the most fun and rewarding aspects of the doll hobby is rescuing dolls by cleaning them and redressing them. What do you use to get the ink and crayon marks off the dolls?


    • I have been lucky that so far most of them have been marked with something like crayon that comes off with a good wash with dish washing liquid. For other stains I’ve had some success with Oxy 10.


  3. love these dolls. I have the tangled one I wanted to redress her before giving her to a grand niece, or my sister for the nieces to share. I also have Ariel and Snow White thankfully in their intact outfits .Your Merida is looking spectacular, as I just rescued a Barbie size one naked in the thrift store bin. I will try your trick with the hair. Her neck was broken and her hands chewed off but I had a spare Belle body almost exactly the same. I’m bidding on a lovely Integrity doll, and just got my first scooter. Which felt like Christmas after ordering wrestling figures for my grandsons birthday!


    • The Integrity dolls are lovely although expensive. I was lucky to get my two from another collector for $40 each. Scooters are cool. I want to get one for the Sindy Set one day.


  4. When I was very little in England I found a biro and scribbled on all of our dolls including Vanda’s favourite Christine. Boy did I ever get in trouble for that one. Mum really yelled at me and Vanda was crying. I couldn’t figure out why they got so mad at me. I got a good spanking for it anyway. Mum got the biro off all the dolls. I don’t know what she would have used back then since it was the early sixties. Why did I go and do something so awful? Well all I remember is that the biro felt really good on the rubbery texture of the doll’s skin.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s the thing that worries me about the dolls I see now. Not that the kids mess them up so much, they don’t know any better unless they are taught but are they being taught. I know dolls are cheaper and mass produced but how will they learn to take care of nice things if they don’t learn on the toys they have. Can you imagine us being allowed to play with toys still in the shop?


    • Hi, about scribble, I caught my daughter when she was very small take a biro to her own arms, she saw a man with tatoos it transpired, kids watch at the hair salon and boom,there you go. i think young artists not into dolls, need materials to scribble on etc. children do need some supervision, the pace of life is so fast now. I didnt ever do those things to my dolls, they were not very affordable to a single parent mum on a nurses salary, so they were a luxury.


      • Little girl at the shop the other day found a marker I’d been using for pricing and drew on herself. I get that children do that but I feel that some parents don’t teach children to respect property.


  5. Personally I prefer the Barbie sized Disney dolls, but I am pretty sure some lucky little girl will enjoy them very much. My Mum sure would have been mad, if I had left my dolls uncombed or half naked. It was part of my bedtime routine, to comb them, put some to bed and some back on the shelves. I guess some Mums today are too worn out, to look after things like that, when a day of work and household chores is over.

    Liked by 1 person

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