Op Shop Babies


For the past few weeks I’ve been cleaning and redressing dolls for our big sale at the Op Shop.  Some of them required a bit of work, cleaning ink marks or tidying hair but fortunately most just needed some clothes. We had a few doll outfits amongst our donations and as we have lots of baby clothes I also took a few of the smallest newborn outfits for the larger dolls. Add a donated high chair  or a cot and there is a nice little package that should make some child pretty happy.

Basket of dolls at my house waiting for attention

The Cabbage Patch girls did not need a lot of work. One had curly hair which I didn’t want to spend a lot of time resetting so I just combed the worst of the tangles out. They came partially dressed and I was able to find a pair of baby pants which were only a little bit big on the one in the photo. The other one has a proper CPK dress on.

Cabbage Patch dolls redressed.

We often get Baby Alive dolls donated. This one still talks and I  found a little dress for her and tidied her hair. I can’t remember whether this one had been inked. I think she had but only with something that washed off with water. I didn’t research the other doll so I can’t tell you who she is.

Baby Alive and friend.

I brought this bunny bag home to wash as it had some dirty marks on it and had the bright idea of making it into a bed for one of the smaller dolls. I cut a piece of foam for the mattress and the furry rug is cut out of a piece of old material I had in my stash, once part of a furry jacket I think.

Baby doll in a basket.

A donated high chair and a donated outfit that looked brand new made this baby very happy as you can see.

A donated high chair and donated outfit for baby.

Baby Born had been inked but came up pretty well with a clean. The newborn sized suit is a bit big but in a cute way. This Baby Born has the correct colour eyes, not like my poor pink-eyed baby. The new mother will get a potty, clean nappy and change of clothes too.

Baby Born in newborn baby outfit with potty.

I have saved my favourite fix for last. We had this fabric carry cot that has been sitting around the shop for ages. I took it home and made a mattress from a foam offcut and a sheet from a piece of an old cot sheet from the shop. An old dolls pillow was recovered with an embroidered gingham tray cloth and we added a baby blanket and quilt from the shop. This larger baby looks great in newborn baby clothes although the hat is a bit big for him. The whole thing cost us practically nothing but it looks terrific.

Redressed in baby clothes with a cot quilt and blanket.

I’m quite pleased with my efforts but I still have several dolls waiting to be redressed ready for our next sale next month.

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19 comments

  1. It’s really a pleasure to see how creative you’ve been with these dolls. To me this is the fun part of dolls – not just accumulating dolls, but restoring dolls and finding the just-right outfits for them. Sad that people don’t put a little effort into fixing dolls before they donate them, but it’s wonderful that you take the time and effort to make these dolls ready for new owners.

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  2. You did an awesome job in this lot! Loved the knit dress in the third photo, how creative you are! You are convincing me that I need to donate more dolls to the thrift shop before Thanksgiving,I have some AA cabbage Patch dolls and duplicate Mattel dolls from lots that can find new homes. Also a Toy story look alike Ken that’s sort-of vintage. Given the cheap looking Kens of late I know some Barbie would like a date for the Holidays.

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    • I didn’t actually knit that dress. It came into the shop on one of the other dolls but it looked better on her. I am doing some knitting for the babies but it is going slowly at present.

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  3. I bet you had a ball restoring the babies and you did a great job. People are often so careless about the condition of the things they give away, it’s sad.

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    • They are. I started taking them home after an inked one was about to be thrown in the bin. I thought the worst that can happen is I can’t fix it and it gets thrown anyway at best the doll gets another life. The other volunteers save them for me now. I wish parents would teach their kids to look after their toys but the attitude of many seems to be “kids will be kids” meaning that they don’t care. It makes me mad.

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  4. I think it’s great that you fix up all these dolls so they can be a gift for some child, rather than just letting them go dirty and naked. Our local Hospice runs a thrift store, and while they don’t go so far as to clean things, they do dress all their dolls. I’ve been fortunate to get some really nice dolls from there (including two Chatty Cathy dolls), and it helps people in need.

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    • That’s great. We rarely see vintage dolls come through. It is usually modern babies like Baby Born, Baby Alive etc. If we got a really vintage old doll I think I would try to keep it aside for someone who would appreciate it rather than put it out to be played with in store.

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  5. I love to share vintage dolls, bring awareness for the value in history.The parents who let their kids destroy toys should be less inclined to give them anything nice later in life. I love that you are reinforcing that everything can stay nice with care. Love these transformations.

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    • I honestly don’t know if it works but I hope that some children will love their new doll enough to want to take care of it. I saw one that we sold Saturday later the same day being held tightly by a child in a stroller which was nice.

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