Baby Face Dolls by Galoob:
Restring Your Baby Face Dolls!

We have several different pages on how to restring Baby Face Dolls. The most recent method is located CLICK HERE FOR LATEST METHOD

Baby Face is difficult to restring so I think the original method might be useful reference in case you have more questions or problems: there are some alternatives.

We do want to advise you that we're not experts. These methods work for us, but may not work as well for you. Anytime you're working on old dolls, there's a risk involved.

SUPPLIES NEEDED:

  • Our #3 stringing cord, approx. 2 yards. Our #3 cord is nearly the same size as the original BF cord.
  • Hemostat medical forcepts (clamp). I like the straight ones in several sizes. Sometimes I need two at a time, to hold one thing while I work with another. The 7 inch hemostats are my favorite, if you want an all-purpose size.
  • Small needlenose pliers or blunt nose pliers
  • Scissors
  • Hair dryer
  • 1 -- 25mm wood bead with 3/8 inch hole (25mm is 1 inch.)
  • 2 -- 20mm or 3/4 inch beads with any size hole
  • 2 -- 22mm wood beads with a small hole (22mm is 7/8 inch.)
  • Elmers Household glue (NOT School Glue which is useless.)

Below are photos of the cord and hemostats. We have these items in our doll shop, plus we have a Baby Face restringing kit that has all the little stuff you need (such as the beads:)

STRINGING CORD and LARGE BEADS.
I keep an assortment of large wood and plastic beads on hand.

STRINGING CORD SIZES. YOU NEED SIZE 3 or 4.

HEMOSTATS, GLUE, SCISSORS & PLIERS

CLICK HERE FOR SUPPLIES

OVERVIEW OF THIS PROJECT:

Baby Face dolls have plugs, cups and cones inside. Here is a photo of black Natalie in pieces:

  • 1.) shoulder cup
  • 2.) lower arm plug
  • 3.) large hip cup
  • 3b.) small hip cup
  • 4.) lower leg plug
  • 4b.) different kind of leg plug
  • 5.) head cone
  • 6.) neck cone inside the body neck

If the head is loose, I like to restring the head and the legs together. This seems to be the easiest way to solve the problem.

If the arms are loose, you can do each arm separately. But if the head is loose, it's best to do the legs too, and restring them together.

  • I drew white lines on the photo above, to show how the cord will go from one leg up to the head and back down again.
  • The wood bead will go on the cords, INSIDE the doll body, to hold the two cords together. This helps position the cords so the doll will stand more naturally.
  • We also use two wood beads at the top to hold the head on.

PREPARATION:

1. Cut the leg cords at the hip joint. DO NOT CUT THE CORD AT THE KNEE!! Cut the cords as close to the HIP as you can - as high as you can - so the remnant of cord that's attached to the foot will be as long as possible. You will re-use this cord as-is, so just leave it in the foot piece. Remove BOTH legs the same way.

2. Cut the head off by cutting the two cords inside the neck.

3. Remove the hip cups - there are two of them inside the body. You can heat the vinyl with a hair dryer if you're having problems getting the cups out. Heat will soften the vinyl. Also remove the cone and cord remnants from the neck.

4. Remove the plug and cord remnant from INSIDE the head. You may need to heat up the neck hole in order to get the cone out of the head. Use hemostats or small pliers to grab with. Pliers are stronger. Doesn't matter if you break it; in fact it might be easier to remove.

5. If you use a blow dryer be sure to protect the doll's eyelashes and hair from the heat.

6. Setup the 25mm wood bead which will go inside the head:

  • Cut 15 inches of elastic cord.
  • Push the cord through a bead. Any bead that's big enough for the cord to go through will probably work. I used a plastic bead from a hair tie.
  • Push both ends through the 25mm wood bead. This is the critical bead, because it must be large enough to go into the doll's head and not slip out again. Also, it must have a large hole in the middle so BOTH ends of the cord will fit through it. Double cord like this is much stronger for Baby Face's large head... AND, since the cord will go down to the legs we need a cord for each leg. The small bead will keep the cord from slipping through the larger bead. And, arranging and controlling the cord with the small bead allows the larger bead more mobility as it nestles into the doll's neck. So that's the reasoning behind this setup.
  • Wrap a small piece of cloth or a rag around the end of a needlenose pliers (or a screwdriver) and push the pliers into the hole in the 25mm bead, alongside the two cords. It's possible to damage the cords, that's why we wrap the pliers a little. Also, the fabric will help you to jam the pliers into the bead.

7. Once your bead lollipop is set up, heat the neck opening on the doll's head with a blow dryer to soften the vinyl. Be careful not to damage hair or eyelashes with the heat. When the vinyl seems warm and soft (it doesn't take too long), then IMMEDIATELY push the beads into the neck opening. The vinyl cools off very quickly. PUSH very FIRMLY with your pliers to push both beads into the head. This will be a little difficult.

8. When the beads are inside, then pull your pliers (or screwdriver) loose and pull both ends of the elastic cord to adjust everything into place.

9. Push the two cords into the neck hole of the doll body. Then use hemostats to grab both cords (from inside) and pull them through the larger hip hole.

The composite image above shows the arrangement of the "lollipop"... Of course, the head is on the doll by this time so you can't see the beads on top. But this photo gives you an x-ray image of the cord arrangements.

10. Slide a bead with a large middle hole onto BOTH cords and push it up to the middle of the body. This BELLY BEAD is critical because it helps position the legs properly. Without the bead in the middle, the legs will not be as poseable. The doll may end up knock-kneed or with her legs spread apart in a V shape and you won't be able to change the position. (If you forget to put the belly bead on the cords, you can TIE a piece of cord around both leg strings later by maneuvering through the hip. Ask me why I discovered this little trick. )

11. Pull the head up tight on the body. It won't stay snug but you want to pull as much of the slack as you can.

12. Be sure you have the thighs and feet lined up properly. I have made the mistake of putting the feet on backwards. I have put the knees on backwards... you do NOT want these results, but it's easy to do because stringing a Baby Face is work and you're likely to forget about the simple stuff. So now I keep the left pieces on my left, and the right pieces on my right; that way I'm less likely to mess up while I'm working. DOUBLECHECK YOUR PIECES before you go any further!

13. Now pull one cord out of each hip hole. Grab one of the cords and thread it through the top of a hip piece. Grab the cord and pull it out of the knee opening. PULL the cord as tight as you can. It's possible to pull too tight and break the cord, which is why I prefer to use the #4 cord now, but if this is your first time the #3 cord is easier to work with.

Don't use your tools to pull on the cord, because then you're more likely to overdo it. Just pull it manually and pull it HARD until there doesn't seem to be much stretch left in the cord. Then use a hemostat to clamp the piece and hold it across the end of the knee. The hemostat will hold the cord for you. A hemostat is the only tool that works for this, so you DO need hemostats! Just be careful not to mangle the cord when you clamp it.

14. Pick up the foot piece and using the stub of cord that's still there, tie the foot to the cord that's held by the hemostat. Leave the hemostat in place. Tie the knot as snug as you can, up against the hemostat. Tie a square knot if you're able to do that (and if you know what a square knot is.)

15. If you can tie it three times, that's good but most likely it will be difficult to tie it twice. You may need a small pliers to get a grip on the cord so you can pull it through the knot.

When the knot is snug, unclip the hemostat and remove it. Adjust the foot, leg and knee to see if it's at a proper tension. If there's something wrong it's not too late to undo it and try again. The cords can be damaged by the hemostat though, so it's best to get it right the first time and not mangle the cord too much.

When you're satisfied the knot is good and the tension is good, cut off any extra length of #3 or #4 cord, leaving at least an inch to spare so it can't slip through the knot.

Finish the knot with a liberal dose of Elmers Household Glue on both sides of the knot. This will help prevent the knot from slipping. Push the cord ends up inside the leg piece where they won't be seen.

Now do the other leg the same way.

Once you're comfortable with this procedure, it will take you less than 15 minutes to restring the head and legs of a Baby Face doll. And she will be VERY snug. This is a good, effective method for stringing Baby Face.

RESTRING THE ARMS:

The arms are easier. Do one arm at a time so there is less chance of getting the pieces mixed up.

1. Cut the arm cord at the SHOULDER, as high as you can. DO NOT CLIP THE CORD AT THE ELBOW JOINT!! We will re-use the stub of cord that's in the lower arm, just like we re-used the cord that was in the foot. So the stub needs to be as LONG as possible.

2. Remove the inside shoulder cup using hemostats or a small pliers to grab and pull from the body. I like to use our "cute" pliers for this. Heat the vinyl if necessary, to soften the shoulder and make it easier to remove the cup.

3. Setup the arm with a bead that we will push inside the shoulder. I call this the "popbead" method of restringing:

  • Cut 8 inches of elastic cord.
  • Use a 22mm or 7/8 inch wood bead with a small hole.
  • Thread the cord through the bead and knot one end a couple of times so it won't slip through the bead. In the photo example, I used a metal washer on the cord to make sure the knot didn't slip back through the hole. Any slippage will cause the doll's joints to be loose again. You can just see the glint of the washer next to the bead.
  • Thread the other end of the cord through the top hole on the upper arm piece.

4. Grab the cord and pull it out the elbow. Pull hard, so the bead is very firmly pulled up against the shoulder. Use a hemostat to hold the cord across the elbow. Tie the lower arm piece to the upper arm piece, using the cord stub. Tie a good knot. Loosen and remove the clamp. If the tension is good, cut off any extra cord, leaving at least an inch to spare so it can't slip through the knot. Then apply Elmers Household glue to the knot. Push the cord ends up inside the arm piece where they won't show.

5. This photo shows what the arm looks like now that the bead and the arm are assembled.

6. Attach the arm to the body: push the wood bead into the shoulder of the doll. It may pop in without heating the vinyl. If the vinyl is too hard, then heat the vinyl with a hair drier until it's warm and soft (won't take long), and then IMMEDIATELY push the bead into the shoulder hole while it's still warm. The vinyl cools off very quickly so you want to do it fast.

You won't need special tools to push the arm in. It will go in the shoulder like a pop-bead.

There's not a lot of room inside Baby Face's narrow chest, but there's enough room for two of these popbead arrangements. (I suppose if we used bigger beads we could possibly give the doll a boob job, too.)

We have a special restringing kit for BABY FACE in our doll shop. CLICK HERE to visit our supplies section at PrillyCharmin's doll shop.

Copyright (c) 2010, 2012 Cynthia Stevens All Rights Reserved