Like many homeschooling families, we are on a limited budget, and I try to help stretch our income as far as I can. When both my girls wanted an American Girl doll one Christmas, I was able to purchase two very nice pre-owned dolls off of eBay at a fraction of the retail price. They’ve loved the dolls for just over a year now, and it’s beginning to show.
The Mattel Company (who now produces the dolls) has a doll hospital where you can send your doll for some TLC and repairs. There’s a charge for each repair, however, plus shipping charges each way. Our dolls had a few marks on them and frizzy hair – not quite enough for me to justify the extra expense. So instead I went online and searched for ideas.
I found where several people recommended using Clearasil (or the store brand) for getting rid of ink stains and pen marks on the doll’s plastic skin (not the soft body). We followed the directions, rubbing a little bit onto the stain and then placing the doll in direct light (we used a lamp) for almost the whole day. Imagine our surprise when the stain disappeared – even the permanent marker!
Next I came across a wonderful site called JustMagicDolls.com. The author of this site takes you step by step on how to repair your doll, from brushing the hair correctly to reattaching limbs. Following the steps outlined on the site, my oldest daughter and I washed, conditioned, and steamed her doll’s hair, making it look smooth, shiny, and beautiful again.
Now my daughter plans to open up small “doll hospital” of our own, where she can take care of her friends’ dolls as well. We were both excited — what a great way to serve others! Perhaps one day she’ll even turn it into a small business, learning those life lessons as well.