Restring Baby Face Dolls by Galoob:
PrillyCharmin's Popbead Method!
TAKE BABY FACE APART
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The hardest part about restringing Baby Face is taking the doll apart, because there are many little pieces to remove. This page offers some tips that will make it easier for you.
PREP THE HEAD
Cut the cord at the neck. This is easy. Fishing the plastic cone out of the head will likely take awhile. I like to use a long hemostat to grab the piece. I clamp and hold with the hemostat. Then, get a firmer grip with a needlenose pliers. It might help if you warm the vinyl with your hairdryer, but I try to avoid that with the head because hair and lashes might be damaged. I pry at the cone and mangle it out of the neck hole. Then, make sure there's no leftover cord inside the head. Any leftover bits will rattle later.
PREP THE ARMS & LEGS
Cut the original strings at the shoulders and the hips. This way you'll end up with a longer piece of cord hanging from the lower arm and lower leg: it gives you something to hold onto as you maneuver those plugs out.
Remove the plugs from the lower arms and lower legs. First, I warm the vinyl with my hair dryer. I warm it until the vinyl has gone soft. This doesn't take real long, but you can definitely tell the difference when it's warm and flexible.
You can also warm the pieces in a pan of very hot water. I heat the water to boiling but I only warm up 1 or 2 pieces at a time. Boiling the vinyl strips it of oils and can possibly make it more brittle so I don't like to leave them in the hot water. There's no reason to boil the body at all: I just boil the lower limbs so I can get the plugs out.
Also, if left in the water too long vinyl can lose some of it's memory (yes vinyl has memory) and become distorted. Vinyl has the ability to bounce back into it's original shape, but only to a point. Too much heat or repeated heat can cause it to be misshapen.
Although I use boiling water to take the doll apart, I wait until the pieces are completely dry inside before I assemble her again. I don't want water to be trapped inside and encourage mold.
Now, use a small pliers to widen the hole. The photo shows how I stretch the opening. I stretch it one way, then turn it and stretch the other way. Don't use something with a sharp edge such as scissors: be sure to use something with a blunt edge such as my pliers. Stretch gently but firmly. You can rip the vinyl if you're too rough. The vinyl needs to be warm and you need to be sensitive to how much pressure is appropriate.
We also have a NEW tool for stretching vinyl! This wood cone is useful for stretching the neck hole in the head, as well as the holes in the arms and legs. When stretching, you always need to be very careful, but this wood cone will help to prevent mishaps because it applies even pressure all the way around the hole. The wood cones are now available in our shop.
This photo shows how the hole is much bigger after it's stretched. Actually, both arm pieces were stretched but one of them had already relaxed quite a bit by the time I took the photo. Vinyl does have a certain amount of "memory" and will return to it's original shape in a short time.
CAUTION! Whenever you attempt to stretch vinyl, use a certain amount of caution. Warm the vinyl first so it's pliable. And don't be so rough with it that the vinyl splits. We do make the disclaimer that if you are restringing your dolls there is some risk involved. Restring your dolls at your own risk.
While the vinyl hole is stretched wide, use a needlenose pliers to pry the plug out. This photo shows how I lean on the arm piece so the plug can't go back inside, out of reach. I like to have a soft washcloth underneath the piece I'm working on, to protect the vinyl from rubs.
I use the pointy nose of the needlenose pliers to push inside the middle hole of the plug and get a grip on it. It's best if the cord is cut off now, so it's out of the way. Then the tug of war begins. Re-heat the vinyl if necessary until you're able to pry out the cone-shaped plug.
Remove the plugs from both arm pieces and both leg pieces. Be sure to fish out the cords too, and then shake the pieces to make sure nothing rattles around.
If you really cannot remove the plugs from the arm and leg pieces, then I do have an alternative solution for you on the other tutorial pages. But it's best if you can get all the original parts out.
PREP THE BODY
The body has four cups inside, as well as bits of cord. DON'T REMOVE ALL THE PIECES! It's easiest to remove these through the large hole in the doll's left side hip. You will remove ONE small cup and ONE large cup. Be sure to fish out all the bits of cord or other debris. There is also a small cone from the neck that you must remove. The only two pieces left inside should be a small cup and a large cup.
READY to REASSEMBLE
My Beth doll is completely un-assembled. This is the difficult part of restringing: the worst is over! Now that you've removed the little pieces, it's time to put your Baby Face doll together again. Restringing the doll is the easy part, and she will go together quickly.