Restring Baby Face Dolls by Galoob:

PrillyCharmin's Popbead Method!



The photo above shows the parts that are for restringing Baby Face arms. The brown shoulder cup is salvaged from the doll, and the other parts are included in our restringing kit.

1. Cut the cord at the doll's shoulder and remove the arm(s) that you want to restring.

With the BathTub Baby Face dolls you DO need to remove all the plugs from the arms and the legs. Heat the opening so it's soft and flexible. Use a hair dryer for 10-20 seconds. Then use a flat-blade screwdriver to loosen up around the plug, and dig underneath it. Once you flip the plug on its side and turn it around so the pointy end is first, then it's fairly easy to get it out.

2. Remove one shoulder cup from the body, but leave one of the shoulder cups inside. Use hemostats or a small pliers to grab and pull the shoulder cup from the body. I like to use pliers for this, because they can grip harder than the hemostats. Heat the vinyl if necessary, to soften the shoulder and make it easier to remove the cup. ALSO, be sure to remove any loose pieces of cord or they will rattle around in there later!

NOTE: If you plan to restring the legs too, the left hip socket is a large hole and it's easier to pull things out through the hip than through the arm holes.

3. You will restring one arm using the original shoulder cup that is still inside the doll. The other arm will have a popbead.

4. We provide #4 cord in our kits. I don't pre-cut the cord: I use the whole piece and cut it off when I'm ready to tie a knot. It's too pricey to waste.

5. Push the cord through the top of the doll's arm and out the elbow. You need to do this first because it's really a bear trying to push the cord up through the top from the inside. So save yourself some grief and do this now.

6. Working at the elbow, now: cut the #4 cord at a slant to trim up the end of it. And if, the cord is cut at a slant it's easier to push the washers on the cord. The greenish color box on the photo above shows the washers YOU will be using, and the order they need to be when you slide them on the cord.

7. Push the WHITE nylon washer on FIRST.

8. Push the SMALL #8 METAL washer onto the cord next. It's a SNUG FIT, but it needs to be. Once the cord is stretched tight this washer will not be so snug around the cord. The purpose of the #8 washer, ALWAYS, is to keep our knots from sliding through or sliding out of things.

9. Tie a doubleknot on the end of the cord, a nice fat knot if you can.

10. Apply some white craft glue (such as Elmer's Household Glue) to the knot so it won't come undone later. You may want to wait for the glue to dry. White craft glue will dry in about an hour. (Don't use School Glue, because it's not waterproof.)

11. Lower arm piece - The previous page shows you how to stretch the vinyl (gently) so you can remove all the plugs and parts. HOWEVER, if you cannot do that THEN push the stub of cord and the plastic plug INTO the piece so you can't see them. The hemostats may be helpful for this. Stuff cottonballs or other stuffings inside to prevent any rattling later on. (I like to use pieces of white plastic trash bags.)

I would rather remove the plastic plugs: I just don't feel right about leaving them in there. But I haven't found an easy way and I finally decided we don't absolutely need to remove it. So if you can't do it, then just push the stub of cord and the plug inside the arm.

To make SURE there's no rattle later on, you might want to push a cotton ball or two inside. You can also use polyfill, and I have also used clear plastic bags or white plastic bags (without any printing on them.) Plastic pushes into the pieces easily using a phillips screwdriver to push into the hole. (This may be more important when doing the leg pieces, because there's more room inside the lower leg for pieces to rattle.)

12. Now, to assemble your arm. Push the knot on the end of your #4 cord into hole of the lower arm piece. If necessary, heat the vinyl with a hair dryer to soften it. You don't need to heat it up for very long, just enough to warm it. But then you need to work with the warm vinyl immediately because it cools off quickly. Push the knot into the lower arm hole. I often use a small blunt nose pliers to help with pushing. Or the hemostats.

13. Next, push the small #8 washer inside and tug the cord to straighten it.

14. Next push the 1/4 white nylon washer inside. (The 1/4 nylon washer is the same diameter as the original plastic plugs.) Again, use the hair dryer if you want. Push firmly but gently, you don't want to rip the vinyl.

The #8 washer keeps the knot from slipping through the larger 1/4 white nylon washer. The 1/4 nylon washer keeps the #8 washer from slipping through the vinyl hole. All together, they make an effective new plug.

15. Pull on the cord gently so the washers get turned flat-up, inside the arm piece.

16. Slide the upper arm piece down to the elbow and pull on the cord to fit pieces together snug.

Make sure you have the arms & hands lined up properly. I have made the mistake of putting the feet on backwards. I have put the knees on backwards... Hands on the wrong sides! You do NOT want these results, but it's VERY easy to get distracted by more difficult parts of restringing - and totally forget about the simple stuff.

So now I keep the left pieces on the doll's left, and the right pieces on the doll's right; that way I'm less likely to mess up while I'm working. DOUBLECHECK YOUR PIECES.

17. Position the shoulder cup inside the doll's shoulder. Thread the stringing cord through the center hole and pull the cord out the armhole on the other side.

18. Slide the copper crimp on to the cord.

19. Push the copper crimp up snug against the shoulder cup. Pull the cord snug so the arm has proper tension. You don't want it TOO tight but you do want some tension. Then use a needlenose pliers to flatten the copper crimp. I use a needlenose pliers to start with because there's not a lot of room to work. After it's crimped pretty good, I use my small flat pliers to really flatten the copper crimp. The crimp will hold the cord in place, but you also want to tie a good knot so the crimp won't slip at all in the future. Cut off the extra cord and apply Elmer's glue to your knot.

20. One arm is done!

21. Line up the pieces for doing the second arm. The second arm will use a wood bead. Follow steps #2 through #14 (above) and assemble the second arm.

22. Slide a 22mm or 7/8 inch wood bead onto the cord and push it up against the arm pieces.

23. Slide a #8 small washer on the cord (you may need to trim the cord at a slant in order to slide the small washer on, it's a tight fit.)

24. Pull so everything is very snug. You don't want to overdo it, (or the arm will not be very poseable) but you do need to get it tight.

25. Clamp with a hemostat, to hold the cord TIGHT against the wood bead while you cut off the extra cord. Leave about 4-6 inches for tying a big double knot.

This is an arm from the Bathtub dolls. 

26. Release the clamp when you're ready, and make a knot. You'll probably get your fingers pinched while doing this, but the cord has to stay tight. Make another knot so it's fat and double or even triple.

27. In the photo, you can see that I used a small metal washer on the cord to make sure the knot doesn't slip back through the hole in the bead. I've had knots slip through the wood bead, so be sure to use the washer and be sure to tie a fat knot! Any slippage will cause the doll's joints to be loose again.

28. Apply some Elmer's glue to the knot and allow to dry.

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

29. 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 (it 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: just push firmly and "POP" the arm goes in, it's snug and it moves easily.

30. As of October 2017, we will now be including TWO wood beads in the Arm Kit. You can use a popbead for both arms if you want to. Or, you can re-use the shoulder cup as shown above: your choice! -- In my opinion, the shoulder cup gives better mobility to the arm, but both methods work very well. If you do use TWO popbeads, the chest cavity gets a little crowded but both beads do fit inside with some maneuvering. 

Baby Face Tubbies

You can use our Popbead Stringing Kits to restring the Bathtub dolls, too. The method is the same. In fact, it's easier since you don't have to deal with the elbow and knee joints. The Restringing Kits for both dolls are identical. More information about restringing the Tubby doll is on page 7 of the menu, above.

Once you're comfortable with this procedure, it will take less than an hour to completely restring a Baby Face doll. And she will be VERY snug, good for years to come!

We have a special restringing kit for BABY FACE in our doll shop. CLICK HERE.