Have you heard about Sonia Singh and her Tree Change Dolls®? Sonia is a Tasmanian artist who decided that she wanted to "rescue discarded and forgotten dolls, and give them a new lease of life". You can read more about her on her Tumblr page here. She has started a bit of a doll revolution in some circles - tribute and copycat groups are popping up all over the place. People are making moulds for feet (Bratz don't have feet - did you know this?! When you take their shoes off, they're left with stumps), knitting outfits, and dousing dolls in acetone like there's no tomorrow. I picked up a few (okay, eight) Bratz dolls on Adverts.ie a while ago so that I could rescue them from their awful makeup and clothes. Here are the first three I received:
Look! No feet. I find that really bloody weird, to be honest.
To remove the makeup from the dolls, you'll need pure acetone. Sonia suggests a mixture of acetone and eucalyptus oil, but I just used acetone and it worked fine. I got mine in my local Salon Supplies shop.
Now - pop some acetone on a cotton pad and remove her makeup.
Totally reminded me of this Buffy episode:
Wash the doll's face in warm soapy water. Wash her hair too and if it's very badly tangled, you can cut it (woohoo! my total pleasure as a child) or try and soften it with conditioner. To make clothes, try the method my sister and I used to use when we were little and make patterns. Lay the doll on a piece of paper, and draw around her:
Cut the pattern out, lay it on your material (I used old pyjama bottoms), cut out a shape, then reverse the pattern and cut out another piece.
You'll need some acrylic paint to paint your doll's face. I picked mine up in Mr. Price for a few euro - they're readily available at any Euro shop or Craft shop. Here's how the blonde doll turned out - complete with the dress above and a jumper made from a stray fluffy Penneys sock.
I outlined her eyes a little bit after those photos - I did it with the small end of a double-ended Sharpie. The rest of her face was just acrylic paint and a small brush. To seal the face paint, you'll need some matte varnish. I just had a matte topcoat from Wet n Wild, so I used that, but you can get proper craft varnish anywhere that sells art supplies.
Here are the three girls after!
I like these a lot, and they were fun to do. There's so much you could do - if a child has a scar, or port wine stain, or birthmark, your doll could have one too. You could match the eye colour, the teeth, the freckles - these three were a very rough attempt when I couldn't wait to get started one evening and kinda rushed them - so I'll take my time with the next ones.
What am I going to do with them? Not a baldy notion. I'll pass one or two along to little cousins and I'll keep a couple for the boys - as important as it is for little girls to have positive images around them, it's just as important for boys.
This was so much fun - keep an eye out in charity shops and at car boot sales for poor neglected Bratz and give them a bit of a helping hand. Give them their youth back!