Google+ House Revivals: How to Customize a Mixed Ethnicity Eighteen Inch Doll

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

How to Customize a Mixed Ethnicity Eighteen Inch Doll

My beautiful blonde daughter is married to a very handsome mixed-Korean man. Together, they've created a lovely little girl with Asian features and dark blonde hair.


Our granddaughter loves American Girl and other brands of eighteen inch dolls. She has Gracie, the American Girl doll, which is Caucasian, and Leah, a Today's Girl doll, which is Asian. But, try as we might, we could not find a doll that looked like her.

American Girl makes an Asian doll, but she is made from a Caucasian face mold, and has dark straight hair. The Today's Girl doll is beautiful, made from an Asian face mold, but she also has straight black hair, and her skin tone is very dark. After much searching, we found Lily, a Newberry doll from Sears Canada (you can now buy the same Newberry doll, by the name of Andrea, from KMart). Lily has the same lovely face mold that Leah (Today's Girl) has, but her skin tone is much lighter. She comes with very dark straight hair, however.


I decided to order Lily, and re-wig her, to match my granddaughter's hair. We started by cutting Lily's hair as close to the scalp as possible. I had hoped that I could just shave the hair off at that point and glue a wig on, but shaving turned out to be way more work than I'd expected.


We decided to take her head off (my granddaughter can never see this blog post -- she would be horrified). It was pretty simple to take off her head. You just need to snip the zip tie that holds it on, and replace it with a new zip tie when you're done.


Once you've got the head off, you can scrape the inside of the vinyl with a long tool -- I used a butter knife. This will pull the little hair plugs out. This part was pretty messy, and I found myself covered in little hair fibers.


I decided to re-wig her before putting the head back on, so I wouldn't accidentally get glue on her cloth torso. We bought a dark blonde wig from Monique Trading Company.  This it what it looks like on the underside. The fabric that the hair is stitched to has a little bit of stretch, and the wig should fit snugly. For Lily, we used the 11-12 size.


Gluing the wig to the doll was a little tricky. I felt like I either needed two sets of hands, or I needed to glue the wig in two sections. 


I covered the front half of Lily's head in E6000 glue, and very carefully glued the front half of the wig to the doll, making sure I covered all of the brown area. When that glue was dry, I glued down the back of the wig.


When I showed the doll to my husband, he was taken aback by how closely the doll resembled our granddaughter. When we brought the doll to our granddaughter she was thrilled to have a doll that looked just like her! She kept saying "I can't believe you found a doll that is part Korean, just like me!"


We could not have done this with the American Girl "Asian" doll, as she is made with a Caucasian face mold, so once we re-wigged her, she would just look like any other Caucasian doll. We really needed to use a doll with an Asian face mold for this makeover to work. I don't think any of us were expecting it to work so perfectly!



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Thanks so much for stopping by!
~Amanda

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