Doll Collectors of Hawaii

Doll Repair

 Minnie Lou is accomplished at repairs such as restringing, cleaning, redressing, patching, resetting eyes, and replacing limbs and parts, depending on the type of doll. She has worked on cloth dolls, celluloid, composition, hard plastic and bisque dolls. She is a member of The Doll Doctors Association and has worked with doll doctors in Europe and the US. In the past, we have had a source for repairing voice boxes. Regrettably, we no longer have that ability.

Doll Doctor at Honolulu Collectible Show

doll doctor In past years, Minnie Lou has been designated as the "Doll Doctor" for repair of dolls at the Hawaii All-Collector's Show in Honolulu. At the show, she provided service and advice to a number of people bringing dolls in for restringing, cleaning and general refurbishment. She also gave ideas about values and general maintenance of dolls in the unique climate and environment of Hawaii. If you missed the show, please contact her if you have questions or need assistance in restoring a special friend.

internet doctorShown below are examples of what can be done. In the first case, the little Nancy Ann "Storybook" Bride Doll (5") shown below was in the "throwaway" pile at a recent garage sale. The stain on her face may have been lipstick applied by a child many years ago. In addition, her wedding dress was stained and dirty. She is made of hard plastic, dates from the 60's, and is definitely worth saving. Minnie Lou cleaned her body and clothes; the "before" and "after" photos will show the difference. The second section shows the results of restringing on a Sasha and a Simon and Halbig (S and H) 1079. The third section demonstrates the innovative action taken to repair the feet of an ABG bisque head doll using leather that was provided by the owner of the doll.


doll before 1

This little doll has been loved hard and forgotten. Her face is a shambles and her dress is the worse for wear.

doll before 2

Here is a closer view of her face.

doll after 1

Here she is after some tender loving care at the hands of the Doll Doctor.

doll after 2

With a clean body and clothes, she is ready to go back into someone's collection.


doll restringing

Minnie Lou is accomplished at restringing dolls with movable limbs and head. She uses a high grade elastic that will maintain the tension needed. At left, she is restringing a Sasha doll whose legs were loose. At right is the restrung doll, ready for dressing and display.

sasha after

Equally rewarding was the S and H doll received in pieces shown below on the left. Restringing restored her to a quality doll that can return to the collection.

pieces before restringing after restringing dressed


doll no feet

This ABG doll had feet made of fabric which had dry rotted. On the left is the "before repair"photo. The doll originally had shoes stuffed with mohair. Below, to the left, you can see a closer photo of the feet and, to the right, new boots that were handmade by The Doll Doctor. The finished boots are attached to the doll at the immediate right.

doll with new boots
closeup of feet shoes

Customer comment:

Jean Grippin Princess Elizabeth

My Madame Alexander Princess Elizabeth 15 inch doll was a Christmas gift in the early 1940s. Since then she's lived in Ohio and, for the last 55 years, she's been in Hawaii where high humidity took its toll on her dress, hair, shoes and body. Raggedylou came to her rescue. She is still able to wear the very same dress (refurbished by Raggedylou) after all these years! The real hair was cleaned and reset and she was restrung. Her shoes were repaired. This 79-year-old Grandma is so happy to again have the Princess in my bedroom with me. My granddaughters will someday appreciate this heirloom. Thank you, Raggedylou for your kind, gentle, caring, timely help for my Madame Alexander Princess Elizabeth and thank you for providing the nice stand for her. Jean G., Honolulu, Hawaii, September 2010