Doll Makeunders

05 Jul

Well, this will be something very, very different for my blog.  First, I’m going to confess here and now that I really don’t care for dolls.  I never had any desire to play with them.  If I got one for a gift, I’d promptly shun it.  When I was pretty little, my parents gave me a big doll for my birthday, but I hated it.  I refused to take it to my bedroom that night, or ever since.  Thankfully, my parents found that hilarious, and there were no hurt feelings.  Nevertheless, sorry Mom and Dad. 🙂  I ended up being much happier with things like “Stuffies” (stuffed animals), toy animals, and my legendary Creepy Crawler making machine.  Ah, memories!

Recently, my sister-in-law asked me if I would be interested in repainting the faces of a collection of dolls that her daughters got secondhand from a friend.  They are Bratz dolls, to those who may know what they are.  My sister-in-law wanted something sweeter and more girlish than the extreme makeup and pouty lips of the Bratz dolls.  She told me about people who have repainted doll faces, so I did some internet research and found that I had almost all the supplies needed to do the doll faces.  A couple of months later, after painting over 15 dolls, they are complete and I’ve given them back to her.  I recently got a photo of her daughter happily playing with them.  Hooray, success! 🙂

Here is the collection of dolls when I got them.  The hair was ratty and tangled, the dolls a bit grimy, the faces a bit…adult and edgy.

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The first thing I did was clean them all up gently with baby wipes.  And after that, I tackled the hair.  I found an amazing trick for washing, detangling, and restyling doll hair at this fun site called Epbot.  If you’re dealing with tangled doll hair, read that article and try it out.  It works!

013 - Copy 013

Once the dolls were all clean and combed out, I took nail polish remover and removed the makeup from the faces with Q-Tips and cotton balls.  It left an appealing blank canvas to work on, as you can see.

016 017

Doesn’t she look sweeter already?

I did some image searching online for ideas and inspiration, mainly from Tree Change Dolls.  I learned so many tips in the DIY link from this site.  Very helpful!

So, here is the result of my work on these dolls.  Enjoy!

Doll 1

It all started with this one.  I agonized over getting the eye size right, the colors just so, and the expression sweet.  It’s not the neatest of the collection…the paint looks a little wobbly as I hadn’t developed a comfortable rhythm yet.  Each face I painted gave me a little more confidence and comfort.  This was fun in the end!

doll 1 a doll 1 b

Doll 2

I tried to give each doll a slightly different eye and/or lip color so they wouldn’t get tedious.

Doll 2 a Doll 2 b

Doll 3

This poor doll had a bit of damage.  She had a scratch by the left eye, and a black line on the side of her head that wouldn’t wash off, even with the nail polish remover.  I had to disguise that black line in some way, so I painted a tiny butterfly over it, with the black mark being the body of the butterfly.  It worked out nicely.

Doll 3 A Doll 3 B Doll 3 B2

Doll 4

Brown eyes this time, and a slightly darker lip color.

Doll 4 A Doll 4 B Doll 4 B1

Doll 5

This one turned out a little less detailed.  This is a miniature sized doll, and her face was literally smaller than a dime (notice my finger and thumb in the before photo), so it was challenging to do this one.

Doll 5 A Doll 5 B

Doll 6

I like to think this doll just drank a strong cup of coffee. 😉  Eyes wide open, this girl’s bursting with energy and ready to play.  Also, I did freckles on this one.

Doll 6 A Doll 6 B Doll 6 B1

Doll 7

Along with the girl dolls came a couple of toddler dolls.  I had a difficult time finding many examples of these particular dolls with the “makeunders” online, so I was winging it mostly.

Doll 7 A Doll 7 B

Doll 8

My personal favorite of all of the dolls, this one was begging for jewel-toned eyes.  She has red hair with a bright turquois streak in it.  I so enjoyed painting this particular doll, with her fun eye color and freckles.  (…I kept this one for myself!)

Doll 8 A Doll 8 BDoll 8 B1

Doll 9

Three boy dolls also came with the group.  I struggled to find many boy dolls with makeunders in my online search, too.  I guess they’re not as popular.  I purposely painted the eyebrows a bit bushy to make him more boyish, and made his eyes a bit kinder.

Doll 9 A Doll 9 B

Doll 10

I’ve got two befores and afters of this one to show a side view of her face for those who might wonder how they look from the side.

Doll 10 A Doll 10 B

Doll 10 A2 Doll 10 B2

Doll 11

Another boy.  He looked almost identical to the first boy I shared above, so the end result is also similar, though I gave this guy some deep blue-green eyes.

Doll 11 A Doll 11 B

Doll 12

There were also two tween aged girls.  These were challenging because they had really large heads with tiny noses and mouths.  I wasn’t sure how to cover that much forehead space, but I did my best.

Doll 12 A Doll 12 B Doll 12 B1

Doll 13

This guy has pretty cool hair, doesn’t he?  Unfortunately, he’s probably my least favorite of the bunch, as he looks a bit wide-eyed and extreme with my paint job.  Oh well…again, I did my best.

Doll 13 A Doll 13 B Doll 13 B1

Doll 14

Another tween.  I gave her brown eyes and blond brows.

Doll 14 A Doll 14 B

Doll 15

Are you hanging in there, dear readers?  This is a big post!  Here is the other baby I painted.  She, too, seemed to need that pretty jewel blue eye color.

Doll 15 A Doll 15 B

Doll 16

The last doll I painted, and one that I had been looking forward to all the while.  Her icy pink lips and even icier stare made me eager to repaint her.  I gave her some pretty cranberry-colored lips and soft brown eyes.  She was a nice way to finish off the set of dolls.

Doll 16 A Doll 16 B Doll 16 B1 Doll 16 B2

While I painted these faces, my mom had it in mind to sew some cute clothes for these dolls.  She sewed one really adorable outfit, and found that sewing tiny clothes was not her cup of tea.  However, I feel it should be mentioned that the blond doll with the butterfly on her face is dressed in an outfit handmade by her.  Great job, Mom! 🙂

We also washed (and even ironed!) all the clothes, and washed up the shoes, too.  We dressed the dolls up head-to-toe (admittedly enjoying the process).  Before packing them up, I also re-rinsed their hair so they were all sleek and shiny and cute.  These dolls are ready to play!

The Grand Finale

Before sending them back to my nieces to be played with, I set up a little photoshoot with the whole group.  Please click to see these larger.

Finished Bratz Dolls Group Photo

Finished Bratz Dolls, all together, plus others 070 Finished Bratz Dolls, all together, plus others 071 Finished Bratz Dolls, all together, plus others 072 Finished Bratz Dolls, all together, plus others 073 - Copy Finished Bratz Dolls, all together, plus others 074 Finished Bratz Dolls, all together, plus others 076 Finished Bratz Dolls, all together, plus others 077 Finished Bratz Dolls, all together, plus others 080

Long story short, I’ve never played with dolls this much in my life! 😉

Finished Bratz Dolls, all together, plus others 092 - Copy

Thank you for looking!


Posted by on July 5, 2015 in Odds and Ends (Uncategorized)


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6 responses to “Doll Makeunders

  1. Sonia Singh

    July 6, 2015 at 7:15 AM

    Hi Jenna,
    Love the post and the repainting you did for your niece. Would love to share your blog post on my twitter or even my FB page but wanted to ask permission first. Just drop me an email if it’s OK.
    Glad my DIY tips could help and happy to hear of your niece enjoying her madeunder dollies.
    All the best.
    Sonia Singh
    Tree Change Dolls.

    • Jenna

      July 6, 2015 at 11:48 AM

      Hi Sonia,

      What an honor to hear from you! I just sent you an email regarding sharing my blog post. I certainly did gather many ideas and a lot of inspiration from your wonderful website and your adorable dolls! Thanks again for taking a moment to leave a comment. 🙂

  2. inari

    July 6, 2015 at 8:54 AM

    They look great, so much nicer and more realistic without all the over-exaggerated features. Brilliant job 🙂

    • Jenna

      July 6, 2015 at 11:51 AM

      Hi Inari,

      Thank you so much! I really had fun painting these little dolls. It was a nice change of pace. Thanks for the kind comments. 🙂

  3. Jocelyne

    August 20, 2015 at 1:19 PM

    OMG ! This is adorable !! What a wonderful project Jenna, I love what you did, they’re so much cuter this way and I think more suited for little girls. The clothes are so beautiful, where did you get them ? That was a really interesting and fun post, great job Jenna !

    • Jenna

      August 20, 2015 at 6:42 PM

      Hi Jocelyne. So nice to hear from you! Thank you very much for the wonderful comments on this. I really enjoyed the transformation of these dolls. I think they are better suited to little girls, too. They were pretty extreme before, weren’t they? 😉 The clothes are mostly what came with the lot of dolls, actually. One exception, though, is the outfit on the blond doll with the butterfly on her temple – my mom sewed that outfit. Isn’t it adorable? She did not especially enjoy sewing that small, so we decided to use the original outfits that were with the dolls (there were dozens of clothing items and shoes!). Thanks again. I’m so happy you like them! 🙂


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