Saturday, April 27, 2013

How to Replace Doll Eyelashes, A Tutorial

Materials for replacing doll eyelashes.
Many readers of this blog inquire about replacing doll eyelashes. The loss of eyelashes is a particular problem for the old 1930s-50s hard plastic and composition dolls. The old weighted sleep eyes have a little channel in the eyelid which holds the brush lashes. After a while the brush lashes often rot or deteriorate and fall out. You will often find a doll with no lashes at all or with big spaces missing from her lashes. Luckily, replacing the lashes isn't very hard. It can be tedious, so it does require patience. This tutorial concerns replacing lashes in sleep eyes. To view the tutorial on adding lashes to fixed-eye dolls go to my website:

A Cissy doll with missing eyelashes

Here, I am replacing just a few lashes on each of this Cissy doll's eyes. When I am only replacing a few lashes I use these little Duralash flare lash extensions. These are made for people, and you can buy them where the false eyelashes are sold in most drug stores. If the entire eye needs lashes then it is easiest to use tiny doll eyelashes, which you can purchase from my Etsy and eBay shops, link from my website.  Another thing you can do is cut the bristles from camel paintbrushes and place them in the channel as I will show. That is quite difficult, however, and I don't think it looks much different than what I'm about to show you.

Scrape the old glue from the lash channel.

Start by gathering your materials. You will need whichever replacement lashes you chose, white glue, tweezers, a napkin or paper towel, tiny sharp scissors such as nail scissors, and a straight pin. To begin, scrape the old glue from the eyelash channel in the eyelid using a clean straight pin. Be careful not to remove the remaining lashes.

Dip the lash root in glue.

Using the pin again, dab a bead of glue into the eyelash channel. Be very careful not to get it in the eye. You just need a minute amount of glue. Clean the glue off your pin using the napkin. Next, using your tweezers, pick up an eyelash or section of lashes. If you are using brush bristles just get one or two at a time. Place the lash tip in the eye channel. Using the cleaned straight pin, push the lash root into the channel. Commercial doll and human lashes will have adhesive on the root, which helps secure the lash. If you are replacing the entire lash, press the whole length of the lash into the channel. If you are only replacing a few lashes, repeat the process with new lash sections or brush bristles until the holes in the lashes are filled.

Press the lashes into the channel with a straight pin.

When you've finished replacing the lashes dip the pin in the glue again and draw a bead of glue across the top of the lashes right at the eyelid. You don't need much glue. Don't get the glue all over the lashes. Allow the glue to dry. White glue should dry clear. If the glue still shows after it is dry you can pick the extra out of the lashes with a pin, or paint over it with black/brown paint like putting on mascara.

Draw a bead of glue across the lashes to secure them.

Once the glue has dried, trim the lashes to match the original ones. You might have to arrange the lashes a little with a pin to get them to lie properly and match the originals. If you are replacing the entire lash with human lashes you will need to look at a photo or an original doll to see how short to trim the length. Most hard plastic lashes taper slightly at the edges.

When the glue dries trim the lashes to match the originals.

Cissy looks so pretty with her replaced lashes! I often wish I could just stick thicker, longer lashes on myself! This Cissy already sold, but you can find many wonderful dolls in my shops. You can link to all my shops from my website.
Cissy with her new lashes.

Besides the dolls, we are working on the bonus room this weekend. Right now we have an old 1970s smoked glass and wood wall unit and some metal garage shelving housing all the books, toys, video games, DVDs, exercise equipment, and the myriad other flotsam and jetsam of family life we don't want lying out downstairs. This is also out guest room, so I really don't like having it in such a mess. Tonight we went to Ikea and bought a unit we designed ourselves. The center is an entertainment unit with sliding doors and on either side we devised bookshelves with doors. We chose white frames with high gloss gray doors, so it will be very bright and modern. The doors have no handles; you push on them to open them. The kids won't be able to slam them and they will have a nice clean, minimalist look. I think they will look great with the Day/Nighters from my Night and Day post. Tomorrow we are going to pick wall paint after church. I'm thinking a turquoise-gray if I can find it. I'll post pictures when we get the room finished.

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