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Topic: Chemo Barbie reconstruction?  (Read 1702 times)
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Emisanboo
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« on: March 06, 2006 03:35:15 PM »

Howdy!  I want to venture into a new area of craft, and I could use some input.

A friend of mine is undergoing chemo, and I want to make her a Wonder Woman doll with a shaved head and just one breast.  Accessories would include a tiny bottle of pills, a chemo cap, and a little phone she can use to call her friends for support.  Plus some as-yet-to-be determined cancer-fighting weapon.  I'm open to suggestion on other accessories, of course!

So the question is this:  Have you ever reconstructed a Barbie?  I thought I'd snag a beat-up one from a used toy store near here and do a dry run before tackling a good doll.  I'm not that worried about the head shaving, but I'm a little leery of the Barbie mascectomy.  I thought maybe I could cut it, then melt it together and try to draw a tattoo on it or something.  What I'd use to melt plastic, I don't know.  Would epoxy work better?  A friend of a friend had a suggestion, but said it would work if the doll was solid as opposed to hollow, which Barbie-type dolls are.

Any wonderful brainstorms on this project?
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« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2006 05:05:20 PM »

that's really sweet of you.  I'm sure she'll appreciate it.  Smiley

hmmm... I might try to find a non-barbie doll.  an off brand.  barbie are easy to cut in their rubbery bits (arms, legs, etc) because they're made of a different type of plastic, but the torsos are pretty hard (don't ask about the movie we made about the black plague in german class using barbies...).  if you can find one that's a little more rubbery, it would probably be a lot easier.

if you can't find one, I'd recommend removing the head (so you don't cut into it!), clamping it down, and using a power saw of some sort to cut it off.  then sand to smooth it down.  I have a feeling that trying to burn it will end up with a black wierd mess.
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Bobolots
« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2006 05:08:06 PM »

If you have a dremel at your disposal, that might be easier than the power saw. By the way, you are a great friend for doing this.
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Emisanboo
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« Reply #3 on: March 06, 2006 05:36:21 PM »

Great ideas!  I hadn't thought about the color change, but can totally see how that would happen.

Like any good crafty gal, I know my way around a Dremel.

ETA: These ideas will take the protrusion off the chest, but I'll still be left with a hole to close.  I'm thinking the boob plastic would be a good patch, assuming I use a non missile-y section, but how to adhere it?  Glue?  Tape?  Staples?
« Last Edit: March 06, 2006 05:42:56 PM by Emisanboo » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #4 on: March 06, 2006 05:57:01 PM »

Google under doll repaints and I think you will get something more to your liking, the artists use something that is called  magisculpt or liquisculpt or something like that to add or smooth over features, think elf ears for barbie and six pack abs for ken.  many of the sites have tutorials and if you can afford it barbie bazaar and haute doll magazines routinely have how tos on reshaping
features, rerooting hair,removing stains,removing the makeup and redoing the makeup also free patterns for clothing, all in all a good deal I think.
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Emisanboo
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« Reply #5 on: March 07, 2006 06:02:07 AM »

Thank you, cataway!  I'll check those resources out.  It looks like the sticking point is going to be cutting the body.  I'm beginning to contemplate gettting a doll with a more solid or rubbery body and just sanding the heck out of it.  I think it'll be easier to sew a new costume for an easy-to-alter doll than to buy a doll with the right costume and have major problems altering the body.

I can always forget Wonder Woman and just make a new superhero - The Chemo Avenger! (insert trumpet fanfare here).
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brookem
« Reply #6 on: March 10, 2006 03:39:04 AM »

dolls dont look so good shaved,perhaps you could pull it out then fill in the little holes. maybe if you could cut off the boob then fill it in with something? otherwise she wont look so good out of her clothes. you could also make some outfits- a hospital gown/ dressing gown, which could be removed to revail her superhero outfit. what about a cape? and she'll need some sort of cancer fighting accessory- wonder woman had the lasso of truth, the chemo avenger could have a sword, or maybe she could come with a 'handsome oncologist' ken doll.
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« Reply #7 on: March 10, 2006 04:01:31 AM »

I love these ideas.  I had also been concerned about the little holes where the hair had been - I know we've all seen these when we've tortured our dolls as children.  Smoothing over them with some kind of compound is a good thought.  I had also been thinking of accessories, but oncologist Ken is a wonderful idea, especially since my friend is single!
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« Reply #8 on: March 10, 2006 04:40:53 AM »

When making an antenna for a model airplane, I would hold the plastic over a candle flame (well over, so it didn't scorch) and carefully and slowly pull apart. You could possilby do the same with the leftover plastic from your cutting. Hold with something other than fingers, make a somewhat flat piece, then glue on. You can sand it a bit to make it match better, and paint with model paint (Testors at Wal-mart is a fine brand, either water based or oil based) to match flesh.

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« Reply #9 on: March 10, 2006 05:20:30 AM »

when my best friend broke her arm we  couldn't do a lot of the stuff we used to do. So when we were at her house we got her old barbies and we basically destroyed them. lol. We took one and we used sandpaper to file down her boobs. then we painted her brown and put wires in her hair to give her a freaky hairstyle. On another one we used the tip of a hot glue gun when it was on to meltholes and stuff on the body. We have a couple Barbie heads with pipe cleaner legs we made. We were so bored but it was really fun. Later today I will try and post some pics
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« Reply #10 on: March 11, 2006 01:04:33 PM »

older barbies are soli, the ones i had as a kid where, there where kind squishy a little on the outside, i think the gymnast type barbie r solid becase their all flexy and stuff.
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« Reply #11 on: March 11, 2006 01:25:57 PM »

If you have a dremel at your disposal, that might be easier than the power saw. By the way, you are a great friend for doing this.

opps!  yeah, by power saw, I meant a dremel type thing, just not a hand-powered saw.
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brookem
« Reply #12 on: March 12, 2006 04:25:04 PM »

after removing the boob, you could fill it in with carpenter's bog (filler)- it is traditionally tinted pink but if you mixed in a bit of acrylic paint you could make it flesh coloured. it will make the barbie a little weighty but it can be sanded to produce a nice smooth finish.

however, bog would probably fall out of the little holes in barbie's head. perhaps some sort of glue (the kind in a bottle with a little squirt nozzle) would work better? again, you could probably tint it with a bit of paint.

as an aside, a bronzer compact in a nice, light, natural shade makes a good gift for women going thru chemo- its easy to apply and can really brighten up your skin tone. it soulds pretty trivial, but i know several woman who have survived cancer and they all seem to agree that feeling good about yourself really helps at a time like this... that, and watching lots of really funny movies. humour is thought to aid the immune system and the healing process.

how abouts some e.r dvd's to go with 'oncologist ken'? btw, what ever happened to ken?
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MCRguitarMCR
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« Reply #13 on: March 13, 2006 05:31:20 AM »

how abouts some e.r dvd's to go with 'oncologist ken'? btw, what ever happened to ken?


Barbie and Ken broke up... Barbie wanted to see other men... Thats what I read on the newspaper... XD
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« Reply #14 on: March 13, 2006 08:25:02 AM »

If you end up with a hole where the boob was- consider putting something 'else' there- I made a doll for my mom (also lost a breast to cancer) and it had one boob and one jewel were the boob should be. She loved it.
On the head- consider a wig or a chemo cap. My mom went wig nuts when her hair fell out- her personal favorite was a maroon shoulder length one we found at a costume place. 8-)
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RamenQueen
« Reply #15 on: May 28, 2007 08:07:23 AM »

how about a pale pink ( as in the breast cancer ribboncolor) jewel to replace the boobie.

That could also be incorperated into the costume...she could have a "toy" to distrack her from the pain during her treatments.

Good Luck and may you be blessed for this!
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« Reply #16 on: May 28, 2007 09:46:39 AM »

I know this is an old thread but it occurs to me that an amazon warrior woman would be very appropriate for this type of project, the amazon women were reputed to remove a breast on purpose in order to facilitate the use of a bow.  The bow could represent the weapon used to fight the cancer cells....I caught my nipple in a bow string once, hurt so bad I decided removing it ahead of time was probably not a bad idea if you're using a bow all the time.
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Emisanboo
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« Reply #17 on: May 28, 2007 12:42:27 PM »

Thanks!  I never did wind up doing this - knitted a nice chemo cap instead - but she's made a full recovery, I'm happy to say.
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