Doll Repair Insanity | My Life as a Doll Doctor





Before I leave on vacation…(yes-no blog for 2 weeks!) — I want to show you another Doll Hospital case that most others would have turned away. This doll arrived with so much composition missing, and in such bad shape–I did tell the owner she may really be too far gone. This was the owners doll and I saw her face drop…..I kept thinking “here I go again…taking in these impossible jobs that are so much work…may never look the same….and the repairs may exceed the value of the doll”. But then–as I looked at that poor doll and owner…felt this twinge in my heart- my mouth said “Oh she is in really bad shape…will take plenty of time….but ..I may be able to do something” I don’t know why that always happens–but I just feel like I am the last hope. Now…usually I finish a doll and have before/after pics that I am proud of before I actually blog about them. This time I am taking a big chance!! I am going to show you the before pics…show you some of the beginning reconstructive filling process–then I will start on the massive restoration when I return. So…here you go. The first few pics are when she arrived…the last are after I plugged various holes and cracks with different fillers. Depending on size and width of missing compo…different fillers are used. I sure hope this ends up being a success story…stay tuned..

Composition with gaping wounds

Even her teeth and tongue are missing!

Oh Boy……. 


About Dr. Noreen

Dr. Noreen Morris is chief of staff at the state of the art Tonner Doll Hospital located in Kingston, N.Y. She has over 20 years experience in the repair and restoration of antique bisque head dolls right on up through modern dolls of today. She is often referred to as the "Plastic Surgeon"..but operates on vinyl, composition, hard plastic and bisque dolls too.

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Written by Dr. Noreen. Posted in Compo Doll, Doll History, Doll Hospital, Doll Repair, Dr. Noreen, My Life as a Doll Doctor

Published on September 13, 2012 with 14 Comments

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There are currently 14 Comments on Doll Repair Insanity | My Life as a Doll Doctor. Perhaps you would like to add one of your own?

  1. Oh my! I would definitely throw that away. It’s beyond repair….LOL…. Speaking about repair, would you give me any advice on how to remove stains from dolls (Tonner dolls & BJD)? The stains come from the clothes they are wearing. They are mostly black and I have one doll with red stains all over the creases areas. Now I store my dolls & their outfits separately.

    • Hi Maria,
      Yes…it is a wise idea when storing any vinyl dolls to remove clothing. That will certainly prevent stains. I use two products here….but collectors have had good luck with others also. I use Twin Pines Remove-Zit and Formula 9-1-1 The remove-zit needs to be applied and removed each day for about 2 to 3 weeks to fully remove the stains. The problem is…if you get this on any plastic parts or any painted features–you will damage the doll! ALWAYS test first and follow the products directions. If you have any further questions..please feel free to email me directly at
      Thanks for following my posts!

  2. Wow, Noreen, even just that fill-in shot made be think there was hope for this doll, whereas the first pics were in my “lost cause” category. You’re really pretty amazing.

    • Hi Charlie, I will admit…I am a bit scared about how this will turn out! I keep thinking…”what if she can’t be fully restored.?” Since this is the first time I am showing work I have not finished….I am taking a big chance. Let’s just keep our fingers crossed that I can really get her in great shape! Thanks for the positive energy…I need it!

  3. I think she looks (or he) better already. Do you need an apprentice? :o)

    • I may need one! When I get back…..I may be asking all my readers for help….this one will be a bit of a challenge…I’ll keep you posted!
      The Doc

  4. Can’t wait to see how the doll looks when it is all finished!

    Thank you for helping me fix my Steam Funk Cami head today! It was so nice of you to write back and tell me how to get her head working correctly.

    Hope you vacation is fun.


    • Thanks Sammie!
      I am back and ready to get busy with this doll. It may take a bit of time–but I am certain she will at least look a bit better! Keep an eye out Thursday for my blog….and I will add pictures as I go. I am still keeping my fingers crossed for this poor dolly!

  5. Hello! Tell me please, can I use the Remove-Zit on the face of the doll Tonner (in clean places face doll – without painting). My Scarlett has on her forehead two brown spots. Do not turn yellow-whether from this action her face and holds whether the matte layer? Thank you. With respect.

    • Hi Catherine,
      I do not think you need to use such a heavy duty stain lifter if there are just 2 dark smudges on her head. Please email me a close up photo to so I can see these spots. I would always start out with just a cotton ball and warm soapy water first…if this does not work, I would then move on to a Mr. Clean Magic eraser. The Remove-zit is quite strong and can change the matt finish–we only use it on green ear or vinyl bodies with staining due to the strength. After I see the pictures…I can better advise!
      Warmest Wishes, The Doc

  6. Hi um i wanted to know if you can fix my 2013 holiday barbie box and her hair and stuff

    • Hi Riley,
      For the most part, I restore antique to vintage type dolls–but there are people out there who may be able to help! There are doll docs out there who specialize in only Barbie and that may be a good search to try. As far as fixing the box…not sure about that one. Good luck in your search, Dr. Noreen

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