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Tutorial: Patching up Vinyl gaps and holes

liquidfusion

This tutorial will cover how to patch up vinyl gaps and holes which is great for removing ears on Monster High dolls like Clawdeen Wolf or replacing the hard head caps on Create a Monster dolls. This is all made possible by a plastic glue called “Liquid Fusion.”  I initially found out about this product from styrene modelers. It wasn’t until I got helpful advice from my local craft store that I gave it a try.

Liquid Fusion is great! Just see how well it held up to squeezing in the photo below!

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If you’ve ever suffered the unfortunate torn scalps while prepping a doll for reroot, this glue will fuse the vinyl as needed. As seen above, the glue dries clear. To give the glue the same strength as the vinyl head for reroot, you’ll need to apply several coats until you get the right thickness.

Prepping your doll

For this tutorial, we will be using Clawdeen from the Wolf Sister pack.

IMG_5437Clawdeen’s ears will be removed and will under go a reroot. To start, we’ll need to remove her head.

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To remove the head, you can try one of the following:

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  • Hold the head firmly and simply yank the head off. This method may be a little risky for inexperienced folk.
  • Run the doll head under warm until the vinyl head softens then yank the head off.
  • Use a blow dryer to heat the head just a little bit then yank the head off.
  • Use pliers to gently pry the head off. As you can see in the above photo, try to anticipate the forks on the neck connector. This is also a little risky.
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Once the head has been removed, cut the hair as close to the scalp as possible to make it easy to scrape or yank it out from the inside. Depending on the amount of glue used inside the doll, you may need to add a little bit of acetone or pour boiling water inside the head to help soften the glue and remove the hair. Use long nosed pliers or tweezers to pull the hair out from the neck hole.

Ear-less Clawdeen

Cut off Clawdeen’s ears using a cutter. Try to remove as little plastic as possible.

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Using disposable plates or wax paper, dab a bit of Liquid Fusion just a little bigger than the holes to be covered up. Depending on the amount of glue applied, setting time may take from 30 minutes to 24 hours. Ideally, just leave these alone for 24 hours just to make sure!

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 The glue should dry in thin clear plastic strips. Use Liquid Fusion to attach them over the holes. Take the time to cover up any tears as well. Give the glue 24 hours to set.

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Once the glue has set, use a cutter to trim the patches until you get it about the same level as the head. Careful not to tear off too much. Use PlasticFusion the add additional layers in case you over cut an area. If you used any PlasticFusion during this stage, wait for the glue to set again before moving on.

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If you’ve gotten this far, you’ll notice that the patch alone is too thin and not strong enough to withstand re-root pressure. At this stage, you’ll need to pour Liquid Fusion inside the head. Better to do this in several applications which could last 3-7 days. You can poke the inside of the head with a q-tip to check if the glue has set.

You should squeeze the head just a little bit to test the strength or depth of the glue from the inside. Gently touching the patched holes should also give you somewhat of an idea if the patches are now as thick or about as thick as the vinyl heads.

IMG_5590Once the glue has set, we’re ready to re-root! The clear plastic was a bit distracting so I went ahead and painted this scalp.

IMG_5592I used the reroot tool method for this. See how well it held up?

IMG_560110,000 reroot hours later… You’ve got a beautiful, ear-less Clawdeen!

Theoretically, Liquid Fusion might as well be an ideal glue to use to attach horns or ears, any kind of appendage on vinyl heads. Since it’s specifically designed for plastic, it’s probably good for the hard plastic parts on Monster High Dolls too (though I have not tried this yet!)

The holes created by Clawdeen’s ears were not that huge which is why it was able to withstand the pressure during reroot, but the holes on Create a Monster High dolls might not and are better off using donor vinyl with Liquid Fusion to fuse the plastics together. If you do want to use donor vinyl method to reroot CAM dolls and don’t have any donors, you can purchase patches from Retro Dolls. If you want to try though, this method could work for CAM dolls though I imagine that it would take a lot longer due to the amount of glue it takes to get the appropriate thickness.

Edit 3/12/2013: Aaaad after a repaint and a little bit of styling, here she is!

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This Post Has 23 Comments
  1. Can you use super glue as a substitute? I don’t have a credit card to order online and michels is over an hour away from me

    1. I don’t know and it’s probably not a good idea as super glue tends to be stiff when dried. Since you’re going to Micheal’s you might as well look for plastic glue or E3000 as an alternative.

  2. Great tutorial, it answers a lot of my questions. However I can’t find this product here without an exorbitant shipping price. Would any fabric glue work for this or does this glue have a very specific hold ?

    1. This is a plastic glue, not a fabric glue. There’s a difference in that a plastic glue allows plastics/vinyl to adhere to each other. One other alternative I’ve seen around is using vinyl cement. “Locite” is a brand I’ve seen thrown around so maybe you could give that one a try.

  3. How well did the hair hold up after rerooting? Because man (or girl) we have a barbie doll with a long, but thankfully thin, gash in her head that needs to be repaired. I plan on rerooting her, hopefully, afterwards. Also, how should I apply the glue? Do I try to actually put it IN the tear, or over it? Thank you.

    1. The hair held up well after rerooting, see the photo at the end of the post. The hair held up well enough that the doll went through the regular process of withstanding hot water and shampooing required for styling.

      As for applying glue, if you use the reroot tool method for rerooting the process is the same as if you were rooting any ordinary doll head. After the hair is applied via poking, the ends are secured with glue from the inside of the head. You don’t want to re-create any new holes, it isn’t necessary. Just apply the glue the usual way using the only remaining opening which is the neck hole.

      Using glue depends on what reroot method you use. You should check out this other blog post on that: http://www.nonaptime.com/2013/08/doll-reroot-and-resources-part-2/

      1. Thank you so much! I’ll just use the reroot tool method! 🙂 I heard it’s faster anyway. Hope that all goes well for Goosey Loosey! (Named after her loose leg joints, which are now fixed!) 😉

      2. Also, could you be a little bit more clear about poking holes? Some MIGHT have to be remade to make up for those lost in the gash. What is your advice? And what would be the ideal amount of glue to use after the hair is set in?

        1. Different reroot methods and how they’re done are covered on the blog article I referenced. There are links to tutorials. Be sure to check the comment section too!

  4. Thank you soooooo much for sharing this information! Very much appreciated. Thank you for your blog, it has really helped my learning process of Repaints and customs. Peace!

    1. I like Aleene’s as a brand in general. As long as it’s waterproof, it should be okay for gluing the hair on the doll. If you don’t really plan on washing the hair at any point, regular glue is okay I guess.

    1. You could pick it up at Micheal’s! That’s where I found out about it. I assume it would be available in most major craft store chains.

  5. Thanks for sharing! If you use the reroot tool what glue do you use to glue the hair when you are done?

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