How To Firm Up Doll Joints

Did you ever get the prettiest doll but she just wouldn't stand up for anything? Yeah, me too. But I am one of those collectors/archivists who does not like to do anything permanent to a vintage doll. I like to keep them, from a historical perspective, as close to "factory" as possible. So when a doll joins your collection but her arm won't stay up, or her leg is loose, what can you do?

The following is a tried and true idea that I hope you will find valuable.

Our model is a Talky Velvet who has only one loose leg.
She is unable to stand up on her own, even with shoes on.

Notice that we have taken a small circumference rubber band and worked it up her leg.

Starting at the inside of her leg, pull gently on the rubber band to "thin it out" somewhat. It should work its way into her leg joint.

Working your way around the back of her leg, continue stretching lightly to work it into the joint.

It's almost fully into the joint. Once it's nearly in place, move her leg back and forth gently, and it will finally go all the way into the joint.

Success! Now Velvet stands up well! No more will she be the cause of the "domino effect"
-meaning when one falls, they all fall-
on my doll shelves.

Can you do this same trick with arms?
YES! Just be on the lookout for very small rubber bands for this task.

Can you do this on Baby Crissy, who tends to be very floppy?
ABSOLUTELY! You just need larger rubber bands.

What if I can't work it all into the joint?

Maybe your rubber band is too big. If it doesn't seem to be too big, then all you need is a butter knife to carefully force the rubber band in place.

What about Movin' Groovin' or Posin' waist joints? Will this work for them too?
You betcha! The only difference is that you aren't actually working the rubber band into the doll's waist joint. You are only laying it on top of her waist joint and it will keep her from leaning forward or backward. You will need a rather wide rubber band too.

Recently, a Crissy and Beth website user wrote for leg joint advice and the above information was shared. But Trish S enlarged upon it and we want to share it with you too! Trish used latex "rubber" bands that can be purchased about one hundred per bag. They can be found in the haircare department of your favorite store. She reports that they went in with ease! I tried it and she is absolutely right!

I've used this method for some years and sadly, real rubber bands (yes, made of rubber) do break down and degrade over time and will need to be replaced. I also know that the clear latex bands will break down too. I have used them in Crissy hairstyling and they didn't last very long.

So that said, we are on the lookout for silicon "rubber" bands. Those will never break down. Once a source is located (or if YOU know of one let us know), we'll update this page.

Thanks for visiting!

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All text September, 2008, by Beth-Ellen Colvin