Jackson's tips for making Barbie last a lifetime & more
As a young boy (yes boys can play with Barbies too) I loved playing with my Barbie. As Barbie mania is sweeping the world it is bringing back all sorts of fond memories of playing with the doll. As an adult trying to live a sustainable life it is a real conflict as it's troubling to think of the amount of plastic being produced to meet the enormous demand created by the movie and its marketing but on the flip side I am aware how much joy and how many childhood memories can be created by a special toy.
So I think there is a place for Barbie provided they are looked after to last many generations of tea parties. By taking responsible actions towards toys, we contribute to reducing waste and promoting a circular economy.
Properly looking after Barbie dolls extends their lifespan, minimising the need for frequent replacements. Repairing and preserving these dolls instead of discarding them prevents unnecessary consumption and landfill waste.
Here are a few tips for a long happy life for your Barbie.
- Gentle Washing: Barbie doll's clothes are usually delicate, so it's best to hand wash them using mild soap or detergent. Avoid using harsh chemicals or bleach as they can damage the fabric or cause colors to fade.
- Air Drying: After washing, air drying is the safest method for Barbie doll's clothes. Avoid using a clothes dryer as it can shrink or warp the fabric. Instead, lay the clothes flat on a clean towel or hang them on a small clothesline indoors.
- Mending: If Barbie doll's clothing gets a small tear or loose thread, it's best to mend it promptly to prevent further damage. Use a needle and thread in a matching color to sew the tear or fix any loose seams.
Detangling and Conditioning:
- Start by gently detangling the doll's hair using a wide-toothed comb or a doll hairbrush.
- If the hair is severely matted or tangled, you can soak it in a mixture of fabric softener and water for about 10-15 minutes. This will help loosen the tangles.
- After soaking, rinse the hair thoroughly with water.
- Apply a small amount of leave-in conditioner or fabric softener to the hair and comb through it again, starting from the ends and working your way up.
- Let the hair air dry or use a hairdryer on a low heat setting.
- Once dry, gently style the hair using the doll's brush or a small comb.
Re-rooting with New Hair:
- If the doll's hair is beyond repair or you want a completely new look, you can consider re-rooting the doll's hair.
- Purchase doll hair from a craft or doll-making store. You can choose synthetic hair or real hair, depending on your preference.
- Carefully remove the doll's existing hair using scissors or tweezers. Be cautious not to damage the doll's scalp.
- Following tutorials or guides specific to re-rooting Barbie dolls, insert the new hair into the scalp using a re-rooting tool or a needle.
- Work in small sections and take your time to ensure the new hair is securely attached.
- Once you've re-rooted the doll's hair, you can style it as desired using a brush, comb, or styling tools.
- Avoid leaving Barbie (and accessories) in the sun as this can not only fade their outfits but also can cause damage to their plastic body.
- It's a great idea to keep the original box for Barbie so you can safely store them. If you don't still have the box, dedicate a shoe box or similar. It could be a fun play activity to decorate the 'home' for Barbie.
Sourcing you Barbie
To keep the kids happy, it doesn't mean you need to go out and buy a new Barbie. With how quickly toys are turned over there is a good chance you will find them in your local 2nd hand store. If no luck there, pop a message onto your local community page to see if there is anyone wanting to donate a Barbie or similar. Sharing of toys is a great way to reduce waste while also teaching important lessons around sustainability.
Maintaining Barbie dolls in good condition allows them to be passed down to future generations, fostering a culture of reuse and resourcefulness. By embracing a sustainable mindset when it comes to Barbie dolls, we play an active role in preserving our planet's resources for a brighter and more eco-friendly future.