Tutorial: Install Squeeze Voice Boxes
Today I am going to show you how to install squeeze voice boxes. I am using one of my 3-Sound voice boxes, available from my shops (link from the Home page). I am using an applique patch to attach the voice box to a firmly-stuffed doll. If you want to put the box into a floppy, loosely-stuffed doll or plush you can just open one of the seams and insert the voice box. Squueze the body to make sure the box works. If you can't squeeze it enough to make the voice work remove some of the stuffing around it. When you get it to work re-sew the seam or add hook and loop tape so you can open and close it to get to the box.
To insert with a patch, cut out your patch. Heart-shaped patches are always cute. Sew on the applique partly, until you can insert the box. I am using blanket stitch and a fleece applique.
Continue sewing the applique until it is complete. If you are using one of my boxes consider using hook and loop tape on one side so you can get to the box because these boxes have batteries which can be replaced. The vintage doll body shown here is too delicate to have the patch opening and closing so I sewed it all the way around. You would insert a squeaking voice box and any other box you squeeze to work the same way.
Here is a video of the crying sound. To hear the entire series of sounds please click here.
More Baby Dreams
My long-time readers will remember my specialty: Ideal Velvet Skin Baby Dreams doll restoration. Ideal has been making a Baby Dreams doll since at least the 1930s but this version, with flocked "velvet" skin, was only made for one year, 1975. It so happens this was my first doll. I adored her but one day she disappeared. Unbeknownst to me, since her flocking was turning brown and peeling off, my mother threw her away. Shortly after that my father died and we moved from California to Ohio to live with my grandparents, and all the events during that traumatic era erased her from my conscious memory. Every so often, though, Baby Dreams would resurface, literally in my dreams! I had a recurring dream that I left her lying on the floor in the foyer and when I returned she was gone. In my dream I could see her soft face and her pink pointed hood. The funny thing is, I can't remember much about our house in California, but in my dream it reappeared in all it 1970s glory and I could recall every detail. I asked my mother what doll I had but she couldn't remember. In my memory she was a cloth doll but my mother told me she was flocked. I searched and searched for a flocked doll with a pink hooded bunting and finally I found a wise eBay seller who included those keywords in her listing. This is a helpful note for eBay sellers: use descriptive words because your buyer might not remember the name of a vintage item! Once I found my doll I realized she is extremely rare. Due to the issue of the flocking darkening and flaking off the dolls were often discarded and they were only made by Ideal for one year. After many years of waiting I was able to find a replacement doll I could afford and since then I no longer have the dream about her being lost. I realize, of course, the dream wasn't ever really about the doll. I linked her to my lost life in California when my family was whole and my father still alive. I am happy to have my replacement doll though anyway. I learned to restore the velvet skin and now I restore as many as I can get.
This particular Baby Dreams had lost most of her velvet skin and her vinyl was dark and stained. The tip of her nose, for example, was dark brown. I took her apart and cleaned her and re-stuffed her. Then I gave her a full body repaint and re-flocking. I applied four layers of flocking so she won't be losing hers again, at least not any time soon! The right panel of her chest had a hole and was very fragile but otherwise her body is in excellent condition. Since she didn't need a new body I repaired the hole and added a 3 sound voice box. Each time you squeeze her body she will laugh, cry, or say "Mama". The video below is the crying sound.
Baby Dreams has her original box and bunting. She is all ready for a new home. Because she is hand-painted and flocked and her body is fragile I recommend her for adult collectors. Any young child should be supervised while playing with her. You can find this extremely rare doll from all my shops. Link to all my shops from the Home page. I have another of these on the way but that one needs a new body and bunting as well as flocking so it will be a while before she's finished.
Brandi, California Girl
A few weeks ago I added a rare member to the Crissy family of dolls for sale in my shops. Meet Brandi, Crissy's cousin, I think, from California. Brandi is extremely rare. She was made for one year only, I think. Brandi is a true California girl, with a curtain of swoon-worthy ash blond hair, the height of mod fashion! Brandi is the only member of the Crissy family with painted eyes and a deep tan. Her jointed waist is perfect for doing the Twist! Brandi was an absolute mess when I got her and I initially intended to sell her for parts because I thought her hair had been cut and the growth mechanism was broken. After a while I decided to try and fix her; after all, I couldn't really make her more broken and I could still always part her out. I was amazed I actually repaired the growth mechanism. When I opened her up I found her hair wasn't cut but just bunched up and stuck inside her body. Her arms were faded to a pale yellow so I blushed them to match her tan body. Then I made her a playsuit romper similar to her original outfit. I found the fabric in my mom's attic. It's from the same era, so the perfectly correct style! I am having a great time restoring all these mod-era dolls, such as the Skipper trunk I finished last week. I have one Crissy doll and three Velvets as well as Brandi and I don't have any more on the way at the moment. You can find them in my shops with the links on the Home page.
My name is Amanda, but my childhood nickname was "Mandaline". I am a mother of three turning my passion for creating into a full-time business.