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Repairing Broken Porcelain Dolls and Figurines

I fixed these before I started visiting Thrifty-Fun, but the instructions should be easy to follow.

You will need salt dough, any recipe. You can also use pottery clay. I found acrylic paint in similar colors and also used red and clear nail polish.

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First, let me say that these figurines are not valuable or collectible. They most likely came from what we used to call "dime stores," back in the 30s through the early 60s. If you have a valuable figurine that needs to be repaired, you probably should take it to a professional.

These are not really worth anything to anybody but me, or hopefully, a grandchild someday.

The little girl angel holding a candle was given to me in 1960 by my best friend. Her halo got broken and I couldn't find the pieces to put it back together. (Oh, the joys of having cats!)

The little choir boy's angel wings were long gone. He was part of a set my aunt had, and we never could find his wings. I was about to toss him, but I decided to try to give him some wings back.

The minstrel and his lady may be really old. I've had them since I was about 7, and I don't even remember if the minstrel even had a foot then. It may have gotten broken through the years. The lady is fine; I just wanted to show the set. They came to us in the 50s, and for all I know, they might be from the 30s or 40s or even earlier.

I used to put them on a shelf with his foot turned so her skirt covered the fact that it was gone. When I decided to fix the other two figurines, I decided to try to give him his foot back.

I had some leftover craft dough from making cookie cutter ornaments, and that's what I used to fix each one. I think any craft dough would work, or maybe clay if you're into pottery.

The recipe I used calls for 1/2 C water, 1 C salt, 1 1/2 C all purpose flour, and 1/2 C whole blend flour. If I need to make up any more and just need a small amount, I'll probably substitute tablespoons for cups.

I took a small amount and shaped the halo for the angel girl. (Take a little less than you think you'll need. You can always add more.) Then, since obviously you can't bake the dough, I set her in a sunny window and left her until the dough was completely dry. I painted over the dough with white, and since I didn't have any metallic gold paint, I cut a small strip of gold foil and glued it in place.

For the choirboy angel, I used the little girl angel's wings as a pattern. I traced one, and then I put it on a fold of paper, cut it, opened that out, and put it on top of some of the rolled-out dough (very thin). Once I cut it out, I put it over a lipstick tube so that it would dry in a slightly curved position. It went in the sunny window, too.

I took a smidgen of the dough and shaped the minstrel's left foot, using his right foot as a sort of pattern. Then he went to the window with the others.

I used acrylic paint for the halo, the wings, and the foot, and then I put a coat of clear nail polish over it all. I took some bright red nail polish and refurbished the angel's dress and the choirboy's robe. They'd gotten worn over the years.

Total Time: Just a few minutes, then about a day in a sunny window

Yield: a lot

Source: Any craft dough recipe

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14 Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

August 31, 2020

My doll is porcelain, and she has red curly hair. She fell of a stool the other day while I was moving her. She did not break, but her face and ear is cracked all the way through. I've read articles about using glue, but i'm not sure how to repair her because I can't glue it from the inside.

Is there someplace I can send her to get her fixed, or is there someway I can do it myself?

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August 31, 20200 found this helpful
Best Answer

To tell you the truth if you really love this doll I would suggest that you take her to a doll repair shop and let them fix her for you. They understand the right type of glue to use to fix the doll and can also cover up the cracks with special paint. Doing this on your own you will always see the cracks in the dolls face and this will always worry you.

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March 29, 2018

My porcelain doll's arm came off without any damage. The arm is connected to a thin metal pole. How do I reattach the arm?


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March 30, 20181 found this helpful
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There must be some kind of jump ring or other connector that broke, causing the arm to come off. You could probably improvise by using some thin wire to connect the arm.

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January 4, 2021

This was a gift for my girl friend and somehow it fell over and the face was damaged. If possible we would like to purchase a new head so that we can give this beautiful doll to a family member as a birthday gift.

Also, I am looking for instructions for repairing the doll. Please let me know if this is possible and the cost of a new head.

Thanking you in advance.

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January 4, 20210 found this helpful

Your pictures show extensive damage and if you have never did repairs I do not believe you could do this repair even with an experienced person helping you.
Sending her to a repair 'hospital' will probably be very expensive as collectors usually only send valuable antique dolls for this service. Some people have great sentimental value with a doll and may be willing to pay this high cost but, due to the type of doll you have, I would say you could purchase a new same doll or very similar doll for a lot less money than a professional repair.

You do not give the brand of doll or her size so providing help will be limited. You may receive better answers if you post the brand and any other information available (size, pictures of any markings on her back or neck (under hair) and pictures of the information on her box).
If you provide this information someone may be able to help you find a replacement doll or maybe just the head.

You may be able to send pictures and questions to this site and they can tell approximate cost of repairs.
www.tapatalk.com/.../

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January 6, 20210 found this helpful

Contact a porcelain doll repair in your area. This is not something that you would attempt to do yourself. If not in your area you may need to send her out for repairs. Also on the box you can contact the maker , and they should be happy to assist you on these repairs. This is the only way that this doll can get restored perfect. - luelstudio.com/restore-porcelain-doll

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October 17, 2016

Where can I find a tiny brown fuzzy catapult and a small baseball?


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February 1, 20171 found this helpful

I would find what is the make and model of the doll, and what year it was created, as well as any identifying model numbers, etc. Then my first step would be to contact the manufacturer and ask them..

Failing that, ther'es always ebay.

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February 4, 20171 found this helpful

You must find out who makes the product. If the product is no longer made you may be out of luck. I had this issue with a Melissa and Doug puzzle that was missing a piece.

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February 4, 2015

I have a Giuseppe Armani Cinderella figurine. She's beautiful, or was. Her head made a clean break during a move.

Where do you recommend? I've called several doll hospitals, repair shops and found no one yet to repair.

By Sharon

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January 1, 20181 found this helpful

This Christmas, I visited my mother and she had Mother Mary Lenox porcelain figurine with a broken hand. I researched it and found that the most important thing in her setting was to make sure all the glue that had been used to attempt to fix it was removed. The internet said to boil it but that did not sit well with Mom so I poured hot water from the tap into a bowl in which the figurine was laying. I did this 10 times over a day and over the day, the two different glues came off and the bone color became pure white again. I believe having a clean surface for glue to work is very important. Then I used Krazy glue - which came from my days in the Air Force, some 40 years ago before you could purchase it outright. It really is a special glue. I used the pen that she had that has a white tip that allows just a little to come out and it did the trick. I held the hand on for 30 seconds as instructed and it was a fine fix.

Good luck

Respectfully yours,

Eric Wingerson

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February 2, 20180 found this helpful

Is there anyone in New York that can repair my statue it is a Giuseppe Armani it broke in several pieces.

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October 6, 2015

I have some old pieces that are broken one has a hand off one piece and one is a small head. I can handle the flat pieces but, the head and the hand do not set even though I stand there and hold it for awhile.

How can I stablize the piece for maybe an hour or so to let it dry and set?

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October 7, 20150 found this helpful

Have you considered using a light-gauge wire, Caroline? Make a small cage (like the kind we see holding champagne corks in place), design it so you can tighten it once the glued pieces are in place, but keep it from touching the glue? My only other thought is to make splints for the insides of your figurines. Use contact cement (which dries almost immediately) to attach your splints (one on the hand and one on the arm to which you're attaching the hand) ... well you get my drift. Good luck!

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December 29, 2010

I have a porcelain figurine that has been broken. The arm broke clean off, so I need to find a repair shop in Jacksonville, FL. Please if you know of one let me know.

By mike from Jacksonville, FL

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January 15, 2015

My dolls are very old and are starting to crack. Any idea how I can treat them? Thank you.

By Karien

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December 11, 2014

My porcelain doll's leg is broken. I have all three large pieces, but one piece was replaced unevenly. It is not visible to the eye, and I can only feel it by rubbing across. The leg is curved slightly at the knee. I need to add the portion of the leg just below the curve of the knee all the way down to the foot. It is a large part, but I simply can't get it to stay glued as the other two pieces did. I used crazy glue for the other two parts, and it has held beautifully. Any advice?


By Brenda G. from Brownsboro TX

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November 4, 2014

Where in Greensboro can I find someone to fix my broken doll, her butt is broken. Thanks.

By Gayle W.

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August 17, 2014

Where can I find someone to fix some dolls up. They are in need of restoration.

By Karlene

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May 6, 2013

Do you know of any porcelain appraisal and repair shops in Solano county where I can get a piece appraised and repaired?

By Deborah W

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December 31, 2009

What is the best glue to repair a porcelain doll?

By Sandra L. Jones from Greensboro, NC

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