Monday, March 4, 2019

Another Restoration Plush!

I found another sweet face rubber plush via Ebay, that I fell in love with. Creepy bunny faces, get me every time. Ha. So, I adopted her and she arrived a lot faster then the Chubby Tubby. Here is what she originally looked like...
 Vintage Rushton Easter Bunny in White, Yup, she arrived grubby and needing a lot of TLC. She had a hole on her foot, and a hole on her ear. When I held her she was stiff and crunchy sounding. I have often been asked how do I restore my Rushtons, So, I will go into detail. I hope this post will help those that would like to know how I do this. Please be mindful I am not an expert, this is just from my personal experiences when cleaning my plush animals. Before doing anything to your vintage plush, if you feel hesitant to work on it for fear you may damage your plush further, then please do not attempt to do it. I would not want you to be disappointed in yourself and in the loss of your precious vintage plush. 
 First, what I do is inspect my plush. If there is felt, wires, clothing etc. If felt is on the body, if you decide to wash, felt will simply disintegrate, unfortunately or fray. So be sure to have a replacement felt in the same or as close as possible to the original. Wires will be fine and it can give you the opportunity to fix them. Remove all clothing, ribbons, flowers, etc. Clothing can be washed as long as it is not too delicate. If the plush is large, you will have to remove its stuffing. Some plush are smaller so you can keep original stuffing, if it is in good condition. I decided to remove her stuffing and found out why she sounded crunchy... Foam was used as stuffing. It also made her stiff to touch. Interesting, I guess depending on what the designer was going for, something light perhaps, is probably why she was stuffed with foam. She is quite tall too, about 17inches, including her ears. There were no wires, but instead a plastic flat stick to keep the ears from drooping. All the foam and cloth stuffing below. I also removed her cardboard feet, since she had a hole on her foot, I took both cardboard out and set them aside. After removal, I immediately had her washed. Now, when washing your vintage plush, you can use Tide pods, Gain pods, whatever is your fave preference for smell. I use Tide pods, and Downy Stoppables. The reason I add Downy Stoppables is to add more scent, a clean scent to my plushies. Please put your washer cycle Medium or Small load and wash them with their clothes or alone. Don't do your laundry with them, especially for white, pink or yellow plush. Darker colors like red or black, may also stain your clothing, still wash separate.
After washing my vintage bunny, she was lovely and white! Yay! Exactly what I was hoping for too. Of course her felt feet were gone, ugh, but she was clean again. I began to inspect her one more time, besides the felt being shredded, a lot of the left over foam was all over her fur. I laid her on a flat surface and allowed her to completely dry off. You can also hang to dry. As long as you allow the vintage plush to air dry. This can take a few hours to a day. Since she was not as thick in fur as my other plush, she dried within hours. Next, I took her and used a plastic brush to brush her fur down and take off any foam, shredded felt, debris etc. You can also use this time to cut any long strings, that became loose after the wash.  I started to sew her one foot, and used pink felt instead of the cream felt she had. I put back the cardboards that were set aside, and left one foot open to allow me to restuff her.

If you are restuffing and the old stuffing is not usable, you can purchase stuffing from your local craft store or I generally use old pillows, that I've saved for this purpose. Mind you when you use stuffing from a pillow, you can to pull them apart between your fingers to allow air to go into the fibers to open them up. I know it sounds odd, but I've mentioned this before, it gives the cotton stuffing more puff or fluffs it up so to speak. It makes the job take a bit longer, but for me its kind of meditating. LOL After, restuffing your vintage plush, you can sew up any areas that may have holes or slight openings. My vintage plush just had to be sewn on the feet and deciding what to do with her ear was another story. I decided to fix her ear last. Because, I have to find a replacement section of fur, it was not that the fur had an opening, but that there was a bit of missing fur. So, luckily, I have swatches of mohair fur. I could use vintage fur from another plush as a donor, but I didn't have one. So, I cut a piece or section of the mohair fur I had, and began sewing it into the spot with the hole. I then, cut the long mohair to be the length of the fur. It was not perfect, but it was the next best thing. TADA! She was done!



 Please note, it never fails, the Rushton tag sometimes fades or frays after washing, ugh. But it is still there. I added a blue silk ribbon and Forget Me Not flowers. Sadly, her original ribbons and flowers were dirty and fell apart as I took them off her. I love that face, don't you?! I hope that my information here, will help you if you decide to take on restoring your vintage plush. Happy restorations folks!

Thank you for reading! ~ ggsdolls

20 comments:

  1. Do you think you will ever sell her? And do you restore the paint on the dolls if they are chipping? How do the rubber faces fair in the wash?
    I want to start my own rubber face restoration and i am super new to this haha

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    1. Hi Ninny, Yes, she sold already. I can't do smaller face dolls. So my answer is no, I don't do dolls. Rubber faces are fine in the wash, unless they are handpainted and not sealed. Well, I hope this helps you in your venture dear. It would be a good thing and lots of people could use this service. Especially those who are weary of fixing their loved plushies themselves. Many hugs, Gigi

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  2. oh, how sad! well, sad for me. if you ever find another bunny rushton, keep me in mind! ;) anyway! i meant larger dolls like rushton! i bought my first just now and hes coming in on monday! can i use acrylic on larger rubber faces like rushtons? or maybe watercolor pencils?

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    1. Will do dear! Did you get him already? You can use acrylic, but if you try the watercolor, let me know how it turns out dear?

      Many hugs, Gigi

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  3. I was given a Rushton bunny just like the painter bunny but without the painting parts for my birthday when I was 6 years old. Doing the math, that makes my 'Bunny-Boo' 57 years old. I have a granddaughter now and will be enjoying a grandson soon. I want to give Bunny-Boo to one of my grandchildren. My problem is that he is in horrible condition. I am in the process of recovering him for the second time, this time with fur. The hard part I am dealing with is his face. It is the soft rubber but it has gotten very dirty over the years. I have tried many things to no avail in a small area to see if I could get it close to that nice beigey tone skin. Any suggestions on how I can get him cleaned up a bit to where he looks close to original? I know he will never be the same as he was when I got him but his face is more like a bad tanning session. Not orange just a dirty beige color. I have gently cleaned his face with soap and water and I’m afraid to use anything else. I also have to touch up his eyes, nose and mouth. Can I use paint to do this or is there something better that will stay on? If paint, what kind? Thank you.

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    1. Hi dear Maureen, sorry I was away from home. Okay, I use paint. Acrylic fabric paint works good for me, and then I sometimes seal it so it doesn't fade. But don't use just any sealant. Mr. Super Clear works best for me. Many hugs, Gigi

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  4. hi :) I love rushtons with all my heart and really want to try making my own/restoring some I already have but I am afraid of ruining it. I'm just wondering if there are things I can practice these techniques on first to get the hang of it?

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    1. Hi dear, I know the feels. Yes, you can try using a non Rushton to practice on, just to be sure. There are lots of other examples that you can try on. One that you feel, won't feel like you lost lots of money on, might work!

      Many hugs, Gigi

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  5. Hello!Im getting a Rushton clown doll on exactly Christmas Eve,is there any other way you can clean rushtons without a washing machine?I also want to know what you do to fluff there fur!Thanks!

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    1. Hello dear, aww, you are very lucky, Congrats! Yes, you can handwash it in a tub or sink for a more gentle care. It's when you have to squeeze the water out, that can be tricky and a lot of hand work. That's why I use the spin cycle on a washer. To fluff the fur, I use a doll brush and gently brush the fur throughout. Enjoy your new baby! Many hugs, Gigi

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    2. Hello Gigi!So my rushton star creating clown came in the mail like the day after I posted that comment,so I want to clean him,BUT,I dont want his felt to shrink or dissolve,so I want to know if theres any way you can clean the felt without it dissolving or shrinking?His felt is also a different material,it kinda looks like cotton fabric,but has a kinda plastic texture (I dont know the exact name lol),so im scared his fabric will tear or shrink,is there any way that can be stopped?Thanks!

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    3. Hello dear CryBaby, Yay! Glad to hear! You can try to take out the seams on the felt, and remove it from him and just wash his fur? But remember you'll have to sew it back on him again after. That might be one way to do it. Sorry, restoration can be tricky. I hope this helps you? Many hugs, Gigi

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    4. I just finished!Thanks for the advice Gigi!

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    5. Yay! You are most welcome dear! I'd love to see how your baby looks after. Hugs, Gigi

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  6. how do you clean dirt from the face without smudging or removing it? also what paint is best for repainting/restoring? ty

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    1. I used to use clorox wipes to do this, but Mr. Clean Magic Eraser is great. Sadly, it can lighten or smudge the facepaint. So you have to be careful using either. With the wipes, you have to make sure to wipe off any clorox residue with water. Paints I use are acrylics. HOpe this helps you.
      Hugs, Gigi

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  7. This is such a great post thank you. I’m excited to buy my first stuffed animal but it will need to be a “rescue” since I cant afford one in perfect condition.

    What do you recommend looking for in a stuffed animal to make sure it’s a good candidate to clean up and do minor repairs on?

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    1. Hi dear Margaret, Aww, thank you so much for your thoughts on my post. I don't blame you dear. I've had to do the same. Honestly, it depends on what you can handle. If you are able to sew and are good at thinking up ways to switch out something if there is an unexpected mistake, then you can handle any type of repair. I believe, that it is in your creativity, that helps a poor plush, reveal its loveliness. Some, love that their plush has petina or aged look and that is fine too. Some may be too delicate to even try. I believe in you dear and no matter what plush you decide on restoring, I am sure you will love that cutie even more! Many hugs and thank you so much for your question, Gigi

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  8. I had forgotten about these wonderful stuffed toys. I did not have them but my grandmother had one that she let me play with when I would visit her. Recently I found one at a thrift store and I had to rescue it so now I'm in the Dilemma of where do I start to restore him he's I don't believe he's a Rushton but he is a rubber faced teddy bear and needs love and restored. Do you have a YouTube channel that we can watch if you don't you should thank you so much I really have enjoyed your post

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    1. Aww, thank you so much for sharing your story of your memories. No, I haven't done a youtube vid on these restorations. But, hopefully someone will one day.
      Many hugs, Gigi

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