Pack A Doll For Shipping

How to Pack A Doll for Shipping

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pack a doll for shippingWhen you pack a doll for shipping, antique dolls need to be carefully packed or they may end up with shattered glass eyes or porcelain heads. Use tissue paper, bubble wrap and packing peanuts. 

 

 

 

Scroll down to find the kind of doll you are shipping. Then return here for how to pack a doll for shipping.

  1. NEVER put plastic directly on your doll. Always wrap in white paper towels, tissue paper or cloth first.
  2. The head should be stuffed as below and wrapped in bubble wrap, or an unused baby diaper. Anything breakable should be wrapped in bubble wrap. Tape a sheet of bubble wrap over the whole body to keep it padded and in place. 
  3. Dolls over 30" can be taken apart and each piece individually wrapped.
  4. You need a box that is 4" bigger on all sides than your doll. Pour about 4" of packing peanuts into the bottom of a box. Nestle your bubble wrapped doll face down, or doll pieces on the peanuts, then fill the rest of the box with packing peanuts, leaving about 4" all around your doll.
  5. NEVER USE NEWSPAPER AS PACKING. It is very heavy, compacts, and could cause your doll to become broken.
  6. Please DO NOT send original clothes or shoes, unless they are to be repaired. Please DO NOT SEND original boxes, tags, bath towels, etc. as storage is an issue. Please DO NOT SEND your dolls in suitcases as I will need to store them.

Key Rules

  • NEVER put plastic directly on your doll. Always wrap in white paper towels, tissue paper or cloth first.
  • Make the eyes safe in bisque dolls. Glass eyes are usually put in the doll with plaster and they have a lead weight that can clack against the bisque and break the head. If possible, stuff the head with tissue paper to keep the eyes from moving.
  • Make sure no part can bang or rub against another part of your doll.
  • Don't use too much tape. Rubber bands or regular scotch tape is best as they can be easily removed upon unpacking. You don't want to mummify your doll. Just one or two pieces of tape to secure the end is sufficient.
  • Plenty of packing peanuts or bubble wrap. Sealed air bags are great.

The Box

The box needs to be sturdy enough to take the knocks and drops that happen in shipping. It should be large enough to allow 4" of packing peanuts between the wrapped doll, or any other items, and all sides of the box.  The body can be gently bent to sit, or bent face down in her lap (depending on the doll), but don't force it. Bodies are not usually as fragile as the bisque heads.

Put a layer of peanuts, then the wrapped doll, then complete filling with peanuts. Do not put any thing of value next to the taped flaps as it may get ripped when slicing the tape to open the box. Once the box is full and closed, you should not hear any movement from inside the box when you shake it gently. Do not put any thing of value near the taped flaps as it may get ripped when slicing the tape to open the box. Here is another site with similar packing recommendations: 

http://www.glassandpotterysellers.org/packaging_tips.html

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 BISQUE DOLL HEADS - Pack a Doll For Shipping

Bisque doll heads are made of porcelain, just like your fine china plates. Sleep eyes are made of glass and are held in the head with plaster. The eye mechanism uses wire and a lead weight to make the eyes sleep. In shipping the movement often loosens the pieces of plaster, causing thebisque doll eyes to fall loose and break. With this kind of doll, when you pack a doll for shipping:

  • Remove the wig and pate. - Most bisque doll heads have an open top with a pate covering the hole, then the wig glued on. If these have never been removed, the old glue is brittle and can easily be peeled off using your fingers or finger nails to pry with. You can also use a spoon. Just slide it under the edge of the wig and work it around the head until the wig falls off. If the wig is stubbornly glued down, you can wet a paper towel with some water and soak the area, then bit by bit the glue will give away and weaken. Stuff the head lightly, just enough to keep the eye mechanism from moving. Do not pack tightly.
    • OR - If it doesn't come away with prying, you can take the head off sitting on the carpet. SIT ON A CARPETED FLOOR FOR THIS. With a partner, one person holds the doll head to keep it from falling and the other pulls on a leg. Cut the elastic at the leg or knee joint, then the head and legs will fall away from the body. At the base of the neck is a button. Just turn the head so the button falls into the head. Stuff the head lightly through this hole.
    • OR - If the eyes are already broken and an eye hole is open, carefully put cotton balls through the eye opening to lightly fill the head so what is rattling around inside does not move in shipping.
    • OR -  If none of the above will work, pack the doll face down and label the box with an up arrow.
  • Wrap the head in bubble wrap or unused baby diapers.
  • Wrap the body, especially the hands, in a layer of white paper towels or tissue paper, then bubble wrap.

 

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CHINA DOLLS - Pack a Doll For Shipping

China Doll

Pack a Doll For Shipping - China doll heads, hands, and sometimes legs are made of porcelain, just like your fine china plates. To pack a China Doll for shipping, carefully wrap the head in bubble wrap or an unused baby diaper. Wrap anything breakable in white paper towels or tissue paper, then bubble wrap. Then wrap the entire body and doll in one layer of bubble wrap. Secure ends with one or two small pieces of scotch tape or rubber bands.

 

 

 

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BISQUE SHOULDER HEAD DOLL - Pack a Doll For Shipping

Shoulder Head DollBisque Doll w/Leather BodyPack a Doll For Shipping - Bisque doll heads are made of porcelain, just like your fine china plates. These dolls are usually on leather or cloth bodies with bisque lower arms and sometimes bisque lower legs. Wrap anything breakable in bubble wrap. Secure ends with scotch tape or rubber bands.

 

  • Remove the wig and pate. -  Most bisque doll heads have an open top with a pate covering the hole, then the wig glued on. If these have never been removed, the old glue is brittle and can easily be peeled off using your fingers or finger nails to pry with. Stuff the head lightly, just enough to keep the eye mechanism from moving.  Do not pack tightly.
  • Wrap the head in bubble wrap or an unused baby diaper.
  • Wrap the body, especially the hands, in a layer of bubble wrap.

 

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COMPOSITION OR PLASTIC DOLLS - Pack a Doll For Shipping

All of these dolls can be packaged simply by wrapping them in bubble wrap and boxing them as above. BUT, NEVER put plastic directly on your doll. Always wrap in tissue paper or cloth first.

  • COMPOSITION DOLLS
  • Composition DollComposition dolls are made of  a composite material composed of sawdust, glue, and other materials such as cornstarch, resin and wood flour. The paint on these is often cracked, fingers or toes missing, and eyes crackled, but it is all good, because these dolls can be totally restored to their original beauty. It is easy to pack a doll for shipping like these.

 

 

 

  • HARD PLASTIC DOLLS
  • Hard Plastic Doll

Hard plastic dolls were not used in doll making until after World War II, or 1945. Some popular examples are Gini, Toni, Miss Revlon, and Madame Alexander dolls. To pack a doll for shipping like this, wrap with white paper towels, or tissue paper, then bubble wrap and box as above.

 

 

 

  • VINYL DOLLS

Vinyl Dolls

 

 

Vinyl dolls began to be made around 1960 and can be hard or soft. Some popular dolls are Madam Alexander, Miss Revlon, Patti, and Crissy. To pack a doll for shipping like these, use white paper towels, or tissue paper, then bubble wrap and box as above. Read about vinyl dolls and see more examples here: http://www.collectorsweekly.com/dolls/vinyl.