Sunday, 24 August 2014

Mood for Mods: A firm stand

Mood for Mods (as in "modifications") deals with ways of fixing or restyling factory doll outfits. Skirt too short or too tight? Shoes with floppy heels? No problem! Are you in the mood for mods? Let's see what can be done!

You have my husband to thank for today's Mood for Mods installment. Not only did he provide the dolls that participated in the experiment, he also insisted I deliver another post although I filled my self-imposed two-posts-per-month quota. I had this planned for some time and just needed some more pictures. Hubby walked in on me taking the above photo and exclaimed in surprise: "They stand by themselves!" Yes, yes they do, that's why we love Monster High dolls! These two, however, came with very unsupportive shoes out of the box. Today we'll learn how to fix gummy heels - it takes a minute of your time and makes a huge difference.

I had the solution to soft heels since Scaris Frankie, but I was done before I thought of taking pictures. My opportunity to demonstrate this short tutorial came with Twyla. Remember her shoes?

Rubber is great for getting the shoe on and off easily. Support? Not so much.
Luckily, we have the tools to fix it!

- the rubbery shoes, obviously
- safety pins, preferably rustproof
- wire cutters (I ended up using a stronger one)
- pliers

1. Hold the heel firmly so it doesn't bend or move. Push a pin straight through the bottom of the heel. Watch your fingers!

Sometimes the pin goes in at a wrong angle and pierces the surface, like so:

In this case, pull with the pliers and try again.
You can use a second pin to check how far you are:

You may not need to push the pin all the way through. With Frankie's boots, I inserted it about 2/3 of the way. The base of the heel holds it shape well due to its thickness.

2. When everything looks good, you can cut the pin where it meets the heel. The metal is very hard to cut, hold the pin so it doesn't fly in your eye! Try to cut it flush with the bottom of the heel. I ended up with tiny stubs. I could file them down, but they don't bother me too much.

Waiting for step 3? That's it, actually! You can now put them on (the doll) and try to stand her up.

No tricks there, Twyla can really keep her balance even on those tiny feet.

Both modified pairs of shoes closer:

Frankie's thin heels were more challenging and the pins don't go vertically, but they do their job. I guess this could work for smaller Barbie-sized shoes too, although I wouldn't bother - no matter what you do, they won't be able to stand up.

So... I know this isn't groundbreaking technology and many of you have probably thought of something similar, but I hope you find it useful. Let me know if you manage to fix some shoes with it. Do you have other methods of dealing with this problem? I'd love to hear from you in the comments!

The Black Kitty


  1. I've thought of trying something like that on the CAM Skeleton girl's shoes, but the heels are really thin and also curved so I'm not sure it's possible to get a pin straight through them. :( Good to know it works with other pairs, though.

    1. Are these the skeleton shoes?
      If so, they don't look thinner than my Frankie's boots. You'd only need to stabilize the tip for the shoes to support the doll and the pin doesn't have to be strictly vertical. You can give it a shot - after all, you can always pull the pin (before cutting it) if you don't like the result and no holes will be visible. Try a silk pin or even a thin sewing needle if a regular pin is too stubborn (watch your fingers though). I'd be very happy if my little tutorial helped you redeem some beloved pairs of shoes :)

  2. What a simple but very neat idea! Thanks for sharing it.

    1. Thanks, Muff! I was going for simple and neat :)

  3. Indeed smart and quick solution!
    Have you ever tried to improve the existing shoes by changing the color? I am asking because usually it's a real problem for those who wants to combine the custom clothes with factory shoes.

    1. Thank you!
      I haven't tried repainting shoes yet, but I've seen people use acrylic paint (with or without gesso underneath and sealer on top) or nail polish and even fabric dye. The surface can be sanded beforehand for better adherence.
      I intend to do some tests myself with different kinds of paints and shoe materials. I will share the results, but I have no idea when it's going to happen.


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