Miss Ruthie's Doll Hospital

Does your doll bed need a blanket? Does your Teddy have a tear? Or perhaps you have a doll who has seen better days and could use a make over? I'm here to help!


I love to work with old dolls and stuffed toys (or, as I think of them, waifs and strays) to give them a new life and meaning. The purpose is not to restore them to their original condition - in many cases that is simply not possible, but rather to bring them to a state where they once again bring joy.


Through a creative use of mainly vintage materials I am excited to bring new life to old toys, as with the New Orleans Teddy Bear shown at left. He was, in fact, purchased at an antique store in New Orleans, his red striped body rotting out and missing both ears and eyes. Now he sports a jaunty vintage cloth body with patches of his old suit, and some snazzy new velvet ears. He's doing much better!

Miss Siouxie was found in an attic, with a body that reeked of moth balls. She was also stuffed with nasty sawdust and was missing a braid. 


Siouxie's new body is made of an Indian cotton with hand-embroidery and a raw silk heart. She now has many braids of woolly yarn, and is ready to be hugged with a fresh-smelling body!


Both the NOLA Teddy and Siouxie have bodies that were patterned off of their old ones, and stuffed with fresh polyester fiberfill.


One of my favorite things is refurbishing old Nancy Ann and Dress Me type dolls from the 1940's through 1960's. I find ones much like those at left in antique stores and on eBay. Missing limbs, with wild hair and ragged clothing (check out the plastic underwear!) they are a sad sight.


I give them a good wash and replace any missing limbs, often with old porcelain ones. Dirty and matted hair is replaced with "sheep curls" - wonderfully dyed locks of wool kindly provided by my friend Laurie and her sheep. With a new outfit made of silk ribbon, vintage fabric, hand-crocheted pieces and whatever parts of the old outfit I can salvage, these ladies are ready for the runway...or at least a happy new life! You can see the results in the photo at the top of this page.


So if you have a dolly or stuffed toy who needs a bit of TLC and a new look, please feel free to contact me. I would love to work with you!