Customized Ebonies, Unite!

When my Prima Dollies arrived (I got all three, very bad me), I was most excited for Saffy and Aubrey. They look fresh and sweet right out of the box. Upon opening their shippers, though, I was immediately fixated on Ebony – awkward makeup, badly cut hair, super-shiny skin… she needed a stylist and I wanted to answer that call.

gross! First thing to go was that hair! even after being pressed down under the plastic wrap, my Ebony’s hair had flyaways and cowlicks all over. combined with her asymmetrical factory cut, it was a mess and the first thing to go. I knew I wanted her bobbed even shorter, and curled under to control it and keep it out of her face. Since she is a center part, she’s a perfect candidate for bangs. I cut them shorter than I usually do – normally I cut to the center of the eye and curl them up, but I cut them to the top of the eyelid and curled them, so that her eyeshadow would show. long bangs also have a tendency of making them look more top-heavy, a look I like, but wasn’t right for this girl.

With the hair out of the way, it was even clearer that her makeup and eyechips were a poor mix with her skintone. Saturated purple eyeshadow fought with her strong pink lips and distracted from her pretty skintone. All that color and she had no blush! after carefully opening her head and setting her pretty new hair aside, I began sanding her eyeshadow off with a red Norton sponge, and sanded her all over. Following with a Yellow extra-fine Norton sponge, I decided that I wanted her semi-matte, and buffed her gently with a cotton T-shirt. Unfortunately, I discovered that Ebony’s darker skin shows sanding swirl marks more than her pale sisters, so I had to go over her again with the yellow sponge, and buff her again. If I were to do this again, I wouldn’t have used the red sponge as I believe it to be the one that left the marks. After another yellow round though, the swirl marks were gone and she had a lovely satin finish.

RBL lip The shape they use at the factory for the PD2’s lips is a hybrid of a kenner and SBL – it’s just about perfect on top, but way too rounded and “mushy” on the bottom. Most kenners have sharp, chiseled corners around the “bump” of the bottom lip. it’s part of what gives them their pout! I decided that I wanted to keep as much of her lipstick as I could for a guide, but shape the rounded corners into the kenner shape. I first sanded her bottom lip to make it less slick, and then took a dull (not brand new) X-acto blade and began lightly scuffing off the offending corners. if you scratch too deeply, you will mar the plastic, but of you just barely flick the paint, it will flake off. Now you have a cuter mouth template to trace. Knowing I wanted my Ebony done in all cool colors, I chose a pale pink and painted her lips.
Ebi AfterEbi AfterWith her sandmatted face, I was tempted to start from pastels, but i decided to airbrush my Ebony in light pinks and a frosty mint green. I chose cool tones after seeing that the warm makeup that she came with just did not work with her skintone. After a few failed experiments with metallics (I was trying to dust her with some sparkle and a clog caused a big splat of silver paint to land right on her freshly painted lips) and one re-do, my Ebi was beginning to take shape.

With her paint in place, I chose complimentary pastel eyechips by P-chips in purple, mint green, sky blue and stock pink.

I am so pleased with how my Ebi came out. I wouldn’t have had the courage to take her on if I hadn’t seen some other really successful ebony make-overs, so please – Show us yours! Show off what a little love (and more thoughtful color choices) can do for an awkward factory doll!

28 responses to “Customized Ebonies, Unite!”

  1. Poopychun

    Melissa, GREAT JOB O_O she looks so sweet and pretty! I also gently scrape off a bit of my star dancer’s bottom lip to give her the “kenner pout” XD

  2. linda

    She is the best customized Ebony I’ve seen so far – so sweet and sassy.
    This is what Ebony *should’ve* looked like! Nice work as always Melissa!

  3. la marquesa

    oh she is beatiful, amazing job… but there was my idea for my own ebony… turquoise pastel for eyes (the interior too), natural lips in rose or soft orange, sixties haircut…

    your ebony is my ebony… but you do it earlier…


    congratulations anyway! but today is a day a little sad for me …

    sorry for my bad english!

  4. linda

    La Marquesa – I agree with Melissa, even if two people have the same plans for a doll, they will still come out completely different because the artists have different styles! Her Ebony’s eyeshadow is more of a “mint green” than your turquoise – your “rose” or “peach” lips would still be different from hers.

    You should totally customize your Ebony and share pics!

  5. la marquesa

    i know i know!!!!! i agree with us!!!

    i will make my own ‘turquoise’ ebony and share my pics!!

    but when i open Flickr and i saw Ebb, my heart does ‘pumpumpumpum’ (my terrible english again…)

    is difficult to explain!!!!

    but i love your job anyway!!!!! i know that each artist is diferent, in fact, you are better (this will be my first personal custom…)!!!!

    ay… love the tutorials and all the help that you give to blythe fans…

    like me…

  6. Keren (Lil35)

    She is absolutely absolutely stunning and so so pretty. The colours are just gorgeous and remind me of the ocean. Thank you so much for sharing your brilliance with us and for inspiring us to ‘give it a go’


  7. Kelly (kittenfantastico76/Simple Curiosity)

    Melissa I’ve already drooled for 2 days over her… but I must say I really really REALLY love her look! You did an excellent job!!!

  8. Melisser

    I only have ONE step left on my Ebony. Someone get me off the internet & put that dolly head in my hand!

  9. Kutiebond

    Wow! Thanks Melissa… now I want an Ebony too 😛

  10. Helena

    What a great inspiration! She is very lovely! I am a little sad over Ebony, she’s got fun bold makeup for once – BUT it clashes to her skin… And the hair is the worst.
    I pondered over if I could paint the lips white on my ebony – but then it would be sad for my FaPa that haven’t even arrived to me…

  11. ghislaine

    OMG! she looks FANTASTIC! makes me want to run out and get an ebony afterall. i absolutely love everything that you’ve done with her. you are one amazing dolly makeover artist! 🙂 i wanna see more pics now.

  12. Marie Moon

    She looks amazing! I wish I had the skills to paint eyelids like that, the idea and execution is brilliant. I am inspired to do that to my StarDancer, as I think she would look better with dark hair. Thanks for the inspiration.

  13. Alice

    How to you get the hair to flip under like that?

  14. Inga

    Melissa, Ebi is such an inspiration! As soon as I saw her pictures I ran to pay for my Ebony pre-order that had been languishing away due to indecision. . . I’m so excited to try my hand at my first custom!

  15. Amanda

    She’s so lovely!!! You’ve turned her into such a lovely thing!

  16. Alice

    Thanks for much for all the great tips! Your Ebi is beautiful! and you gave me some courage to customize my Ebony!

  17. gyl

    She is lovely!! I have started to customize my Ebony, but am brand new so taking it slowly. 🙂

  18. darkmuffet

    She is beautiful! This is the first Ebony I have seen that made me want one of my own.

  19. GigiDeluxe
  20. BlurryDoll
  21. Leah

    I absolutely love Ebi’s new look (perfect name too!) . I think Melisser’s girl is super cute too and will be checking out everyone’s links 😀

    Will there ever be P-chips available to the masses again? Wishful thinking I guess considering how much goes into making them!

  22. Olga

    Hi Melissa,

    How do you think, can Copic Airbrush system be used on Blythes?

    There’s some info about it here:

    I was thinking about it, because it seems so compact and is widely used by teddy ebar makers.

    Thank you! Your opinion would be much appreciated!

  23. Olga

    Thank you very much Melissa!

    I haven’t tried them yet, though I have a couple markers in a few shades of pink and a special blender marker (for blending the colors). I don’t have the airbrush system.

    I bought them for bear making, but haven’t tried yet.

    Yes, they are sold in every bear making shop for painting on the special mohair bear fabric (it’s like fur). Bear makers use them to add stuff like blush, or to tint paw pads (made from ultra suede or felt), to add other tinting, but of course, not to dye all the fabric. In fact, they are sold as the primary tool for bear tinting! I don’t know about the quality and the chemicals or whether it stays for long, because mohair collectible bears are not intended for washing. I have to point out that mohair is a natural fibre fabric, but as far as I know people use Copic on synthetic furs and ultrasuede.

    I know that Copic are one of the most favorite tools of manga artists too.

    I haven’t opened any of my Blythes’ heads yet. I’m still afraid to do it! 🙂 I’m just planning to make a custom, but still can’t find the courage 😉

    Congratulations on River being released. Some sellers on Yahoo Japan have already started taking bids for preorders! I’m looking forward to buying my own copy.

  24. Sammy

    wow melissa you did such a good job *claps*
    lol i was gonna get an ebony at first but then i was like “naw shes too ugly” now you make me regret my decision xD

    well i can go “fix” my nasty feel the sky blythe and her nasty yellow hair 😛

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