How to Restore Vintage Strawberry Shortcake Dolls

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

How to Restore Vintage Strawberry Shortcake Dolls

Last month I wrote about how I planned to restore some of my vintage strawberry shortcake dolls and give them to Talia for her birthday. I promised I'd post about the process, so here I am, back with photos.

Don't these dolls look great? They didn't start out that way!
How to Restore Vintage Strawberry Shortcake Dolls

I started with some rough looking old dolls that had been in a box in my mom's basement for probably close to 2 decades! (That makes me sound so old... I'm still in my 20s though.. for one more year! ;)

How to Restore Vintage Strawberry Shortcake Dolls:

1. Katrina & I filled a bowl with water and washed the dolls and accessories (be careful not to immerse the dolls in water- I suspect that it wouldn't be good news if water got inside of their heads).
I didn't use soap because I didn't want to mess with the berry smells that these dolls still had.

Make Vintage Dolls Look New

2. I used a Mr. Clean magic eraser on their bodies & faces & it worked wonders!!

Clean and Restore Old Vintage Strawberry Shortcake Dolls Face and Hair

3. For their hair, all I used was water and a comb! I found that for straight bangs, I just needed to wet them and plaster them against the doll's head and let them dry. For curly hair, I just got it wet, combed it, shaped it with my fingers a bit, and let it dry. If they didn't dry well, I just re-wet the hair and fixed the part I didn't like & let it dry again.

How to Clean Old Toys so they Look New

4. Next I washed all of their clothes. Here's a tip: DO NOT wash Strawberry Shortcake sleeping bags in the washing machine! (All the fuzzy stuff comes off & gets EVERYWHERE).
I ended up not having enough outfits for all of the dolls, so my mom came up with a little dress for one of them (shown below).

Restoring Vintage Strawberry Shortcake Toys

5. I set up all of the dolls with all of their freshly washed accessories and covered them in tissue paper for Talia to uncover (rather than wrap them up). She loved them! And it cost nothing except time and a little TLC :)

If you want more information about cleaning your vintage strawberry shortcake dolls, you can visit this link that I found after I had already finished working with mine.


  1. This is so great to know. I have a stash of strawberry shortcake dolls similar to this one and have been wondering how to get the grimy faces clean and what not. Thank you so much!

  2. LOL We think too much a like...

    I just am finishing up cleaning my old cabbage patch kid. I used the Mr. Clean eraser too! That works wonders. Now Im just making new clothes to make the doll a boy instead of a girl for Kiefer.

  3. Soooo cute!! You did a great job with those dolls!! I'm always amazed at how much you do!!

  4. Awww, I love it! I wish my mom had kept my dolls! Can I come over and play?

  5. Tami, you are welcome to come over & play ANY TIME! :)

  6. Very Cute! I wish I still had my strawberry shortcakes in a box somewhere.

  7. Very Cute! I wish I still had my strawberry shortcakes in box somewhere.:)

  8. Wow.. that made me wish I had held on to my old Strawberry Shortcake dolls. I do believe I have some old grungy smurfs somewhere though... maybe I should dig them out and take a Magic Eraser to them.

  9. now i want my old ones! lol did you come across any?

  10. Hilary, yes I think there were one or two others that I didn't think were mine that are still there.

  11. Love it! Did your mom find a pattern for the dress she made? My daughters' SSC dolls could really really use some new clothes LOL

  12. Am definitely going to try these cleaning tips! I am surprised to hear that your dolls still have the scent to them after all of these years..I was looking around on-line to see if there are any clever hacks to bring back these scents to new life...or just how the toy companies manage to get the scent in the first I the only one who wonders this?.....hmmm...inquiring minds want to know! :)

  13. Thank you so much for these cleaning tips! I was able to clean up my own childhood Strawberry Shortcake dolls. And an unexpected benefit was the Magic Erasers also cleaned off the sticky residue that was on some of them. I had given up as all I had read was this was the plastic deteriorating. But the Erasers took care of it!!


Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment- I love reading them! :)
~Heather Lynne

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