Installing a sound unit in a doll is moderately easy. The hard part is choosing what kind to use. Here’s how to install a simple, laughing-baby unit in cloth and hard-bodied dolls.
- Take the sound unit and center it on the tummy of the hard body.
- Use a pencil with soft lead and trace a line around the unit onto the body.
- Stay on the inside of the pencil line that you made, and use a cutting wheel on a Dremel (or a similar tool) to cut the “plug” out.
- Smooth the edges around the opening with a polishing wheel.
- Make sure the box is activated and the batteries are fresh.
- With the activation button toward you, place the sound unit into the hole that you just made. It should be snug, but should not have to be forced.
- Make a rope out of two-part epoxy putty. Place the “rope” around the sides of the box, and gently press into the opening. The putty will ooze out.
- Use a damp popsicle stick to smooth the excess putty around the opening. Make it as smooth as possible.
- Allow to dry fully according to the manufacturer’s directions.
- Sand away excess putty and touch up the paint if desired.
When cutting on a hard body, dampen the area so the the chips won’t fly.
Dremel tools work best on a medium speed for dollmaking.
Two-part epoxy is better than glue as it is an area filler as well as a bonding agent.
Warnings:Make sure that you do not overcut the box hole. Cut slightly inside the traced area.
- Work from the back of the doll. Open the back seam and clear the stuffing from the body of the doll in the tummy area where you plan on putting the sound box.
- Stiffen this area with a starch or stiffener product.
- With a grommet tool, place two or four two-sided grommets in this tummy area. (Follow directions on the package for setting grommets.)
- Make sure the sound box is activated and the batteries are fresh.
- Using Beacon hard-hold glue, place glue all around the face of the sound box. Be careful not to get any glue on the activation button or the speaker.
- Insert the box, button side forward, and press in place.
- Place the doll face down on a flat surface and allow to dry completely.
- Place a little drizzle of glue (with a glue syringe) on the back of the box, and pack stuffing on and around it.
- Now pack the body with stuffing and make sure the body is firm, not floppy.
- Stitch the back opening closed and allow to dry overnight.
Grommets with two parts instead of single pieces keep the fabric from tearing while the doll is being played with. Grommets allow for a clear sound instead of a muffled sound.
Warnings:Sound units are not washable! Do not use one if you intend to wash the cloth doll.