You may love each individual doll in your collection, and you usually spend time and effort making each individual doll perfect. That is all well and good, but once that doll joins your doll display, it is possible that all your hard work will go to waste if your doll display doesn't pop. Alternatively, sometimes your initial doll display works quite well, but over time it gets tired, or you get bored with it, or it ends in disarray. That is where this article comes in. Learn my quick cures for dull doll displays below--nearly all of which are free, or have negligible cost involved.
1. Clean Your Display
If you have your dolls in a wonderful, secure display case that keeps out all dust, dirt and bugs, then congratulations! This quick cure is not for you. Or...maybe it still is. Even if your dolls are well protected, sometimes the actual display itself needs a pick-me-up! If the outside of the display is wood, it may need polish. If there are glass doors involved, they nearly always can use cleaning. You can also clean the area around the display, of both dirt and clutter (clutter so the display itself is what pops in the room). If your dolls are not protected by a good display case, then cleaning the display is an even more necessary quick fix for your doll display. Be sure to clean as much dust and dirt
from the shelves/area of the display as well as from the dolls and their costumes, wigs and stands.
2. Remove All The Dolls...Then Put Them BackIt may sound silly--and futile--to remove all the dolls and then put them back exactly where they were. However, individually handling all of your dolls every once and awhile can do wonders for your doll display. First of all, when you individually pick up each doll and move it, you will notice small details that you may overlook when the dolls are in their cases or on their shelves--things like shattering silk on the back of a dress, or a doll that isn't standing correctly in her stand anymore. Also, the act of placing the dolls back on the shelves will subtly spruce up your displays--your dolls can be grouped slightly differently, set more securely in their stands, and you can arrange the dresses, hats and other accessories on each doll just so. Try it--you'll be surprised what an overall difference this will make in the quality of your display!
3. Change The Dolls You Have On Display
If you are lucky (or unlucky..depends on your personal viewpoint!) to have more dolls than you have display space
for, it will bring new life to your doll display to rotate the dolls that are there. If you are like me your favorite dolls are usually on display, but you like the rest of the dolls in your collection as well. Or, you have some especially fragile or expensive dolls that you don't like having out all the time. Or, you just don't like to crowd your dolls in the cabinets! Whatever the reason for the dolls not normally on display, rotate them to be on display occassionally, Friends and family will (usually) notice, and you will see your doll display with fresh eyes when you have some fresh dolls on display.
4. Change Your Display Organizational Theme
If you generally display your dolls in a particular way, change the way you organize your doll display and the display will seem like new! If your dolls are usually displayed by time period, then display them by manufacturer! If you usually display dolls by country of manufacture, then display them by tupe of doll (china, porcelain, vinyl). If you usually display them by size order, then display them by dress color! If you usually display them by eye color, display them by hair color (OK, I made that one up)! You get the idea--its fun to come up with display ideas and it can radically change the look and feel of your doll display. For instance, at one point this year I realized I owned Alice in Wonderland
dolls in various categories of my collection, and I made a wonderful display with them.
5. Move The DisplayWe've already talked about moving the dolls...but have you ever thought of moving the display? Whether you are moving a doll vignette to another part of the room, or moving the entire display cabinet, putting the display in a different part of your home will make you and your guests see it with new eyes. In the new location, the backdrop for the display will change, as will the lighting and the surrounding objects. All of that makes a difference for your display.
6. Add To The Display
If you are a true doll minimalist, then your display might be improved by adding to it. For instance, if you have a doll in a rocking chair, perhaps add a small doll for that doll in her arms, or a small book in her lap, or a toy dog at her feet. If you show a single doll in a spotlight, group three dolls of one type with complimentary costuming together. Add a bit more visual interest, or a few accessories
, and you'll cure doll doldrums fast.
7. Subtract From The Display
On the other hand, perhaps you are a collector who thinks more is never enough. Perhaps you can barely stuff another doll on each of your doll shelves (you don't want to look like a doll hoarder
, after all), or when you open a sliding glass cabinet door, dolls tumble out. If so, you are definitely a collector who has a display that would benefit from subtracting a few dolls and perhaps also a few doll accessories from your display. Less is more, and ten artfully displayed dolls can say more than twenty crammed-in ones.
8. Change The Display LightingFinally, although you don't want your dolls in bright continual light for conservation reasons, if you do have lighting set up for when you are enjoying your dolls or showing your dolls off to others, then you can change your lighting set-up to change the look of your display. You can put spotlights on different dolls; you can also change the mood of the display with the type of lighting you use (full-spectrum or soft yellow light?). You don't need to purchase new lighting--just change the lighting set-up, or use your lights to showcase different dolls.