My Little Pony cleanup tutorial

I love finding cool vintage items, and one of my favorite finds are old toys. Most toys get broken and destroyed by their owners, but a few types show up fairly often in decent shape. One toy I always grab when I see it are My Little Ponies! MLP began in the early 1980s, and was huge throughout that decade. These old pony toys are very collectible, and have a big fanbase of aficionados and collectors.

These ponies are usually intact, but are often dirty, marked with pens or crayons, and have terribly tangly hair. Fortunately, they are fairly easy to clean up and get them looking presentable again. ๐Ÿ™‚

I found these two ponies at Goodwill last week. The first one is a So Soft pony named Paradise. She’s a white flocked pegasus, with soft, fuzzy fibers covering her entire body. The mane was tangled, and the tail had been double braided (three regular braids that are then braided together into one). The “fur” was dingy, with some yellow discoloration around one of the wings.

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The second one is an Earth Pony named Sundance, who is white with pink hair. She was dirty and had red crayon on her neck, and two pen marks near her cutie mark. Her mane and tail were also tangled.

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The first step was to unbraid Paradise’s tail. Who knows how long the tail has been this way…possibly years! Don’t try to do any brushing at this point; it’s hopeless and will only cause damage.

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Let the cleanup begin!

The next step is a nice bubble bath. I use warm water and a small amount of dish detergent, and submerge the ponies completely. An old toothbrush is used to gently scrub the bodies to clean off the general dirt. The flocked pony can also be cleaned with the toothbrush…VERY VERY GENTLY! I scrub very lightly in circles until the whole pony is sudsy and clean.

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After a good rinse, the next step is de-marking. Spots like pen marks, crayon, sticker residue, etc can often be cleaned off with rubbing alcohol. I like to take a Q-tip and gently rub the spot until it comes clean, being extra careful around paint applications like the eyes and cutie mark. Unfortunately not all spots will come off, but a good percentage will.

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The red crayon mark on Sundance’s neck did come off with the alcohol, but the blue pen marks on her rump didn’t.

After as much cleanup as possible has been done, it’s time for the most fun part: detangling! (Yes, it’s fun!) Take a small amount of liquid fabric softener (hair conditioner will also work) and saturate the mane and tail with it. I like to put the toys on a large dinner plate as a work surface.

Once all of the fibers are wet and slick with softener, I take a fine toothed comb, which in this case is my cat’s metal flea comb, and gently brush out the hair. I find it easiest to lay the toy down, stretch out the hair, and brush against the surface of the plate. Start at the ends and untangle a centimeter or so at a time, slowly working up the length of the hair to the body. For super tangly knotty hair, you may have to do this strand by strand.

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After some patient and gentle brushing, the hair is untangled! As you can see, Paradise’s hair still has some waves in it from the braid. These will straighten out over time.

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After a light rinse to remove the excess softener, the ponies are set up on a shelf to air dry. After they are completely dry, the hair is smooth and untangled, and can be easily brushed!

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And here are the final results:

Sundance:

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And Paradise:

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Here are some before/after comparison shots:

sundance_beforeafter

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Pretty cool, huh? ๐Ÿ™‚

These two were actually in fairly good shape for their age. I’ve seen some toys with hair so tangled it’s literally just a ball of knots! But this method has worked every time.

I’ll be ready the next time a pony or two shows up!

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My shops; Handmade: PeachPod | Vintage: PeachNifty

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Thrifting finds 10-3-15

I found a few cool things while thrifting today!

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The best find was a set of 2 original 1980s My Little Ponies. One of them is a white Earth pony with pink hair and a circular heart cutie mark, and the other is a white flocked pegasus with bright red hair and palm trees on her butt. I’ll have to hit up the collector sites to figure out their names and dates.

I love the finished cross stitch of the name KELLY, accented with cute Precious Moments style characters. I’ll get it cleaned up and nicely framed, and maybe it will make a cute Christmas gift for some little Kelly out there. ๐Ÿ™‚

The purse is a cute beaded clutch from the 60s-70s. It has a small stain on the back, but I’m pretty sure it will clean up just fine. The three hearts are 80s Syroco style plastic wall hangings. I haven’t decided yet if I’ll sell them vintage as-is, or repaint them in prettier colors (perhaps pink and white, or two shades of pink?).

I also found a little pack of glue sticks for 10 cents. I love finding crafting supplies for next to nothing!

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My shops; Handmade: PeachPod | Vintage: PeachNifty

Flock of Butterflies

What’s better than one pretty butterfly? A whole flock of them!

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I always grab vintage butterfly wall hangings when I see them at thrift stores or yard sales. Usually it’s just one or maybe two, so I save them up until I have a nice set of matching pieces. Today I decided to organize my collection and see if I have any matches to put up for sale. And in fact, I do!

I love these three gold ones. They’re from Syroco, and have great wing patterns and lots of golden shine!

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A set of brown wicker bugs. These are plastic, but are molded to look like wood and wicker. Lots of great swirls and curls in the design.

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And then there are these cool green ones from Homco. There were only two of these, and I doubt I’ll find a third, so I went ahead and listed them as a pair. The design is the same as the wicker ones above, but these have a nice deep emerald green color.

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I still have a few designs that are waiting for a match, so I’ll hang on to them and keep looking!

Oh yeah, here’s Ripley napping on the bed while I list the completed sets:

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My shops; Handmade: PeachPod | Vintage: PeachNifty

Keychain spinner rack

Remember the old spice spinner rack I found at Goodwill last week? It’s now all fixed up!

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First Iย sanded and restained the top, which had lost a huge patch of its original finish. Then I covered the sides with some thin plywood, nailing it over the bars that had holes intended for spice bottles. Some screw-in hooks on all four sides, andย  this is an all new and refreshed display rack for my keychains!

I’ll be using it at the craft show this Saturday. I’ve been looking for some nice eye-catching vertical displays, instead of just having everything laid out flat on the table like I have been doing. Hopefully this will inspire shoppers to give it a spin!

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My shops; Handmade: PeachPod | Vintage: PeachNifty

Curb Shopping: building supplies

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I did a spin around the neighborhood yesterday, and found these nice wood planks! Someone had dismantled a jungle gym that was in their backyard. About half of it was rotted or broken, but the other half was in good shape. A quick hose-down to rinse off the mud and pollen, and it’s up on the fence to dry in the sun.

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I also got these two heavy plywood boards at a different house. Judging by the shape and the holes, I’m guessing they were part of a cornhole board?

I’m thinking about trying to build a chicken coop from reclaimed wood, and this batch of planks is a good start. Stay tuned; more on that later! ๐Ÿ™‚

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My shops; Handmade: PeachPod | Vintage: PeachNifty

Thrifting Haul 6/6/2015

Another morning of yard sales has come and gone! Today I found some cool stuff, including a couple of things for my upcoming craft show.

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The biggest item is the spice rack. It has a round base that lets it spin, with four columns of holes for spice bottles to go in. I’m going to clean it up and convert it into a rack for my handmade brooches and keychains. ๐Ÿ™‚

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I love these vintage yellow smiley cups. They are made of that sturdy, heavy duty kind of plastic that you don’t find any more. These would be great for drinking your morning juice, since they give an uplifting pep talk to start the day!

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A cool silver plated cup. It’s in bad need of polishing, but it should look great once it’s cleaned up. It has an awesome medieval look; I can just imagine a grizzled dwarven warrior guzzling mead from it at The Prancing Pony! ๐Ÿ˜€

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A new wallet for me. I love this bright red leather heart wallet, and they only wanted a quarter for it. Win!

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A set of transportation themed vintage peg puzzle pieces. I love making magnets out of these cool old pieces (like these animal ones). It’s fun to upcycle and give orphaned puzzles new life, and the vintage artwork makes them stand out from modern mass produced magnets.

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A pair of unusual abstract vintage salt and pepper shakers. They’re black and square-ish and kind of odd, but for the right person they’ll be a great addition to the table (or maybe a salt and pepper set collection).

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And another find for my craft show! This cute little fence tray obviously came from some sort of toy set, but I’m going to use it as a business card holder. I think it’ll be the cutest!

-Previous Thrifting Haul: 5/23/15

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My shops; Handmade: PeachPod | Vintage: PeachNifty

Thrifting Haul 5/23/15

What a great morning for thrifting! The weather was warm, skies were sunny, and yard sales were plentiful. ๐Ÿ™‚ We (my mother and I) hit about 10 yard sales, then swung by Goodwill as a chaser.

Here are the highlights of my haul:

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I love vintage needlework, and today I found a bunch of them!

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These are my faves; two yellow and orange flowers in deep round frames.

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This soft blue yarn was a steal at 25 cents a skein! My mother plans to use this to crochet a baby blanket.

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This vintage clown toy was at Goodwill. He is dated 1972. Needs some cleanup, but he has a great old timey look.

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I got a whole bag of these, though I’m not sure what they are. Pill boxes, maybe? I love the 1970s colors.

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I had to grab this cute old turtle. I think it’s a pincushion, though it feels odd…the puffy part feels like it’s filled with sand instead of stuffing. Google tells me that this is emery sand, which helps to sharpen the pins. Learn something new every day!

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And last but not least, here’s Mr Crab. He’s made of metal, painted bright red, and has hinged arms. I don’t know what exactly this thing is supposed to do, but it’s cool! I’m keeping him. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Overall this was a good morning! Most of these will be cleaned up, photographed, and put up in my vintage shop.

Anybody else love thrifting as much as I do? What have you found recently?

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My shops;ย  Handmade: PeachPodย  |ย  Vintage: PeachNifty