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. 🙂

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:

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Pretty cool, huh? 🙂

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

Vintage Before and After: Beaded Fruit

I found some cool vintage fruit at the thrift store this morning! A banana, peach, orange, and lemon, made from a styrofoam form decorated with hundreds of faceted beads. The only problem was that they were filthy…they were covered in what I call “kitchen grunge”; a thin coat of yellowish grease covered in a layer of dust. I knew the beads were supposed to sparkle, but they were completely dull.

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So off to the bathroom sink they went! I grabbed some detergent and my trusty toothbrush and started gently scrubbing.

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Here is the water after cleaning all four fruits… Ew.

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And here’s the fruit all cleaned up and sparking again!

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My shops; Handmade: PeachPod | Vintage: PeachNifty

Craft Show – Vinton Farmers Market 6/13/15

I had a table at the spring craft show at the farmers market in Vinton Va this past Saturday. Here are some pics. Keep in mind that I’m still perfecting my displays and table setup. 🙂

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This was the handmade half of the table. The keychain spinner rack is just off to the left…somehow I missed getting it into the pic!

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A closeup on some of the handmade items. The blankets and dishcloths were made by my mother. I had a clearance basket filled with items that I’ve discontinued or have changed the design of. Ignore the tape gun; it wasn’t there after setup!

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My barrette and hair clip display. It was breezy that day, so some of them were twisting side to side on the ribbons! :O

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This is the vintage half of the table. I love finding old needlepoint and cross stitch pictures at estate and yard sales, then cleaning them up and framing them nicely. The bigger ones were on top of the table, while the smaller ones were displayed on a metal rack in front of the table.

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I had my Square reader ready to go! 🙂

Now here’s the plot twist…after all that work, I did terribly. I sold literally nothing. NOTHING! My mother made $3 on some dish cloths, but I made $0. *sad trombone noise* It wasn’t just me, though…traffic was super slow, and some of the crafters packed up and left way early.

Oh well. This was a tiny show at a small farmers market so I’m trying not to get discouraged. I’ll keep an eye out for bigger, better shows were I might have more success!

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My shops; Handmade: PeachPod | Vintage: PeachNifty

Bonanza of Belts!

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I love finding forgotten vintage treasures and sending them off to their new homes! One of my favorite things are vintage belts, especially the 80s era stretch belts. The buckles are big and fancy, with an almost infinite variety of shapes and styles, and they’re always vibrantly colorful! And the elastic makes them able to fit a wide variety of sizes, so they have a lot of versatility too.

Here are a few of my favorites:

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I can’t wait to see what cool belts I’ll find next! 🙂

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My shops; Handmade: PeachPod | Vintage: PeachNifty

Fairy Tails

Here are a pair of fun new additions to my vintage shop. I found these two cute birds in a toybox at a yard sale last week, and I snatched them up. Both were in good condition, except for the hair, which was a tangled mess (I wish I had taken a before picture!). But I gently untangled them and returned the locks to their original silky beauty. 🙂 The pink one is named “True Love Tails” and the blue one is “Tippy Tails”.

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They are called “Fairy Tails”, and were part of Hasbro’s My Little Pony toyline in the 1980s. They have the same soft plastic bodies and long, brushable hair. In this case, REALLY long! Those are some impressive tail feathers there, girls! They also have spring-loaded feet that can grasp an object and let them perch.

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Want more info? My Little Wiki has a page of information about this little toyline, and FairyTailsCollector is a whole site dedicated to them. And check out this 80s TV commercial.

I love finding 1980s toys! 🙂

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My shops; Handmade: PeachPod | Vintage: PeachNifty

Handmade Roundup #11

It’s been a while, but here’s another edition of Handmade Roundup! 🙂

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I love this cool forest dragon from MiraCrafts! This unique pendant is made out of polymer clay, and sculpted to look like a dragon made of wood and moss. The textures on the wood and plants are amazing! Very cool.

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Awww, piggies! These cute clay canes from MiniatureSweet look like a litter of cute little piglets. Aren’t they adorable? These pigs would look cute on jewelry, nails, phone cases, or anything! The shop even gives the choice of a full cane, or pre-cut slices.

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This vintage bento box from ggsdolls has such a great retro look! The girl illustration was drawn by Masako Wantanabe, who is known for his work in mid-century shoujo manga. This would be perfect for a little girl or a great addition to an anime memorabilia collection.

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Say “thank you” with a rainbow! Apaperaffaire offers these colorful cards in a set of 5, in red, orange, yellow, green, and aqua, with a coordinating flower design. I love the simple beauty of these lovely cards.

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My shops: Handmade: PeachPod  |  Vintage: PeachNifty

Handmade Roundup; Aug 11 – Aug 24 2014

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I love this cute wall hanging basket from GobiFelt. It’s made of felted wool and wool yarn in bright beautiful reds, yellows, and blues. It could be used to hold a houseplant, or to store knick knacks. I love all the incredible handmade detail in this beautiful piece!

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I don’t think you could ever get cold in this sheepskin vest from BoxofHollyHocks! This is a lovely vintage piece, made of patchwork fleece. The back has a fun “crazy quilt” look, and its even reversible. I love the old, arctic look of this cool vest!

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LittleThingsInterest makes me wish I had a dollhouse to decorate! The shop is filled to bursting with tiny miniature books, perfect for dollhouses or other tiny scale dioramas. There are books for every taste, including children’s books, classic novels, cookbooks, and even modern titles like Game of Thrones. There are also some other miniature items, like tiny figures and scaled down wallpaper. What a cute shop!

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SculptureGeek has lots of cool 3D sculptures, but my favorite is this praying mantis. This cool insect art would look great in a room with lots of tall housplants, or on a screened in porch. And it’s available in green, red, or brown, to fit any decor. I love it!

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Last week’s Roundup: July 20 – Aug 10 2014

My shop: PeachPod

Thrift shop find: blocks and bacon

I made a cool find at the thrift shop today: a bucket of old wooden toy blocks! There are several different types, including ones with old-timey Disney characters on them. I’ll have to do a little research, but judging by the graphics, I believe most of these blocks to be 1950s-60s era. Aren’t they neat?

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I also found these, though I didn’t buy them…they’re bacon flavored envelopes. Glue + artificial meat flavor = yum! The label says they’re from the makers of Bacon Salt, Baconnaise, and BaconPOP. These are some (gross artificial) bacon-loving people!

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You never know just what you’ll find in a thrift shop!

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My shop: PeachPod

More 1980s kitsch!

You know the 80s bell charm necklace I posted about the other day? Look what I found on ebay: a plastic storage case for a charm collection! I didn’t even know these existed. It holds 96 charms (which is waaaaay more than I ever owned, lol). Very neat!

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My shop: PeachPod