Doll Repair Class Comments

Doll repair class comments are wonderful to let you know how previous students felt about their experience. Student doll repair class comments unedited.
Composition Seminar 5-17 Shyla Smith (Idaho)

Comments pending.

composition seminar Composition Seminar 10-16 Margaret Gustafson (Michigan) 

I just wanted to write this note and tell you what a super experience your doll seminar was. You so very much exceeded my expectations! Not only did I benefit from your organized teaching and notes, you gave me tools to take home, not to mention books! I don’t think any other doll repair seminar would do that. I highly recommend your course to anyone thinking of doll repair. I learned SO much! And then there were Kirk’s absolutely magnificent meals–I’m still dreaming of that demi glaze sauce!!

learn doll repair on china dolls img_7037
China Doll Seminar 10-16 Melissa Crocetti (New Jersey)
 I am new to antique doll collecting and am most passionate about the German China Head dolls. I am fascinated with their history and had the opportunity to see a lot of them in Janie’s own collection which was just awesome and helped the learning process. My greatest desire was to learn about this particular type of doll and be able to create a doll body from scratch and do china repair. I was also interested in creating doll dresses that pertained to that time period and she offered to teach me that as well. It was a great opportunity to learn just what I wanted to and I was lucky enough to have one-on-one lessons. I was fortunate to have found her being that I could not find anyone in the Philadelphia area that provided the training that I wanted. Her studio was so impressive and a great example of a well-organized and well run business.
For now I am going to repair some of my collection and also make some new dresses for some of my dolls being that their clothing has been destroyed by staining and moths. I feel that Janie’s knowledge has given me the most up-to-date skills to repair these dolls in the correct way. I also loved learning about the different fabrics, lace and ribbons and brushing up on my sewing skills (it had been awhile since I sat at a sewing machine). I am really excited to create Civil War era dresses and hats! I believe Janie said she will be adding a sewing seminar which would be a great addition. I find doll clothing & fashions fascinating and other people might as well. 
Janie’s book recommendations from her library were great and went from China Head history to dress patterns and everything in between. As soon as I got home I ordered 3 of the books she suggested and also spent an afternoon in the fabric store picking out lace and fabric for my next couple of projects. 
It was a unique experience because I was totally engrossed in 5 days of doll repair and doll history. It was overwhelming at times but all worth it. I not only learned about the dolls but an added extra was that I learned a great deal about the western part of our great country and what a beautiful part of the country it is. Many thanks to Janie and Kirk for providing lodging & meals (the meals were wonderful-Thank You Kirk) so that you are totally embedded in the “Idaho” way of life which is different from life in the Northeast! The landscape is beautiful as were the sheep and her beautiful border collies. There is no question that if you think you may want to do this adventure you should!
All in all it was a wonderful, well-rounded experience and I feel I can continue to be in contact with Janie with questions and advice about the dolls that I fell in love with. All the best to Janie and Kirk and continued success with Antique Child Doll Restoration!
 Learn Doll Repair Pam Carter Seminar July 2016 – Pam Carter (Idaho)**

     I have completed Antique Child’s Five Day Composition and Hard Plastic Restoration Class and I feel empowered!  I have that post-conference “high” of “Nothing can stop me now”!  I have the confidence and ability to restore all of my own dolls, and with some more practice, other people’s dolls as well.
     During my five days at Antique Child, I felt like a sponge.  It was like a childhood dream for me.  I was living in a doll repair factory, being mentored by a doll repair expert.  I was able to explore a doll parts room, watch a doll restoration photo shoot, view Janie’s beautiful collection of antique bisque and china head dolls, feel her vintage fabric and antique laces, and the list goes on.  I was able to really get the feel for the organization it takes to run a business.
     Janie’s is an excellent teacher.  She lead me and then she let go.  She pushed me to make decisions and work on skills independently enough that I would be able to “fly” on my own when I returned home.
     Besides the countless number of experiences I was able to gain about dolls, I had the privilege to watch Janie herd sheep with her adorable border collies.  I can’t forget to mention the wonderful food made by “chef” Kirk.  It was like being served lunch and dinner in a Five Star restaurant!
     The dolls I restored during my class are beautiful and I feel so proud of my accomplishments.  Thank you Janie for helping me fulfill my goals and dreams of learning how to restore my dolls.

** Pam’s comments were especially rewarding because she is also a teacher so she knows the rigors of curriculum and information transfer.

 Learn doll repair Karen Parker Seminar September 2015 – Karen Parker (Montana)

I took the 5 day course  on Composition and Plastic. What a great experience! I learned so much my head was spinning, and came away from the course with so much more confidence to proceed on with projects that before the course I was afraid to tackle. Janie’s shop is so well equipped with anything that one might need. Her motto was “If I don’t have it, you don’t need it!” Very true! Janie was also so open with all of her knowledge and expertise. She is really a magician with paints, and what I learned in 5 short days would have taken me years to learn on my own with trial and error results. Janie and Kirk make you feel right at home in their house, and Kirk went WAY the extra mile to cook great food while I was there to accommodate my food allergies. So very appreciated! My sincere thanks and best wishes to Janie and Kirk for their continued success with their so needed training seminars in doll repair.

Seminar Sep 2015 to learn doll repair Stella Brown ( Australia)    See her full comments CLICK HERE on the seminar she took in September 2015.  Stella found her experience exciting, interesting and a doorway to the next step in opening her own doll repair, restoration and conservation business in Australia.
IMG_5313 Seminar 2-15 learn doll repair

Frances May learn doll repair

Frances May

 Seminar February 2015 –  Maritta Neumann (Arizona)  Gabriella Crenshaw (Missouri),  Frances May (England)

What did Frances say?  Coming from the England I found that the only course offering the time and depth of knowledge in doll restoration that I needed was with Antique Child. The investment in dolls to work on, the course and travel outlay with all my flights was considerable but worth every penny (or cent as you say in America)

Welcomed by Janie at the airport, I was made to feel part of the family for nearly 3 weeks. Kirk cooked fantastic food for our breaks from the workshop for lunch and supper, while we 3 students worked away from 8.00am – 9.00pm on many nights. I was given a comfortable room of my own. The workshop is set in an outstandingly beautiful environmental, with views from the every window. But we were so absorbed with our dolls that I think we got out for about 12 hours total in 3 weeks!

We spent the first week on composition dolls. The US composition dolls were new to me from the UK and opened a whole new area of knowledge. Janie’s library helped here as well. Expect lots of sanding, as prep is foundation of any repair. Everyday involved learning and using our airbrush. Then onto china, bisque, setting eyes, papier mache, wig restoration.etc. In 16 days i had 3 composition, a Shirley Temple, German china head, 2 bisque heads, and kid bodied doll, fully restored. I still look at them and say “‘I did that!”

Your course with Antiquechild will give you a foundation and confidence to take your restoration further. It will give you an unforgettable experience. But at the end of the day it is up to you to develop and build on what you’ve learned if you want to take it further.

IMG_5520 Seminar July 2015  Dawn Lynch, Barb Kull & Carissa.Fowler From Barb:  My best description of my experience at Antique Child, would be to say that I was on a two week land locked cruise, that offered the highest levels of doll restoration instruction, with accommodations that included wonderful rooms, and 5 star meals prepared by Janie’s husband Kirk. It was an amazing experience. I am now thrilled that my doll from France arrived damaged! Because of those damaged eyes, I had the good fortune to find Janie, which has led to a life changing experience in my passion for dolls, and their care! I highly recommend to anyone, who has an interest and passion for dolls, to take that 2 week land locked cruise with Janie at Antique Child in Idaho!   To read more of what Barb had to say CLICK HERE

Doll reapir cladd 2014

Janie, Helen, Kristy, Colleen

Composition seminar of 5 days October 2014 From left to right –  Janie Nafsinger. Yup that’s me! All great and knowing teacher LOL Helen Pano from Detroit, MI – This seminar was way beyond my expectations.  The instruction was through with lots of time to work on the dolls. There was so much to do and well worth the experience. The rooms we stayed in were great and the food was great.Kristy Sims from Pinedale, WY –  I took a full seminar 10 years ago from Janie’s mentor and took this as a refresher. I learned so much this time too and can’t wait to get home and work on my own dolls. I will be back to take an advanced seminar. Great people. A totally wonderful experience.Colleen Eshom – Westminster, CO Awesome techniques, great class.  If someone is serious about doing doll repair correctly, they need to make the investment.” and yes the food is outstanding… Kirk should compose a cookbook, it would sell.

Donna Smaller seminar

Donna Smaller – Overland Park, KS

What an interesting class this was. 14 days is not enough time to learn it all!  What a great experience. I had so much fun and learned a ton about dolls.  I don’t know if I will do any kind of business and thought that I was only interested in composition dolls, but after working on china dolls and the German antique dolls, I am certain that I will buy more. They are just great. I got the greatest books and equipment to work with at home. I can’t say enough to encourage others who are really wanting to know about antique dolls to take this class.  This was an experience of a lifetime.  (August 2014)

Nancy Richner

Nancy Richner -The Doll Keeper

I have been interested in antique dolls for  many years, although my study and in-depth research only truly began when I inherited my husband’s grandmother’s German bisque head baby doll. This doll had been dropped and broken in 1934 and poorly repaired, but we wanted to preserve her in our family.  This is what led me to Janie Nafsinger at Antique Child. I was impressed by her knowledge and professionalism during our initial phone conversation and, after reviewing and discussing her bid, I confidently shipped my doll to her. I was thrilled to get her back; she was absolutely gorgeous!I begun seriously collecting antique dolls two years ago. I absolutely loved cleaning them and doing simple repairs on the ones with leather bodies, washing and styling wigs, etc. I had so much passion for these treasures of the past, that I needed to explore it further. The full 14 day  doll restoration seminar offered by Janie was my first choice out of all the other seminars offered by other restorers, and totally the right one. The training was intensive, sometimes frustrating, but exceptionally taught by Janie, who is a master at her craft. Being the perfectionist that I am, she always, patiently answered my endless questions. One on one, hands-on restoration is definitely the best way to learn. You will leave with the knowledge and experience to either start your own business or work on your own antique and vintage dolls.Antique Child studio is in Janie’s home on a beautiful sheep farm with spectacular views. Janie and her husband Kirk have opened their home to students with such warmth. The bedrooms are very comfortable, and staying there offers the advantage of working on your projects after hours and/or looking through her doll books. Her husband Kirk is an excellent cook and I loved every single meal he prepared from scratch! His cappuccinos are awesome too! The price of the seminar is so worth it any way you look at it. The instruction is superior, the lodging, views and meals exceptional, and most importantly, it’s an investment in yourself! (May 2014)  Nancy’s web site is The Doll Keeper


sarah crumly seminar photo

Sarah Crumly

Your seminar was so informative. I arrived with no knowledge what so ever about Composition doll repair. I left armed with enough information to get me started on composition repair and enthusiastic about learning the craft in depth. The 5 days of the Composition class was fast paced, filled with all kinds of techniques. You were eager to share your knowledge and years of experience, and allowed us all to experience the processes involved first hand. We all made mistakes, but you were right there to let us know what went wrong and how to fix things. There is no better way to learn than through the actual process of doing. Each of us received one on one attention.Each meal that Kirk provided was wonderful and so appreciated. He has a gift for cooking. We should all be so lucky to have a cook like him in the kitchen each day!I so enjoyed the beautiful scenery of the valley looking down from your farm. You both graciously opened your home to all of us, including us in your everyday life and made us feel welcomed.  Thank you for providing the opportunity of learning with you.
I plan on coming back to learn more and take your Porcelain Seminar. (May 2014)


Rubie Schroeder

Rubie Schroeder

I have been repairing composition dolls for many years, but I wanted to learn invisible repair for china and bisque dolls. The two week seminar I took with Janie was amazing. She has a fully functioning shop that is a delight to work in.  Learning about the proper tools and equipment to use and how to run a business were invaluable. I came away with fully restored dolls and a wealth of knowledge. The room and board were awesome also. Kirk made gourmet meals for us every day.The seminar was well worth taking. (March 2014)  Ruby offers a full service doll repair and restoration service at  Forget Me Not Doll Repair Judy Knauf

Judy Knauf  The Doll Hospital   Virginia

My mind is still reeling with the amount of information I received during Janie’s 5 day Doll Restoration Seminar. I came from Virginia with the hope that the cost of the trip and the class would be worth it. I must say – it was more than worth it. My main reason for taking the seminar was to learn the invisible repair on porcelain. I was not disappointed. I am having a wonderful time with show & tell for my friends showing off both the China Head that I learned to repair and the composition doll I completed during the seminar. I won’t even try to list all of the other things I learned in addition to those.The reference books, air brush equipment, tools and notebook are going to be invaluable as I continue to move forward with my Doll Hospital. Janie’s knowledge is tremendous and her willingness to share it is wonderful. And, last but not least – the big plus —– Kirk is a fabulous cook! Thank you both for the hospitality you extended to me during my stay with you. (March 2014)   

Aleta at doll repair class

Aleta Ries
Tomorrow’s Treasures Doll Repair
Leadore, ID


I have attended many classes on making dolls and investigated the doll repair class on doll restoration throughout the internet and I must say, Janie’s seminar was more than I could have every imagined. It was a hand’s on experience, which I find necessary for learning this kind of trade. The cost of the seminar was more than worth it, and if you figure the room and board, I came away at the better end of the deal.Kirk and Janie graciously opened their home to me. On arrival I was shown to my room. It was a beautiful room. On the bed were bath towels, a welcome letter from Janie and Kirk, a syllabus for each day of the seminar and a menu of the meals we would be served. Was I in for a treat. While Janie instructed the seminar, Kirk cooked and served 5 star gourmet meals. Who doesn’t love fresh homemade bread? His hobby is cooking and he does a fabulous job of it. He followed the menu very close and if he had to adjust it, I was not disappointed. The majority of his dishes he used natural ingredients. I was also served a very delicious lunch everyday. Believe me, the accommodations at Antique Child was a 5 star experience.Janie was a certified teacher in Idaho, before she decided to make her career in restoration, repairing and teaching her techniques for dolls. Her expertise ,experience and professionalism in the history and restoration of dolls made my experience very gratifying. She not only taught the aspects of the restoration and history of dolls but also shared her extensive knowledge of the business of doll restoration. Her studio is right there in the house and I had access to it at all times. Janie was there 24/7 to answer questions and help. My time at Antique Child was a very rewarding experience which I am truly grateful for.If you want a career or just want to learn doll restoration and repair, business and the history of dolls, Call Janie, you will not be disappointed.  Feel free to contact me if you have any concerns      (April 2013)


Penny sorting parts in doll repair class

Penny Yost antique dealer LaGrande, OR

I have an antique spot in a store with several other vendors  in LaGrande, Oregon. I have been an avid collector of dolls for years and took the full doll repair class so that I could work on my own dolls and repair them right. I was so excited to take the seminar and talk dolls all day, every day that each day was an adventure.  The hospitality and food were great!  Since the seminar I have visited Janie several times and each time we talk for hours about dolls.  We are great friends and share the love of dolls together.  We have done some remodeling on our home and are very close to building a studio where I can spread out with my dolls. (November 2009)

Cherie Miller all done with her doll repair class

Cherie Driskill Miller
Flutter By Babies
Lynchburg, VA

I’ve been making reborn dolls and repairing vintage vinyl dolls since 2002.  That brought me into contact with many people who collect antique composition, china, and bisque dolls.  Many of these collectors needed restoration services and there is no one in our area that does this work.  It was always disappointing to turn these collectors away so I began to look for someone to teach me how to do quality restorations so looked into a doll repair class.  After exploring different options for instruction I found that Janie Nafsinger of Antique Child was the only person in the United States who not only has knowledge and expertise in museum quality doll restoration, she has a teaching background.  In my opinion that makes her uniquely qualified to teach doll restoration.   

I live in central Virginia and took the full 15 day seminar.  While I was there Janie taught us how to do invisible repair to cracks in china head dolls and bisque dolls.  I also learned how to do both partial and full restorations of composition dolls. We had hands on, practical instruction on how to paint dolls with an airbrush, including mixing paints appropriate for the dolls we brought with us to work on.  Other topics taught in this course study are how to repair rocker eyes, how to repair ball jointed doll bodies, how to repair leather doll bodies, and appropriate clothing and fabrics to use for antique dolls.  We also talked daily about how to manage a successful doll restoration business; that part was important to me because it gave me ideas on how to structure my day as well as how to structure prices for my work.  This is the most comprehensive study of doll restoration that I found offered in the United States.

I stayed at the Nafsinger home and was impressed with the accommodations.  My room was very comfortable and homey, with a beautiful view of the mountains. The view alone was worth the trip from Virginia!  Now, I’ve saved the best for last—if you decide to take one of Janie’s seminars you will find that the food you’re served is fabulous!  Kirk Nafsinger is in charge of the kitchen and he is truly a natural born chef!  He uses fresh ingredients to create delicious, wholesome, nutritious meals.  His creativity in the kitchen rivals Janie’s creativity in the doll studio.  I enjoyed my stay with the Nafsingers so much that if Janie decides to instruct an advanced class in the future I will definitely enroll.  If you’re looking to start a new career or take your doll making hobby to a whole new level you will not be disappointed.  (Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions about my experience with the Nafsingers at Antique Child.)   (October 2012)

Beth styling hair in doll repair class

Beth Wilson
Meeker, CO


I took Janie’s 5-day composition and hard plastic doll repair class last fall and was impressed with how much information I gleaned over those 5 short days.  The pace was intense, so do not expect a relaxing session!!
It has been very beneficial to be able to contact Janie when I have questions about projects I am working on since I have completed the seminar.  She is willing to answer my questions promptly and offer suggestions when I get “stuck” in finding resources or information.  The follow-up support system has been a huge bonus from taking the class.
The Nafsinger’s hospitality was wonderful–food was delicious and plentiful.  Being able to stay on the premises meant maximizing study and work time and the accommodations were very comfortable and pleasant.  I enjoyed being in the lovely rural area, seeing and hearing the sheep and ducks wandering around, too. (April 2012)

Toni Hawthorne specializing in composition after doll repair class

Toni Hawthorne
Arlington, WA
developing a business
in Composition Restoration

I LOVED training with you. (took 5 day composition restoration doll repair class)  You and Kirk are wonderful people and I think of you both as my extended family.  I wish I lived closer.
Wish list for classes…
A web forum to have students do a DEAR JANIE, so we can learn from what others are dealing with…It needs to support photo uploads.I hope to come back and train some more.  I was hoping this summer  (2013), but I think next summer is more realistic.  There is so much to learn and I want to have what I am working on now down pat before I take the next step.
Things I am doing to continue to learn…..
I just finished a clothing order for my first client.  It was a christening gown for a doll her mother made in Germany.  The doll is very mis-proportioned, but I  know they love it 🙂( June 2012)

Christina styling Shirley Temple hair in doll repair class

Christina Sudary
Shirley & Friends
San Francisco, CA

Not having many dolls of my own while growing up, I started a collection for my daughters when they were very young. Budget didn’t allow for mint condition, so I scoured antique stores for dolls needing TLC — cleaning them, washing and mending their clothes, resetting their hair — so they looked like new. I  took doll making classes at Hello Dolly in San Jose.Once my daughters were grown, it was midlife crisis time: I decided to phase out of high tech and focus on the things that I  love: grandchildren, art, food, and ultimately, doll restoration. (Oh, and she bought a convertible!) I found Janie Nafsinger, owner of Antique Child, and immediately flew to Idaho for her 14-day intensive doll repair class and restoration course. It was so much fun, I  could hardly believe people would pay for this service. During my stay, I saw people coming in to drop off and pick up their dolls, and how much sentimental attachment they carried, and realized it was really about restoring treasured childhood memories…(October 2010)


Mary Robbins in doll repair class

Mary Robbins
Red Door Doll Repair
Monte, CO

I took Bell Seminars, made porcelain dolls and parts. I decided I wanted to quit my job at the school district and have a doll repair business.  At the time I had a house that had been used as a business on the main street of Monte, Colorado and planned to make it into the ultimate doll shop. The training at Antique Child was really intense and we worked long days and sometimes into the evening to catch up.  I learned a lot and will use what I learned to do my own business.  I have decided to make my shop in a converted storage building next to the house.  My husband is working on the water and power so I am currently working in my home until my shop is ready.  (October 2010)


Kay Schrader with her composition babies after the doll repair class

Kay Schrader
Darby, MT

I took a 5 day doll repair class at Antique Child, focusing on composition dolls to learn how to work on my own dolls. With practice, I’m getting better and better all the time. I don’t intend to start a restoration business but when my friends see dolls I have worked on, they want me to fix their dolls! It was challenging, very fun, and very rewarding.  I have been able to buy less than perfect dolls for my collection for a fraction of the cost.

Janie is an excellent instructor, patient, demonstrates the procedures then helps you to perform it. The best part of the training for me was learning techniques that I was totally intimidated by and now, I jump right in, even trying procedures I didn’t learn in the course! I learned soooo much and gained so much confidence! By the way, if you haven’t tasted Janie’s husband’s cooking, you have not lived!  (April 2012)


Michelle Montgomery completed a full seminar in doll repair class

Michelle Montgomery
Independent doll artist &
porcelain restoration

For anyone taking the doll repair class for whatever reason, I can say they will love it for opening doors into other areas and projects that can be repaired. Along with learning how to work on the different types of dolls, which is what I originally came for, I have used the same ideas and methods to work on and repair figurines. This was something that I thought I would make a career out of but I find so many different things to learn I can never keep just one at the front, but use all that I learn to contribute in the new ones I dive into. Janie is a wonderful teacher, and loves interacting and teaching the art of restoration, her husband Kirk may as well have been a professional chef as he loves to cook and I was introduced to many foods I didn’t care for in a way that they have made a recurring appearance in my own meals. Janie introduced me to the art of repairing and restoring dolls, but through conversations with her and her husband Kirk, I also realized I was capable and desired to continue learning and will probably continue to do so forever! If you are a creative person, the dolls won’t be the only thing you will use what you learn for.Even though it didn’t lead me into the doll profession, it definitely lead me to a bunch of others! The view of the mountains from her back yard are gorgeous, the food is great and the people (Janie and Kirk) are awesome. I learned more than just how to restore dolls, I also made some good friends too.(March 2010)




Ready to Send Your Doll?


Janie Nafsinger
17122 W. Locust Lane
Caldwell, Idaho 83607

Process & FAQ
 Process & FAQ

CLICK here to find out how the process works from sending your doll, completion time, payment info and shipping.


Thank you so much for the beautiful doll! I do like everything you did. I love the shoes!!!!!! Thanks....and the lace

Doris Hagedorn