Making a Reborn Doll

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Reborn Dolls can cost anyway from $35 dollars to $ 150 dollars to make. Supplies can be bought on ebay or on the internet simply by googling the part or supply you need.

The following is a guidline for making a Reborn Doll.

Step 1
For a basic reborn doll, you will need the following tools for reborning, all of which can be purchased from this site:
1. Berenguer La Baby doll
2. 20″ jointed cloth body
3. One bag of poly-fil stuffing
4. 2-3 bags plastic poly pellets or SOFTtouch pellets
5. 3-4 bottles acrylic paint
6. Precision utility knife
7. E-6000 glue
8. Cotton Swabs
9. Toothpicks
10. Cotton balls
11. Nylons
12. Kemper Mohair or ModAcrylic doll Wig (size 14/15 is best)
13. Pair of eyes (see eye size chart)
14. Delta stencil crème paint
15. Eyebrow pencil
16. Eyelashes
17. Clothing for your finished doll
18. Fingernail paint pen
19. Clear gloss varnish
20. Fan paint brush
21. Fingernail paint brush
22. Sponge Wedges
If rooting hair
23. Straight or Wavy Mohair
24. 36 or 38 gauge felting needles for rooting
**Note: Body style and size, eyes and wig size will vary depending on the doll you choose to reborn.



You will need to take your new Berenguer doll and remove the vinyl parts from the original cloth body. The vinyl parts are held onto the cloth body by a plastic cable tie, which you will need to cut. Since you probably won’t use the cloth body, you can go ahead and rip the fabric. The easiest way to cut the cable ties is with a cable tie cutter, which is really just a pair of cuticle nippers. If you don’t want to buy these, you can use your precision utility knife, but be careful not to cut your fingers or the vinyl parts. If you do cut a small slice in the vinyl, it should be okay and probably won’t show when you’re finished. Once the cable tie has been cut, you should be able to pull the vinyl parts off quite easily. Then remove the plastic cone from the head and throw it away. You might want to keep the cloth body and use the stuffing inside of it, or use the bag of poly pellets in the doll’s bottom. This will be useful later for weighting the head.


Step 3
If you have decided to tackle the job of rooting your reborn’s hair, you will want to do that at this point, before you do anything else. This is because if you paint the inside of the doll’s head and then root the hair, the paint will get pulled through the holes and you will have tiny purple hair follicles. That’s fine unless you need to pull some hairs out, in which case you would be left with little purple spots on your doll’s head. Not good. So if you do want to root the hair, please see the hair rooting section and finish that before continuing on to the coloring section in step 4. We suggest straight or wavy mohair for use in rooting. Along with 36 or 38 gauge felting needles for rooting.
If you plan to wig your doll (much easier option) then you can ignore the above comments and go right to coloring.


Step 4
Purple-washing is not an exact science at all. We call this step purple-washing because whatever genius invented this hobby used straight purple acrylic paint to color the inside of the dolls. However, straight purple acrylic paint (especially the dark purple Royal Violet that is recommended) can be very tricky. Some people have mastered the art of using straight purple acrylic paint and their dolls turn out beautifully, but I have found that I cannot do it without getting the “bruised/dead baby” effect. A much safer route is to mix the purple acrylic paint with some softer, friendlier colors. I like the combination of purple, mauve, flesh, and pink, and I don’t care which exact shade they are. The picture shows specific colors, but you really can use any variation of those colors. As long as your paint isn’t too dark, your doll should turn out just fine. You also don’t have to follow this color combination if you don’t want to. The only way to get the effect you really like is to experiment. The combination shown here is fool-proof, but that doesn’t mean it’s the only way, or even the best way. Also, you don’t need to buy any particular brand–any water-based acrylic paint will work fine to make your reborn doll.


Step 5
Pour the contents of your paint bottles into some kind of Tupperware container with a lid. 3 or 4 bottles of paint will last for several more dolls, so you will want to keep the paint. I use the whole bottle, but you want to put in different amounts of each one to see if you like more of one color than another or something like that.


Step 6
Stir up your paint with your paint brush or a spoon or something, until the colors are mixed evenly. The color shown on above is a bit light, but will work just fine. I usually make my color a little darker, so I might have added another bottle of the dark purple. But again, this is not an exact science, so don’t worry about it too much.


Step 7
Even though the hole in the head is large enough for your paint brush to fit inside, it just makes things easier to cut the hole larger, and absolutely necessary if you plan to change the eyes. You can change the eyes either before painting the inside of the head, or after. Just make sure the paint is thoroughly dry if you choose to change the eyes after painting.

Use your precision utility knife to cut a larger opening. Mind your fingers, and make sure you do not cut past the rim of the neck. Use your precision utility knife to cut a larger opening. Mind your fingers, and make sure you do not cut past the rim of the neck. You need the outside edge to remain intact so that you can connect it later to the cloth body.


Step 8
Get a good amount of paint on your fan paint brush and then slop it inside that head! Make sure the paint is fairly thick, and try to get the coating as even as you can. Paint all over the inside of the head, because you want to see a change in color on the face from missing a spot. If you have already rooted hair on your head, like the own shown, the paint will double as a glue to keep the rooted hair securely in place. Once you have painted the head, leave it on it’s side for at least 24 hours until it is completely dry.


Step 9
The arms and legs have holes in them similar to the neck, but these holes really aren’t big enough for a fan paint brush to fit inside. So you will need to cut them bigger, just like you did the neck hole, using your precision utility knife. Mind your fingers.


You should end up with holes that look something like the photo on the left. Don’t worry if the hole is unevenly cut–you won’t see it. Just make sure the opening is plenty large enough for your fan paint brush.

Step 10
Load your brush up with paint and paint the inside of the hands and feet just the way you did the head. Be sure to get your brush way up in there so all the little fingers get paint as well. Then leave those to dry for 24 hours as well.


Step 11
When you are first beginning to make reborn dolls, the stencil creme paints are the easiest to manage. You can use berry berry or mauve for this part. Berry berry, which is what I used for the photos, is a bit darker than the mauve. A combination of both looks very good, but I didn’t go into that here. While you are getting the hang of blushing, stick to one color. The first thing you’ll need to do is remove the skin of paint that always forms off the top with a paper towel or with your finger. The wet paint will be underneath the layer of paint skin.


Step 12
Use your finger and rub the stencil creme paint into the areas you want blushed in a circular motion until it is uniform. If you are going for a realistic baby look, blush the cheeks, nose, eyebrows, middle of the forehead, and neck. Don’t forget to dab a bit on the ears and the back of the neck as well. When you have blended it in, the effect should be fairly subtle, like the picture. You don’t want to put so much blush that your doll looks sunburned. Also, don’t cover the whole face in blush or else it will look fake. You want to leave some areas blush-free so there is some variety.


Step 13
Do the same thing for the hands and feet that you did for the face. Babies usually have very pink hands and feet, so you’ll want to use quite a bit, especially on the soles of the feet and palms of the hands. Be careful about getting it into the creases of the vinyl. If you do, you can remove it with a toothpick. You might want to put a small bit of blush on the fingernails and toenails for a more realistic look. Don’t forget the back of the legs and arms as well. Don’t cover the whole area in blush or else it will look fake. You want to leave some areas blush-free so there is some variety.


Step 14

You don’t really need to wait for the stencil paints to dry. As long as you rubbed it into the vinyl, it will be dry enough to handle normally. To add fingernails, take your white gel pen and draw as thin a line as you can where the fingernails should be. If you really mess it up, wipe the whole thing off with your finger and try again. The gel pens take so long to dry on the vinyl that you can continue wiping it off for a long time after it is applied. If you accidentally make your white line too thick, you can thin it by dragging a toothpick across the edge of the line and thinning it out or evening it out. Once you have a line you are happy with, don’t touch it at all, or you will wipe it right off.


Step 15
Take your bottle of gloss and your fingernail paint brush. Unscrew the cap of the gloss and dip your brush in just deep enough to get a bead of paint on the tip of it. You want to be able to see a tiny bead of paint sitting there, so dip it again if you didn’t get that. If you get too much paint on the brush, like it’s dripping, then wipe it on the side of the bottle and try again for the tiny bead.

You can see the bead of paint on the picture to the left. When you have it, lightly touch the tip of the brush to the fingernail and it will spread out to cover the whole nail, even if it takes a few minutes. If there is still a bead of paint on the brush after the first nail, then use it for the next nail. If not, dip the brush in again. Make sure you do not touch the white line very hard with the paintbrush as it will smear and you will have to start over again.

Step 16
Then place it in the center of a nostril and turn the bit clockwise as you push it in. After a few turns while pushing in, it should break through the surface. At that point, keep turning it clockwise but pull the bit out of the nostril this time. You should pull out some small fragments of vinyl. Put the bit back in the hole and pull it out again and few times until the hole is clean and easy to insert the drill bit into. Do the same for the other nostril. These holes will be very tiny. Their only purpose is to make it easier to fit a bigger bit in there for the real nostril holes.


Step 17
Take a bigger size drill bit, like the 3rd smallest in your set, which should be like a 3/16″ or something close. Insert it into the small hole you made and do the same thing you did for the first one–turn the bit clockwise while pushing it into the head. Be careful to hold the bit away from the upper lip, as it will leave a mark that you won’t be able to remove if you hit the lip. Remember to keep turning the bit clockwise as you pull it out. The helps clean out the vinyl fragments that will be hanging off the sides of the nostril.

If you push the bit in and pull it out several times, all the while turning it clockwise, you should be left with a clean hole and no vinyl pieces hanging off the sides. If you can’t remove the vinyl pieces with the drill bit alone, you can take your precision utility knife and gently scrape away the excess vinyl that way. But if you follow these directions, you will have a nice clean, even nostril hole every time.


Step 18
There are several ways of doing this, like everything in reborning, but this way is fairly easy. Take your eyelashes and peel one off of the plastic card they come on. Use your precision utility knife if you can’t get it up with your nails. Then lay the eyelashes on the eyeball as close as you can to the top eyelid. When you have it as close as possible, use your fingernail to push it up even farther, until the seam of the eyelash is wedge up against the top eyelid evenly.


Step 19
Use a thin object like a precision utility knife or a thin toothpick to push the eyelashes up under the top eyelid. As you push them in (just a little bit at a time) the lashes will lift up so they aren’t laying flat against the eyeball anymore. If you use a precision utility knife for this purpose, be careful not to cut either the eyelid or push too hard on the lashes, as you will sever them if you do. When you have them evenly in there, all you need to do is seal them with gloss for added security and shine.

Step 20
For this part you will need either a watercolor pencil or a regular cosmetic eyebrow pencil. In the pictures I was using an eyebrow pencil, but a watercolor pencil is easier to control. People’s eyebrows begin directly above the inside corner of the eye. To ensure you aren’t starting the brow too far over on the inside, hold your pencil tip right at the corner of the eye and then move it directly up to the eyebrow are and begin the brow. Draw as light a line as you can (this is hard with an eyebrow pencil) and move your pencil so that the line slants up and to the outside, just like your regular brows. When you get about halfway across the brow, change the direction of the line so they go slant down and to the outside. Real eyebrows do this, and it makes a more realistic look.


Step 21
If you used an eyebrow pencil, take a dry Q-tip and wipe away the eyebrow in the same direction you drew the lines in. The pencil lines will smear a little bit, so you want to keep the same directional flow to your movements. Change the position of the Q-tip often so it stays clean.If you are using a watercolor pencil, lick the Q-tip so it is slightly damp and then go over the lines you already drew and gently blend the lines in with your Q-tip. You should be able to soften the harsh look of the lines without pressing hard at all. You should end up with a decent pair of eyebrows that aren’t too visible. If you can see the eyebrows from the far side of the room, you may want to wipe more of the brows away, since babies rarely, if ever, have noticeable eyebrows.


Step 22
You may or may not want to add bottom lashes to your doll’s eyes, but it does make the eyes look brighter and prettier, generally. Draw short, tiny lines on the edge of the bottom lid with your pencil that you used for the brows. If you like the way it looks, leave it alone. If you think the lashes are too thick or too long, you can wipe them away with a dry Q-tip to make them less noticeable. The photo on the left is the finished product of both brows and lashes for a very subtle look.


Step 23

You can make your eyelashes more secure by painting the eyeballs with clear gloss paint. Use your fingernail paint brush and your gloss, and paint a good solid coat all over the eyeball, especially by the top lid. This does two things for you: it seals the eyelash in so it will be harder for it to fall or get pulled out; it also makes the eyeball look much clearer and shinier, like a real sparkly little eye. This adds realism to the doll’s overall appearance. You don’t want to paint gloss on the vinyl parts–just the eyeball and the edge of the lashes.You can make the lips look wet by adding a coat of clear gloss paint to the lips and tongue (if the mouth is open).


Step 24
If you chose not to root your doll’s hair, you will want to add a wig. This should be done last or next-to-last because the wigs get messed up easily, and they get in the way if you glue it on before doing your blushing. So now is the time to add your wig.
Find a size 14/15 wig in whatever style you prefer, and put in on the head without glue to get an idea of how you would like it to be placed. Notice where the crown of the hair is, because you will need to place that somewhere in the vicinity of the crown of the doll’s head.
When you have it positioned where you would like it, take the wig off, smear some strong glue such as E-6000 on the wig and/or on the vinyl head, and then glue it on. That’s all there is to it!
If you want the wig to be thinner, buy a pair of thinning shears and cut it to your liking.
We suggest using one of the Kemper doll wigs in either mohair or ModAcrylic. Kemper is a high quality doll wig. We carry a wide variety of Kemper doll supplies including Kemper Cassidy, Kemper Susie, Kemper Mikayla and Kemper Misty in our store. All of these are excellent choices.


Step 25
Now that your reborn is all done and dry and adorable looking, you are ready to put the new cloth body on. So get out your 20″ jointed cloth body, your cable ties, your poly pellets and poly-fil stuffing, your nylons, and your cable tie cutters.


Step 26
The jointed cloth bodies come without the cable ties inserted, so you will need to insert them yourself. The cable tie has to be turned a certain way in order to fit into the clasp at the other end of it, but it’s impossible to tell you how to look for the right direction. Just stick it through the seam, and if you can’t close the tie off then it’s facing the wrong way, and you will need to pull the tie out, flip it over, and insert it again.


When you have both ends through the loop, insert the smaller end into the clasp and pull it closed but leave plenty of room there. If you pull the tie all the way you will end up closing the holes, and you will have to cut the tie and start over with a new one. So don’t do that. Only close it a little way.

Step 27
Use a scoop of some sort for your poly pellets. I used the container the nylons came in. An empty, small medicine bottle works very well too. Scoop up some pellets and pour them into the hands and feet. You can also use sand instead of or in addition to poly pellets, which will add more weight to the doll. If you do choose to use sand, you have to use clean craft sand. Do not use beach sand or anything natural like that, as there will be tons of bacteria and living things in it that will eventually grow and wreck your doll from the inside.


Step 28
Take a clump of poly-fil stuffing about as big as the palm of your hand, and stuff it into the arms and legs all the way up at the top (by the shoulders and hips).
Then you can pour some poly pellets directly into the arm, and then put more stuffing in to hold the pellets in place. Or you can stuff the whole arm with just stuffing if you want the doll to be a little lighter. Don’t use sand for this part because the sand will ooze out of tiny holes in the seams and in the fabric. If you must use sand, put it in something and then inside the cloth limbs, such as a balloon or nylon.


Shove the poly-fill in so it doesn’t stick out of the limb too much. Make sure you have filled the limb with enough stuffing so that it is not floppy anywhere.

Step 29
Fit the cable tie in the cloth body around the groove at the top of the limb. Before you pull the cable tie tight, be sure you have the right foot on the right leg, and that the body is facing the right way. When you have it all lined up, pull the cable tie tight around the groove of the limb.


Cut off the excess cable tie with a pair of cable tie cutters (aka cuticle nippers). The cutters usually work well enough so you don’t need to file it down, but you might need to file it if the edge is jagged for any reason.

Step 30
When you have connected all four limbs to the body, you can stuff and weight the torso. Get a big bunch of poly-fil stuffing and push it down into the butt of the body so it’s nice and firm. Next, fill a nylon or latex glove with poly pellets. Tie the nylon off at the opening and push it inside the body. You can fit a lot of poly pellets inside a single nylon, but you may want to make several nylons full so you can place them easier. Add more poly-fil stuffing on top of the nylon bags of pellets to fill in the torso. Smooth out any lumps in the stuffing with a pencil or the end of a paintbrush.


Step 31
Now that the torso has been stuffed and weighted to your satisfaction, you can weight the head. Hopefully you saved your original cloth body, because inside of it is a cloth bag filled with poly pellets that make a perfect weight sack for the head. If you did not keep it, just fill another nylon with the pellets like you did for the body and stuff it inside the head.


Step 32
When the bag is all the way inside the head, you can connect it to the cloth body


Step 33
Place the groove of the doll’s neck into the neck opening of the cloth body. Some necks are larger than others, so it may be a tight fit. But don’t worry, the cloth body will fit around the groove in the neck if you squeeze it in there.
Once it is in place, pull the cable tie but this time leave some room for it. If you pull it as tight as you can you won’t be able to turn the doll’s head, and most people want to do that. So leave at least 1/4 inch of room on the tie so you can turn the head. But make sure it’s tight enough so the head won’t fall off either.

Step 34
Cut the ends of your cable ties off and you’re done! Good job! Pat yourself on the back and ask a loved one for a massage (you’ll probably need it from bending over your reborn for hours). Dress your doll and show it off to everyone who will look and listen! You have just created your first One of a Kind OOAK reborn baby. No two reborn babies are exactly alike.


Step 35
To finish and complete your Reborn Doll you need to dress it, take photos, and sell it.

If you have a child then you are set, becuase you proably have clothes and you proably have a crib for pictures. If not then you need to buy some clothes and take some creative pictures.

Step 36


Preview other listings on get ideas on how to draw up your adds.
Here are a few tips to increase your price.
1) Add a Birth Cerficate – You can buy them on ebay and fill them out
2) Add a Passifer – Add a magent to the pacifier and the back of the dolls mouth to it sticks
3) Add a blanket, and even stich the babys name on it.
4) Search the internet for creative ideas

Your first one may not look so good, but if you are creative and take your time you will get better and better !

Good Luck!



Written by domainbusiness

March 11, 2009 at 12:57 pm

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