What are Reborn Dolls - what is Reborning?
A typical reborn doll
A reborn doll is a manufactured vinyl doll that has been transformed to resemble a human baby with as much realism as possible. The process of creating a reborn doll is referred to as reborning and the doll artists are referred to as reborners. Reborn dolls are also known as living dolls or unliving dolls.
Left before the Reborn Process - Right Completed Reborn Baby Doll
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Cuddle Bubs Reborn Nursery's Process
As a Reborn Doll artist I prefer to use a manufactured vinyl kit made especially to be Reborned. There are new kits being released regularly and they are becoming more and more detailed. They are so lifelike and offer me a blank canvas ready to be transformed into a sweet newborn little baby doll.
My Reborning process always starts by giving the vinyl sculpt a good wash in hot soapy water to make sure the kit is nice and clean ready to start the painting process. After washing I leave the sculpt to dry for 24 hrs before painting. I give my dolls many many coats of Genesis Heat Set Paints so I need to start from a dry sculpt.
Painting my Reborn Dolls
My Reborn Baby Dolls take time to create and no detail is ever overlooked. The first coat of paint I use is always on the inside parts of the of the Doll. I will make a very thin light blue wash and swirl a little paint inside each part making sure that the paint does not pool in any of the creases. I will also add extra paint to areas that naturally are bluish like on a baby and across the nose area, inside the wrists and on the arches underneath the feet. This base colouring will add depth to the colours that I add later. After applying each coat of paint I will bake the sculpt in the oven to cure the paint to the vinyl. Many layers of paint, and many different colours are applied in a very thin consistency. I then paint many layers of various colours of mottling all over the baby doll to give the baby doll a more realistic 3D effect. I then paint veins on the baby doll's limbs and head and then add blushing to compliment the doll's complexion. Eyebrows are either painted or drawn on and again each layer is heat set in the oven for 9 minutes. Once I am happy with the Baby Doll's skin tone and colourings I then go to hand rooting the dolls hair and eye lashes if it is a sleeping baby doll.
Hand rooting my Reborn Dolls Hair
I always use good quality Mohair (Delta Dawn, Slumberland) for my dolls hair and I hand root from a very fine head of hair to a thick curly head of hair. When I am happy with the hair and hairstyle for the Baby Doll I then glue and seal the inside of the dolls head with a waterproof glue so the hair can be given a light water spray and styled.
Reborn Dolls Eye's
If the baby doll has closed eyes I will hand root and trim eyelashes to match the Doll's hair. open eyes I then add the eyes and eyelashes. I add either glass eyes or high quality plastic eyes to my Baby Dolls and glue them in from the inside of the head. I glue on eyelashes to match the hair colour of the Doll and also match the length of lashes to the Dolls size. I quite often add a paper glaze to the open eye dolls and this gives a moist looking effect to the eyes.
Putting my Reborn Doll Together
When I am completely happy with the Reborn Doll I then start putting the Doll together. This process includes filling and weighting the arms and legs of the Doll with glass sand and then topping with poly fill. I weigh each little limb to make sure the arms are exactly the same weight and I do the same with the Dolls legs. The weight I choose can differ and is dependent on each little Reborn Doll's size. I will either have a plug and glue it into the top of the arms and legs to seal in the filling or I will glue a felt piece to the top of the arms of legs to seal them off. I then join the body to the weighted limbs. I use a fine cable tie to join to the body and I always use good quality soft Dolls bodies. I weight the dolls body with glass sand and polyfill and put all parts together. I put the head on last of all. I also use glass sand for weighting and polyfill and I make sure the little head will tend to fall back when picked up just like a real newborn baby's head.
More and more Reborn Doll sculpts are being released with tummy plates that are tied with ribbons to the front of the Reborn Doll so the doll can be displayed with an open top and have their little tummies showing. There are also full vinyl bodies for Reborn Dolls. These bodies are painted and weighted just the same as cloth bodies and I must admit they are so lifelike and very, very realistic.
The Reborning Process in now completed and at this point in time I give as the
Date of Reborned.
Dressing the Reborn Doll
The doll now has created its own OOAK (one of a kind) identity and I try to dress my dolls in clothes that will compliment his or her individuality. I will either use a cloth nappy ( which I would rather use) or a disposable nappy depending on the doll size and clothes I have chosen for them. I use a little onsie or a singlet and then the clothes to finish. Sometimes I will dress a doll as a baby in traditional dress and bonnet and booties or I will use more modern clothes it will depend on how the doll has turned out. Some dolls just look like a baby and others can be made to look older.