Including a basic list of instructions with your reborn dolls will inform owners on how to properly care for it. Reborning a doll is a rigorous process that transforms a durable toy doll into a more fragile work of art. Once the process it completed, the reborn doll is more susceptible to damage, which is why it's important for owners to understand the correct way to care for their doll. Whether you're an amateur artist looking to sell your first reborn doll, or if you've been doing it for years, you should include a set of care instructions with each of your dolls.
Some artists avoid creating care instructions for their reborn dolls simply because they don't know how to. After all, there's no software designed specifically for creating a set of reborn doll care instructions. As a result, first-time owners are left clueless when it comes to caring and maintaining their new reborn doll. If you are serious about reborning and want to leave a positive impression on your customers, you MUST take the time to create a set of care instructions; otherwise, buyers will have no idea on how to properly clean and maintain their doll.
Handwriting vs Typing
You have two different options when it comes to creating reborn doll care instructions -- you can either write it up by hand using a pen and paper, or you can type it into a word processing program. I've seen wonderful care instructions done either way, so there's really no "wrong" choice. However, each method has its own unique set of advantages and disadvantages that artists should be aware of.
Creating your reborn doll care instructions using pen and paper is faster and doesn't require the use of a computer. As long as you have good handwriting skills, you shouldn't have a problem making an attractive set of care instructions for your dolls. The only downside to writing instructions by hand is the fact that you can't make a mistake. Unlike computer programs, there's no "undo" button with a pen and paper. Make a mistake and you're forced to toss the instructions in the trash and start all over.
Using a computer program to create your reborn doll care instructions is generally the preferred method for most experienced doll artists, including myself. It allows for a greater level of customization along with the ability to go back and fix any mistakes. Additionally, you can save your care instructions as a template to use for future dolls in the future. Just add/remove/modify information when necessary and print out the set of instructions.
Here are some of the top computer programs for creating reborn doll care instructions:
- Microsoft Office Word
- Microsoft Publisher (steeper learning curve than Word)
- Open Office Writer (free-to-use tool)
Note: The programs listed above are pretty straightforward, but you'll still need to familiarize yourself with their features. The more time you invest into learning and understanding the program, the better your care instructions will turn out.
What To Include In Reborn Doll Care Instructions
Now that you know the basics of creating a set of care instructions, you are probably wondering what type of information to include with them. Since all reborn dolls are made differently, the information in the care instructions will vary. In fact, I've never received two identical care instructions from different artists. Each artist custom tailors their instructions based on the specifications of their doll. This allows owners to better care for their doll based on how it was made.
There are some common elements, however, that all care instructions should contain. Building your instructions around these elements will help guide your customers to better maintain their new lifelike dolls. Feel free to modify the information based on your dolls' specifications, as the elements below are just an example of what a typical set of care instructions contain.
#1 - Hair Care
Unless your reborn doll is bald (which is perfectly fine BTW), you'll need to include instructions regarding its hair. You can read more about reborn doll hair care here, but the most important thing owners need to remember is that reborn dolls have delicate hair. Whether it's mohair or a synthetic material, owners must use extra caution to ensure their reborn doll's hair remains in tact. When creating care instructions for your reborn doll, inform the new owner to avoid tugging, pulling or forcefully brushing the doll's hair because this could pull out strands.
You can also include information in your care instructions on how to wash and clean the doll's hair. Let the new owner know that leave-in conditioner with a detangling agent can be used for styling their doll's hair. When washing is necessary, rinsing the doll's hair underneath lukwarm water with a very small amount of baby shampoo should suffice.
#2 - Storage
Sellers should also include information regarding proper storage of the doll. Far too many owners make the mistake of leaving their doll either outside or in an area that receives a fair amount of sunlight. Keeping dolls stored directly in the sunlight will eventually cause them to fade. Let the owner know that it's usually best to store their reborn doll in a cool, shaded area that's away from open vents.
#3 - Cleaning The Body
Of course, you can't forget to include steps on how to clean the body of your reborn doll when creating care instructions. No matter how carefully owners are with their new doll, chances are it will eventually gather dust and dirt. There are several different ways to clean the surface of a doll, but it's usually best to stick with basic mild dish soap, light water and a washcloth. This should make easy work of any dirt buildups while preserving the doll's paint.
Let the new owner know that they can clean their doll by wiping it down with a damp (not soaked) washcloth with just a drop or two of mild dish soap. Once they are finished wiping it down, they should go back over it with a dry washcloth to remove any excess moisture. Water can easily damage an otherwise perfect reborn doll if it's not cleaned in a timely manner.
#4 - Magnets
If your reborn doll features a powerful magnet behind the lips for attaching pacifiers, you'll need to let the owner know about this. Magnets, especially the high-powered neodymium models used in reborn dolls, are capable of damaging electronic equipment. If someone places their reborn doll next to a computer, tablet PC, television, cell phone or external hard drive, it may damage the unit. Be sure to address the risk posed by magnets in care instructions for your reborn doll.
#5 - Weighted Material
I find it's helpful to inform the owner on what material is used to weigh the doll down. Reborn dolls are weighed down using a variety of techniques, such as filling the torso with poly pellets, glass beads, sand or even kitty litter (I don't recommend the last method). Regardless of the material used, you should let the owner know just what exactly is inside their new reborn doll. If they happen to lose some of the materials, they will know what to purchase to replace it.