Finalizing Your Reborn Doll
Once you've gone through the lengthy, time-consuming process of painting your doll, adding stuffing/weighing it down and creating all of the extra features, it's time to put the finishing touches on your reborn by piecing it together. Thankfully, this isn't nearly as difficult as some of the other steps (like the much-dreaded mohair rooting), but you still need to use caution during these final stages of your reborn doll. If you rush into this last step and place the limbs incorrectly or don't secure them well enough, there's a chance they may fall out in the future; therefore, placing your reborn at risk of becoming damaged or broken. The bottom line is that you have to take care when finalizing your reborn to ensure it looks realistic and withstands the hands of time for years to come.
Before you start piecing your reborn doll together, it's important to make sure the paint has thoroughly dried. Depending on what type of paint used and how many layers you applied, it can take 12 or more hours to thoroughly dry (Genesis paint dries much faster). Give your doll an ample amount of time to dry before touching the limbs and assembling them back in the body. I know most artists (especially beginners) will be eager to finish their reborn at this stage, but you have to make sure the paint is fully dry before proceeding. Trust me, there's nothing worse than having to go back and repaint your doll just because a small area smeared and is now discolored.
Attaching a Magnet
Some reborn doll artists (myself included) place magnets inside their doll's head so magnetic pacifiers can be easily attached and removed. If this is something you want with your reborn doll (we recommended it), now is the time to add it. Before you continue, though, you'll need to pick up a couple small but strong magnets about the length size of a typical pacifier.Neo magnets (neodymium magnet) are a popular choice due to their incredible magnetic power in such a small size; however, any powerful, small magnets will work. Also, you'll want to pick up some super glue to help secure the two magnets onto your doll and pacifier.
Once you've picked up a couple magnets and some super glue, place your doll's head upside down and remove any stuffing or filler material from inside it. Next, place a small amount of super glue (VERY minimal amount) inside your reborn's head directly behind their lips. After the glue is applied, immediately place the magnet directly on it the covered area and hold it on place until it dries. With your free hand, you can take the other magnet and place it on the outside of your reborn doll's lips, as this will help hold it in place. Give the super glue at least 15 minutes to fully dry and then fill the head back with stuffing. Not only does the stuffing help to create a more realistic appearance, but it also holds the magnet more securely in place.
Alternatively, if you don't want to use magnets on your reborn doll, you can use a screw and washer for securing a pacifier to your reborn's lips. Be warned, though, this is a bit more difficult and doesn't look as clean or natural as using a magnet. Just the fact that it requires drilling into your reborn alone is enough to sway most people's opinion on this method. Personally, I recommend gluing a high-powered magnet, such as a neo magnet, to the area behind your reborn's lips instead.
Assembling The Limbs
Now that most of your reborn doll is complete, go ahead take a deep breath and relax, because you're close to then end. As long as you've followed the steps already mentioned on our how to reborn a doll page, you should have everything finished except for assembling your doll's limbs. This is the last step in creating a reborn, but as stated above, you have to make sure the limbs are properly secure to prevent them from falling out in the future.
The best method used to assemble your reborn doll's limbs is going to depend on what type of doll you're using. The limbs and head for some dolls simply snap into the body without much effort, while others must be secured using cable ties. As a beginner, it's recommended that you assemble the limbs and head using the method that your doll was originally constructed with. It shouldn't be difficult to find this out, as you can just look inside your doll to see how the limbs and head were attached.
If you're having trouble keeping the limbs and head securely attached to your doll's torso, you'll want to use some cable ties. You can purchase these for as little as a couple bucks for a pack of 10-20, which is well worth the price of securely holding your doll together. Just anchor each of them from the head, arms and legs so there's no "give" room and your doll should stay together more easily.
Here are some tips on using cable ties to secure your reborn doll's limbs and head:
- Stick with clear cable ties to reduce their overall visibility. Black, brown or other dark colors don't blend in well to the natural skin tone of a reborn doll.
- Use ultra-thin cable ties for additional limb security. The larger ones may slowly begin to slide off later down the road.
- After the limbs are secured with cable ties, cut the excess plastic off and discard it.
- Some reborners may use thin string as a temporary alternative simply because it's easier to take on an off. If you are intend on painting parts of your reborn doll still, then securing the limbs and head with string offers a temporary fix to hold your doll together. Just remember to go back and replace it with cable ties once you finish.
Congratulations! You've now made your very own reborn doll! Try to avoid feeling discouraged if it took you more time and energy than what you had originally expected it to. The process of making a realistic reborn doll isn't quick and easy, and like any other piece of art, it's going to take lots of hard work and dedicated. With that said, the more you continue to practice, the quicker you'll be able to make them. So stick with your new hobby of reborning and you'll be a pro before you know it.