How to Make Reborn Baby Dolls
Step 5: It’s in the Details!
Details can make or break the realistic qualities of the reborn baby dolls you work with. The details we’ll deal with here are the eyebrows, eyelashes, eyes, lips and nails. Generally speaking, using an eyebrow pencil will get the same results, with less time and less work. But if you choose you can use a very thin brush with tiny bits of brown paint.
You really need to show some fine touch here, and you basically want to start flicking over the eye, from the inside corner to the outside of the head, small, thin lines. Eyebrows get thinner towards the outside and the curve of a spoon can be a good tool to use. Don’t forget those inspirational photographs either, eyebrows can be tricky to get done correctly.
If you opted for the eyebrow pencil, after applying many quick strokes, smudge them a bit with a Q-tip and then go back over the eyebrows with a few more lines. It’ll add much more depth and realism to the eyebrows of the reborn dolls. On the other hand, using oil paints and trying to smudge is a dangerous proposition that you should probably avoid. Plus, with the tip of a paint brush and the ability to mix colors, you shouldn’t need that extra step. Of course, if you painted, you will need to let the head dry overnight once again.
Onto the eyelashes, you can either use applied ashes or you can root the eyelashes. My preference leans toward applied eyelashes for awake reborn dolls and rooted eyelashes for sleeping reborn babies. If you’re rooting the eyelashes, use some of the leftover mohair you will use after rooting the head of hair. If you’re applying the eyelashes, you’ll need the linseed oil, the glue, the pair of eyelashes you purchased, the glass paint gloss, paint brush, scissors and toothpicks.
The first step is to see if the lashes are the right size. So peel off one strip and hold next to the eye to see if it fits. Remember that the longer lashes go on the outside of the eye. Trim the length of the strip appropriately, and do the same thing for the other strip, you want these to match perfectly. Using a toothpick, apply some glue to the inside of the eyelid, close to the eye.
Put the eyelashes in place, and then dip a toothpick in the linseed oil and use it to maneuver the eyelashes into the perfect spot between the eye and lid, making sure it’s even on all sides. Let it dry and do the same with the other strip of lashes.
Using a small paintbrush you’ll now want to apply some of the glass paint gloss to the surface of the eyes, and on the bottom of the lashes as well. Don’t worry about brushing or smoothing over the gloss, really just apply some and et it sit for a minute, it will settle itself and look more natural that way. The gloss aids a tint of life to the reborn babies I work with, and it’s also functional, keeping the eyelashes in place a bit more.
Now keep the gloss out, and gather up the glass paint sealer, white glass paint, the fine-tipped paintbrush, more toothpicks and a paper towel. We’re doing the nails now, and you want to start by painting the nails with the glass paint sealer. The purpose of this is to ensure the paint applies to the nails well. There’s no need to wait, the sealer dries quickly.
Hold the limb you are working on in place and dip the fine paintbrush in white paint. You want to make a straight line down the nail. This paint will dry quickly, so if your line isn’t straight or some paint ended up where it’s not supposed to, you want to remove it or fix it as soon as you can. After doing this for all of the fingernails and toenails, go back over each of them with the glass paint gloss to not only give them a fingernail shine, but prevent scratching and chipping of the paint.
The last step we will be doing here is to add some life to the lips. We’ll be sticking with the glass paint gloss here. Many people just choose to add the gloss, leaving the color of the lips untouched. If you’re more confident with your colors, you may choose to mix a nice natural, reddish/pinkish shade and apply that color first, then applying the glass paint gloss on top of it.
Now, are your rooting the hair of your reborn baby doll or you are making a reborn doll with a wig? That will be the next step.