How To Make Reborn Baby Dolls
Step 3: The Eyes and Nose
If you’re using an awake face for your soon to be reborn dolls, the eyes will have to be replaced. Different dolls and faces have different sizes. For example, the LaBaby Angel and Shy faces have 18/19 mm eyes, while the Happy face measures to a 20/21 mm.
Some different types have one size socket but need larger irises due to the way the face is shaped. When in doubt, measure the socket yourself after removing the eyes and compare the different sizes.
To remove the eyes from the doll, you’re going to need the blow dryer and a screwdriver or another flat, long device. Getting very close, aim the blow dryer directly onto the eyes.
After it gets nice and hot (and pliable), insert the screwdriver under the eye and pry it out of there. If you’re having any problems, reheat the area until it gets hotter than the first attempt.
The new eyes can either be purchased as complete spheres or as half round shapes. If you buy the spheres, you’re going to need to cut them in half using the X-Acto knife, because the socket only takes the half round shape. To install the new eyes, you’ll want to again heat the eye socket of the your in-progress reborn baby doll.
Then you’re going to have to force the eyes into the eye socket. This might take a few attempts and lots of heating, but be patient as you can’t afford to tear the eye socket. Make sure you align the eyes the same on both sides for as realistic a look as possible and adjust as necessary.
If you really cannot place in the eyes in this fashion, the other option is to do it from inside the head itself. Use your X-Acto to carve around the back of the eye socket. Leave it partially attached (hanging like a flap) so it will be easier to glue back on.
Put the eye in place and use plenty of glue to keep it there and glue the flap back together as well. With some luck you won’t need to do it this way, but be prepared just in case you struggle.
Now that you’ve finished the eyes for your reborn babies you can move to the nose. I hope you purchased all of your supplies because you’ll need the needle files and the paraffin candle for this step. Use a needle file with a very rounded point and heat it with the flame of the candle.
Using a smokeless paraffin candle will help prevent getting burnt residue on the needle, which can ruin your reborn doll’s head. However, even these candles aren’t perfect so use some paper towel to rub over the file once or twice after heating.
Use the heated file to forcefully go in and out of the nostril a few times. This removes any excess vinyl from that area and also makes the nostrils bigger. You need to be careful of two things, first, not to touch any other part of the head with the heated file and secondly, to not make the nostrils too large.
As with the dye, once the nostrils get a size too large, they are stuck that way, so proceed with caution. Reheat the file as necessary and use some unheated files o finish off the cleaning process. Try to match up both nostrils as best as possible.
Finally you want to cut a very small rectangular piece of the brown felt you purchased, just big enough to cover both of the nostrils. Use some glue and your tweezers to put the felt over the nostrils and inside of the head.
Adjust as you see fit and you want to make sure both openings are completely covered. Now put more glue on the back of the felt to lock in place with the head of your reborn baby doll.
If you’ve done all of this right, you should be seeing some real progress already!