Tutorials that just might work for you!
After doing this beautiful art for several years, I have like many other reborn artists learned a few tricks along the way. When I see a chance to share I will add the "how to" information that has worked for me.
How to create baby scratches on your reborn:
We all know how babies manage to scratch their delicate little skin no matter how much we try to protect them. Well if you want to recreate that on your reborn, here's how I do it. Whitney was one of my best close ups for that. For my Caucasian babies I apply several layers of flesh, you want it life-like thin skinned looking, not looking like an open wound. I lightly lightly etch my flesh color not your vinyl, with a flat tooth pick (best) or dull rounded off pin (tilting as you go and lighter as you end) before *heating (*GHSP, don't have to with the air drys, just let it dry) do this by sweeping over the area that you want it to appear in, lightly start wide, end or break off sharp, that gives it just a hint of depth with a beginning and an end. Ok ok...just scratch yourself...Please just don't draw blood if you really need a visual. We reallllllly don't want to hurt the baby or you...right? lol I use a deep burgundy, make it look blood red. Like when you prick your finger rooting...it makes for a great example to go by too...lolrothf Keep your paint watery thin for your color. I kinda fill in my little scratch...NOT TO MUCH...you want it a tiny bit raised (you know...a teeny tiny bit of swelling) heat and then re-apply to my scratch look until I get the color I want (the fewer the coats, the fresher it looks to me, darker looks older, so I like mine to look like they are healing). Now lightly L-I-G-H-T-L-Y feather out your thinned last couple of coats so that you have that inflamed look around the scratch. You can do this with a small round brush (NO true straight looking line, kinda jaggidy looking that's why you feather). TAAAA DAAAAA!!! I just apply a couple of layers of flesh color after that so it's like my last thing to finishing up on my AA babies besides my blushing
How to add or re-applying wigs:
On a rare occasion you may want to use a wig for your reborn. You have the mesh caps and the clear cap which is supposed to give the illusion of rooted hair. You have to make sure if the doll calls for a 14-15 wig size that you don't have an 11-12. To get an accurate wig size measure around the head right above the ears.
If you are changing wigs like I did for my little Tasha she was a well loved play doll that I adopted and re-did for me, Peel off the wig and manually lift off with your fingers as much of the old excess glue as possible. You can remove the rest with a glue remover like Un-Du adhesive remover or Goo Be Gone (this stuff is a must to be used outdoors) and cotton balls, moisten but do not saturate. Both of these products are a little oily, you have to use a little elbow grease because you don't want to ruin your doll's finish. Once you get the bulk of the old glue off wash the area immediately with warm soapy water and let air dry over night. Then I clean over it again with alcohol just to give the glue a good base to adhere to.
Here's how I do it. First, I hate the idea of rooting big headed babies and pie shaped wig caps! I just think, ohhh my neck and back. The circle is okay but doesn't it doesn't do anything for me, it doesn't look real to me. It just sits on top of the head and the hair kinda cascades down the sides. I prefer the whole wig cap, like Tasha and Katrina's because they both have big heads (16/17 inch wigs) and it looks more natural! lol You can use human or synthetic, which is what they both have and they look adorable.
Make sure to find out where your front and back is (tags usually are there and that makes it simple. I always comb the hair up towards the center if the wig allows for it. If not, just flip the wig inside out for the bigger heads this is just easier. You learn that when you get tired of cleaning off glue booboos, especially with short hair, longer hair is easier.
I place my center on the head where I want it to set by doing a dry run and pulling the wig down. Once happy, by flipping the wig inside out I add a small dab of glue under the center and let it dry in place on the head. Once set I pull the wig down into position and draw a very fine pencil line of glue on the rim of the wig a little at a time like an inch or two small increments, because it will spread out and too much will seep through. I like to use E6000 for this. It's a little smelly but the odor will dissipate. As I move around hold the new glue spot down with your thumb and use your fingers to move the hair up out of the way if necessary. This is slow but helps you to keep the hair out of the glue you can even let the glued sections dry first if it gets too cumbersome.
As for the glue, not to worry if it's just a little, if it's mohair take a warm wet towel end and a toothbrush, hold the wig in place after lifting the glued hair let the water kind of saturate to soften it, then gently comb through it, some will definitely come with the glue but not a whole patch of hair. Also, if it's on the end and not to much, when you shape the wig just clip it during the shaping. Synthetic works the same but just easier to keep the hair up and out of the way. Now you are ready to style his/her hair!
How to dye your Doe Suede body for an ethnic baby!
In a hurry? This will help you when you need an ethnic color body in a pinch. Simply by using something we almost always have on hand, tea bags! Yes, tea bags for tinting your fabric. Also great for dying panty hose that are too light! You can do this while you are working on your baby!
Here is how I do it and all of the tools that you will need:
1. doll body 2. pot or pan 3. water 4. tongs 5. teabags 6. vinegar (2 tbsp.)
Bring your water to a rolling boil add 6 to 10 bags. I would clip the teabags to the side with a clothespin if possible, you want it really strong and dark and you do not want to have to fish them out later. I only used 4 teabags in my tutorial so that you can see it does work. Reduce your heat to medium let the teabags infuse in the water. Please, keep an eye on your water level, it will drop down during the boiling process. Once the tea solution is dark (black tea is best) you can add your body and vinegar or you can do a vinegar /cold water rinse at the end. Swish it around with your tongs or a wooden spoon periodically while it sits in there, the longer the better. Once you are happy with the color, rinse in cold water and let air dry or use the low setting on your dryer.
How to pierce your reborn doll’s ears
Tools that you will need:
1. Needle nose pliers 2. Long darning needle (regular sewing needles are too thin to push through the vinyl) 3. Pair of post earrings Oh, and don’t forget the baby!
Determine where you want your earring on each ear. You can mark it to make sure that it’s centered on the fatty part of the earlobe. First, be careful, it’s not hard to do. With a good grip, grasp your darning needle with the needle nose pliers. Gently apply pressure when inserting your needle approximately ½ inch into the lobe with your pliers. Wiggle the needle that you inserted by gently twisting back and forth just a little. You are ready to insert your baby’s earring. Remove the needle with a little twisting motion on the way out. Once your remove your needle, gently push your earring post into the now formed hole with your fingers. Gently, you don’t want to bend your post or break your earring. The vinyl will grip the earring so don’t worry about it falling out! Hint: just so that you know, sometimes the baby’s earlobes will be shaped differently from the other.
Don’t worry just focus on one ear at a time.
Create a "quick bonnet"
MORE TO COME!