babydolls

The Crafty Writer

August, 2010

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Reborn Baby Dolls

I always thought the Reborn baby dolls brought out the maternal instinct in a woman, but the other day I listened to a couple of women talking and began to wonder. “Wash the baby with an alcohol swab until she is nice and clean then hold her with a steady hand as you trace the veins so they stand out nice and blue. Once you’re done, lay the baby carefully on a towel in a cake or pie pan, depending on size of infant and place them on the center rack in the oven. I like to bake my babies at 250 degrees for about 10 minutes.” Words like that didn’t bring the maternal issues that I envisioned to forefront of my imagination.

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Reborn dolls started out as a way to reclaim, rejuvenate and modernize existing silicone and vinyl based dolls. It is an amazing transformation of the old to the newer more realistic baby like standards of today. Chemical and mechanical formulations have been created that rejuvenate the vinyl along with instruction videos bring many new crafters into the fold. To hold and show a finished piece that was brought back from the world of obsolescence is an amazing accomplishment.

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There are new Vinyl blanks available from a number of artists on line and in certain hobby shops that are made just for this art form. They even cater to beginners by pre-painting the vinyl blanks and inserting the eyes so all that is needed is putting on the eyelashes and wigs. Then stuff the body and attaching the limbs presto, you have your new reborn baby to have and hold.

Now, just like all other hobbies there are varying levels of how far you take the craft. The pre-painted and eyes inserted is the easiest. Then there is the wig selection and eyelashes. These can be painted, pre-made wigs, or needle felted, where individual hair strands are placed using a felting needle. The wigs themselves are available in varying grades, from a simple cap to the clear cap that is nearly invisible.

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Taking a clean vinyl blank and painting the five to seven coats of heat set paints to bring the most lifelike color and texture into the baby or infant reborn doll is another step up the craft ladder. The painting style of the crafter also shows the quality and pains put forth in the presentation. This would include the extra fine veins, and eyebrows, or the clear gloss around the nose and tips of the lips. Then there is the paint inside the head, which gives tonal variances inside the nose, for when you drill nasal passages.

The care of Reborn Babies after they are completed is also very important. Great Britain and the United States have run many articles on police responding to and breaking into cars that have non-responsive children in vehicles. If you are going to take a Reborn with you do not lock her in the car without a large sign stating Reborn baby is not real. In other words always treat your Reborn baby as you would a real baby.

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Remember always safety first, when you bake your babies at 250 degrees use pot holders when you pull them out of the pan. As with anything else, good tools make good product, and practice improves everything. To see more of Kimberly’s Dolls, visit us at www.kskritters.com or Google Reborn dolls for more information.