- Open nose using 3 or 4 drill bits with the tops wrapped with a wide rubber band (this makes drill bit easier to grip)
- (As a precaution, I strongly recommend sticking a Bandaid under the doll’s nose for protection. Don't leave the bandaid on for long though, or the adhesive may cause damage.)
- Start with the smallest drill bit 1.59 mm (1/16"), and carefully twist the drill bit in a clockwise direction, pushing into the nostril area. Once you break through the vinyl, it is much easier to drill. Then use a 2.38mm(3/32") drill bit, then a 2.78mm (7/84") . These three sizes are often enough, but if you have a larger doll, you may need a 3.17mm (1/8") drill bit.
- Finish nostrils off by smoothing rough edges with a round file. Use extreme caution. It’s easy to slip and damage the doll’s face with the file.
Painting the Insides of Dolls
- I use a mauve acrylic paint similar to Jo Sonya’s Amethyst but I add some extra white. Never use a dark mauve or purple. As acrylic paint dries, it darkens. If you use too dark a paint, it will make the baby look bruised where the vinyl is thin.
- If you do use a too dark paint, you can usually get most of it out with acetone, even if the paint has been on for some months. But it is an awful lot of work. It’s much better to use the proper colour to start with.
PLEASE NOTE Acetone must be used outside as it is very dangerous to inhale. You must wear gloves and preferably glasses and a mask.
- You can also paint inside your doll with a very dilute Genesis Heat Set paint mix. Some reborners like this effect. I prefer the acrylic paint for inside the doll.
Removing Stains From Vinyl
The quicker you remove a stain, the better. Here are some substances that may remove stains from vinyl:
- Acne Cream with 5% benzoyl peroxide (10% is better, but I don’t have any). I apply the acne cream thickly on the stain and put it under a lamp to heat it (be careful not to have it close enough to burn it). I leave it under the lamp for a couple of hours then remove the cream. If it’s still there, I put the cream back on the stain and put it under the lamp again. It works well for stubborn stains.
- WD40 (need to wash off after the stain is removed to get rid of the smell)
- Methylated spirits
- Jif or Gumption
- Olive oil
- Eucalyptus oil - a stubborn stain can sometimes be removed by soaking a cotton ball in eucalyptus oil and sticky taping it onto the stain for a few hours. Do not let eucalyptus oil get on paint on the doll as it may strip the paint.
- Nail polish remover gel by Cutex
- Goof Off or Acetone*
*Dangerous chemicals! - Only use outside and have rubber or plastic gloves, and wear a mask and protective glasses.
You have to be very careful where you put your vinyl doll. I had a vinyl doll sitting on a little cane chair. I picked him up as he was very overdue for a clean and noticed that the varnish from the chair had stuck to the vinyl limbs and marked it quite badly. I scrapped the varnish off and removed the stains with Gumption. Now I have a cushion for him to sit on so he doesn’t come into contact with the cane.
My favourite way of doing veins, is with a light blue watercolour pencil, like the colour below. It must be a proper watercolour pencil not a normal coloured pencil.
But before you start drawing veins, find a detailed photograph of a baby (there are many on the internet), to see where the veins actually go. I have seen many reborn dolls with amazingly bizarre vein patterns painted on them. Remember, it is better to have veins that are a little lighter, than veins that are overdone.
Wet the sharply pointed pencil and softly draw the veins. Then with a damp cloth which I have ready, I dab most of the colour off. It is easy to do, looks realistic and after a day or so drying, it is permanent,
How I attach lash strips
- Carefully measure required length and cut strip. (It is more realistic for the lashes not to go right up to the inner corner of the eye). Cut the 2nd lash exactly the same as the 1st.
- Paint a thin strip of water-based clear drying craft glue, on the edge of the eyelash.
- Carefully push lashes between eyeball and eyelid with a metal nail file or eyelash-tweezers . It is easy to scratch the eyeball. Be very careful!!! Don't push the lashes up too far or the lashes won't sit correctly. Push them as far as they will go before the angle of the eyelash is wrong.
- Remove thoroughly any glue on eyeball with damp paintbrush or cotton bud.
- When the glue is dry, I like to dip a very small paintbrush in 'Royalcoat Dimensional Magic' by Plaid, and paint onto where the lashes meet the eyeball to give added adhesion. It is optional, but extremely effective at strengthening the eyelash join.
Revitalising wig or hair
Check out my experiment in trying to revive a badly damaged wig.