Wonderful idea, Kim! Thanks for doing this! Heaven knows I am certainly no expert, but if it’s okay, I’d like to add my 2 cents worth:
Please use GOOD EYES…not the el-cheapo $2.00 plastic ones that are meant for play dolls or stuffed animals. I’m saying let’s use Eyeco, BB, or glass eyes. If you’re going to go to all the trouble to make a doll, the eyes and the hair are the most important things. GOOD mohair, like from Cher or Slumberland, for example…NOT the crummy, cheap stuff. Yes, it costs a bit more, but this is one of those times when you truly get what you pay for, and it is sooooo worth it! This is an expensive art, no doubt about that. But why bother to do a doll and then ruin it with cheap eyes and cheap mohair? And, as Kim mentioned…seal the hair from the inside. If you don’t, it will fall out and all that rooting was for nothing.
It is VERY important what is INSIDE your baby as well. PLEASE do NOT use cat litter, dirt, rocks, or dirty sand from a sandbox. Fine glass beads, please, and super-soft polyfill. It won’t matt or clump and makes a HUGE difference. Also, the glass beads should be enclosed in CLEAN, FRESH, NEW nylons for obvious reasons. For weight in the butt, I use a bag of poly pellets…the soft plastic pellets you can buy at Walmart. Keep in mind that your baby doesn’t need to weigh 40 pounds…dead weight is heavier to lift, so a 4 -5 lb. reborn feels the same as holding a 6-7 lb. baby.
Keep in mind that those zip ties we use to hold the arms, head, and legs in place need to be trimmed. NEVER send a baby out to its new mom without doing so. If not trimmed properly, the rough edge can scratch someone or poke through and make a hole in the clothing. I trim mine with a fingernail clipper and then use a clean, new emery board to make sure there are no rough, sharp edges. It’s the “little” things that mean the most sometimes, and these little details will make or break your baby.
Also…if you don’t know how to open the nostrils, please leave them alone. I’d rather see painted nostrils than jagged, uneven ones. If you open them, back with dark colored felt so no one can see inside your baby’s head. We don’t need to see the stuffing. We’re going for a realistic look, remember?
Kim, if any of this makes any sense and you want to add it to your list, please do. If not, please let me know if I’ve overshot the mark here and I will delete if needed. You know how I can get carried away.
Hope I’ve helped a little; we’re ALL learning every day. Let’s play dolls!