I would love to hear stories about how/why you started reborning! I came across it by chance and don’t now anyone else in real life that even knows what it is. I am new to the hobby and am enjoying it so much! I stay up hours later than I should just to work on my baby because it is so much fun. I’m not good at it yet but am looking forward to the day that I can show off my work.
I came across reborn dolls on Ebay back in the summer of 2002…they looked SO REAL and I bought one. His name was Matthew. I could not WAIT to get him home. When he arrived, he was nothing like he looked on Ebay. He looked bruised and battered and I decided I would just make one for myself and started learning everything I could about making reborns. I was even asked to do an article on reborning by Doll Crafter Magazine; what a thrill! That was summer of 2004, if I remember right. I made a set of reborn raggies for another doll forum I belong to, and ended up selling a hundred sets of them…wish I’d kept a set for myself. Now here I am, 12 years later, and still plugging away.
Here’s one of my very early reborns…loved this Berenguer face, my raggie twins had the same face, LOL…
For me it was the fall of 2004 when a friend of mine brought over a baby doll she had bought from Ashton Drake (emily). We thought she looked so real and ooohed and aaahed over her. My friend said “you are crafty - you could probably make these” so after she left I went to the internet and searched (on and on and on) gathering all the information I could about reborns. I found a woman in Tennessee making reborns and she made me a sleeping Berenguer “sucky lip”. I still have her and she remains one of my favorite sculpts. Then in the spring of 2005 I purchased all the supplies I would need for reborning and the rest is history. I sell off my website, Etsy and local holiday craft shows.
When my granddaughter was born 7 years ago (she’ll be 8 this August) I went searching for the perfect baby doll for her. I am not a collector, but I do remember treasuring my Meg doll from the Little Women series that was put out by Alexander Dolls. I got that doll in the early 1960’s and I never played with her - I kept her as a treasure. Many years later, a friend had a baby girl and she mentioned she would be starting a doll collection for her, so since I had a son, I gave her my doll as a gift. Little did I think about having this precious granddaughter one day.
When I discovered the reborns online, I was awestruck by some of the incredible artists - and I knew being retired now that I could never justify spending so much money on a doll; But then, I had no idea how much money, & time is involved in the creation, or I probably would never have questioned the costs. I thought to myself that I could give a kit a try and see how it worked out - needless to say, I fell in love with the art & soon was addicted.
Now I do them for myself not as a collector, but simply for my pleasure. Each one that sells buys new supplies for the next baby…
The Christmas my grand daughter was 2.5 she was looking at babies with her mom on the internet. They found a reborn and it was way more than we could afford. So Carlee, who thinks Grandma can make anything, Told me she wanted oen of those babies. I started researching and buying some tutorials. Now she has lots of reborns. She gets oen for every birthday and Christmas and sometimes just because she liked the one I just finished.
I come from a long line of artists and after collecting dolls for a while, my husband told me that I should try making some of my own dolls. Even though I was VERY nervous, I bought an all inclusive kit from BB and made my first baby (Shyann). Although not perfect, she was beautiful and almost made me cry as she laid in my arms. I was hooked and so was my sister. We now have “Until Forever Nursery” on Facebook. Julie and I have so much fun making the dolls and sharing them with others!
Back in 2006/2007 I heard a news story about Reborns. I immediately googled them and eBay of course came up. Of course the most expensive one came up which was Tinkerbell’s and was going for a whopping $10,000.00!! I am a truck driver in case you don’t know so the first thing that popped in my head was wow if I can do this we can get out of the truck lol. Things were sooo different back then. We used Rit Dye , makeup you name it lol. After tons of trial and error and buying every used doll from goodwill that I could I finally broke down and bought the Paisley sculpt. Before her I have to admit it was all about making money. Once I did Paisley well it went from about money to becoming my true passion. My art changed then too. I can always spot a baby that has been made simply to make a buck. I can also always spot a baby that has been made that came from the heart. I love all aspects of this art and hope that it is around for as long as I am!
When I made a major move back to Wisconsin in 2003, someone had given me molds for porcelain dolls. Once I was settled, I started looking online for instructions, materials, etc. I kept seeing “reborn” all the time. So, inquiring minds want to know. I started looking further and learning all about it and thought—I can do that. I’ve always had a love of dolls, so this was a great hobby to start. Like others, I searched thrift stores for “baby” dolls. I started in the days of purple paint inside all the parts. Poor babies looked so bruised. The early days we used acrylic paints—Apple Barrel, etc. Then things moved on to oil paints. You could achieve better results, but the drying time was forever. In the beginning we used mohair wigs, then it moved to rooting. At first the needles were huge by today’s standards. Of course, there were alot of plugs. Berenguer dolls became the most popular for reborning. My first BB kit was Paisley. When I think back, boy her coloring was awful. But someone bought her. I was in love with BB as they emerged into the reborning world. I put all my faith in BB and love to see how the company has grown. I hope this is a hobby that will stay for a long time. (at least through my retirement years where I can actually do it at my leisure) That’s a while to go, though. I love seeing what people are doing and try to be of help in any way I can. I look forward to reading others’ journeys.
A few years back, Dr. Phil was doing a show on people with obsessions. The woman on the show had a small toddler sized baby with her. I had never heard of them. I was fascinated. I’ve always loved dolls and babies so these held a special attraction for me. As Dr. Phil was saying “they’re kind of creepy”, I was thinking “I’ve got to have one of those”. They gave the name of the reborn nursery. When the show was over, I went to my computer and was online for 3 days looking at these dolls. I ordered my first kit which came with paints, body and instructions. It was the first art/craft project I’ve ever done that intimidated me. It took me 3 weeks to air dry paint it. I was so afraid I’d wreck it. I didn’t, and I was hooked. Even now, almost 4 years later, as soon as I finish one, I want to do another one. I never get tired of it and go through withdrawal if I go very long without working on one.