Old Timers paying it forward

In the spirit of starting 2022 off with lots of good vibes I was wondering if Old Timers would be willing to share some reborn wisdom. One to three little nuggets of goodness.

These are some strange times, many people are isolated, can’t take in person classes, might feel a little uncomfortable asking for the help they need.

We can keep it fun a light, things we wished we knew when we started.

Maybe we can help some newbies and lurkers feel more comfortable with hanging out here on the forum.

If you have been painting babies a good long while (you know who your are) introduce yourself and share a little love.

The one thing I liked about this forum when I first started painting was the community aspect. Sure there is always a little drama (we are humans) and not everyone shows up in a healthy way for reasons that can’t be helped but we muddle through it, learn from each other and friendships are built here. That is pretty awesome.

I will start by replying to this thread, lets see what happens.


I would not consider myself an “Old Timer” I have been doing this about 4 years? In that time I have made a whole lot of babies!

I wish someone would have told me:

-This hobby can make you hoardy, don’t spend the whole paycheck on clothes and kits. Make a couple babies, sell a couple babies, then buy a couple more kits, they will make more sculpts, I promise. You will NEVER use all those baby clothes you buy and even if you have a full cupboard you still won’t be able to find an outfit that is perfect and will end up shopping anyway.

-Keep your box opening simple. Let your baby be the star of the show.

-Never bake indoors. Just don’t, not worth it.

-Last one (because I have a hard time following rules). Learn techniques from other artists but make your OWN Baby, follow your own instincts, have your own style. Be inspired but not to paint like someone but to paint with the same passion. The coolest thing about this is we all are painting the same canvas with the same supplies but the possibilities are endless! People love something new and different. Paint what you love, if you love it you can bet there are people who love it too.


You said a mouthful :smiley: You pretty much summed it all up. As a former hoarder (I once had around 400 kits) unless you can whip out a baby a day, it’s not a good idea to stock up on a lot of kits. Beautiful kits come along almost every day and I use to find myself selling old to buy new. It’s more trouble than it’s worth. I am now on my last and final clearout, and from now on I’m only buying what I love. Like Marie Kondo says, only keep what sparks joy! I find it hard to paint a kit that I don’t truly adore and that’s why I don’t do customs anymore. My heart just wasn’t in it and I don’t do my best work. I’ve been doll making for 25 years and reborning for over 10; but I don’t really have any words of wisdom other than find your own way, learn from others and everything will soon fall into place :wink:


One more thing, don’t be discouraged if your babies don’t sell right away. I’ve seen even top artists having trouble selling. Just know that the right person will come along!


Painting what/how you want is more fun than painting what someone else wants you to.

Dont fall for all the sales on kits you dont really like just beacuse they are cheap… you will set them aside and end up with a large stash, and still paint the new one you like first… lol

Paint an ALTERNATIVE it is so fun and freeing. Let your imagination and the kit lead the way


Never forget that just like real babies, reborn dolls are extremely different. We can all have different painting styles and still have extremely realistic reborns. So don’t get too caught up in copying exactly what one artist does. There are plenty of “correct” ways to paint a reborn :blush:

  • Enjoy creating! If you sell what you’ve made, that is only a plus.
  • Be content and creative with what’s available to you. Necessity is the mother of invention…
  • Don’t compare. I’ll echo what everyone else has already said… Don’t be like the rest of them dear.
  • Try to let the negativity roll off your back. It will come. It’s ok.
  • Be kind.
  • Don’t take it too seriously… or let anyone or anything steal your joy.

Second the pass on sale kits. You will end up with a mountain of kits, which you will never want to paint because you’ll be busy painting new releases…

Only paint what you love. Even if you take customs, only agree to paint kits that you actually like.

Most people are not able to pick up a paintbrush for the first time and churn out a prototype. For the vast majority, painting good dolls takes a lot of practice.

There’s always drama in the dolly world somewhere. Try your best to stay away from it.

  1. If you love a kit and there’s even a remote chance that you will regret not buying it, buy the kit.

  2. If you finish a baby and you’ve fallen in love, don’t give the baby up. You will regret it. It took me 10 years to get a kit back that I sold.

  3. when I started we didn’t have classes. Take advantage of all the things. You’ll always find something of value even if it’s just a different way to mix color.


Don’t start reborning as a way to make money. Do it because you love doing it. You’re very likely to spend more money than you earn, especially the first couple of dolls you make.

Have fun. Try something new. There are a lot of techniques, but they’re are no strict sets of rules on what colors to use when. Paint a baby your favorite shade of blue. Give it purple eyes and pink hair. Let go of what others will think sometimes and just enjoy!


Don’t know if I’m a old timer. I used to be on this forum a few years ago but took a long break.

Everyone had great overall tips but let me share more specific tips on reborning.

If you have trouble with your nail tips, just paint a stroke (no matter how wide or wobbly) and then make it straighter, neat and equal by “removing” paint with a toothpick or paint brush. Same goes for lips. I actually do the same for my own eyeliner (except I use a q-tips).

Put eyelashes in the right place on open eyes babies. Where they actually grow not the crease.

Nail tips again, dont use bright white straight out the jar. And dont paint the nail bed too dark. Use real babies reference pictures (not just for nails).


This is my 20th year and I have a ton of kits in my stash :joy: I won’t live long enough to paint them all and I keep buying more! And baby clothes are my weakness. I’ve bought outfits several times and then bought kits that I thought they’d look cute on :smirk::joy: I could start a baby boutique, no kidding. I have finally realized I’m a hoarder of kits and baby clothes. Use me as a bad example of what NOT to do! :grinning:

So much great advice here so I’ll just say run your own race. Newbies are very fortunate to have so much info at their fingertips. Tutorials are available now for everything, so take advantage of what’s out there. Never try to copy another artist’s work. As artists we need to lift each other up, offer encouragement, and keep working on building a stronger reborn community. United we stand.


LOL some of us are older than dirt my dear friend I started in 2010.

I think trying different size babies, preemie, newborn, toddlers and alternatives will give you a prospective of what makes you happiest. Try them all. Above all if you are enjoying this art form that is what is important.

Don’t try to watch every tutorial that is recommended, some will help and some will not and after so many you will find it confusing. It is after all their opinion of how to do things follow your own path.
Experiment with color and methods that work for you. Each person will find their own style.

I try to give my thoughts on work that people ask for and find most get offended if you suggest they do it differently. Most suggest things that they think will help to improve your work not to be a “mean girl”.

Yes I have too many kits and too many clothes, I currently am trying to sell some and have 3 pre orders LOL. Sell one buy two. It is an addictive Hobby for sure.

Good luck and enjoy your chosen art form. If you need help or answers we will all put in our two cents worth LOL! :footprints: :baby:


I think you said it perfectly. :bird:


Watching your growth as an artists has been fascinating. I love your new direction, you are a modeling perfectly how to keep expanding and trying new things. You are also pretty generous with your time and knowledge here.




Simple, and very true, great advice.


Glad you are back, and great tips!


You have been around since this all started. I love your stories. You have watched people jump in the pool with all their clothes on just to leave just as fast when they didn’t fill their pockets with all the gold coins they thought they would get.

I love that you were one of the artists who had to teach yourself, invent ways to do things, experiment with all kinds of materials and paints, paint some scary sculpts…

You really should write a reborn book about your journey, your long relationship with this art form that is a labor of love.


I can’t say I’m an oldie, I’ve been reborning for 2 + years now. But I can say I have learned so much from all these amazing Artists on this forum. From all there advice to all the lovely compliments when maybe I was feeling alittle frustrated. I am so blessed to have found this forum when I started.